Curious about what we're doing here at Dot? Here's the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Have a question you don't see answered? Comment below and we'll answer it for you!
Q: "I've seen this whole Dot thing all over social media. I know you do something good for kids, but tell me more!"
A: Here at Dot, we sell school supplies (currently binders, journals, and pencils) and each product funds half a day of school for a child in Mexico or Congo. We are so incredibly thankful for our strong band of supporters on social media. Follow along on our Facebook Page, Instagram, or Twitter.
Q: "So why binders, journals, and pencils?"
A: Dot is a brand-new startup, and at this point, we simply don't have the physical space for many different kinds of products. And to be real honest, we didn't want to invest in all kinds of school supplies and then find out no one was willing to get involved like we hoped they would. (Thankfully, you've already proven this one wrong!) We chose binders and pencils because they are some of the most commonly used school supplies and journals because they're a sustainable product that people need year-round. We have plans to expand our product range over the next year--starting with a loose-leaf paper notebook similar to our journal (coming soon!)--and hope within 5 years to have everything on a typical school supply list.
Q: "What costs are included in the education funding?"
A: Great question! The funding we give covers school supplies, tuition, uniforms and any other costs associated with student success. Dot's strategy is to partner with organizations that are already funding education around the world and provide everything a child needs to succeed in school. By giving our partner organizations money to pay for all these things, we're also helping the local economies of the communities we're supporting!
Q: "How did you pick your partnerships?".
A: In creating Dot, we knew that the potential for student sponsorship was immense. The sad truth is that there are thousands of children around the world who won't get to attend school this year because their families can't afford it. We believe strongly in the power of education to change a person's life, so strongly that we want to be a part of providing education as far and wide as we possibly can! However, corruption also runs rampant around the world, and, we simply refuse to send money to places where we aren't 100% sure it will be used for the children it's intended for.
We are currently in the process of developing a criteria and process for building new partnerships, but we didn't want that to keep us from sending children to school now. We chose Matamoros Children's Home and Rudi International because, quite simply, we had existing relationships with both organizations. Both MCH and Rudi provide education to children in their communities and both could expand their reach with more funding. We believe in their missions and their leaders and can't wait to have Dot kids in school this fall!
Q: I see on the website that you, Hallie, are the founder, but you keep saying "We". Who are you working with?
A: Funny you should ask. I (Hallie Darphin) am the founder and currently the only "employee" of Dot Products. (Employee is a liberal term because my monthly salary is at $0 until we reach a certain level of sustainability over the next year.) However, I've got the best team of supporters I could ask for, and we're always looking for more! Want to join the Dot Community? You can help up by doing as little as inviting your friends to "Like" our Facebook page to as much as hosting Hallie (me again) to share Dot at your camp, conference, church, PTO or other gathering and anything in between! Email email@example.com to talk about getting involved with Dot.
Q: Your products look different than normal school supplies. How did you choose your products?
A: Our main concerns were that children wouldn't be hurt in the making of our products and that our products would be high quality, beautiful, and unique. The best way to go about that as a small startup is to buy American-made products where we can communicate easily with vendors and visit production lines. We found fantastic relatively small suppliers from around the country who make beautiful product and provide jobs to Americans just like you. While we would love to one day provide jobs for the parents of the kids we sponsor to further our mission of empowering people in poverty, currently we think it's awesome to provide jobs to American craftsmen!
Have more questions? Comment below or on our Facebook page, and we'll host another Question Session soon!
--Hallie Darphin, Dot Products Founder and CEO