Sydney Sherman: How to Build an Online Marketplace That Combats Poverty Through the Things We Buy

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Sydney Sherman is on a mission that many social entrepreneurs share: to do good in the world while making a living. And she’s making it happen through Faire.Shop, her online marketplace where conscious consumers can find ethical brands.

Faire.Shop was born out of Sydney’s desire to do her part in alleviating the extreme poverty she has seen in her life. She compares the website to Etsy in terms of function, and explains that they vet all of their vendors according to the wages they pay their workers, the working conditions, as well as environmental stability. Brands are promoted within the site and each vendor controls their own shop.

Helping Ethical Businesses Grow

As her business grew, Sydney realized that the vendors she was featuring on Faire.Shop were not utilizing technology as well as they could — something that can easily hold a small, ethical business back. So, on the back end, Faire.Shop is helping vendors improve their business by developing technology to help each individual merchant collect metrics on their business such as what their best-selling product is, where most of their products are sold, and where they’re making the most money. Sydney refers to the site as a “double-sided marketplace.”

Our main focus is on extreme poverty and how to help eradicate it.

Not only is Sydney on a mission to do her part in eradicating global poverty, but she also recognizes that the solution needs to be a sustainable one. She stresses that in order to deal with the root causes of extreme poverty, the solution needs to be self-sustaining. The way in which ethical vendors use Faire.Shop lends to their independence. They manage their own “mini shop” through their own portal. They fill orders and ship everything themselves. And they have the freedom to pull or add new products if they want.

Advice for Early Fundraising

Those early days served as a great learning experience for Sydney. She was kind enough to share with us some amazing bits of advice she has for people who are just starting out and are looking to optimize their fundraising:

  • Before you do anything, figure out whom you’re going to ask and what you’re going to ask them for. Sydney put together a spreadsheet to organize a list of potential supporters. She listed each person as well as exactly what she needed from them, be it business connections or money.
  • Be specific when asking for something. When Sydney was raising money, she found that people didn’t just want to hear her “spiel.” They wanted to hear precisely what she wanted from them.
  • Know that you’ll make mistakes in the beginning. Sydney told us that she made a complete fool of herself in her first meeting. She suggests practicing with people as much as possible. She got some outside help and enlisted the advice of experienced business owners to put her slide deck together.
  • When raising funds, start with friends and family. While it’s incredibly hard to ask those closest to you for money, Sydney advises that this is the way to go. Through her experience, she found that potential investors were more likely to lend her credibility if her grandmother’s money was on the line, too. It was as though they understood that Sydney would have to face this group of her investors at Thanksgiving so there was extra pressure there for her to invest the funding wisely and for her business to succeed.
  • Know your potential investor well. It’s important for your potential investor to know your business idea well, but it’s even more important for you to know your potential investor well. Do your research before reaching out to someone and use that information to send personalized emails, etc.
  • Know your numbers. Go to meetings well-prepared. If you don’t know your numbers by heart, write everything down and don’t be afraid to refer to them if you need to. At the very least, be familiar with the math.
  • Connect with potential investors often. Sydney is the first to admit she doesn’t like doing this because it takes up time and she has a million things to do. However, she finds it incredibly helpful. Every week, she connects with her LinkedIn contacts. She makes sure to add them to one of a few lists she has: people she needs to update on investor information, people she has recently been in contact with (including what she could potentially ask them for in the future), and so on. 

Next Steps

Just a little over a year into her new business, Sydney is looking at a business merger. She was introduced to her business partner by a mutual friend and coincidentally, each wanted to start doing what the other was doing. While they each have different approaches, their end goal is the same. Her advice for anyone considering a business merger, especially this early on, is to get a good lawyer. The legal component is complicated and you need to know what to expect under any given circumstance.

In addition to the merger, Faire.Shop’s second year will focus on improvements on what they’ve already done. They’ve never done any sort of branding, so they are looking at doing a complete rebrand in order to make the customer-facing marketplace more attractive. A main focus for year two will be to determine ways in which they can optimize sales for their vendors and really focus on marketing. Lastly, Sydney admits that the backend of their website needs a lot of work. There are a lot of plugins that they can provide for their vendors and they plan to focus on improving their vendors’ user experience and business success.

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Transcription of Interview (Transcribed by OtterAI; there may be errors.)

Adam Force 0:12
What’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator podcast show. It’s a sunny day here in Miami. And I’m excited to let you know that issue 27 with Nasreen Sheik is out now on iTunes and Google Play and of course at if you like that desktop reading experience. Wow, what a powerful, powerful story from Nasreen. We’re really excited about this edition we also have some incredible motivating content from a no holds barred interview with Laura Gassner Otting.

She’s been rocking stages around the world these days and has her latest book “Limitless” out now in Amazon. So really good content there, guys. super inspiring. So get a chance check that out. If you missed last week’s interview, it was with Moe Carrick. And she is also a rockstar. She’s done several TEDx talks. And she has her latest book. And it’s all about cultivating a good culture in the workplace. And making sure that it is a place where people can thrive. I mean, how important is that?

I spoke to, you know, Blake Mycoskie not too long ago, and this is something he mentioned, too, is getting the right people in there. It’s a game changer. So if you’re an early phase entrepreneur, and you’re starting to build a team, you know, even finding those co founders and things like that, it’s really important to know, like people come with baggage, and you need to also know how to lead and cultivate an environment that will help people thrive because they are going to be your number one resource. And so yeah, building that is really important. So that’s a great conversation with Moe Carrick, she has a lot of expertise to share in that area.

So if you haven’t caught it, go back, check that out. It is available on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, all that good stuff. So today, we’re going to be talking with the one and only Sydney Sherman. And she actually is the founder of an online marketplace. The company is called Faire.Shop. And it is an online marketplace where they’re connecting conscious consumers directly with ethical brands, she comes from a family of entrepreneurs, it’s in her blood, this is what she does. And she basically, she encountered… and she’ll talk about this her experience, of course, during the discussion, but she came across a lot of extreme poverty at one point in her life and decided to help do something to fix that problem.

And that’s where the Faire.Shop, you know, was born. So she’s going to walk us through it. Now they’re in their earlier years. But she’s starting to build this team, she’s starting to cultivate this business. And she has lots of interesting experience from that front lines perspective of those early years. And I think what she’s doing is actually really cool. And it certainly is never easy. So we’ll hear about some of the challenges and successes and things that are working for her as she gets traction for Faire.Shop.

If you guys haven’t stopped by Facebook, in a while make sure you catch us in our group, if you go to our Facebook page, you’re going to get lots of good insights over there. That’s our primary place right now. And from there, you’ll see a link to jump over to our group. And that is going to be a group to talk about marketing from a storytelling perspective. So its storytelling strategies to grow your impact business.

We’ve been getting a good uplift over in that group. And we try to make it a more intimate community to really get into the nuts and bolts of marketing and the power of storytelling to do that, so that you can connect with people and grow your business. So jump over there. We’d love to see you guys. And that’s it, guys. Leave us a review on iTunes, Spotify, all that good stuff. We appreciate it. And without further ado, we’re going to get into this conversation with Sydney. Hey, Sydney, welcome to the Change Creator podcast show. How you doing today?

Sydney Sherman 4:01
I’m great. How are you?

Adam Force 4:03
I’m doing very, very good. And I love the work that you are doing. And I’m also excited because you’re just breaking into year two. And I know those early years are something of great interest to people in our audience — to learn how you’re getting through them, the ups, the downs, and all that good stuff. So before we get into some of your background and things like that, can you tell us just what’s going on with your business today?

Sydney Sherman 4:31
Yes, of course. So, basically, we are a marketplace for ethically produced products, we vet all of our vendors according to the wages they pay their workers, the working conditions, and then environmental sustainability. And so the second component of that is that our vendors, our shops, function very similarly to Etsy. So we actually promote the brands within our website, and they control their own shop. So on the back end, we’re trying to develop a lot of technology that can tell them a lot more about their businesses like what is their best selling product?

Where do their products… Where are they making the most money, what marketplaces their own store, just in any technology like impact reports, even because they found a lot of ethical small businesses aren’t utilizing technology and the way they could. So it’s kind of a double sided… It’s very much a double sided marketplace. So that’s what we’re working on.

Adam Force 5:30
Okay, awesome. And let’s just talk a little bit about just to ground people listening here, why you decided to start your business.

Sydney Sherman 5:42
So it really started I mean, I think there was something that I was always interested in around these kinds of issues. And one of the, our main focus is on extreme poverty and how to help eradicate it. And so I don’t know, like, you know, sometimes you just grew up with something that is like, it’s like a little like, it started as a little seed, probably, when I was, like 10. But then by the time 2010 hit, I was traveling a ton and seeing a lot of really extreme poverty en masse.

And that’s when, like, it really started to like, take root. And I started to think about, like, what I could do to contribute to like helping these issues that I was seeing. And I was also realizing like there was so much poverty in the world so that it had to be a sustainable solution, right? Like nonprofits, charity, they’re amazing. And they do amazing work. And they’ll always be needed on some level. But like to truly deal with the root cause of these issues, it has to be something that’s self sustaining. So that’s just when I started thinking about, like, what I could do, and like what was already out there, and like how I can support what already existed. And so that’s what led me to the marketplace.

Adam Force 6:56
And did you have background doing other work? Like, did you do the whole nine to five for a while, like, what was your experience?

Sydney Sherman 7:06
Yeah, that’s always an interesting question. So I worked for like six months. And then I started a company that connected like administrative assistants by the hour to small businesses, in Austin, Texas, and my parents are entrepreneurs. So I guess I just grew up with that. But I have very little work experience. So yeah, I ran a business for three years. And I went back [unintelligible] my always knowing that this was what I wanted to do, but at that point, it was very overwhelming. I knew marketplaces had some, like, unique challenges as far as creating a business goes. So I went back and got an MBA in entrepreneurship. And from there, I finally launched this.

Adam Force 7:48
Okay, did you find that helpful getting MBA, do you feel like I could, I could have done this differently?

Sydney Sherman 7:55
I found it extremely helpful. I mean, it was an interesting program in the sense that it was for entrepreneurship. Yeah, I think with you know, if I had worked maybe in other businesses, for a little bit longer than six months, of course, you know, I worked in college or high school, but not, it’s not the same. So I think that, given the little work experience I had, and like the first business I ran was very small and very different. It was incredibly helpful just to know, like, what kind of existed as far as options and like, yeah, like, we’re, I told you, before we got on the phone, like, we’re in the middle of a merger right now, I would not have known anything about that. Or how to go, you know, so for me, it was incredibly helpful.

Adam Force 8:43
That’s good. Yeah, I’m always curious, because I know, you know, schools don’t lean in too much. And I, I’m seeing it more and more obviously, even with just specific, like social entrepreneurship, you know, courses, programs, and curriculums, and stuff like that. So, and I haven’t talked to too many people that have gone through them.

So that’s, you know, what piqued my curiosity when you said that. So I guess that you know, the model you have is interesting. So I want to talk a little bit just about your business model. Because obviously, there is…you’re pulling in different brands and kind of becoming the face like, the collected like sales portal for them. Why did you take this approach instead of trying to develop your own products? I’m just curious on the thought process around that.

Sydney Sherman 9:31
Sure. So I actually a friend approached me in college and wanted me to help her start a dress company. And we did, we started it, we created products. And I realized pretty quickly, that is definitely not where I should be. I’m not very detail oriented. So one thing I know, like that would be really helpful in any business. But like, especially when producing products, like there are so many details to consider. So that was like, just not for me. And I knew that after that little experiment. But then, just in general, when I started after 2010, all the traveling, I started to really like research what was happening in the industry.

And what I found is that a ton of brands already existed, but sales were a huge issue, it was still a really fragmented market. And there are a lot of ethical — not a lot but — there are ethical marketplaces that have been created. But a lot of them were more niche, like, they’ve mainly carried clothing, beauty, accessories, and that was kind of it. And as a consumer, I also wanted more. Like if I it was a lifestyle for me, like how can I buy everything ethically? Like phone cases and cleaning products? And sweaters? GIFs? Whatever? Yeah. And so yeah, that’s what kind of planted the seed I guess, for this marketplace.

Adam Force 10:55
Yeah. And so it seems like so and I’m only asking these questions, because I really don’t know how these models work. So I’m actually quite interested in learning more. And I am curious to understand, I’m sure people listening are, too, is, when you look at a model like this, and you’re going you go out and you vet brands, right? You have like a certain level of like a quality standard and ethical like, you know, standards that you try to abide by, which is awesome.

And and anybody listening, you could see the outline on their website. And so when you find a brand, or Oh, I would love to help them sell this product, how do you create a partnership with them? Meaning is this like an affiliate type-like partnership? You’re now selling it on your website? Can you just help clarify some insight around that?

Sydney Sherman 11:47
Yeah, sure. So it’s basically it’s not affiliate, like they just sign up for the market. But will we vet them, of course, first, if they already have a fair trade certificate easy, we don’t have to do any work. But if they don’t, we know it’s really expensive and time consuming. So that’s always step number one. And then once that happens, we upload the products and they manage their own little like portal, when they get orders, they ship everything.

So they can pull their products whenever they want, they can add more products if they want. So it’s totally up to them. And we just take a percentage of every sale. So and there are other things we could charge for, of course, but like until we’re a new business until we’re really generating value for them. We’re not going to charge anything, like even any marketing we do with their products. Like it’s all on us for now. So, um, but yeah, it’s not really affiliate, they just upload and like manage little shops within our website.

Adam Force 12:47
Interesting. And so yeah, obviously had to do some real tech, I guess, work to build that kind of thing. So on the back end, it seems like there might be a lot of custom work, or did you find technology that existed that was helpful?

Sydney Sherman 13:04
Oh, yeah, we started on… So back in, let’s see, September 2017, is when I started working on it. By December 2017, I just put up a Shopify site and had asked like a few brands to join us. And just like threw open the doors. But then we realized very quickly, that there wasn’t something that existed that did everything we wanted. And it was creating a lot of issues like our Shopify site randomly just only sell [size] smalls. We know it was like stuff like that constantly. And so, and we’re not technical, like I’m running a technical company, and I’m not a technical person.

And we’re also you know, we got investment, and people are like, Were is the technical person on your team? And so it was definitely a challenge. But we did end up switching over and building our own software. And we just contracted with an awesome team that’s going to help us build because I mentioned like, it’s two sided. So there’s the customer facing platform. And then there’s also like all the technology, we want to offer it to the vendors on the back end, and they can develop all of that. So yeah, we’ve become a very technical company. And that was one of our first pivots.

Adam Force 14:20
Yeah, I mean, I find that to be exciting. And it is overwhelming. Like when you’re not a designer or you know, a website engineer or like developer of some kind, it’s like these things, can they hold a lot of people back, right? So and then if you can’t do it yourself, the dangerous part, and for a lot of people is they have small budgets. And if they don’t have investment, it’s like, How do I know it’s going to actually give me an ROI if I invest in this, right? So it becomes a huge gamble. So you mentioned that you actually were able to raise some dollars now. So you did a seed round?

Sydney Sherman 14:52
Yes, we did. It took me all year and was so hard. So I feel for any, I mean, not having money is also really hard. Like you said, like how, you know, like, we wasted a lot of money on technology, because we didn’t know what we’re doing. And we had like, I mean, you never want wasted is kind of a strong term. I know tons of people that are way more experienced business owners that have also spent money on technology that didn’t pan out for them. And so for us, it was a rather small amount, but it felt like a lie. But yeah, we raised a million dollars last year, and it literally took me all year to do that.

Adam Force 15:32
Well, congratulations. That’s pretty exciting.

Sydney Sherman 15:35
Thank you. Yeah, it was, it was definitely wouldn’t Yeah, I guess when you ask big wins, like that was — that’s a big one.

Adam Force 15:44
Yeah, I mean, this is a huge stress point for a lot of entrepreneurs, you know, you have ideas, especially when you’re doing something like you’re doing because you do need the right technology. When you have the right tools, it works a lot better, right?

Sydney Sherman 16:00
Oh yeah.

Adam Force 16:00
So you know, tell us just a little bit about your experience, like it is a brutal process, sometimes to build out the investment process. So tell us a little bit about what made it work for you — some of the learning curve. I’m sure there’s a lot of things just like anything, right, you can put your time in, it doesn’t work. So what actually advice might you give to people listening that are looking to raise their seed round.

Sydney Sherman 16:28
So I mean, first I just roll out like… I put together a spreadsheet and roll out like all the people that I was going to go to and like what I would ask them like some people it was connection, some people it was money. And a lot of the people I found when I was raising, they wanted to hear that asked like, they didn’t just want me to give my spiel, and then like sit there. And I don’t know if that is particular to the group of people I was raising from or if that’s like a thing, but they wanted to hear, like precisely what I wanted from them.

I made some so many mistakes. I mean, my advice is like I practice with people, very experienced business owners helped me put my deck together. Everything. But like, there’s nothing like just showing up. It’s like doing anything for the first time. I made a complete fool of myself in the first meeting. But there was no like, there was nothing I could have done differently. Like, I just needed to get in there and hear the questions that they had. And like everyone’s going to ask different questions. So it was very humbling at the beginning.

Adam Force 17:31
Yeah, it gets intense. And, so were you doing more local outreach, meaning you can go in person, are you like flying out places to meet people?

Sydney Sherman 17:39
No, it was all local friends and family. I mean, I think I would… I grew up in Texas. So I was going and I lived in Austin for 10 years. But I grew up in Houston. So I have connections in both places. And I was I mean, that was pretty much it going back and forth between those two cities. But then I moved to New York. And so at that point, I didn’t have any connections here. I tried to meet up with some people here that didn’t go well as a completely different type of fundraising that I was unprepared for. And I just I didn’t have the same like connection. So yeah, I started flying back to Texas, but I was already there for other things, so…

Adam Force 18:20
Yeah, interesting. Well, I love hearing those stories, because it is a pain point for people. And did you have like an executive summary or just went straight with the slide deck?

Sydney Sherman 18:32
Yeah, I had the deck, I had, like a one pager that had the summary, but I am like, so bad at over sharing information. So our one paper looked really crazy. I was cramming, like so much in there. And most of the people like, I would send them that and they would kind of glance at it. But none of our investors are familiar with ethical at all. So…

Adam Force 18:55

Sydney Sherman 18:56
It was interesting. So like, honestly, I still wonder if they like, understand what I’m doing on like a really, like intimate level. Not really, you know, like they for any business they invest in, like they don’t understand that like their own businesses, of course. It was better to go in person. And like explain that yes, this is ethical and like, what that means. But like, also, the point is to make money so that we can show that like, this is a valuable business to be in whether I mean, hopefully you care about people and the planet. But if you don’t like you can still do the right thing through business and make money for whatever reason you want to do it.

Adam Force 19:34
And my last thing on this would be Is there any as you were having these conversations, does anything stand out, that would be helpful for people listening as key information that is helpful, either during the conversation or to get their attention to get a meeting?

Sydney Sherman 19:52
Um, I would say it’s, like, they like to see you starting with friends and family. And it’s really hard to ask those people for money. But like, for example, my grandma invested. And when she invested, I didn’t even know she had money to invest. And like other people at first, I was like, I don’t think people are to think that’s not impressive, but they’re like, oh, if your grandma’s money is online, like this is you’re not like messing around.

So they do like it’s scary to ask the people you’re closest to and a lot of people won’t because they’re like, I still have to have Thanksgiving with them. I don’t know, for me, I think it said a lot to future investors that I don’t know. And then also, I mean, do your research before you like reach out to someone — send a personalized email. And then in the meeting, know your numbers like even if it means and you can say like, oh, let me check, like, even if it means writing it down and like having it next to you. Just yeah, know the math.

Adam Force 20:51
Okay. Yeah. All right. Well, that’s helpful. It’s, it’s a big process. And we’ve spoken to a few people who have raised, you know, several million dollars and stuff. And one of the things that did come up that you might find interesting is, they would say, if you get a meeting and someone doesn’t invest, you just asked either advisors or investors, if you can put them on a very exclusive email list where you do like monthly or bi monthly updates, to let just say, Hey, here’s what we’re working on challenges, successes, and you just keep updating that list. And then when it’s time to do a raise, everyone’s kind of like, Oh, I know exactly where you’re at. And I’m interested, you know?

Sydney Sherman 21:30
Oh, absolutely. And I’ve started to do every single week all… And I don’t like doing this because I have a million things to do. But it’s so helpful. Every week I go through and like I connect with those people on LinkedIn. And then I add them to there’s a few lists that I have. One is like the people that I’ll update, like you said, with the investor stuff. And the other is a list of people like I’ll write out like what we’ve talked about, and like what I could potentially ask them for in the future. And knowing that like we’re in a place where we’re a startup, we’re asking for a lot right now. But obviously end goals like we’ll be able to give back at some point. But yeah, keeping track of that is kind of a pain. But like, it really pays off.

Adam Force 22:10
It does. Yeah, that’s interesting. It’s a powerful thing. And you’re right, like most people don’t do it. Because it’s just one of those things that it’s easy to say “I don’t have time for that,” you know?

Sydney Sherman 22:23
It’s annoying.

Adam Force 22:23
It is but hey, anybody listening, trying to raise money. It is bit of a dance. And it’s kind of like dating, right? So you really got to get to know people, and they may not jump on right away. But if you can get a chance to continue to earn their trust, that’s a good way to do it.

Sydney Sherman 22:38

Adam Force 22:40
So let’s talk a little bit, you mentioned that you’re doing a merger. So like, what’s that all about?

Sydney Sherman 22:46
Yeah, it’s pretty crazy, because we’re still a really young company. But yeah, and mergers and acquisitions. Whenever I was in my MBA program, we talked about HomeAway. And they basically started…it’s like, kind of like Airbnb. But they started their business by merging and acquiring other marketplaces, like all over Europe, and then all over the world. And for some reason, that’s always fascinated me. And I was like, if I’m dealing with a truly fragmented market, and I want to help take this like movement to the next level, whatever way I can, then, you know, “defragmatizing,” if that’s even a word is like, a good way to do it.

So mergers and acquisitions were always on the list, doing it like two months into year two, was not on the list. So yeah, just we were introduced by a mutual friend and kept meeting up and like, we have the same end goal, but we had taken different approaches. And both of us wanted to start doing what the other person was doing. And finally, we’re just like, while we could share resources, and we would each have a smaller piece, but it would be of a bigger pie. And it would speed up what we want to do. And like, it’s at the end of the day, we evaluated like, it’s not about us, it’s about the movement. And if we can help more people by doing it together, then by all means, let’s do it.

Adam Force 24:10
And how does that work? I mean, so how do you? And you know, obviously, you don’t have to give all the crazy details. But how do you set up that kind of a…what does that look like? Basically?

Sydney Sherman 24:22
Yeah, I mean, this was my first time doing it. So who knows? I could not work out — could be a huge error in judgment. We don’t know yet. But we…basically, I put together a document and I met up with a ton of advisors, people who had done this before. And I just wrote down every question they had, and I put together it’s like a 10 page document, with everything from like, every question that I had about her business, how it would work her opinion on like our future, what she had done up to this point, etc, all the way down to like personal stuff, like personal boundaries, how we work fast, like, strengths and weaknesses.

And we both just went through and like filled out the document, we kept meeting in person. And everything. We also tried to figure out like, okay, when something goes wrong, like, of course, it’s like, raising money, like I wasn’t going to be able to truly, like figure out how to get better until I started doing it. So I know, decision making, like we can’t plan everything in advance but like, how do we make decisions together? If we’re disagreeing? Like, what does that mean? So it’s a lot of just conversations. And now we’re getting into the legal component, which like the lawyers, they know what they’re doing there. So just hire a really good lawyer.

Adam Force 25:43
But you guys are not…So are you creating a parent company that would, then both of your individual companies would fall under?

Sydney Sherman 25:53
Kind of where so she would essentially, because we’ve gone to the B Corp, and we’ve gotten certified by WBENC like we’ve done some of those things, she is going to shut down her entity and join ours, but we’re coming at is 50/50 owners and then… So that will kind of be the parent company. Her marketplaces a little more curated than ours. So we will have to like version one, which is just ours, which will have everything and then like a more curated version of that. But there’s no like, parent company with two separate entities; we’re like actually merging. And we might create other businesses after this, through this, and this would become a parent, but there’s no like holding company.

Adam Force 26:39
Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. Yeah, that’s always interesting. And even at Change Creator here. We’ve discussed a few potential mergers. And it can get a little tricky, but it’s nice. Like we we’ve done like work partnerships with people over you know, a few months on things, to see how how the workflow is because you never know, right, until you really get into with somebody.

Sydney Sherman 27:01
Yeah, totally.

Adam Force 27:02
Although you mentioned about, you know, decision making and different opinions and how you handle all that stuff. And then just are they reliable, right? It’s like…

Sydney Sherman 27:11

Adam Force 27:11
Yeah, it makes a big difference makes a big difference. So tell us a little bit more, then, about like the next 12 months or so, what we can expect? I think we have a little bit of sense of where you’re going with things, but just what are we looking at and anything — any big changes?

Sydney Sherman 27:29
So the next 12 months, really trying to so last year was hard. It was the first year. I mean, second business. First one was tiny, but still the first year is always really hard for me at least Yeah. And now we’ve built the basics. So a lot of improvements on what we’ve already done. So we want to do, we’ve never done branding or anything like that. We’ve mainly focused on tech and getting the vendors last year, so like doing a complete rebrand, so that our customer facing marketplace was more attractive, really drilling into marketing and figuring out like, how can we generate sales for these vendors. That’s number one. And then, of course, the backend of our website needs a lot of work. And there’s a lot of different, like, plugins that we want to provide for our vendors. So more of that, too.

Adam Force 28:22
Gotcha. Okay, cool. Well, I want to just be respectful of our time here and make sure that you get a chance to give a shout out, you guys could check out all the amazing products that they have, and how they work. They have their whole, you know, ethical production standards outline and the process, and then FAQs and stuff like that. So you could check that out under the About Us on their website. And Sydney, I’ll let you give a shout out. What’s the best way for people to learn more, get involved, all that kind of stuff?

Sydney Sherman 28:51
So yeah, visiting our website, But I mean, I’m also like a very available person. I really like connecting to people. So if there’s anything you wanted to talk to me about, especially if you’re trying to start a marketplace, I am available at So

Adam Force 29:16
Awesome. Alright guys. So check her out doing lots of good work. And it’s exciting that you have a B Corp. status. It looks like is it still pending? Or did you guys get cleared yet?

Sydney Sherman 29:27
Still pending. We sent in our application in February. So any day now.

Adam Force 29:32
Nice. That’s a big process. So congratulations.

Sydney Sherman 29:34
Yes, it is.

Adam Force 29:35
I’m excited for you to get that cleared.

Sydney Sherman 29:37
Yeah, me too. Thank you.

Adam Force 29:40
All right, Sydney, thank you so much for your time and sharing your experience and congrats on the raise and the and the wins that you’ve had so far. It has you’ve only been doing this for two years. So I think you know, that’s pretty awesome.

Sydney Sherman 29:53
Yeah, well, thank you. I appreciate it. Definitely.

Adam Force 29:55
All right. We’ll talk soon.

Announcer 29:56
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