Ethical Blog Series #1 - Pro-Surfer Cooper Chapman & The Good Human Factory
Updated: May 7, 2021
Welcome to our first write up in the Ethical Kollektiv’s StartUp Series where we share the stories of some incredibly driven humans who have committed to running their own for-purpose businesses that are having a positive impact within our community.
Last week we had the opportunity to catch up with Pro-Surfer, Cooper Chapman, who is combatting youth suicide and the mental health challenges faced by young Australians.
The project is called The Good Human Factory and was founded after his sister lost two friends to suicide within a fortnight.
These tragic events led him to look deeper into the issue and found some alarming statistics around youth Metal Health. Cooper decided to take on the issue headfirst, designed interactive workshops and started touring Australian Schools and workplaces to relay the importance of living with values to find purpose in our lives.
Cooper shares the 5 key values he lives by to 'empty my bucket' and has created engaging activities to go with each value as well as some inspiring stories.
The programs have been widely appreciated by young and old as well as attracting some incredible voices to support the cause, such as 8 x world champion wakeboarder - Harley Clifford and Extreme Athlete - Alex Hayes (Nitro Circus) among many others.
To support his workshops, Cooper has designed a funky line of clothing and merchandise where proceeds go towards reaching a wider audience and running more programs. The clothing line is making its headway through the music and sports scene across the globe being worn by the likes of Dj Sensation Fisher and Extreme Athlete Ryan Williams (Nitro Circus).
Q. Cooper, there are many spinning plates within your business, as a one-man band what were the first steps you took to get the ball rolling?
“It started with me creating a workshop and starting to grow a social media presence and building an audience. Then when I launched Merch I made a website on Shopify and used my network to find a supplier and designed all the merch myself. Then I had a place for people to learn more about the business, book workshops and shop our products.”
Q. You mentioned that you have some incredible humans supporting you in all aspects of your life including, fitness, nutrition, surfing and most recently you have been seeking business advice from various industry leaders. How important is seeking and receiving advice to you?
“I think it’s super important, people who have done it before and want to offer you advice is always crucial. Having the ability to take on advice that is worthy and identify the people who are willing to help is one of our greatest assets. Being humble and knowing you don’t know everything is a huge asset.”
Q. There are many unknowns in the entrepreneurial rollercoaster, have your levels of wellbeing been affected and how have you overcome these challenges?
There have been some struggles for sure. I was a little naive going into it all thinking the speed of becoming profitable would be much faster, and that has had a big hit on my wellbeing but I’m learning every day and starting to get some momentum and just never going to give up.
Q. In the StartUp journey we spend a lot of time working on the administrative side of things, where do you see the company going and what would your ideal day to day look like in that organisation?
My main goal is to be running workshops with 12-17-year-olds as they are the most at risk of self-harm in Australia, and I believe I can inspire them to make some healthy changes.
So the future for me is trying to grow the business and share the admin workload with another employee or two, so I can focus on my strength which is public speaking and sharing my skills when it comes to mental health.
The next step is trying to launch as a charity so I can raise money and offer my workshops for free for the participants as that’s been one of my biggest roadblocks is funding, which is why I do my merch.
Q. How do you measure the success of a project that is built to serve the greater good?
For us, the goal has never and will never be about using money to benchmark our success, our goal posts are all about the impact we are having in the mental health space. Some of the feedback and or data that we look at in our line of work includes workshop audience demographics, brand ambassador head count, student feedback, feedback from workplaces, feedback from parents, podcast downloads and other associted data to do with content reach.
Cooper understands that he and other successful Australians voices carry weight and that they can and should be used for good. If you would like to support Cooper and The Good Human Factory you can book a workshop or purchase some The Good Human Factory merchandise online.
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Stay tuned for #2 in our Ethical Kollektiv StartUp Series