STAND with Kelly and Niki Tshibaka

Taking a STAND With Your Money

May 15, 2024 Kelly Tshibaka and Niki Tshibaka
Taking a STAND With Your Money
STAND with Kelly and Niki Tshibaka
More Info
STAND with Kelly and Niki Tshibaka
Taking a STAND With Your Money
May 15, 2024
Kelly Tshibaka and Niki Tshibaka

Unlock the power of your wallet as a tool for change with Chris Rhodes, the visionary behind Veebs, in our latest enlightening conversation. We're peeling back the layers on consumer empowerment, diving into how this cutting-edge app is changing the game for shoppers everywhere. As we chat with Chris, you'll discover the innovative ways Veebs is helping people align their dollars with their values, especially in communities with fewer retail choices, like the picturesque yet remote expanses of Alaska.

This episode isn't just about shopping smart; it's a deep dive into the complexities of consumer choice in today's market. We tackle the tough questions, like how rural residents can navigate limited options and whether they should support small online businesses over convenient big-box stores. Moreover, we delve into the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for products that resonate with their principles. Join Kelly, Josiah Chewbacca, and me as we explore how each purchase can be a statement and an opportunity to uphold the values we cherish.

Subscribe to never miss an episode of STAND:
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STAND's website: • StandShow.org
Follow Kelly Tshibaka on
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyForAlaska
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KellyForAlaska
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellyforalaska/

Show Notes Transcript

Unlock the power of your wallet as a tool for change with Chris Rhodes, the visionary behind Veebs, in our latest enlightening conversation. We're peeling back the layers on consumer empowerment, diving into how this cutting-edge app is changing the game for shoppers everywhere. As we chat with Chris, you'll discover the innovative ways Veebs is helping people align their dollars with their values, especially in communities with fewer retail choices, like the picturesque yet remote expanses of Alaska.

This episode isn't just about shopping smart; it's a deep dive into the complexities of consumer choice in today's market. We tackle the tough questions, like how rural residents can navigate limited options and whether they should support small online businesses over convenient big-box stores. Moreover, we delve into the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for products that resonate with their principles. Join Kelly, Josiah Chewbacca, and me as we explore how each purchase can be a statement and an opportunity to uphold the values we cherish.

Subscribe to never miss an episode of STAND:
YouTube
Apple Podcasts
Spotify

STAND's website: • StandShow.org
Follow Kelly Tshibaka on
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KellyForAlaska
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KellyForAlaska
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kellyforalaska/

Speaker 1:

Welcome back from the break. You're here on stand with Kelly and Josiah Chewbacca this morning, which set an amazing interview with Chris Rhodes, founder of an app called Veebs, which empowers users in a free market economy to use their purchasing power to take a stand for what they value. So, mom, one of the issues that we run up against here in Alaska, which many of our amazing standouts are Alaskans, is we do not have nearly the variety and plethora of options that you can find in the lower 48, where Mr Chris has started this app and where the majority of the United States obviously resides. Since Alaskans might not always have those alternatives that are brought to them on Veebs, or just alternative options for buying from companies that do stand for their values, what are ways that we can take a stand and maximize our freedom, even if we aren't able to help but buy from these companies?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a good point. So we support free market economies. Anyone who's conservative supports the idea that the power really lies in the hands of the consumer. It's the same idea that the power really lies in the hands of the people for the government. We hold businesses accountable, we hold the government accountable and we do that through our purchasing power. But not only is that a problem here in Alaska, it's a problem really in any rural or semi-rural community across the United States.

Speaker 2:

If you've got your local general market, where it's the only store within hundreds of miles, or you've got these communities, like even here in Anchorage for anyone who's taken an Alaskan cruise, you've seen some of our rural communities or if you've come to Anchorage, we've got a couple main grocery stores, but now they're talking about a massive corporate merger in the lower 48. That would actually merge those major grocery stores together, so we would really only have one grocery store and Walmart and then, like you're saying that, it really limits our options. And so when you want to shop around, I think we'd still, fortunately, in Alaska. If you're talking about peanut butter, we'd still have enough peanut butter brands. If you're talking about French onion soup, it might be a little bit more limited. Honestly, ice cream, you know, we I think we still eat more ice cream per capita than any other state. I still don't know why, but we definitely contribute to that. So in Anchorage we're still okay, but it still is a really good question for all of these other smaller communities.

Speaker 2:

That's not just an Alaska situation, but for all of rural and I think, fortunately, because of the widespread use of internet, we have a lot of internet options. You know, a lot of people would sort of just default to Amazon or Walmart online, both of which ship. But I think that there's been this great spring up of mom and pop shops online that also widely ship and we see that even out to a lot of our rural communities. Of course, the cost of shipping factors into the cost of products, but that has been a real blessing, I think, for being able to empower consumers to diversify the brands that they can shop at. It'll be interesting to see how Veebs accommodates for that, since you can't easily scan that barcode, but I'd like to see an ability for consumers to be able to get supplies from different locations, especially in our smaller communities.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Another thing that I can see end up being a problem. Even with that, though, is in business, consumers will always go for the most cost effective option. They're going to balance product and supply and demand and price with convenience and how much satisfaction they get from it. What would be your encouragement to our audience of giving over that extra $3, $4, $5 in shipping to get a product that's not as easily accessible?

Speaker 2:

So I think I know people like to get cheaper products. I mean, this is one of the reasons why some of our big box stores do so well. But I also think people do shop their values, and so we see people who lean towards certain values or certain. Yeah, if a company is aligning with someone's values or they're offering a product that they want, they are willing to buy, to pay more, which is why some companies with more expensive product actually do better, or even more expensive marketing do better. So I think, for the ability to say you know, if you actually realize what these companies are doing and how they're affecting the bigger picture of your existence, it's almost like voting If you want things to change, then it begins with you. And then I actually just had this conversation recently with someone in your generation who was saying you know, I don't vote because it doesn't matter. And it's kind of the same argument the you know the ice cream I buy or the tennis shoes I buy or the peanut butter I buy doesn't matter. If it doesn't matter, the you know the ice cream I buy or the tennis shoes I buy or the peanut butter I buy doesn't matter. If it doesn't matter, then how do you get around the Budweiser effect If it doesn't matter? How do you get around the Planet Fitness effect? Your few dollars does matter, especially when we do it in bulk.

Speaker 2:

And I made the metaphor about voting because one of the arguments was well, the voting systems are messed up. Ok, I think anything built by a human is going to have inherent flaws, and I come from a world where we, you know, analyzed and then modified internal controls to fix some of those inherent flaws. And IT systems have inherent flaws, just like your home computer has an inherent flaw and you put IT controls around it. Banking systems have inherent flaws, but all of us do online banking and our bank system, our bank accounts, are fine, right, so you can set up internal controls. We all inherit, we knew this intuitively to mitigate against these flaws and against attacks, et cetera.

Speaker 2:

And I said it's a little bit like a snowstorm. If there is a dusting, then you can still see the ice, the gravel, maybe a little bit of the dog droppings that are still on the road, and you can see the flaws. When there is a blizzard, all you see is the whiteout and that's what voter turnout's like. If there is a dusting, you're still going to see the bumps and the bruises and the stuff in the system. But when there's a blizzard turnout, then the effect of the people really matters, and that's what I think it is with consumer effect. Yeah, you know what a snowflake probably coming down is like. I don't really matter, I'm just a snowflake.

Speaker 2:

But the fact is, when we turn out, if you, if you don't show up, yeah, you're contributing to it just being a dusting and the company still get away with imposing their values and their corporate agenda, and really you're talking about trillions and trillions of dollars on the global economy. Yeah, we're being taken. But if the people resist and say I'm not going to do that, I'm instead going to give to the one company not participating and that company becomes the global leader, then all of a sudden the people have spoken and the blizzard starts to turn the other way. The power is really in the hands of the consumer. The companies can only put product out and if we're saying, you know, as some people have said to me, well, it doesn't really matter because it's everywhere. I, you know, I have to watch these shows because there's no other shows. I have to buy these products because there's no other products. If you're just a helpless victim along for the ride, well then yeah then it's just going to happen to you.

Speaker 2:

But I don't actually think that's the case. I don't think that's the way the system's set up. The system is set up for the consumer to be empowered. We just have to take that initiative to do so.

Speaker 1:

It reminds me of that quote that you are ridiculously in charge of your own life. I find it interesting that as we, as we more and more as a society, move into this mindset of a victim mentality, oppressor and oppressed just how many areas of our life impacts, I don't vote because it doesn't matter because I'm not empowered to do anything.

Speaker 1:

I don't take a stand against these companies, and it's just. It is so sinister this effect that it has on people, because it truly is the mass infection of cowardice. By choosing to be disempowered, or even believing that you are the victim, you're giving up courage and you're giving up your ability to take a stand for what you believe in.

Speaker 2:

That's a good point. So let me ask you when did you see a whole bunch of people take a stand and it inspire you?

Speaker 1:

I really liked seeing everything that happened with the Budweiser Dylan Mulvaney incident. That was extremely inspiring. It was also humorous just to see a company be so out of touch with its customer base, but that was particularly inspiring for me personally, just because it's that's not the kind of product you would expect people to boycott and it's not the kind of product I would expect people to boycott so intensely and for so long and so successfully as well. Another thing that an event that really inspired me was when when all those reddit users bought gamestopstock oh yeah and totally saved the company from going under.

Speaker 1:

And it's just really interesting to me that within the last five years we're just seeing more and more incidents of consumers rallying together to out of the blue in a historic moment, make or break a company's fortune, and it's extremely inspiring to kind of take back power from corporate America and to not have to submit or be controlled by the big man in the sky, you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think those are both really good examples of inspirational and, like you said, unexpected acts. When there's this, this move across, but I think so. Something else that happened recently is we saw an article that Ben and Jerry's parent company decided to drop them. I know right and I think it might be around some of the same things we're talking about that they're just losing a lot of their customer base because of some of the really strong you know, like Chris said 100% political stands they've taken that really don't align with 100% of their ice cream eating pace and at some point it ultimately comes down to making money. And you got to make money, and isn't that what this is about? I liked what he said. We want to just get people back to. Are we making money or are we not, which is what a free market system is supposed to be about. It's supposed to be about the basics of capitalism. So we'll be right back after this break.

Speaker 2:

This is stand with kelly nikki chivaka. My co-host today is josiah chivaka. Thanks for being with us on the break. Hit stand showorg. Find our social media more of our amazing episodes and hit subscribe to become more of our amazing episodes and hit subscribe to become one of our standouts. We'll be back right after this Stand by.