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Last week we featured Project: Living Well (PLW), a fun and engaging social enterprise that will be relaunching December 5th, just in time to make an impact before the holidays. This week we were excited to interview Project: Living Well’s Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Matt Johnson, who offers us a peek into the organization, shares his sources of inspiration (and seemingly ceaseless energy), and how he replenishes his creativity.
To offer you a quick backgrounder, Project: Living Well sells unique branded products that are purchased with a combo of money and a pledge to do some good—whether that be taking someone homeless for lunch or assisting an elderly person. The funds then help provide clean drinking water in the developing world, and the commitment to help someone in need lets customers choose where and how they give back.
4 Questions with Matt Johnson, Founder & Chief Inspiration Officer of Project: Living Well
1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
We saw that more and more people were buying products that supported causes, yet many of these customers were thirsty for more than just a transaction. They wanted to be a part of the change that was taking place. So we created Project: Living Well to do just that. We sell products that invite customers to be the change they want to see, while also addressing one of the largest global needs that exists.
2. How did you decide to join this sector?
I worked in corporate America for a few years and found that there was a huge gap between what businesses did to make money and their philanthropy. I was inspired to find ways to incorporate altruism into business as more than just an after thought. When the vision for PLW struck, it became clear that this could be one of those ways.
3. How do you get your inspiration?
I love hearing the stories of people who are doing awesome things in the world. I get emails in the middle of the night from people who share how their story of engaging with someone in need has radically changed their life. That inspires me to do what I keep doing.
4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
Graphic design. I love it. It clears my mind and lets me tap into my creative side. And music too. There’s something epic about listening to Explosions in the Sky or Bon Iver on a nice fall day that gets the creativity flowing.