When women come together, magic happens. And what we mean by magic is a sweet, pick-me-up treat disguised as a box filled with hand-picked, curated, best of the best products delivered straight to your doorstep. Who wouldn’t want that, right?
And for hand-picked, curated, best of the best products, it doesn’t get better than sustainable subscription box brand, Sam & Lance. There are subscription boxes available for almost any interest or desire. We’ve seen the popular make-up boxes where you can sample luxury brands or the fun athleisure boxes filled with leggings and workout tops. But Sam & Lance has tapped into a unique market by creating seasonal boxes featuring sustainable and ethically-made products. In the past, their subscription boxes have included bath bombs, skincare oils and serums, zero-waste food wraps, candles and more.
Sam & Lance is a women-owned brand by Canadian sisters, Veronica and Alora. Named after the founders’ grandmothers, this Canadian brand creates subscription boxes and gift boxes with powerful good vibes and filled with full-sized products created by women (from brands that are women-owned). That’s what Sam & Lance’s Empower-Her Box is and we are here for it!
This week on #TheGoodTribe, we had a chance to sit down with Veronica and Alora and learn more about the planning process for Sam & Lance, practicing sustainability outside of the brand, and giving us some advice to pass on to today’s social impact entrepreneurs. Keep on reading to find out more about these good humans.
1. Tell us a bit about your journey. What made you decide to create Sam & Lance?
We were brought up to take care of the planet and to shop from small businesses whenever possible. We also love supporting women, we were raised by powerful women and we surround ourselves with powerful women. We wanted to create something that brought our love of the planet and our admiration of women entrepreneurs together. Thus, the Empower-Her box was born.
2. For those who may not know, what is the Empower-Her Box? Why is it so unique from other subscription boxes?
The Empower-Her Box is a quarterly subscription box featuring 6-7 full-sized ethically-made sustainable products from women-owned businesses. What makes our box unique is that all products are supporting women, and also, our box packaging is entirely biodegradable and recyclable!
3. Sam & Lance has advocated a lot for fairly sourced products and sustainability. What is something you have personally learned during this process?
One thing that surprised us about the subscription box industry is that in many cases box companies require the product to be sent to them for free and others charge a fee to brands to include their products. This is why the box costs can be so low! Brands are hoping that the ‘exposure’ from being featured in boxes will help boost their sales. This is not possible for many small businesses who can't afford to give away thousands of dollars worth of products. To us people should be paid fairly, and be paid for their products!
4. How have you been practicing sustainability outside of Sam & Lance?
We always say it's the little things that matter! We bring our own bags shopping, reuse glass jars and takeout containers, repair old and broken things, recycle, walk and take transit as much as possible, eat more plants and less meat, bring our own reusable cups, cutlery and straws, and lead others to make more sustainable choices through example and education.
5. What has been your proudest moment for Sam & Lance?
There are so many! We would probably have to say our first ‘stranger’ order. We are so honored to have our friends and family be so supportive of us but the first time a stranger found our site and placed an order we immediately called each other being like, “Do you know her?! No!? Me neither!!!” It was a very exciting moment for us.
6. How can ethical brands be normalized in a world relying heavily on instant gratification? How do you usually involve more people in the conversation of shopping fair trade, slow, clean brands?
It is going to take education. Understanding the impact instant gratification has on the planet needs to be understood completely. We find that people generally want to do good. And by giving them easy access to brands that are slow, clean and fair is a great way to start. Share them on your social media, text links directly to friends and family, only buy gifts that come from ethical brands. Once you lead by example of how easy and fun it can be, more people in your life will do the same. But on this thread, we encourage people to never shame others. Lead with positivity and education, not through negativity and shame.
7. What is your advice to today’s social impact entrepreneurs?
Talk about your ideas! We find that so many business owners, or people who want to be business owners, keep their ideas to themselves and try to figure it out on their own. But what we have found is that the advice you can get from sharing your ideas with your supportive network is invaluable. Even if it's just an aunt saying “great idea!,’ it can help validate your feelings and set you up for success.
8. Where do you see Sam & Lance in 5 years? Any exciting things coming up for Sam & Lance?
We do have a big launch coming up this month! We want to help women celebrate each other all while supporting women owned businesses! We are launching new Gift Boxes that celebrate everything from First Periods to Promotions to Breakups. Often when our friends hit milestones in their lives, whether good or bad, we feel stuck on how to support them and show them extra love. Sometimes words just aren't enough!
In the next 5 years we would love to be able to have an office space that would also double as an education centre for women to take free courses to help them start and grow their own businesses. We hope to grow and expand our Subscription and Gift Boxes so that we can give even more women owned businesses the recognition they deserve! Lastly, we want to create a scholarship fund for Canadian girls to attend university. So many things we want to do!
9. What's the one thing you do everyday, or try to do- that makes you happy?
Go outside and move our bodies! Just seeing greenery and nature reduces stress and moving your body is so important to overall health! We both love long walks and yoga and try to do those as often as possible.
Whether you’re looking for a little treat yourself gift or planning on giving a present with meaning to a friend, Sam & Lance will have a box for you. And surprise surprise, for their Summer Empower-Her box (which is now SOLD OUT), The Good Tee’s Good Sleep eye masks are one of the products! It’s reassuring to know there are such great women, like Veronica and Alora, out there, creating ethical and sustainable brands and making a good impact and staying true to their mission. Sam & Lance’s mission is clear as day and evident in their boxes as the brand helps customers do good and take the guesswork out of buying ethically, as well as empower women businesses and artisans around the world. Rootin’ for ya, Sam & Lance!
Did you love our discussion with Veronica and Alora from Sam & Lance and what they stand for? Like, comment and give them a follow!