The idea first came to life when Helms, who was previously part of a large consulting firm, wanted to put his interest into something he was more passionate about. With the company TOMS Shoes in mind, he began thinking of starting a profit company with a philanthropic component.
“We see a lot of people interested in the philanthropic aspect and then all of our clothing is also made in the United States so we see a pretty big interest in that as well,” Helms said. “The philanthropy does make a big difference in people’s interest in the company.”
Cradle & Thread began in November 2012 and has already impacted lives. The company sends clothes to children in the U.S. through a non-government organization called World Vision. World Vision joins with local residents, such as the Helms’, to help improve the life of children and families living in poverty.
“We make the clothing and then give it to World Vision who distributes it through existing programs they have here in the U.S.,” he said.
Helms said any entrepreneur can say they have faced struggles in creating a business. He had no background in apparel or retail, and admits he had his fair share of lessons learned along the way.
When a purchase is made of less than $100 it combines with another purchase that another buyer has made. When a total of $100 has been reached, then clothes are made and sent out to babies in need. Unlike a lot of companies, the total does not have to be reached from one single purchase. It all adds up.
“I think a lot of corporations don’t think about their impact, particularly significantly large corporations,” Helms said. “We are part of a greater community and making sure we are responsible for how we live in that community is substantial, so running a company that has a net positive benefit for others is really important to me.”
The Helms’ are now invested in Cradle & Thread full time.
To see the Cradle & Thread products and donate, visit www.cradleandthread.com.