We had the good fortune of connecting with Elly Vogt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elly, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Patience. When you start a business it is easy to want to see it grow into your vision right away. Once I finally surrendered to taking things day by day, and let the business evolve naturally, I was able to see how beautiful time is in supporting the growth of a brand. It takes time to get involved into the community, and for people to understand and trust your brand. Time also allows you to see who accepts your product and establish partnerships with like minded business owners in the community.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Intent Products are fair trade, organic cotton, reusable produce, bulk and market bags. They aim to eliminate plastic in grocery stores and markets where it is possible. Our bags have also been very popular as a beach bag, travel bag, and really just about anything you would need a bag for. We also just launched our new organic cotton canvas backpack which has been something I have been wanting to bring to market for awhile. Now you can bike to the market and will make it much easier to bring all the goods home!
Intent is now evolving to host more intentional community markets and events . A close friend of mine, Antonia Freska (owner of August Ivory), and I recently started a community market called, “current creators” (instagram is current.creators). We wanted to bring together the community and local creatives to support amazing local organizations and nonprofits while also getting to network and connect with each other. Our first event had local and diverse business owners as vendors and 20% of all their sales were donated to Encintias4Equality, a local nonprofit focused on making the community anti-racist community. We had raffle prizes from local restaurants (GOODONYA), as well as a prize for a winner to pick with a local community organization/non-profit we donate to on their behalf. We are eager to host more events with intention and excited to see how this will allow our wonderful community to further connect, collaborate and donate.
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.
There are so many great different communities in San Diego so I would recommend just renting a car and checking them all out (especially North Park, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Leucadia, Pacific Beach and Bird Rock). I love being outside so some of my favorite parks and places to hang out are Kate Sessions, Law Street Beach, Sunset Cliffs, and walking along the beaches/ trails in north county. The comedy store in La Jolla is always a fun place to get a good laugh and try something new. Parakeet cafe is my favorite place for breakfast and they have quite a few locations to check out! Don Tommy’s in Point Loma for an amazing burrito with handmade tortillas.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I was starting intent products, a friend of mine lent me the book, “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. This book was a key resource for me when creating a company driven by sustainability. It forced me to be thoughtful about the impact I was going to make on the environment and inspired me to be intentional about every aspect of my business, such as using shipping materials, having ethical sourcing, working with aligned companies etc. I will forever be grateful to this book and companies such as Patagonia that lead the way into sustainable and intention driven businesses.
Sabbi Hames (@sabbihamesphoto), Bo McKinley (@bodolphin) and Edwin Ruiz (@eddietastic).