"Save the Fishes"

Sand Cloud

12. Responsible Consumption and Production 14. Life Below Water

Overview

Using social media, Sand Cloud sells their products to fulfill the need for eco-friendly clothes and objects in the online marketplace. According to their website, "10% of products' profits go to marine charities". In addition, some of the company's products are made from recycled materials and objects. Sand Cloud does not just contribute to the conservation of marine life but also works towards promoting ethical consumption and production patterns. Hence, the company significantly contributed to the 12th and 14th UN Global Goals. 

Authors

Melissa Rogers

Melissa Rogers

Zachary Savino

Zachary Savino

Nicholas Ochs

Nicholas Ochs

Albert Phuong

Albert Phuong

School

St. John's University

St. John's University

Professor

Charles Wankel

Charles Wankel

Innovation

In the most recent interview with the founders discussed how this company was created " there were 3 entrepreneurs: Bruno Aschidamini, Steven Ford, and Brandon Leibel, who started out selling insurance, but then came up with the idea of a towel with a neck supporting pillow. Originally Steven and Brandon were college roommates at San Diego State, but later met up with Bruno and came up with this idea for a towel". Originally marketed as "Cloud Nine," it was a beach towel and travel pillow put together as one product. However, since the product was not selling well, they decided to rename it as Sand Cloud. 

After a few months of trying to make profit, they burned through $30,000 on credit with no real sales and were nearing bankruptcy. However, they had grown their social media presence so they continued selling. According to their interview, "after an expo trading show in 2015 in Orlando, the samples on display got no recognition, but an extra sample from the manufacturer without the pillow with a tye-die pattern did stand out to Quicksilver - this led to the big break". They then decided to sell the pillow-less beach towel with intricate designs which had caught the eye of many online customers, enabling the makers to eventually quit all of their side jobs. It wasn't until they began having large profits and growing exponentially in 2015, that they started donating more to their big aim of helping marine conservation efforts. "In February 2017 they were on "Shark Tank," and their company began making millions in profits each year; this allowed them to expand their social cause into the spotlight of goods". Contributing a share of their profits towards marine life and recycling, they work towards  the 12 and 14 UN Global Goals.


Sample quotes from their most recent interview 

 Clifford, Catherine. “How 3 Guys Went from Call Center Cubicles to 'Shark Tank' and Made Millions.” CNBC, CNBC, 19 July 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/how-sand-cloud-got-on-shark-tank-and-made-millions.html.

"Save the Fishes"

Inspiration

"Living in California had given Ford and Leibel an idea for a business: a towel that would help people take better naps on the beach. Thus, the friends ordered a few dozen beach towels and travel pillows from a discount website and had a local seamstress sew the pillows to the towels. They called their product Cloud Nine."*(CNBC) With growth and expansion, the company began concentrating much of their efforts on contributing to social causes, in particular, saving marine life. 

As the leaders of  Sand Cloud were unavailable for the interview, the quotes are taken from a previous interview on CNBC.

 Clifford, Catherine. “How 3 Guys Went from Call Center Cubicles to 'Shark Tank' and Made Millions.” CNBC, CNBC, 19 July 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/how-sand-cloud-got-on-shark-tank-and-made-millions.html.

Overall impact

The  production of great items like t-shirts and water bottles that are made from recycled materials and donating a portion of the sales to charities creates a new type of company. As a several million dollar businesses, Sand Cloud gives other businesses the opportunity to follow in its footsteps and become a more economically stable business that significantly contributes to achieving the  sustainable development goals.

As from a small business idea, Sound Cloud has expanded into a company making a variety of products in just a few years, this business has a significant growth potential and is a great example for other businesses. In the short term, the company plans to start making a wider range of  sustainable products, but in the long term, these products are invaluable as many of them are made of water bottles and recycled cotton, which prevents further waste problems and  protects ecosystems and water  - a significant contribution to the mission of "Saving Marine Life."   

Business benefit

The first thing that the company did to start their growth was change their name from "Cloud Nine" to "Sand Cloud". This opened the door to opportunities such as Quicksilver after they saw the tye-die design sample.  The most notable take from the interview with the company's founders is the significance of risks that they took to get to where they are today. They said it was due to the vision that all of them had.

They were able to raise money for their first orders "using their families credit cards and maxing them out to roughly the $5,000 limit". Over the course of one summer, the company had burned through most of their credit limits and began fundraising money to avoid bankruptcy.

"After the Surf Expo Show the breakthrough happened. Quicksilver "placed an order worth $20,000". This helped kickstart the company. Soon after, the company's towel became very popular in its online store. It wasn't until "February of 2016, when the company had already shipped over half a million dollars worth of product from their two-bedroom apartment, that they decided to move their product to a warehouse and distribution center in San Diego, California. The company developed and made over $2.6 billion in 2016 alone." Thanks to all their success and buzz around the industry, they landed themselves on the hit TV show Shark Tank and secured a deal for $200,000. These three founders knew that their journey would be tough but maybe were unaware of how bad it could get before it could become a success. However, they stood steady and worked hard towards their vision, and in just a few years they became a million dollar online business.


Quotes from their most recent interview are taken from: 

Clifford, Catherine. “How 3 Guys Went from Call Center Cubicles to 'Shark Tank' and Made Millions.” CNBC, CNBC, 19 July 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/how-sand-cloud-got-on-shark-tank-and-made-millions.html.

Social and environmental benefit

The idea of creating a product from recycled materials is something that has only recently spread in the past few years, mostly because of growing concerns about global warming and its consequences. It is pretty clear that using recycled material in the production of new products is better not only for the environment but for the society as a whole. Using recycled bottles in production of clothing items helps reduce waste in landfills and oceans, further contributing to the reduction of our carbon output. All businesses have the potential to make their products with recycled materials and donate to social causes, just like Sand Cloud does. Sand Cloud is a model for how businesses can make a positive impact on society.

Interview

Amanda Rose, Designer

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Sand Cloud

Sand Cloud

San Diego, CA, US

Business Website: https://www.sandcloud.com

Year Founded: 2014

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

Sand Cloud has an overall mission to save marine life. To help accomplish this, they give 10% of all profits to several non-profits that support their mission of "Saving the Fishes."