If it wasn’t for loudly crinkling bags, there’s a good chance Badger wouldn’t be here today! Founded by Bill Whyte and Katie Schwerin, Badger produces natural organic body care products that soothe and heal dry, cracked skin using ingredients that fit their natural standards for healthy agriculture, minimal processing, sustainable supply chain, and health giving properties. Read on to find out more about Bill and Katie and their Gilsum, NH-based B Corp, as told by their marketing and public relations manager, Deirdre Fitzgerald.
The story behind Badger’s creation: “Back in the winter of 1993, Bill was a carpenter with dry, cracked hands and fingers. He spent much of his time outside banging nails in some pretty harsh conditions, and his hands got so bad that he started wrapping them at night in olive oil-soaked socks covered in plastic bags. His wife, Katie, whose sleep was continually being interrupted by perpetually crinkling bags said, ‘That’s pathetic, Bill. You can do better than that.’ And she was right! So Bill went into his kitchen, started experimenting, and the result was Badger Balm for Hardworking Hands. This simple blend of extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, castor, aloe vera and sweet birch became the balm that started it all.
Badger’s mission is to create fabulously pure and effective products of the highest natural quality, based on simplicity and thoughtful preparation, with the intention to protect, soothe and heal. To run a business that is fun, fair and profitable; where money is fuel, not a goal; and where our vision for a healthier world finds expression through the way we work and through the way we treat each other and the people we serve.”
At Badger, everyone is family: “Badger is a family-friendly workplace that truly cares about its people, products, and the community. We have a unique company culture that is reflected in our benefits and policies (free organic lunch daily, $800 wellness fund, babies at work, and paid FMLA to start), the high quality of our products, and the many ways in which we give back to the community and protect the environment. Being a B Corp means we can prove that our practices support our mission , and can demonstrate our commitment to being transparent, accountable, socially responsible, and measuring what matters. I love that get to work at a place that offers flexibility, promotes a happy and caring culture, and values each person’s voice and contribution.”
More than nine years worth of incredible milestones: “Badger has achieved (and continues to enjoy) many milestones. The most notable to date would be moving into our new LEED silver equivalent manufacturing facility in 2011, the launch of our first sunscreens in 2010, adopting a babies-at-work program in 2007 and opening a childcare center for the children of Badger employees in 2013.”
How we are able to “B The Change” with our team: “We treat each other and everyone we come in contact with love, kindness, generosity, and respect. We share a lot of laughs, eat lunch together, and have a lot of fun each day!”
If you want to become a B Corp… “There are over 2,000 B Corps, across 130 industries and 50 countries working together to drive positive change. Talk to a new or established B Corp you admire. Maybe even visit a B Corp in your area if feasible. Ask about their experience becoming certified and what the benefits and challenges have been. Then, consider taking the B Impact Assessment (it’s free, confidential and takes about an hour) to get a clear sense of what you’re doing well and benchmarking, where you can improve, and what you’re doing well but not documenting. B Corps around the world are demonstrating how a high standard of social and environmental excellence is good for people, the environment, and the bottom line. ”
A future where businesses can be the best for the world Why B Corps matter to the aspirational consumer: “The future definitely looks bright as more mission-driven companies’ show that making business decisions that create positive change in the workplace and world lead to profits and advancements in the marketplace. More businesses will seek to be not just ‘best in the world’ but also ‘best for the world.'”
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About Deirdre Fitzgerald, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, W.S. Badger Company
Deirdre Fitzgerald is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for W.S. Badger, a certified B Corp and the maker of certified organic and 100% natural body care products. Family owned and family friendly since 1995, Badger believes in creating a healthy work-life balance through innovative family-centered programs such as Babies at Work, subsidized childcare for the children of Badger employees, extended paid parental leave, and free organic lunches served daily during a paid 30-minute break—and that’s just for starters!
Before joining Badger, Deirdre was the director of communications at the Student Conservation Association, a non-profit group dedicated to building the next generation of conservation leaders. She has spent nearly 20 years as a public relations professional helping socially-minded and mission-driven companies ensure a sustainable future. Deirdre holds a BFA in Art History from Syracuse University and lives in Southwestern New Hampshire with her family.
This has been a Fantastic B Corps post, MyCorporation’s salute to the entity that gives back to business and society. Join us biweekly for a glimpse at the entrepreneurs using their small business to “B The Change” in this global movement for good.