An Entrepreneur’s Pledge to Protect the Ocean

Posted on February 15, 2012

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Brian Linton has always been passionate about the ocean. An avid scuba diver, he kept a surprising number of fish tanks – 30 – in his bedroom growing up. So when he saw an opportunity to pursue his passion through business, he was quick to take the chance.

Linton was only 24 years old when he opened his first business venture, Sand Shack LLC. His company created coconut-wood jewellery and retailed them to surf shops and small beachside boutiques found in the East Coast, including one national retail chain. Business seemed to do well, hitting $150,000 in sales. Linton also made sure that his business had a green streak by donating 5% of sales to conservation organizations. But in 2008, things took a turn for the worst when retailers haltered orders.

When business is doing badly, what will an entrepreneur do? For Linton, seeking inspiration and a new opportunity is the answer. Together with his two trusted employees, he thought of ways to salvage his business. The solution? United By Blue, a new ocean conservation venture which sells T-shirts, hoodies, and handbags. He was even able to think of a new way to fulfill their environmental mission without hurting their pockets. For every product purchased, United By Blue pledges to collect one pound of garbage from trash-strewn beaches.

The business started slow, but sales picked up last year. Linton projects that it could double this year, considering that the company started to go international. United by Blue was also given an opportunity to do cross-promotional campaign with an auto manufacturer.

By looking into possible changes within the system, Linton was able to keep his business up and running. On top of that, this entrepreneur has also remained truthful to his original mission, and that is to protect the ocean the best way he can.

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Posted in: Entrepreneurs