Day 7 – Go Rings

And on the 7th Day of Archibald Christmas we bring to you Go Rings – a shop started to fundraise an 11-month mission trip around the world but didn't stop there! 
Dru McIlhenny & Darcie Nicholson took time out of their schedule to tell us how they started and why it's so important and beneficial to shop small and ethical!  

Where are you from and why you did you start your business?
Our names are Dru McIlhenny & Darcie Nicholson. We're both from Texas (San Antonio and Dallas, respectively) and met in college at TCU where we became roommates. After college, Darcie went on an 11-month mission trip to 11 countries and started making Go Rings as a way to fundraise for the trip. She never expected it to be a "real" business -- just a symbolic way to raise money for the trip. Our original Go Rings have 11 loops representing the 11 countries she traveled to and 7 bindings representing the 7 teammates she had on the journey. After the money was raised, the rings kept selling, so Dru jumped on board the team, and now we help others fundraise for similar trips to GO do good.    

What's your mission and vision for your business and why you are passionate about it?
Ring by ring, we help send adventurers into the world to go do good. 
Go Rings provides a tangible solution to one of the biggest problems every charitable cause faces: fundraising. The little golden rings that helped Darcie fund her trip have now supported the work of over 50 organizations and individuals around the world.
We are committed to meeting this need for "goers" because we know how tough and awkward fundraising can be -- even for those who are willing, ready and able to make a true difference in the world.

What is your favorite part of your business?
We love hearing about what our partners have been called to and how they're working to live out that calling. It's super encouraging to see them inch toward their goal as the month goes on. 
Also, on the small business note -- working with one of your best friends is a blast and a half.

What is the hardest part of your business?
Evolving. As a small business, our demand has always been heavier than our supply. It's a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. Growing has been a truly FUN thing to experience, but growing at the right pace while staying mission-minded has been a challenge.

What advice do you have for people out there about shopping ethically?
Do it! Shopping ethically doesn't necessarily mean you're spending more money by cutting out cheap labor. There are affordable ways to shop small and ethically. 
Our world is so connected nowadays -- it's so simple (not to mention fun) to find great brands whose products and missions go further than department stores or discount websites.

Why is it important to support small and/or ethical businesses?
Every purchase is seen and celebrated by small businesses! Chances are that they share and support your values, too.
We believe that the products you buy and, in our case, the jewelry you wear can make a tangible difference in the world. By shopping small, your dollar goes twice as far. 

Please share anything else you would like about your shop!
We’re THRILLED about our holiday partnership with Cherish Uganda, an organization actively changing the story of children living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Their newest development, Cherish High School, is the first high school in the world to focus on enrolling and empowering teens with HIV. Yep! First in the world.
We’re donating 25% of all sales through the rest of 2016 to pay for tuition for these students. The cost is $750 per student, which covers housing, meals, supplies and teachers’ salaries for an entire school year. We’re aiming to send at least 7 students to Cherish High School in 2017! 

How can the Archibald community shop and follow you guys?
Our website is www.gorings.us, Instagram @go_rings and Facebook is www.facebook.com/gorings1 !

You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing and we hope you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

~The Archibald Project

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