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LAST UPDATED DECEMBER 6, 2023 | 6 MIN READ
FROM FREELANCERS, TO RUNNING A BUSINESS:
HERE'S WHY WE STARTED JUNGLE HOUSE
From corporate and commercial work to the beginnings of Jungle House, we want to share with you our big dreams to make a difference.
In the Beginning.
We've always felt that things could be a little better than they are. But let us explain from the start.
We founded Jungle House in the memorable year of 2020. We found ourselves with a bit of time on our hands to appreciate Parasite winning Best Film at the Oscars, to give some much-needed attention to some houseplants, and to watch the world start to unravel from the COVID-19 pandemic. The news headlines did not make for uplifting morning reading, as from the comfort of our (legally required to be in) home, we observed the horror that was the US political system, the rampant natural disasters stemming from climate change, and the desperate cries for help from the people waking up and finding that they have no job, no support, and no options. Our sudden new reality prompted a depressing but natural question: What's the point?
Faced with this, we had to make a choice. Give in to hopelessness and sink into the couch cushions, or take what skills and energy we had left to try and make the world a better place — for everyone, but also for ourselves. For every problem, big and small, we reasoned that there was someone somewhere working to solve it; we just hadn't found them yet. Realistically, we don't have the skills to engineer CO2 out of the atmosphere or lawyer our way to social equity, but we do have the ability to point a camera at the people who can and give them a way to amplify their calling. The world isn't going to be saved by one superhero with unlimited strength (despite all the Marvel documentaries), but it is going to be saved by the millions of us who believe that together, change will happen and that there's no better time to start than now. We've always felt that things could be a little better, and in 2020, we figured we may as well start with ourselves and give it our best shot.
Our logo, designed by Hugh Fletcher Cox in 2019.
How It's Going.
We're tracking through the meat of our journey now, even though in some ways it still feels like we've only just begun.
We're celebrating good stories, and we are deliberately broad with the way we phrase that because, among its obvious interpretations, good is undeniably subjective. Our good compass guides us in the direction of genuine improvement: good is less of a toll on the environment, good is less discrimination, good is better services for those socially disadvantaged, and good is a company consciously using more expensive materials because they have less of a negative impact, or maybe more of a positive one. For us, good is about growth, and it's about change.
We want to share the stories about brands that do well by doing good.
We want to share the range of passions, concerns, and goals of businesses that are working to better their slice of the world, using the skills and creativity that they have because they care. We're cheering for the new generation of entrepreneurs, creators, innovators, and trailblazers — the bold people tackling what is "too big a problem to be fixed." We want to share these stories with everyone we meet over coffee, lunch, or the weekend barbeque, because we know that good stories can inspire, spread, and turn up the voluntary desire for change.
As soon as we started looking for stories worthy of celebration, the richer and deeper the community we discovered, and the more creative and innovative the solutions that people were working on. And although we've described many "wants" so far, we assure you that we don't just "want" to do better; we set out to do it, and it's what drives Jungle House forward each day.
The founders of Jungle House, Tom Gilligan and Wendy Lee.
Where We're Heading.
Celebrating the good stories is our first and immediate goal, but it definitely isn't the end.
Where we're at now, it feels like envisioning a future where good is the norm might be hopelessly idealistic. But we may as well be motivated. Our goal is to accelerate, amplify, and inspire good. So we'll keep pursuing the stories that inspire us, make us think more creatively, more inclusively, and more consciously — that make us better versions of who we were yesterday. Because that's pretty good.
When it becomes commonplace for businesses to put people and the planet ahead of profit, then maybe we'll have reached the beginning of the end of our journey. When "celebrating the good" becomes "celebrating the normal," then we're more than happy to pop open a new notebook and find something else to crow at all our friends about; but until then, we'll be here, stubbornly optimistic that there's a way forward, and finding yet more good stories worthy of a celebration emoji.
Tom Gilligan & Wendy Lee
Founders of Jungle House Creative.
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