As our B Corp interview series comes to a close, we’re excited to end the series on a strong note for businesses that decide to file as Benefit Corporations by featuring Jenelle Isaacson, owner of Living Room Realty in Portland, Oregon. Living Room Realty has the distinction of being the first real estate company in Oregon to become B-Corp certified and today, we spoke with Jenelle about how she hopes Benefit Corporations will be the future norm for business and how her company believes in building both business coupled with community – “one great neighbor at a time.”
1) How did you get started with your company?
I was getting ready to have a baby and wanted to leave my current office anyways so I could have my own place I could easily bring my baby in if I needed and have control over the environment of my office. I was nesting. I wanted my own space, with my favorite teas, assurance the office was cleaned with natural products and was somewhere as comfortable as my own living room if I would be balancing two children under two years old and a thriving real estate business.
2) How were you able to fund your business?
I funded my business with my personal savings and the proceeds from my own personal real estate sales.
3) Why did you pick a Benefit Corporation over the traditional for-profit corporation? What do you love about it?
We wanted to become a B Corp because of our belief that we build a business by building community one great neighbor at a time. It was an extension of our company’s social, environmental and ethical values and an ongoing measure of our success and goals.
4) What advice would you give today’s entrepreneurs on how and why to run a B-Corp?
Start by assessing your values. You will need to have a tremendous amount of commitment and accountability to get through the process but it gives you a measure of success and goals to work towards.
5) What do you see for your company’s future and for the future of the Benefit Corporation movement?
I am hoping this will be the norm for business. I think more and more consumers will want to know what kind of company they are spending their money with and how it benefits them outside of meeting their immediate needs. What I see for the future of Living Room is becoming a B-Corp will help us grow. The law of nature is that everything healthy grows. We are committed to the health and wealth of our community and in turn I have seen our community excited to support us and grow our business.