The Skipping Stone sells products with a purpose.
Founders Greg Matney, Abhineeta Matney, and Matthew Voss were classmates at Taylor University in Indiana. In 2014, the three reconnected over a shared dream to launch a business that would help bring freedom to those affected by poverty and sex trafficking while also helping non-profits to become self-sustaining.
The Matneys were inspired by their work in India, where they co-founded a non-profit.
“We don’t just give things away,” co-founder Matthew Voss told New York Minute Magazine. “When [the people we help] create these products, when they’re artisans themselves, it brings a lot more strength and dignity to the community than if we were going around trying to fix things for them.”
Voss’ passion for business as a spark for social change was the inspiration that led him to become a part of this project.
“I recognize that businesses can make a big impact with how they operate,” Voss said. “Traveling abroad has really opened my eyes to a lot of social issues. I’ve been to about 30 countries and traveling helps me to see the need that is out there, and I’ve seen firsthand how businesses are able to make a difference.”
“It’s a huge battle,” Voss said about alleviating trafficking and poverty in India. “That’s why we’re called The Skipping Stone, because we believe everyone will make a ripple, which can make a difference.”
The Skipping Stone sells beautiful jewelry, lifestyle bags, and journals that are handmade by women in India who are seeking refuge from sex trafficking, suffering from extreme poverty, or both. The name of the company is symbolic to its purpose. When a stone is tossed into water, the impact creates a ripple effect and will change the water’s direction.
“The Skipping Stone is all about making a ripple with what you buy,” Voss explained.
All profits made by The Skipping Stone go directly toward employing women who are coming out of trafficking or impoverished situations and creating a dignified path toward self-sustainability.
“When people make these purchases, they are starting a conversation,” Voss said. “We spread awareness through our products. We are also able to directly hire women to work for us, and when they get hired, they bring their children with them. This isn’t only freeing these ladies; it’s helping the children as well.”
The Skipping Stone’s Jubilee Collection consists of jewelry made by sex trafficking victims.
“We buy directly from our non-profit partner. We help train the women to make these products, and then we sell them. The rest of the products on the website are made by artisans seeking freedom from poverty.
The company believes that there is power in working together. Much of their business model is based on a Mother Teresa quote: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” The Skipping Stone regularly partners with other nonprofits to expand their ripple and reach a broader community.
The Skipping Stone’s hybrid mission allows it to focus on both victims of sex trafficking and poverty. The company sells a majority of their products online but also in store and at wholesale events.
To learn more about The Skipping Stone and support their mission, visit them on their website.
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