GoodBulb is an e-commerce lightbulb company on a mission to sell more than lightbulbs. Launched by Tom Enright in 2015, GoodBulb partners with non-profits locally and globally to provide free lightbulbs and send LED lanterns to countries without electricity. At the same time, their light experts headquartered in Fargo, ND are perfecting the lightbulb and turning it into the GoodBulb. They are motivated by the belief that everyone deserves access to good, clean light.
But it didn’t start that way. Rewind to long before GoodBulb, when Tom Enright was a 23-year-old living in the suburbs of Chicago. He was fresh out of college, searching for a job, and noticed an ad in the paper for selling lightbulbs. It was the first job that propelled him into sales, an area in which he immediately excelled. He sold lightbulbs door to door, and learned the ins-and-outs of what makes good light. The job brought him from Chicago to Fargo, where he began working at the company headquarters.
After ten years in the lightbulb industry, Tom noticed the trend towards e-commerce sales. He suggested doing online sales to his boss. “He told me I was nuts,” Tom said. “And that it couldn’t be done.” Tom, however, was confident this was the future. Two years later he built his first e-commerce website and began selling lightbulbs online. He spent his days working, building his website, and spending time with his wife Tammy and daughter Anna. And then, just as the company began to turn a profit, his son Chase was born. And his life changed. At six months old, Chase started having seizures. For over half a year, Tom and his wife searched desperately for a diagnosis. But when it came, it was heartbreaking; Chase had a rare form of epilepsy. Most children with this form of epilepsy, they were told, regressed to the point of death or mental retardation.
What followed was over a year of traveling to and from the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, juggling medications and check-ups with sustaining the business Tom and his wife had worked so hard to build. They were told Chase would never have normal brain function. And for a time, this was true. But then… “He got better,” Tom said. “He’s the miracle boy.”
Just like that, the young boy started to recover. Doctors couldn’t understand it. Tom and his wife could scarcely believe it. In September 2016, Chase turned four years old. He is seizure free and excelling in school. It was then, awed by the miracle of their son’s good health, that Tom and his wife realized they wanted to do something different. “I don’t want to go to my grave as the guy who sold a lot of lightbulbs,” Tom said. “I want to do more than that.”
In November of 2015, a little over a year after Chase got better, Tom and his wife created GoodBulb: a lightbulb company focused on providing savings, education and supporting social causes. “It’s a name for everything we want to do,” he said. “We want to do good with every lightbulb that is sold.” They’ve already started locally.
In February, GoodBulb made headlines by selling blue lightbulbs in support of Officer Moszer, and donated 100% of sales, totaling around $7,865, to the Moszer family. During the month of November GoodBulb is selling green bulbs to support the ND Veteran Warrior Foundation.
In the long run, Tom wants to use GoodBulb to supply homes in third world countries with LED lanterns, and replace kerosene lanterns. He’s partnering with organizations already on the ground in these areas, and use GoodBulb’s profits to buy thousands of lanterns. One day, he said, he’d like to take the trip himself.
“There’s so many of these remote areas that don’t have light,” he said.
In the meantime, he’s focused on establishing the GoodBu lb brand. They’ve begun selling on online platforms such as Amazon, and opened a brick and mortar shop in Fargo. In addition, he and his team have started manufacturing their own lightbulbs, or, GoodBulbs. Their focus is to provide light that is energy-efficient and affordable. Tom’s passion for the world of e-commerce has not dimmed, either. The GoodBulb website currently in the works will be “the best online lightbulb store around today,” Tom says. It’s being designed by one of the web designers for North Face and Triumph motorcycles. [You can check it out, here!]
But at the core of GoodBulb’s mission is one simple phrase: “Be Good.” It’s a phrase that Tom connects with his personal story, with his gratitude for his son’s life. It embodies the hope behind every lightbulb that is sold.
“We’re not gonna change the world. We’re not going to do anything crazy like that,” he said. “But what we are doing, is taking a product that’s been around forever, and doing more than just selling a lightbulb.”
Visit GoodBulb: https://goodbulb.com/