Values-Based Gift Holiday Tip #4: BUY GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING
Subscription boxes are a GREAT way to get a more luxury gift for someone and spread the cost out. They also give us a way to keep sending a little something to someone throughout the year. A few years ago, my mom started getting my daughter, Emma, a subscription box that she wanted, and it is still the highlight of her month - to open the new box and see what’s inside! This holiday season, when you consider subscription boxes as gifts, be sure to dig into the values of the company making the box and confirm that they are supporting the same things you are.
There are a number of ethical boxes out there. My top three favorites are Sanaya Set, Cause Box, and Gifts from the Universe. One of the things that makes a box really stand out (IMO) is how carefully it is curated and how much value you are getting. I’m super stoked to share the story of Tarul - the founder of Sanaya Set - below as her boxes are really expertly curated.
And who can get over this tag line? “Intentional lifestyle products from intersectional brands that enhance your beauty inside and out while elevating social justice and self-care.” Uh, Yes Please! Another great thing about the way Sanaya Set is setup is that you don’t have to do the subscription box, you can also just choose one of her carefully curated boxes or even shop the items in each box. I’ve already put this box on my Christmas list as well as this pillow case and these stunning earrings! I' hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Tarul as much as I did and consider supporting her and the work she is doing this holiday season!
Tell us about your business. What do you do? Who do you serve? How long have you been at it?
We launched our passion project, the Sanaya Set, in November 2017. The Sanaya Set curates intentional lifestyle products from intersectional brands that enhance your beauty inside and out by elevating social justice and self-care. Each item is carefully sourced to ensure it aligns with our principles, which are guided by intersectional feminism. Living our mission starts with our intentional products- each item is as beautiful as the story behind it. Sourcing is complex and deeply personal, as it is our goal to collaborate primarily with womxn owned businesses, with an emphasis on businesses owned by womxn of color and/or those from marginalized communities. We work with organizations and fair-trade companies that elevate womxn globally. We also highlight womxn in our communities who are positively impacting social justice through our brand ambassador program, and we directly donate 10% of our net proceeds to organizations that align with our values.
Why did you start your business?
The Sanaya Set is named after my daughter- Sanaya and means distinguished, different in a great way, as we explain to her. I found my voice when Sanaya was born and made a commitment to never stay silent about the things that matter most. Our company was founded on the premise that each of us can make a positive impact; we can determine our own future.
The Sanaya Set was born from our desire to pursue our passions for social justice, intersectionality, and our sweet spot- style. We strongly believe empowered womxn empower womxn; we believe in recognizing and using our privilege to change lives. As first-generation South Asian womxn, our life experiences have shown us that feminism goes beyond gender. We believe in intersectional feminism: understanding our overlapping identities and how these factors impact the way we experience oppression and discrimination.
To us, this means recognizing our diversity makes us stronger; makes us beautiful. Most importantly, it means pulling each other up!
What does "social good business" or "values based earning" mean to you?
Our mission is rooted in social justice, self-care, and intersectional feminism. We are committed to elevating womxn globally, with an emphasis on womxn of color and/or those from marginalized communities. We are also committed to proving that you can source responsibly, give back to organizations that positively impact social justice, and still be a thriving business. We want to show the world that doing the right thing, doing good- can also make good business sense. At the Sanaya Set, we are doing business with a conscience.
What is your favorite part about running a social good business or your favorite experience since you started?
Our favorite part is hearing from people who our mission resonates with. Each time we get a new order, we literally do a happy dance, as it means we have grown our mission and increased our positive impact.
What is your biggest struggle in running a social good business?
Our biggest obstacle has been reaching our ideal clients - people who care about our mission as much as we do. We have been funding our passion project personally to date, which means we work full time jobs. We recently launched a crowdfunding campaign, #EmpowerWomxn on iFundWomen, with the goal to raise $20,000 to invest in our infrastructure- marketing, PR, etc. We are doing this hoping we will be able to grow our company, our mission, and our collective positive impact.
What would you like most to accomplish in the next year? 5 years?
We would like to sustain our model, grow organically, and increase our positive impact to social justice and intersectionality.
Who are your business icons, heroins, or mentors?
Ijeoma Oluo, Arlan Hamilton, Padmalakshmi, Kamala Harris — our moms and sisters who we lean on daily.
What's your #1 tip for someone just getting started running a values-based business?
Find your tribe and lean on them. Stick with your principles, and don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, even though it's challenging.
What are your favorite conferences or retreats to attend?
All events related to social justice and intersectionality, including those organized by API Chaya, OneAmerica. We are also seeking out opportunities with organizations focused on womxn of color owned businesses.
What is the last book you read?
“Well-Read Black Girl” - thank you Evan!