Giving back to me is a huge deal as a business owner, as a consumer and as a citizen of this world. I wanted to cultivate a company that cared about this, and could create ways of building community through giving back.
A few years ago, I volunteered at the LA LGBT Center. It was around the holidays and a couple of friends of mine invited me to join them. Generally I donate money, but this time I really wanted to give back in a physical way. As a queer-identified person, this felt very close and personal to me. I got to meet so many people and hear so many stories; see so much strength, courage, kindness and openness. Working with this organization and seeing how much everyone cared about what they were doing, inspired me in giving back as often as I can. My cosmetic line, NOTO Botanics, has a non-profit product called Agender Oil. The profits from our web sales go towards rotating monthly charities and we have chosen to give to the center on a few occasions and support as often as we can.
Another organization I love is Planned Parenthood. I am not sure if I really need to go into detail on why this is important to me and should be for everyone, but I will. These centers provide a non-biased support system for the healthcare and choices you need and decide for your own body. To go back to our Agender Oil — when we launched this product, we decided to make our launch event a benefit for PP. We did a huge group art show and raised over $10,000 for the charity. It felt so amazing to see so many people come together, celebrate our new product and give back.