Carmel, Ind. (WISH) – Do Good. Feel Good. Look Good. That’s the goal of Carmel based clothing store Clothes with a Cause whose company motto is “people over profits.”
Owner Kelli McLaughlin says 100% of the stores profits are donated to charity. She says she’s able to maintain the unconventional business model by keeping costs down and the focus on paying it forward.
“I probably could go on a lot more vacations, but it’s not always about money,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin launched her company in 2017 with one rack in her living room and gained a following selling items out of an old camper at festivals across Indiana.
“I think people like doing things that help their communities,” said McLaughlin.
With the help of her husband, the entrepreneur then opened the store’s first location in the Clay Terrace shopping mall near 146th Street.
The boutique is full of candles, jewelry and clothes and each month a different charity is chosen as the donation partner.
August’s donation will go to Paws & Think, an organization that helps people through that human to dog connection.
McLaughlin says it’s the first time 100% of the money being donated is staying completely local. A move she hopes will attract more business to her store.
She says about half her customers come in knowing how it all works, a quarter walk away never knowing, and another quarter end up wanting to know more about the organization their money is going to.
“The great thing about that is then I start talking to them and they’re like, ‘yeah, I can do my holiday shopping here.’ It’s not necessarily promoting Paws & Think, but we are promoting positivity in our community.
It’s a sentiment Kelsey Burton, Executive Director of Paws & Think shares.
“Our supporters have been here like every day, they’ve been shopping online. They’re really excited to have a way to give back, but also kind of doing something fun for themselves too,” said Burton.
Burton says paws and think has gone virtual during the pandemic and that their services are needed now more than ever with more people struggling with mental health.
As for the mission of keeping it local, McLaughlin says she’s on track to be able to donate around $5,000 to Paws & Think at the end of the month – the largest amount she’s been able to give to date.