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Leading with Heart: The Journey to Achieving B Corp Status

For years, when I have been approached by prospective entrepreneurs for business advice, the first thing I have asked them is, “What is your why?”  In essence I’m asking, what drives you to do what you do? What is the greater purpose? We at The Jilly Box & Jillian Harris Design Inc. have applied that question during company goal-setting practices and throughout the evolution of our house of brands. And, during one of those discussions three and a half years ago, I presented the idea to the team of applying to become a certified benefit corporation (B Corp) for both companies. For me, achieving B Corp status would be a way to ensure that we never lose sight of our why: to give back and to do good. That is why today, I’m so proud to announce that after YEARS of hard work… both The Jilly Box and Jillian Harris Design Inc. are B. Corp certified!!

Jillian with tower of Jilly Boxes for B. Corp Announcement

What is B Corp?

B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. More simply put, B Corp is “a business that is a force for good.” B Corp certification can be achieved when they demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above; make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit corporation status if available in their jurisdiction; and, exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.  

More Than a Box

At the heart of both of my businesses has been a central why: to do good in our local and broader communities. On the surface, The Jilly Box is a quarterly themed subscription box filled with beautifully made items that I and Team Jilly Box love! But, it is so much more than that: it is a box that amplifies small, local businesses; it is a box that features products from a diverse range of entrepreneurs, many of whom are from marginalized communities; it is a box that is thoughtfully made with the environment in mind; and most importantly it is a box that gives back with revenue being reinvested into community initiatives.

Jillian with wagon of Jilly Boxes for B. Corp Announcement

What B Corp Status Means to Us

For the team and I, achieving B Corp. status is many things: it’s a benchmark for meeting and maintaining our social impact and environmental goals; it keeps us accountable and fosters open dialogue with YOU about our ethical business practices; it keeps us accountable to our employees in terms of commitment to their financial, physical and social well-being; and, it ensures we continue to deliver value for YOU our customers with our products. That’s why it was a no-brainer for our team to go for it and try to achieve this status! It was a longer journey than we could have predicted, but it was totally worth it!

What B Corp Status Means for You

Now, some of you may be wondering, how does B Corp certification impact you? That’s a great question! First and foremost, when you make a purchase at The Jilly Box, The Jilly Academy, Jilly Digital, or through any of our other channels, you can be confident you are purchasing from companies that are striving to benefit all people, communities and the planet. Some of our commitments to maintain our B Corp certification include:

  • We are committed to ensuring all team members set goals to volunteer in the community. This can look like anything from supporting Helen Acres Farms, doing garbage pick up, and so much more. 
  • Two dollars from every Jilly Box is donated to charities or not-for-profit organizations that are positively impacting our communities. 
  • When you choose The Jilly Box, you are choosing a carefully crafted box that prioritizes supporting other purpose-driven companies (for example we prioritize companies that are owned by underrepresented groups, are environmentally focused or are striving to benefit the community in other meaningful ways)
  • Throughout the entire Jilly Box cycle we keep the environment top of mind. This is not your average brimming-with-plastic package! Our box is thoughtfully designed from the inside out.
  • All staff and contractors are paid a living wage

All of this is possible because of you! When you choose The Jilly Box & Jillian Harris Design Inc. you are contributing directly to our greater community and we couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. 

The Journey to Certification

Three years ago when I stood in front of the team and presented the idea, our CFO and Finance & HR Administrative Manager left that meeting and enrolled in the course to learn about how this goal could be achieved! As a relatively small team, it was a big undertaking. Still, we were determined to achieve this and be able to quantitatively measure our impact (both internally in terms of the well-being of our employees and externally in terms of social impact). And, of course, we wanted to share that information with all of you! 

Three years later, after many conversations, learning and application paperwork, we are proud to share that this year we achieved B Corp status! To say we are over the moon would be an understatement.

This is where we need to give a HUGE shout-out to this community. It is thanks to your support that we are able to have these give-back initiatives in order to be B Corp certified. Your belief in our brand—our team, our products, our vision—has been the greatest honour! To be able to call myself a successful business owner is one thing… but to be an entrepreneur who can quantifiably say they are having a positive impact on the community brings me to tears.

So, thank you. Thank you for ordering your Jilly Box & Jillian Harris Design products.. I hope you love them as much as I do and most of all I hope it brings you joy knowing revenue is going BACK to the community.

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  1. Huge congrats to you, Jillian, and your whole team on becoming a certified B Corp! We were in the same B Corp course with your team members at the start of your B Corp journey and were impressed with your company’s commitment to pursuing certification. Getting certified is quite a feat, and a ton of (very worthwhile) work! Wishing you a ton of success and even more positive impact in the community, from a fellow B Corp!

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