Meet Ryan Mead.
From Kansas City Missouri
What’s your leap?
In January 2012, we launched Tyler Kingston Wood Co, making industrial modern furniture and fixtures. We purchase the majority of our wood from Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which salvages building materials from projects across the city. The profits from ReStore fund homes built by Habitat for Humanity for low-income families. In addition, we lend a portion of our profits to low-income entrepreneurs through the non-profit, micro-lending organization Kiva.org. These micro-loans provide an opportunity to create a sustainable business and better future for themselves and their families. To date, we have make loans to entrepreneurs in Rwanda, Peru, Kenya, Ghana, South Sudan, Guatemala and Armenia.
What is the biggest obstacle you’re facing?
So far, our main obstacle has been logistics. We have received more orders than we initially anticipated when we launched, so the logistics of sourcing and storing wood, purchasing more tools, and finding our shipping supplies at the right price has been one of the more time consuming tasks. But these obstacles are the result of a good problem and will only make our shop more efficient in the future.
If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?
I would love to spend time with the organizations we support, Habitat for Humanity and Kiva. Being able to be hands-on in building a house for a family or meeting the business owner we made a loan to would be an amazing opportunity to see how our small shop in the midwest is making a difference around the world!
What makes you sad when you look at your world?
Poverty and lack of resources. There are so many gifted and talented people in the world that just need the resources and opportunity to rise above their circumstance. Our goal is to play a part in this story and affect change through the way we do business.
One piece of advice for other leapers or potential leapers?
Just do something. Many people think in order to affect change they have to have a huge plan with a lot of money and people. But the truth is, we can affect change right where we are, with what we already have. Use your passions and talents for the good of the community and world around you. Start small, be consistent, don’t give up and continually examine the story you are writing for your life.
Most important song for a road trip?
music from Mumford + Sons, Mat Kearney, Of Monsters + Men and Josh Garrels.