A Sunglasses Company That Gives Back

Small Business Spotlight:  Butter Shades

Who: Michael Merryman, @ButterShades

What: A sunglasses startup that donates a portion of each sale to charity

When:  2012

Where:  Philadelphia, PA

How:  Founder and CEO Michael Merryman has a background in both economics and public policy; while studying for his Master’s degree in the latter at Drexel University, he decided to launch Butter Shades, a company he says was designed to make a difference.

From 5- to 8% of each sale of Butter Shades’s Wayfarer-inspired sunglasses goes to charities like Susan G. Komen and Project H.O.M.E., an organization that helps chronically homeless people in Philadelphia, where Butter Shades is based. By selling online only, Butter Shades is able to keep costs low in order to maintain its philanthropic giving.

Quote from the owner: “The power of social media is unbelievable – it’s a great way for us to open the door to people. Eventually, our goal is to get everyone in Philadelphia to start wearing our sunglasses. The more we expand, the more money we can give back to the community.”