Project Possible: A New Philosophy for Business
by Rachelle Escamilla
This story was printed in the February 2016 issue of the Mission Village Voice and is reprinted with permission.
Have you ever wanted to string a sheet between two trees, project a movie and have the whole community show up with their kids and dogs and coolers and snacks and enjoy something together? This kind of spontaneity, an urgent desire to create derived from possibility and not profit is the exact philosophy at Project Possible.
Casey Jahsman, founder of Project Possible, wants the community to come together to realize our own strengths and work together to make our community a better place.
When I first met Casey, I wasn’t sure what to make of his business philosophy, but the structure and transparency that exists in Project Possible is the exact kind of transparency that consumers of my generation are thirsty for: we do not want to purchase things that are made with ethics that we cannot support, we do not want to purchase things created by businesses who disregard their laborers, and we do not want to support organizations whose practices in the community do not reflect the diversity (whether it be demographic or aesthetic) of that community. So where do we want to spend our money? Businesses whose ethics are transparent, whose items are reused, whose payment structure is direct, and whose quality and price is within our budgets. That’s a lot to ask of a business owner.
So Casey works with reclaimed wood. He can pop out a table for you (provided he has the wood) in 6-24 hours. He’ll sell it to you finished or unfinished (what do you need?) and adjust the price to fit your budget. “If a homey needs to be hooked up with a table” Casey says with a smile and a shrug, “I’ll hook him up with a table.”
You might be asking yourself, what kind of business model is that? It’s the same hybrid business model as TOMS shoes: one for one. Someone buys a complete, high-end table for the price that it’s worth, and someone else (who is in need) can buy a different piece that’s priced according to their budget. It’s not about the buying of the table or the profit which can be derived from the sale, but the relationship between craftsman and community member. One person has - one person has not. Casey wants us to work together to make sure that more people have.
The next part of his business is an online store where local artists and writers can display their work as part of a collaborative. For now, he’s accepting donations from artists and he will place their items on his webstore and the sales of those pieces will go towards the Project Possible Homeless Fund towards providing reclaimed wood tables and free workshops for the community.
Casey wants the local government, businesses or organizations to contact him if they need anything built for their places. He also wants you to contact him if you have wood laying around. He also wants you to know that his workshop is always open, just give him a ring and show up. That’s what I do.
UPCOMING WORKSHOPS: DIY END TABLE DEMO
SAT FEB 6 & 13th 1-2 PM
111 Ausaymas Ct. Hollister Ca 95023
DIY End Table Demonstration Casey will show you how to make an End Table. There will also be pre-cut coasters available for designing as well as other wood-working opportunities. Come and be a part of Project Possible!