Kyle Geary – The Hale Center For Journalism
At first, Red Dirt sounds like every other startup–a team of two taking on the big names in their industry by creating their own version of a product. But what makes them different is how they are doing just that, and why.
I spoke with Christina Eldridge and Dawn Taylor, the co-founders of Red Dirt in this edition of Startup Snapshot to learn more about what their company does. In short, they sell phone cases and T-shirts. But there is more to the story.
“Dawn and I have a long background in working for nonprofits in fundraising,” Eldridge said. “And in our volunteer time both of us have taken trips to opposite sides of Africa–myself to West Africa, in Mali. I’ve led several medical missions there. Dawn volunteers at an orphanage in Uganda.”
Eldridge and Taylor wanted to create a business that was both for profit and that would have a positive social impact. This became the basis for Red Dirt. They partner with artists to create various case designs and with every case they sell, five dollars goes to their partner, Water.org, to help provide clean water to people around the globe.
“Five cases or 25 dollars can provide clean water for life for one person,” Taylor said. “You scratch your head and think ‘wow, that’s all it takes?’ That is, 25 dollars can really change the course of a person’s life, maybe even change the course of an entire community in a particular area.”
In December, just eight months after the company started, Red Dirt presented a $5,000 donation to Water.org.