We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Weinberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Our big focus is on climate preservation (because we love living on Earth!!). While we do everything possible to make our products and run our business as sustainably as possible, we know that just isn’t enough. I see the effects of climate change all around us and this keeps me up at night, mostly because the solutions are readily available, we just haven’t organized collectively to implement them in our day to day life. I believe with all of my heart and soul that our environmental salvation requires legislation for change. Along these lines, we have recently taken the next step in fighting for climate preservation by partnering with 1% for The Planet and an organization called Issue Voter (issuevoter.org) to launch Voices for the Planet. This is a platform that allows organizations and individuals to quickly sign up for alerts about environmental legislation on the floor of the house and senate. With these alerts, we receive information about the bills including simplified arguments for and against them, and it takes just a few seconds and two clicks to send our opinions to our representatives in a manner that recognizes and tallies our voices. My hope is that this platform becomes widely used so that all who care about preserving our most important home can actually make it happen. We know that when we come together in large numbers, we can’t be ignored. Sign up! https://issuevoter.org/profiles/signup
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I never set out to be a designer. When I had the idea for our signature handbag, it felt more like an invention because of the functionality (it was intended to be rain cover for another bag that folded up very small). Taking my idea from inception through prototyping (a 5 year process) and into the business that it is today has been the most challenging thing I have ever done. In fact, I am so happy that I had no idea how hard it would be or I probably wouldn’t have moved things forward. But it has been an adventure! In fact, the greatest adventure of my life. I have met and enjoyed meaningful conversation and relationships with suppliers and customers around the world, including at the FedEx store on my block where I would go daily to drop off customer shipments (they really witnessed my hustle!). My creative and entrepreneurial journey has been a constant struggle between efforts for “success”, efforts for life enjoyment (my own life and those who are a part of this journey – employees, partners and customers) and efforts for my business to be a true force for good.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I need to read everyone else’s answers to this question because I am brand new here and still sorting this out! But so far, I love the Green Mountain area and the trails there. As the mom to a highly energetic 2 year old, I very much appreciate Paco Sanchez and Carmody Parks. I haven’t been able to experience the amazing food here as much as I would like due to the pandemic (can this be over already please?!), but I really appreciate all of the great options from vegan fare to Mexican and Vietnamese (my three favorite cuisines)! I have tried several of the options at Edgewater Public Market and I am super into it. Also, as someone who just relocated from Manhattan, I would be lying if I said that Costco wasn’t one of my favorite places to visit and it is definitely going to be on the itinerary for any friend coming to visit from NYC.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes – Alessandro Russino (@alessandrorussino). He is an experienced Photographer/Creative Director. He took me under his wing and helped shape my brand into what it is today.
Goop.com (for picture of black bag with yoga mat).