We got the chance to catch up with Sage Lally, the founder of be. marketplace, all about shopping your values. We love their focus on inclusion and sustainability and Isle de Nature is lucky to be part of it. Read more about Sage here.
What's the best part about being an entrepreneur?
A few weeks ago, my therapist and I did an exercise to help me get clearer on my core values. I found humor in the fact that one of mine ended up being control. After some reflection, I realized that control is really important to me,
I think being an entrepreneur allows me a certain level of autonomy and freedom (ahem, control.) Granted, this desire for control in my work may also be a response to having jobs in the past where I felt micromanaged or controlled; it’s been hard for me in the past to not be able to act in a way that feels right.
I believe in putting people before profits, and it’s important to me that my community reflects that by remaining authentic, honest and trustworthy. Acting on this belief also means being able to act at a moment's notice, because the world is always bringing us new challenges! I’m grateful to be an entrepreneur, because it allows the freedom to make choices that align with my values; it’s hard for me to have to remain silent or not act when I feel it’s important.
Is being an entrepreneur in your blood?
Both my parents work for #theman, but my brother has always been like me. We both have very different plans for our entrepreneurial endeavors, but enjoy being able to create our own careers from the ground up. My parents are both incredibly supportive of both of our dreams.
What values are you personally shopping these days?
Something that bothers me about other values-forward marketplaces is having to choose. Why do I have to decide to be sustainable, or support a woman-owned brand? I want both! The values that matter to me are the ones that I put as our required and preferred criteria for our marketplace. In order for a brand to be included, they have to meet all our required criteria, so you don’t have to choose between your values! You deserve to have it all.
Personally, I really value animal rights. I volunteer weekly at my local animal shelter, eat a vegetarian diet, and work to ensure that the products I am using are vegan and not tested on animals.
What's your advice to anyone shopping for gifts this holiday season?
Anything you want can be found from a values-forward, woman and non-binary founded small business! Believe me, I have researched over 1000. That being said, I challenge shoppers this year to try to find everything on their list from these businesses. I highly recommend our marketplace (obviously) as well as the platform Thingtesting for brand discovery. I believe in you!
What are some of your best tips for practicing a more sustainable lifestyle?
Eat less meat! And even better, stop eating meat entirely. Pay more attention to your waste. Try to reuse when you can, and recycle when you can’t. But overall, just value the environment above your own convenience. Something I have noticed in myself is wanting to choose what feels easiest. I don’t want to bring a reusable cup because then I’ll have to carry it. I don’t want to wash all the jars in order to recycle them. But honestly, my comfort means nothing in the grand scheme of things. The world is literally dying, we need to make hard, uncomfortable choices to help. Even if that means we’re doing it imperfectly.