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“I am also a firm believer in the idea that companies can earn a profit while making the world a better place.”

Founded in 2013 by Joe Brennan, a 22 year-old traveler, humanitarian, and entrepreneur, Smiles for the People is a small company with a vision for a world in which no person lives without access to quality, affordable dental care.

We believe that consumers can turn their everyday purchases into small acts of generosity; by purchasing a simple, beautiful, environmentally responsible toothbrush, YOU can help change a life. We also believe that a smile is an incredibly powerful thing. People who lack the ability to smile often struggle with self-image, physical and emotional pain, lack of focus, and an inability to grab hold of opportunity.

The ability to smile truly changes everything. It enables people to focus in school, find meaningful work, provide for their families, and maintain their health. “Our name- Smiles for the People- is a rallying cry and a call to action,” Brennan says. “It demands that each of us stand up and fight for the right of all people to smile, regardless of whether they can afford a dentist or a toothbrush.”

Smiles for the People is more than a company- it’s a movement of consumers standing up for that fundamental right. Join us in that movement by purchasing a toothbrush at Smilesforthepeople.com. For every brush you buy, we’ll donate the equivalent of one toothbrush to someone in need.

MO: What inspired you to launch your business?

Joe: I was moved to start Smiles because I am fascinated by the ways in which social enterprises are leveraging otherwise normal products for a social good. I am also a firm believer in the idea that companies can earn a profit while making the world a better place. Everything we do at Smiles for the People focuses on three things: helping people receive the dental care they need, selling great products at great prices, and making a positive impact on the environment. We call it “People, Product, Planet.”

MO: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?

Joe: Our launch product is a bamboo toothbrush with a completely biodegradable handle. It not only helps our customers maintain minty fresh breath and get better checkups at the dentist, but for every brush you buy, we donate the equivalent of ONE toothbrush to someone in need.

MO: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?

Joe: As any entrepreneur knows, starting a business comes with a fair share of challenges. Starting Smiles for the People has been no exception. I have had to constantly slow down and realize that I couldn’t solve every problem overnight. As a company, we are only a small part of the effort folks are making around the world to solve the oral health crisis. I absolutely love the part we play, but we can’t do it alone. Realizing that has made all the difference.

MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?

Joe: We are launching national online sales on February 26th. It’s been a busy time preparing for the launch, but we are ready and so excited for our supporters to finally get their hands on a new Smiles for the People toothbrush.

MO: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?

Joe: My advice is pretty simple: do what you love and make the world a better place; Get creative and refuse to settle for the status quo.

MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?

Joe: The biggest risk I have taken is starting Smiles. We are a tiny startup in an industry of very big companies. It was also a risk to decide from the very beginning that giving would be built into our bottom line. Regardless of the risks, I knew that starting this business would be an amazing adventure, and if all else failed, I’d have helped provide dental care and the ability to smile to people who truly needed it. At the end of the day, I know people will love our products and our mission, so I couldn’t be happier I took the risk.

MO: What does it mean that you give the equivalent of one toothbrush to someone in need?

Joe: For every item you buy, we give the equivalent cost of one toothbrush to what we call a “Giving Partner.” Our launch Giving Partner is an amazing dental charity called Foundation Todos Juntos in Buenos Aires. Todos Juntos provides much needed dental care to some of the most vulnerable kids in Argentina and is currently the only charity of its kind in the country. Last year, they provided dental care for 7,000 children.

Some “One for One” companies give away physical products for every item you buy, but we do it differently. We donate funds instead of physical toothbrushes because it reduces our carbon footprint and allows our Giving Partners to purchase local materials. It also allows our Giving Partners to focus on what they do best.

Finally, we want to help solve the oral health crisis, and toothbrushes are only one small part of the solution.

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