A new Orange County startup called Bubbs is looking to become the go-to place to find products that are being sold to benefit charities and causes across the globe. When you go to mybubbs.com you’ll see a familiar online mall experience, except in this case all the products are benefiting some kind of charity.
Bubbs is somewhat similar to DoGoodBuyUs, a New York startup that we covered back in June. The main difference is that DoGoodBuyUs connects products that were specifically made for charity whereas most of the Bubbs products are more traditional in nature but somehow proceeds are benefiting charity.
Red Beats By Dre headphones, where $5.00 of the purchase goes to AIDS research, can be found on Bubbs. An iPad case which gives a week’s worth of HIV medicine to someone living in Africa can also be found on the page. Clothing, food, other gadgets and even makeup with a purpose can be found on the mybubbs site. Now you can shop for charity in one spot rather than scouring the internet looking for charity kick backs, site by site.
We got a chance to talk to Atila Lotfi the founder of Bubbs, check out the interview below:
Bubbs is the online hub for all things cause related. We connect you to brands and products that give back to worthy causes around the globe. We spend many hours looking for products that are beautiful, reasonably priced, and give back to a cause.
What sets Bubbs apart from the competitors is that we don’t charge a commission or membership fee to feature products on our platform. All the products are posted completely free of charge, meaning when you purchase a product through mybubbs.com more of your money will go towards the cause you’re supporting than to the middleman.
In layman’s terms, how does it work ?
There are hundreds of products that benefit worthy causes around the globe. But often, it is difficult to find these products. My Bubbs is a platform that brings all cause related items in one place and connects you directly to the brands that provide them. Everything from books, coffee, and condoms, you can find it all at mybubbs.com. You’re going to buy these things anyway, it might as well benefit a cause.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
I, (Atila) am the founder. I graduated from Biola University in 2011 with a degree in Business Marketing.
Where are you based?
Orange County, California
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
There are a lot of like minded people in Southern California. It is great to be around organizations such Toms, Project 7, 31 Bits, Krochet Kids, and many more. If
How did you come up with the idea for Bubbs?
Whenever I gave a gift I tried to find a product that had a cause behind it. This made the gift even more special. But I always had a hard time finding these products. Eventually I came across a few sites featuring products that give back. However, the problem with those sites are that they take a good chunk from every item sold, and often times they don’t have a wide selection of products.
This gave me the idea to start a platform of my own, where the layout is simple and clean, products are beautiful, and free of charge.
How did you come up with the name?
I was trying to find a name that was somewhat unique and short. Bubbs was the name we used to use for a system back in school. But they ended up changing it. The name always stuck with and I kind of liked it. So I decided to use it.
What problem does Bubbs solve?
There are so many products out there that give back to worthy causes. Probably the most popular one is Toms shoes. But until now, there hasn’t been a central place for all of these products together, free of charge. No commission fee, no membership fee.
What’s your secret sauce?
There really isn’t a secret. It’s just pure passion. I have a passion for using business for good and mybubbs.com is the brainchild of that.
What’s one dilemma you’ve encountered in the startup process?
When you come up with an idea it is important to not share it with those around you too early on in the process. Ideas are fragile and if you share them with people around you two things can happen:
1) you end up talking about it so much that your mind starts thinking you’re actually accomplishing your goal, which in reality it prevents you from taking the actions necessary to get to where you need to go.
2) With good intentions, those around you might shoot down your idea or discourage you simply because they don’t see your vision the way you do.
To avoid this, keep your ideas to yourself until you have a concrete plant and have taken the first few steps to get started.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
With a startup, your resources are very limited. So I have had to figure out how to be resourceful and do a lot of the things necessary myself. The biggest challenge has been to not let lack of resources stop my vision and finding a way around everything, because there is always a way.
Who are some of your mentors and business role models?
I try to surround myself with like minded people as much as possible. Thankfully, being where I am, it’s not difficult to do that. I get my inspiration from organizations that I work with.
What’s next for Bubbs?
We are in beta testing right now. So we will be unveiling some great features in the near future. The goal is to make My Bubbs more interactive/social. We also have some great partnerships coming up that will allow us to improve our services.