Breaking out in the travel industry can be a difficult task for a small minority-owned business, but doing so with a purpose towards giving back can help motivate the business to grow, according to Ash and James, co-founders of the travel brand Cincha.
Cincha began with solving the problem of more securely connecting a carry-on bag to a suitcase with their travel belts, but it’s simultaneously working towards uplifting communities both near and far.
Ash Sharma, co-founder of the brand, says, “I truly think Cincha brings something special to every traveler, and it’s made with the utmost thoughtfulness in mind. That’s really how Cincha started: my co-founder and now fiancé and I wanted to create something that addressed a need most travelers have – a little gadget that gets you through the hustle and bustle of traveling and secures your personal bag to your luggage solving an everyday travel problem.
“Along with helping simplify travel for everyone, our mission is to make traveling more accessible for those in need. And so, we work with the nonprofit, Miles4Migrants, to raise and to use frequent flier airline miles to help reconnect migrant families.”
Miles4Migrants allows travelers with extra frequent flier miles or credit card points to donate them to migrants and refugees who cannot afford airplane tickets to reunite with their family members, move to their destination of refuge and more. So far, the nonprofit has flown over 20,000 people from 84 different countries thanks to generous donations of both money and points.
Cincha donates 100 airline miles to the nonprofit with every purchase. For Ash and James, partnering with Miles4Migrants was not only a great fit because of their travel-focused brand, but because of their shared love for travel and family.
“I think we are acutely aware of both how many different people made a big difference in our lives along the way and just how big an impact small contributions can have. We both grew up with humble origins. For me, for instance, destination traveling was only possible because my dad was lucky enough to be hired at United Airlines where he could fly his family for free on standby,” said Ash.
“From the beginning we knew that our little brand could be a little tiny vehicle to impact others as well. We first started with a belts-for-meals give back. But after searching for a giveback that nodded to our love of travel, family, and racking up those frequent flier miles…we fortunately found Miles4Migrants.”
Cincha also partners with local Californian women and minority artists to personalize their travel belts with hand-painted monograms. Their success with their brand partially comes from these two missions, which can help drive travelers and customers to their brand over other alternatives because they give back. While some might think that being charitable comes after a brand’s success, Cincha proves that’s not the case.
“Start small and run the numbers. If giveback and community are important to your brand’s DNA – then figure out what you feel comfortable giving back that doesn’t compromise on your ability to be a profitable brand. Remember that no one expects your small business to save the planet. But customers do care about where they spend their money now more than ever,” said Ash.
“So, I actually think that having a meaningful giveback program that aligns with your brand can be one of the reasons people come to shop at your store. In the long run, it can be the thing that sets you apart. The beauty in all that is – the more you sell, the more you can give back.”
After a challenging two years as the pandemic halted travel-related spending, Cincha is growing. To support the brand, follow them on Instagram at @CinchaTravel or @AshleySharm, and visit Cincha online.