Mitch Reaume always has had the drive to give back. So it comes as no surprise that the 2010 Wayzata High School graduate and Plymouth native has turned his passion for helping people into a business.
“A lot of it starts with my faith and belief in generosity,” Reaume says. He believes growing up in Plymouth and attending Wayzata High School offered him opportunities that others don’t have. He recognizes how lucky he is to have grown up in a community with so many resources, including great schools.
Reaume’s father, Kim, saw his son’s philanthropic and entrepreneurial passions at a young age. He also saw how driven and focused his son is. “He always had an interest in getting ahead and doing side jobs or trying to make himself better,” Kim Reaume says.
That drive pushed Mitch to start his own landscaping business while still in high school. “At the time, I wouldn’t have said I started a business, but I was pulling jobs and had a team of workers.”
After graduation, Mitch attended Bethel University, where he majored in biblical and theological studies and communications. He had no intention of starting his own business, but the idea entered his mind while studying abroad in Ireland. There he saw a business model that he felt wasn’t good for the people of the country. He began thinking about how business could instead help people.
He held the idea until about a year and a half ago, when he began analyzing where he and his wife spend their money. They gave to charities, but the majority of their money went into things for themselves. He wanted a way to take the money people spend on a daily basis and have it make a difference in the lives of other people.
He connected with local businesses to find partners who would be willing to donate 7 percent of each sale to charity. With this business model in place, Mitch launched Voice Enterprises in July 2015. The website-based retail co-op includes a variety of products, ranging from both men’s and women’s clothing to home décor; partners include businesses like UNRL, a sportswear company, and Life Acoustics, which makes headphones. Consumers have the option of selecting one of three charities to receive their 7 percent when they make a purchase, and the list of charity choices changes three or four times a year. The goal is to get a good mix of causes involved throughout the year.
“The most exciting thing has been seeing how many other people share in the vision,” Mitch says. “I wouldn’t have launched it if people didn’t share my vision.
As Mitch continues to grow his business, he is just starting to get comfortable being in charge. “I’m still learning as I go,” Mitch says. “It’s fun, but there are so many things you don’t think about.”
His goal is that over time his business will become a go-to place for shoppers. He hopes that one day he and everybody else can look at their budgets and still buy the things they need, but give those purchases more meaning—to have every dollar that is spent give back something to the whole community.