The idea for Be Good to People® was inspired, believe it or not, by an unkind experience that founder Kris Wittenberg had back in the spring of 2008 while running errands at lunch. The exact bad experience has long been forgotten but the idea that people need to be better to one another has not.
Once back in the office of her promotional products company,SayNoMore! Promotions, she exasperatingly asked,“WHY CAN'T PEOPLE JUST BE GOOD TO PEOPLE?” Given her entrepreneurial spirit, her experience creating logo’d merchandise and her longing for a friendlier world, she decided to put “Be good to people.” on a t-shirt and send a message to the world.
She researched to see if the phrase was trademarked and if BeGoodtoPeople.com was taken. Thankfully everything was available and she took that as a “sign.” She knew she had to act, so she secured both and Be Good to People, the brand and the movement, was born. Little did she know she would launch a kindness revolution.
While Kris’ passion and longing to pursue a kinder world filled her soul and heart, and people seemed to love Be Good to People’s message and products, the reality of running two growing companies with two young children proved to be too much. Kris had to make a choice; the needs of her rapidly growing promotions company stopped her from fully immersing herself into Be Good to People. As CEO of SayNoMore! Promotions, she felt a responsibility to her employees and family to keep that business running on all cylinders.
Be Good to People remained a passion project with basic information on their website and a robust summer selling season at the Vail Farmer’s Market, where people from all of the world visited
Fast forward…call it a nagging, a calling, she knew in her soul that Be Good to People was her life’s work and that it needed…deserved…her focused attention to make it the movement and sustainable business she knew that it was destined to be.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. Kris and her husband gave thoughtful consideration to how she could make both SayNoMore! Promotions AND Be Good to People a priority. There was only one of her and she felt spread too thin. How could she devote herself to Be Good to People, still run SayNoMore! Promotions, and continue to be a great mom, wife, friend…how could she manage it all? In trying to “do it all,” she felt she wasn’t doingany of it well. She felt like she was letting so many people down who she truly cared about, including the Be Good to People community, supporters, and herself.
The answer….through soul searching, countless meaningful conversations with peers, and an impactful business meeting where it became very clear to her that she was not living her true calling, Kris knew she had to take bold action. So, to clear her head, she registered and attended Oprah’s The Life you Want Weekend. She rented a cute little cottage on Airbnb.com and journeyed to Seattle…of course wearing her favorite Be Good to People shirt each day. The payoff: HUGE. She came away from that event inspired, validated in her decision to move Be Good to People forward, and willing to take further courageous ACTION.
Scary as it was to the self-described control freak, Kris entrusted and transitioned the day-to-day operations of SayNoMore! Promotions to the capable hands of her husband, Augie. Kris, her family, friends, and colleagues call him “St. Augie” because of his uncanny ability to manage any task with a smile, positive attitude, and kind enthusiasm. As a serial entrepreneur, Kris enjoys a true CEO role with SayNoMore! Promotions, focusing on broad strategy, business development, marketing, and the company culture. Kris is now officially able to focus on developing Be Good to People. As in any business, or in life in general, “no risk, no reward.” Kris is “in”.
The Be Good to People product line has grown from a simple shirt to a fashionable assortment of useful items that people see, wear, or carry throughout the day. And, we’ve learned that not only are the products cool and share an important message, but theyinspire kinder and positive action.People behave better when they are wearing or using Be Good to People gear or when they see it on someone else. They pause before reacting. They put someone else’s needs before their own. They go out of their way to make another’s day.
Simply put, Be Good to People creates infectious optimism. We invite you to participate in this amazing movement.
Let entrepreneurialism, dreams, hope, and GOOD allow us to all live the life we want.
And that, friends, is the magic of Be Good to People. Though technically we have been around since 2008…we are just getting started in changing the world. We hope that you will join us.