With many companies going in the direction of sustainability, it is refreshing to find those that have made it their ultimate purpose to do good for Mother Earth. Lisa Siedlecki and Jennifer Silbert are co-founders of Rewilder Goods, a Los Angeles-based accessories company that very simply takes materials that otherwise were destined for the landfill and makes them into beautifully handcrafted works of art. I had the chance to catch up with them a few months back to ask them about their creative process and why shopping from small businesses is so important to them.
From childhood, we had great role models that taught us to work sustainably and with respect for the earth. Lisa’s grandfather was a true craftsman, transforming scrap material into functional, beautiful objects. She was always surrounded by creative thinkers. Jenny’s grandparents lived on a sailboat and she spent much of her childhood in and around the ocean. Repurposing and creativity were core values of life.
What is one thing you can’t leave the house without?
A bag. I feel naked without one. – Lisa
My glass thermos of water. – Jenny
Small businesses are more likely to care about how and where things are made and the impact that product has on the environment. They help build a thriving local economy are more likely to give back to the community.
It inspires us to see people with the passion, commitment and hard work it takes to build a businesses and keep it alive. As we know from personal experience, this is not easy.
Most of all, you get something really special, made with love.
REWILDER (N): A movement that explores new ways to create; a cultural shift toward more responsible and careful use of materials; A person committed to solving problems with utmost respect for the Earth.
Be confident and make sure you are an expert in your field. Have a strong sense of who you are and where you want to go. Know what product you’re making and who you’re making it for.
We both quit comfortable industry jobs, live on little money, put everything we have back into Rewilder, and love every minute.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received on gratefulness?
As we started Rewilder, we were reading and researching a lot about sustainable companies. Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, is a big inspiration for us in philosophy and practice. We got this advice from his books:
“…the time has come for those of us in business to understand ourselves as a part of nature…; we need to make our practices less exhaustive …so that the world will be habitable for those who come after us.”
The Responsible Company
We are extremely grateful for the world around us, and for the opportunity to make measurable change. It is a gift to come to work every day and make a difference.
We are always looking for new inspirational people to feature here at The Hivery Collective. If you are or if you know someone who would be a perfect fit, let us know in the comments below or via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.