Owen Jordan always knew he wanted to help people. But he didn’t know how. Now, as the founder of RESQD, he has given opportunity to poor children around the world.
As a kid, Jordan told Opportunity Lives that he felt “forgotten by people and society.” He moved around a lot and didn’t have many friends. But throughout it all, Jordan knew that he had a greater purpose, even though he didn’t yet know what it was.
When Jordan met the founder of Loving Orphans Global, Richard Lawson (who goes by Chardo), he had an inspiration. “Hearing [Chardo’s] story, I became a changed man as well,” said Jordan. Jordan found that he had a passion for helping children find their purpose, and he realized that education was an important first step.
Owen Jordan, above, used his passion for helping children to found RESQD and aid impoverished children in developing countries. | Photo: RESQD
He jumped into action and founded RESQD, an organization that partners with orphans and impoverished children from developing countries. RESQD sells shirts, bags, and prints bearing the beautiful artwork the children create, and every sale helps to fund a school with education supplies.
In the last three years, RESQD has begun to achieve recognition among social entrepreneurs. Jordan was recently able to showcase RESQD at the Clinton Global Initiative University event in Phoenix and the Social Innovation Summit in Washington, DC, all while continuing to increase sales.
RESQD has partners in Bali, Guatemala, and Kenya and Jordan is optimistic about the future of these relationships. In Kenya, Jordan said, RESQD has helped to start a textile store so that vulnerable children can learn trade skills and put the money right back into their school, home, and community. “Now the focus in Kenya is to help the store scale even further,” said Jordan.
RESQD sells art drawn by the students it sponsors to help fund their education supplies | Photo: RESQD
Today Jordan is also launching the Thousand Dollar Sale (#1kdollarsale) – an initiative to raise money for a project that will send 20 kids back to school near an orphanage RESQD sponsors. The project, run by a friend of Jordan’s, only needs $1,000 more to be successful, so RESQD is offering limited edition white tees with Bali designs for $10. The sale will last until August 15th.
Jordan said the entrepreneurial journey has carried its own set of challenges. His original idea for RESQD was selling bracelets to support food, water, shelter, clothing, and education for the children. But he realized that he needed to find a more narrow niche, settling on selling art to fund education supplies. “Ten times out of ten, there will be multiple moments where things won’t go your way. You have to be able to adjust and test your assumptions,” he said.
RESQD is currently working on releasing more products and continuing to build brand awareness, even as Jordan works to strengthen the organization’s partnerships in developing countries. His advice for other entrepreneurs? “I truly believe you should do what you love and love what you do. If you do that, the journey to excellence will be so much more enjoyable.”
Daniel Huizinga is a columnist for Opportunity Lives covering business and politics. Follow him on Twitter @HuizingaDaniel.