model: @chelseakauai photo: @joshuagrantrose
We started Rice Love just over a year ago with a mission to make really cool bags and fight hunger. Every one of you have contributed to this journey. You bought bags, you encouraged the cause, and you shared it with friends. All of that has literally keeps us going. Thank you for your support! We couldn't do this with out you.
The unofficial start to Rice Love was more than 10 years ago when my mom started repurposing rice bags into shoulder bags. A decade later, in February 2014, Coney Pulla, Nathan Nartker, and I banded together around the "Buy a bag. Feed a family." concept. By March 2014, we won a university business plan competition. This gave us a little bit of money to get going. It was very slow going in the beginning. It took us 6 months to create our first prototypes. Sarah Querido designed the first Rice Love bags that we ended up selling on Kickstarter.
I was so optimistic about Rice Love that I quite my full-time job as a retail store manager to pursue it. This was a huge risk. But, we knew that if we wanted to make a real difference it was going to take a lot of commitment.
Take a look at how far we've come since last year.
- Shipped first 300 bags to Kickstarter backers
- Built and installed first retail display rack at BYU-Hawaii Bookstore
- Gave away 320 kilos of rice on first trip to India
- Launched ricelovebags.com
- Exhibited at Portland Gift Show and got 12 new retail accounts
- Exhibited at International New Age Gift Trade Show (INATS) in Denver
- Created a way for customers to see a photo of the family they fed and read their story on our website. Check it out! You can read the stories or enter a product # to see a specific story.
- By end of the year, gave away over 1000 kilos of rice and sold over 1000 bags!
We've made huge progress. We look forward to much more to come. Thank you so much for your support! Please spread the word whoever you get the chance.