IT STARTED WITH A WORLD backpacking trip.

Newlyweds Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandström discovered the joy of generosity when they filled their pack at a local market, then passed out food as they met needy people during the day.

So they decided to launch a company!

Thus Adventurist Backpack Co. was formed. They sell high quality, straightforward hiking packs and beanies to people who are passionate about making a better world.

Because that’s really where their hearts are at. With every pack sold, they give 25 meals to families in need across the US. It was absolutely clear to me that this is what drives their focus and passion every day.

Adventurist BackpackHere’s the question that people ask me about this kind of mission-driven company: What makes it sustainable?

That’s exactly the right question, because we all want to grow companies which can continue to prosper and make an impact over the long term.

As it turns out, the answer here is quite simple: business basics. Create a product that people want. Reach those people. And grow only as fast as it makes sense.

So Matilda’s and Kelly’s goal for their second year is to reach more retailers and double their sales. It’s quite realistic, actually, because they’re already in a number of smaller retailers and word-of-mouth is starting to take off. And, of course you can also buy their products online.

But what drives them is this mission to help feed those in need: homeless, jobless, disadvantaged. They’re partnering closely with the non-profit Feeding America which has nationwide reach – another smart move which helps them focus their energy.

Further down the road, they’re excited about expanding their product line with more high quality travel essentials. They’re also planning to employ disadvantaged workers when they get to that stage.

But for now, it’s all about spreading the powerful story!