Apr142011

“I think it is inherently important that businesses give back to their employees, their vendors, their customers everyday and not just monetarily. I think it is important as a business to always think about how you can help others in all your operations.”

AmyLudwigson
Amy Ludwigson
Pure Citizen
CEO

Interview by Mike Sullivan

PureCitizen.com is a place where you can save daily from a featured company that is making our world a better place. Each sale lasts only 72 hours. What you will find every day are products that are organic, fair trade, sustainable, recycled, biodynamic, natural, handmade…

Amy Ludwigson believes in going after your dreams, ignoring conventional wisdom and that Sunday Funday should be a national weekly holiday. She enjoys nothing more that running the company, raising money for the non-profit partners and providing savings to the the site’s visitors.

pure citizen

MO:
Can you tell me about your background, prior to Pure Citizen?

Amy:
After graduating college my goal was to travel all over the world, which I did a pretty good job of. :) I did some volunteer work in Tanzania and India, practiced Interior Design in South Africa and Costa Rica and then decided it was time to come home to start my own business. My entire life I have been coming up with business ideas and creating, now it was time to make one of them happen.

MO:
What exactly is Pure Citizen?

Amy:
Pure Citizen is a flash sale site that features 3 day sales from ethical companies. You can find items at up to 90% off from companies that are fair trade, organic, cruelty free, eco-conscious, etc…

MO:
How do you determine if a company is “ethical?”

Amy:
We look for certifications, sometimes talk to their suppliers, and really make sure that we are not promoting companies that are ‘greenwashing.’ I think the hardest part about determining whether a company is ethical is that everyone has a different definition of what that means. We developed an ethics guide for our site that shows how each company and each product are ethical.

MO:
What inspired you to start the company?

Amy:
I was inspired by all the vendors that I worked with in the green industry that had amazing ethical brands and products, yet didn’t have the budget to reach masses of consumers. Sale sites have been a very powerful tool for businesses to reach customers, yet there still wasn’t one dedicated to featuring only ethical brands. So, Pure Citizen was born. Not only do we only feature ethical brands, yet we charge a much lower commission to make it more successful and easier for these brands.

MO:
How are you able to negotiate these fantastic deals?

Amy:
The brands we work with understand that we are here to help them grow. We have their best interests at heart and they know this. We do not always offer crazy high discounts of 50% plus because that is just sometimes too hard for a small company to do. So, we do 30% sometimes. Our customers can be assured that any deal on our site is supporting the brands that we feature.

Amy Ludwigson - ceo

MO:
How important is it for businesses to “give back?”

Amy:
I think of giving back beyond terms of charitable donations. I think it is inherently important that businesses give back to their employees, their vendors, their customers everyday and not just monetarily. I think it is important as a business to always think about how you can help others in all your operations. I think that is amazing when companies donate to charities, and we do as well. Yet, I think the core attitude in everyday operations of giving back is the most important.

MO:
What skills do you feel have been most beneficial to you when starting your business?

Amy:
When just starting out it was so helpful for me that I had design and business experience as I was able to do so many of the things needed to start the business without hiring anyone. It saved a lot of capital early on. Yet, then I quickly had to learn to delegate as the business grew and that has never been one of my strengths, yet it became a quickly learned skill and one of my best. Yet, the most important skill I have is my ability to never see problems. I see opportunity in everything and do not get discouraged by obstacles. That attitude more then anything else empowers me.

MO:
Do you see Pure Citizen expanding in scope in the coming months/years?

Amy:
For sure. I have two other businesses that I have come up with to branch off of Pure Citizen. Thinking of launching one later this year. It is a secret what it is though. :)

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