I spent most of last week on airplanes, in meeting rooms, at restaurant tables. Arrived home yesterday beyond the state of exhaustion and collapsed into my favorite chair to have Peter Jennings enlighten me as to how the world kept spinning during my absence.
As expected, nothing much new and nothing much good... except for the final story on one of my favorite businesses, Laser Monks. In case you missed their story in the January 2003 issue of Fast Company, this monastery in Wisconsin has taken the toner cartridge market by storm. As Father Bernard McCoy tells the story, it all began because he was in search of "just a few sprinkles of dust" - realized how expensive computer toner was and felt there had to be a better way.
Taking this project on to raise self-supporting income, the monks began selling inkjet & toner cartridges, and earned $2,000 in 2001. This year? They're looking at around $2 million.
Father McCoy says they strive to "build relationships & make e-commerce more human:"
"LaserMonks consciously markets our products and molds our business and website with a focus on 'people benefits.' We endeavor to bring our 900 years of monastic tradition to bear on all aspects of LaserMonks. Through these efforts we hope to build long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with all our visitors and customers."
Income earned above and beyond is contributed to charitable organizations and projects outside the monastery. Great prices, blessed service, and charitable giving to boot.
A match made in heaven, don't you think?