founders geevie and sophia
Hello! We are Geevie and Sophia and we are Spanish-American identical twins. We graduated college from the University of Minnesota just last May and we are now 22-year-old business women! Our Spanish heritage comes from our mom's side, who is from Spain and our dad is American. We grew up in Valencia, Spain and lived there for 5 years until moving to Minnesota in 2006. We are still very much connected to our Spanish roots and visit our family frequently.
Currently, it's just us two running our blog and business. We never thought that after graduating college in 2020, and getting a bachelor's degree in Global Studies, we'd be making deodorant in our mom's basement for a living (we're twins, so of course we studied the same thing). Global Studies is basically the interdisciplinary study of political, economic, ecological, social and cultural interconnectedness, on a micro and macro level, in the world. Although this study has nothing to do with making deodorant, we have a deep and educated understanding on how our business, and the beauty/skincare industry impacts the planet on all of these scales. Because of this understanding, we are committed to growing our business ethically and sustainably by keeping the health of the environment and our lovely customers as our top priorities.
ABOUT OUR NAME
We decided to name our blog 'sustainyoself' because we wanted something catchy and something related to sustainability. 'Sustainyoself' is also now our business name and signifies: 'sustain' to support or strengthen, 'yo' the Spanish word for 'me' or 'I', combined with 'self', creating 'yoself'. Using the Spanish word 'yo' instead of 'your' transforms 'you' into 'me'. This hidden meaning redirects the "command" that one should "sustain themselves" into something that must begin within ourselves, as in "sustain (me/my) self", because all change must start from within before we expect to see it from others.
ABOUT OUR SHOP
We started our blog @sustainyoself during our freshman year of college, in 2017, to document our plastic-free journey and to spread sustainable tips and habits in hopes of inspiring others to reduce their plastic waste. In 2018, we started selling our homemade products through our blog, upon request. It was a fun little hobby that turned into a fulfilling career! We never planned on becoming business owners (or bloggers) and had never given the thought to working in the business field. Sustainability and design have always been our passion and we have always been very driven, inspired and crafty people, so we are very grateful we get to do this for a living! When we discovered the 'Zero Waste Movement' back in 2017, we began following other bloggers who inspired us, and we learned about the harmful impacts of plastic pollution and toxic chemicals that tend to be found inside some of the most commonly used products, such as deodorant. That is why all of our products are made using pure, safe and natural ingredients and are sustainably packaged in glass jars with metal lids, biodegradable cardboard and metal tins, all of which can be reused, composted or recycled.
As we grow, we also hope to use our business and platform for good. 2020 has been a year of growth and learning. As we continue to educate ourselves on systemic racism, white supremacy and the violence and injustice the black community face, we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and will be moving forward with this in mind. We cannot promote sustainability without supporting climate justice, as minority groups stand at the front lines of experiencing inequalities on a socioeconomic and environmental level. Climate change is a human rights issue and black lives deserve the same human experience as everyone else. As we grow, we will be making donations to organizations that help protect/support people and the planet; eventually hire employees while paying close attention to diversifying our team; continue to spread inclusivity, solidarity, and awareness through our marketing; and continue to spread helpful information that educates our audience, as well as ourselves, on how to be better allies, that also supports and uplifts minority artisans, makers and creators in the small business community. Here at sustainyoself, we believe everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, and more.