Q+A with Tim Armoo, co-founder of Doodlar
Business is often seen as a ruthless, winner takes all sport! However
it doesn’t have to be. One start-up, Doodlar is showing that it
certainly does not have to be; using the web and fashion to modernise
the way we give to charity. Adam caught up with Timothy Armoo,
co-founder of Doodlar to find out more.
Hi Tim! Tell us about you: who you are, what you do, and your
one-liner which is what that X Factor guy would call you, in his
Oh god I'm not really good at these things. My name is Timothy Armoo
and I am co-founder of Doodlar a company which marries fashion and
philanthropy to raise awareness and funding against the world’s
greatest causes. Sorry Dermot O'Leary that's quite a mouthful.
What are you up to at the moment? I’ve heard you’re cooking up a storm
at ‘Doodlar’. Tell us more…
I won't say cooking up a storm but we're doing well. So Doodlar is a
company we’ve been working for a couple of months and as I said it's a
company which uses fashion to raise funding and awareness for causes.
It’s quite simple. Every fortnight, we partner up with a new
non-profit who are supporting a different cause. We then design
limited edition apparel which reflects the message of that particular
cause. We then promote them on our site and through our partners
giving 25% of our profits to our partnering charity. So far we have
partnered up with some quite incredible charities battling things
ranging from child abuse, young kids with cancer to human trafficking
and kids with facial deformities. The amount of injustices that happen
in the world are insane! The whole idea is that people can look good
but also do some good. But it also has to do with the fact that when
one gives, they normally just give and leave - there is no lasting
connection. However with Doodlar through something as simple as an
article of clothing, a relationship is built - one which leads to
multiple relationships with others.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Umm, I won't say I'm an entrepreneur. It says a lot that my first
"money making scheme” started off as a bet. I think the word is thrown
about now you run a tuck shop and you're an entrepreneur, you sell on
eBay and you're an entrepreneur. Doodlar wasn't started as a business,
we read an article about charities losing funding by the minute and thought it would be worth trying to solve this. We
concluded that a lack of awareness was the main reason so we thought
we'd solve that by taking something that everyone uses - fashion
popped out as the most obvious thing as it's used as a means of
expression for many - and so we imagined we'd use fashion to solve the
issue. The other alternative would have
been to be a non-profit…And a non-profit supporting a non-profit
doesn't make much sense right?
Why social enterprise, after you’ve been in a commercial environment
Aah, I presume you're talking about my previous company which was a
magazine. I don't really know if there was a shift With EntrepreneurXpress,
the youth publication I ran - we saw the problem of several young
people wanting to start a company but not knowing how to and so we
started a magazine. I don't think I really pivoted into social
entrepreneurship because in both we just saw a problem and tried to
solve it and it made sense to start a company around it. If there was another way to do solve problems we would have gone down that way, but there isn't. I have actually always
wanted to be involved in behavioural economics. We didn't set out to
say start a company and then find a problem-we started off with
a problem and thought how do we solve it…
Would you ever become an employee? If you would, who would you work for and why?
I don't think I'd want to work for anyone else, it’s way too much of
a rollercoaster to be solving problems everyday the way you want to.
However if I was hard pressed, I'd say a company called TOMS. They
pioneered the whole One for One Model, where when you buy one of
something, another is given to a person in need. They seem to have a
blast there whilst doing their bit to improve the world. I am a fan of
companies who can do that.
Any role models?
Haha, I won’t say role models but certainly people who I'd love to
have a dinner with. I think Blake Mycoskie, founder of Tom's is
certainly one of them. Scott Harrison, founder of a charity called
Charity Water who are seriously killing it in the charity space: I
mean when have you ever heard of charity who GPS their donations!? He
also has a humbling story. I think no list of fun loving entrepreneurs
is complete if Branson isn't on there, when I was managing the
magazine we managed to get an interview with him, I think he
epitomizes having a blast whilst solving problems.
And last but not least, why should we all connect with Tim Armoo and Doodlar?
Hmm, you should connect with me because I am trying to get to 250
followers before the end of the month! No seriously, I think you
should connect with us because I truly do think that we are doing
something quite cool here: modernising the way we fundraise. I also
think that we are trying to make people human billboards for change
walking talking human billboards for change and if that doesn't sound
fun then what does! Oh and we have scheduled some campaigns in which
we allow the public to design the clothing and to keep 10 percent of
the profits so you can do good, look good and also earn some good
money. As Kanye West says it's all G.O.O.D!
Any last words?
As with anything worthwhile, you need a great team around you. And I
would like to thank my team for being such an awesome group of
rockstars! Oh and make sure you sign up as we head to launch:
www.dooodlar.com and also give us a follow on Twitter and a like on
Facebook! And if you want to say hi, give us a shout at