A Six-Month Live Mentoring & Mastermind Community

for Entrepreneurs with Product-Based Businesses

Abstract Shape Sparkle

with Lisa Congdon

& Emily McDowell

Abstract Shape Sparkle

Picture this.

It’s 3 a.m. You wake up to pee.

You climb back in bed, and instead of lying awake for the next 90 minutes, worrying about your infinite to-do list, orders to fill, which products to discontinue, how to find a vendor who makes snow globes, or WTF to put in the newsletter, you just… go back to sleep.

If this sounds like your fantasy, you’re in the right place.

Running a product-based business is not for the faint of heart. There’s a constant symphony of moving parts, a mountain of random things to know, continuous trial and error, and infinite choices to make. And whatever your degree is in, it’s not this.

While you can learn tools and systems that make things easier, the most important questions are the ones you can’t find the answers to.

We’re here to help you answer those questions.

The Greater Goods Alliance is the exact support we needed earlier in our careers, but it didn’t exist:

a powerful combination of personalized coaching, strategic guidance, and a supportive network of smart, thoughtful peers who totally get it.

As the founders of successful brands, we’ve been there and built that. And now, we’re sharing everything we know with you.

In our intimate hot seat coaching sessions, we’ll be your trusted thought partners, providing actionable insights and feedback to help you crystallize your ideas, identify blind spots, and chart a clear, strategic roadmap for success on your terms.

Unlike most business accelerators, we’re not just here to help you grow for the sake of growth. We’re here to help you clarify exactly what success means to you, and to help you make choices in your business to support that vision.

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In the Alliance, we coach and mentor using a real-time, emergent problem-solving approach, which means there’s no pre-set curriculum and no pre-recorded lectures.

It’s 100% live and personalized; you bring your biggest questions to our calls, and the two of us bring the answers (and questions!) that can only come from having walked the path you’re on.

And the community? That’s the secret sauce.

Entrepreneurship is a lonely ride: we all know what it’s like to spend days on end in front of a computer screen, surrounded by six half-consumed drinks and zero other humans.

Coming together with other folks in the same boat, and honestly sharing your struggles, creates a super-powerful container. You’ll learn from each other, expand your support network, and become each other’s collaborators and cheerleaders – relationships you’ll take away with you.

The group format, in which you hear the questions other members of the Alliance are asking, and listen as they get coached on things you’re invariably also dealing with, is a deeply powerful way to learn. We’ve witnessed its magic firsthand many times, both within The Long Table Collective - our mentoring cohort for artists of color - and from participating in group coaching ourselves!

Kind words from our Long Table Collective members:

Before meeting Emily and Lisa, I was struggling with so much self-doubt and fear of starting my own product-based art business. Despite working with clients for many years, I didn't know how to venture into creating products for myself and building it into a viable business. How do I even start to make products from my work? Would people even buy them? How do I navigate the marketing, shipping, and business side of things? Through their guidance, I've not only gotten so much insight into answering these questions, but also gained the courage to take the steps forward into achieving my art business dreams. Learning from their wealth of knowledge has been an invaluable experience.

-Min Heo, illustrator & founder, Min Studio

Emily + Lisa create a wonderful atmosphere that is a joy to be part of. Emily's extensive knowledge of the industry is matched only by her generosity in sharing resources and experiences. Lisa sparks confidence and vision in a way that is incredibly contagious. Their nurturing and gentle energy, combined with their ability to challenge, makes for sessions that are both enriching and empowering. I truly can't say enough good things!

-Carlos Carmonamedina, artist & founder, The Culture Curious

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The Greater Goods Alliance is for you if you...

  • Know the basics of business: this program isn’t designed for beginners

  • Have an established wholesale and/or online customer base

  • Are ready to dig deep, focus, commit, and implement what you’re learning

  • Have enough revenue to sustain your business and pay yourself what you consider a decent wage, but are feeling stuck in some way. Maybe...
  • you’ve hit a ceiling on your knowledge
  • you’re burned out and unmotivated
  • you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, but not really moving
  • you’re feeling isolated and frustrated by trying to figure it all out on your own
  • you’re struggling to get outside your head to see your own work clearly
  • you’re feeling overwhelmed by (fill in the blank)
  • you’re struggling to stand out from the competition
  • you want to grow, but you’re limited by how much you can do
  • you want to simplify your business/life and still make money
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And you want to...

  • Have a sustainable, profitable business that makes you feel alive and fulfilled, not exhausted and burned out

  • Feel confident in your choices and stop lying awake at night wondering if you did X right

  • Learn to manufacture more complex products that’ll set you apart from the competition

  • Attract new wholesale and/or e-commerce customers who’ll become evangelists for your work

  • Become a more compelling, effective writer and storyteller, so your products and marketing become irresistible to buyers

  • Hone and uplevel your brand’s voice and visuals to stand out and be immediately recognizable as yours

  • Finally get a handle on all the loose ends in your business and get clear on what to focus on

  • Gain the knowledge and courage to move forward in new directions that feel expansive and fun

  • Become crystal clear on the kind of life you want, and how your business can support it

  • Surround yourself with a crew of brilliant biz friends for support, collaboration, and resource sharing


Length: 6 months

Dates: Welcome/kickoff call May 8th; hot seats May 22-October 9; day-long in-person retreat Monday, October 21 in Portland, OR (transportation and lodging are not included)

Pay in full: $7,000 (save $500)

6x monthly payments: $1,250/month


2 Hot Seat Calls per month

(4:30pm ET / 1:30pm PT, kickoff call 5/8 , subsequent calls 5/22, 6/5, 6/19, 7/3, 7/17, 7/31, 8/14, 8/28, 9/11, 9/25, 10/9)

  • Up to 2 hours per hot seat call. The initial call on May 8th will be 4 hours.

  • As a member, you’re guaranteed a monthly hot seat, with both of us helping you anywhere you need help.

  • A very incomplete list of possibilities: business strategy, product development, finding and honing your brand voice, marketing content and copy, connecting authentically with customers, stepping out of your comfort zone, pushing and honing your art style, managing employees or freelancers, where to focus for max return, managing burnout, delegating, pivoting and changing, working with manufacturers, packaging, logistics, sustainable growth, and really, anything else you can think of.

Full Day In-Person Retreat

On Monday, October 21, we’ll all meet up at Lisa’s studio in Portland, OR, for a day of planning, clarity, laughing, maybe probably crying, and group bonding with your fellow Alliance members.

The Alliance Slack Group

A private space off social media for you to support each other and share resources.

Bonus Guest Expert Sessions

Oooh, mystery guests! Based on the group’s needs and desires, we’ll bring in one or two of our expert pals – folks we’ve learned from ourselves – to teach or share their thing with us. We know this is vague, but trust us, it’ll be a benefit. We know some cool, and brilliant, people.

Bonus Cheat Sheets & Templates

You’ll get access to valuable teaching materials we’ve created, plus anything new we create during this period. If you make stuff overseas, Emily’s manufacturing guidelines template, price request checklist, and manufacturing glossary alone could save you the cost of this cohort. Not joking.

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Abstract Shape


Look. We hate hard sells, so we’re not here to do that. But here’s some info that might impact your decision:

We mentor together in The Long Table Collective using a similar model, but this is the first time we’re offering a paid mentorship group that’s open to all entrepreneurs.

Will we do it again? Maybe. Will we raise the price? Also maybe.

This round of the Greater Goods Alliance is full and applications are closed.



Between the two of us we ve navigated and survived almost every business problem and opportunity there is And The Greater Goods Alliance is where we re sharing everything we know
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How are applicants selected?

Our goal is to put together a group that can effectively learn from one another, and apply the takeaways from everyone’s hot seat sessions to their own businesses.

If I’m not chosen, will you tell me why?

Yes. (It will probably have to do with group cohesion and making sure everyone is at a similar enough level.)

What’s your refund policy?

Full refunds will be given before the program begins. Once the program has started, there are no refunds.

What if I don’t want to / can’t come to the in-person retreat day, can I join for a lower price?

The in-person retreat isn’t mandatory, but it won’t be possible to stream it over Zoom, and there are no discounts.

I’m a beginner but I really want to apply, are there exceptions?

This cohort is really designed for folks who have established businesses. There are a lot of other resources for beginners out there, and this wouldn’t be the best fit for you.

I’m not sure if I qualify, but I want to apply. What should I do?

Apply! It’s not a complicated or long application.

For any other questions not addressed here, please email


Lisa is an internationally known, award-winning illustrator and writer. For the past 17 years, she’s made art for clients around the globe, including Target, Amazon, Google, Schwinn, Warby Parker, The Library of Congress, Method, Comme des Garcons, REI and MoMa, among many others. She exhibits her work internationally, including solo shows at Saint Mary's College Museum of Art (California), Chefas Projects (Oregon) and Paradigm Gallery (Philadelphia). She is the author of ten books, including Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building Your Career as an Artist and Find Your Artistic Voice: The Essential Guide to Working Your Creative Magic.

Lisa is perhaps best known for her collection of prints, stationery, gifts and home goods, which she sells at her popular online shop, her Portland storefront at Cargo Emporium, and wholesale on Faire. Lisa is self-taught and didn’t achieve momentum in her career until she was nearly 40 years old. Despite her untraditional path, Lisa has achieved recognition, not just as an artist, but as a leader in the industry for her work in social justice, mentoring and teaching. In 2021, she was named one of AdWeek’s “50 Most Inspiring People and Companies According to Industry Creatives.” When she's not making art, you can find her racing her bike around Oregon. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.


As an advisor, consultant, and coach, Emily helps entrepreneurs answer the questions they can’t find the answers to. As founder and CEO of Em & Friends, she led the brand through explosive growth in both wholesale and e-commerce channels, and international press coverage including NPR, The New York Times, BBC World News, Al-Jazeera, and many more. The brand’s Empathy Cards, a more authentic approach to “get well soon,” have been widely cited as catalyzing a sea change to the greeting card industry. Emily’s work has gone viral countless times, and she has a decade-plus long track record of creating products that make people wonder if she’s been reading their diaries.

In 2018, Em & Friends was acquired by Knock Knock, and Emily became a partner in the joint company. In 2022, both brands were acquired by Union Square & Co / Barnes & Noble, and she exited the business.

Emily offers unsolicited advice and missives from midlife in her newsletter, Subject to Change, a Substack Featured Publication of 2023. Find her online at, and IRL in Portland, Oregon, trying to keep her plants alive.

About 18 months ago I blew up my life. I left a career when I was at what many would consider a peak position. The path I thought I set out for myself was not my own. So I went back to the only thing that really brought me joy - art. Now, what most people don’t tell you when you follow your heart blah blah, is that navigating a new path for anyone, let alone a middle aged person with a mortgage, is daunting to say the least. Luckily, I found a liferaft in the Long Table Collective.

Through this fellowship I was able to see that my choices were NOT what some may (and have) called insane, but actually a path to finding my authentic self. And in that place I could grow a successful art practice. Through the guidance of Lisa and Emily, I am gently being steered down a trail of self discovery, anchored by decades of creative, business and life experience and advice they both have provided. Already I have secured jobs I would never have dreamed possible if I tried to take on this business by myself.

And to add to all this, the collective also provides me with colleagues, many with amazing creative careers of their own, where we can bounce ideas off one another, get critical feedback from people in the same industry, and sometimes just moral support or a laugh.

I don’t really know where I would be in my art practice without Lisa and Emily and my Long Table cohort. But I do know the experience has changed me and made me a better artist and entrepreneur.

-George Kevin Jordan, illustrator & founder, GKJ Creates

Having help, guidance and support from Emily and Lisa these last 8 months has been life-changing. Their insights on the illustration industry and creative business have helped me develop confidence and a route for the future of my business and career.

-Andrea Pardo, Illustrator & Graphic Designer

Lisa helped me get from A to B in my mind. I went from feeling like “how am I going to do this” to “I can do this”. I already possessed the power within myself as an artist to lead the way and I realized that my career path is mine to pave.

-Helena Wurzel, Artist

"Emily quite simply knows a ton about how to make, design, manufacture, market, sell, and distribute gift product. Most importantly, she has the rare ability to step back and critically assess a product from all angles—from concept to design and form, including its effectiveness in communicating and appealing to customers. And, she is not only highly skilled at working with writers, artists, designers, manufacturers, and sales teams, but motivates and cheers them on throughout the process.”

-Craig Hetzer, Former Publisher, Knock Knock

Emily has a true gift for providing feedback. Seriously—her feedback is GOLD. She always makes sure to be supportive and kind while offering incisive, actionable critiques. She doesn’t just tell you something isn’t working; she puts in generous time and effort to explain why, so you feel respected and empowered as you work on revisions. The result is not only a stronger piece of writing, but a stronger writer.

-Kate Sullivan, Senior Editor & Writer, The Who’s There Group

Lisa is a gem and there is so much to love about her coaching style: It is uplifting, transparent, thought-provoking and inspiration. I appreciate how much she values the integrity of the creative industry and admire her ability to articulate her insights and wealth of information.

-Net Tesfay, Illustrator

Emily is a perfect collaborator for the practically-minded as well as the blue-sky dreamers (and many in between). She brings to each project a strong vision, immense skill and a genuine enthusiasm to grow and innovate, and is a constant champion of others; her prescient understanding of what humankind wishes to say (but hasn’t yet found the voice for) draws many talented people into her orbit. It’s hard to imagine the sort of person who would not benefit from working with Emily.

-Tracy Sunrize Johnson, Senior Designer, The Who’s There Group