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This local social enterprise was invited to appear on a new reality TV series

Treatmint Box. February 25, 2016 Category: FeaturedMediumPurpose
This coming month, local social enterprise Treatmint Box will begin seeking mission-driven seed stage funding. It’s the kind of experience that typically happens behind closed doors. That might not be the case for Treatmint.

The company was recently invited to appear on a new reality TV series that will follow its quest to raise its first round of venture capital.

Treamint offers custom care packages for cancer patients and survivors. The packages contain half inspirational items (think branded tote bags or journals) and half comfort items (honey tea, organic toiletries). The packages are offered through monthly subscriptions, a model akin to the one popularized by Dollar Shave Club.

The social enterprise was founded by local entrepreneur and cancer survivor Kimberly Fink, who was inspired to launch the business based on her own experiences battling uterine cancer.

“Tons of friends and family reached out in the beginning,” said Fink, who was 32 when she was diagnosed. “But past that initial wave of support, I was left feeling pretty alone and isolated.”

It’s a pretty common phenomenon. Fink said after she went into remission, her friends told her they wanted to support her but weren’t sure how. They just didn’t know what to say or how to say it. Fink said we just don’t talk about cancer enough, and it’s created a societal misconception that the hardest part of the battle for cancer patients is the diagnosis.

That’s a myth. Fink recited an analogy a friend had told her.

“Going through cancer is like when your house is on fire and you’re just trying to get out alive. You’re running around the house trying to get your family out,” she said. “When you’re done with cancer, it’s like when you’re sitting on the curb looking at your burned down house. You realize, ‘What the hell just happened?'”

The hardest part of the struggle isn’t the actual battle, Fink said. Survivorship is just as tough. Treatmint wants to provide an avenue for friends and family to provide support through the entire experience.

We just don't talk about cancer enough, and it's created a societal misconception that the hardest part of the battle for cancer patients is the diagnosis. That's a myth.

Right now, Treatmint boasts about 400 subscribers per month, growth Fink largely attributes to word-of-mouth endorsements. (The company landed a spot on Philly mag’s “Best of Philly” list in 2014.)

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After a year and a half of going it alone, recent demand has warranted a new employee to oversee production and growth. Fink recently recruited local entrepreneur and SuperMighty cofounder Ty Burrowbridge as Treatmint’s ‎chief product officer and growth architect.

Burrowbridge is helping to refine and expand Treatmint’s gamut of services. In the past four months, Burrowbridge said the company has gained a tremendous amount of organic traction.

“We don’t measure our growth by just simply sales, but also the response we are getting on almost a daily basis,” he said, citing a recent customer review that likening Treatmint’s product to a warm hug. “We want to create or be the bridge of friendship during really extraordinarily tough times.”

Incidentally, Fink and Burrowbridge said the company’s Facebook page has become something of a community and support network for its customers.

Part of Burrowbridge’s job includes plugging a “give back” feature into the existing business model. The company has donated proceeds to organizations in the past, but Burrowbridge said a built-in, permanent charitable function will help Treatmint make more consistent impact.

“It’s something that was intended from the beginning, but logistically figuring it out and making it happen to maximize the impact and keep us sustainable as a company is a balance we’ve had to figure out. Now we’re closing in on that,” Burrowbridge said. “We feel amazing to have a permanent part of our mission in our company go back to the community and the people who need it most.”

In addition to seeking venture capital, Treatmint is also exploring partnerships with a number of large institutions and lifestyle brands. As for the show? Burrowbridge said it’s a Shark Tank-style show that has yet to be announced.

“We start filming towards the end of March,” he said. “That was something completely unexpected that started to happen two, three weeks ago.”

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