Kelly Koster + Nick Hansen, Brian Linton,
Shea + Raan Parton, and Sarah Kauss
CO-FOUNDER, ANYWHERE APPAREL; FOUNDER, UNITED BY BLUE; CO-FOUNDERS, APOLIS GLOBAL; FOUNDER/CEO, S'WELL
When did you first get your start?
My husband, Nick, and I started talking about Anywhere while traveling in our early 30's when we realized how difficult it was to pack for trips. We like to hike and be outdoors, but we also love to experience the local culture and enjoy a nice evening in the city. Clothing that was truly versatile was so hard to find! In 2013, I left a lucrative career in consumer trends to begin building the foundation of our business. The inception of Anywhere coincided with our wedding, a home renovation, and the birth of our daughter. It was a crazy time! With the help of some really talented people, we developed prototypes and completed a Kickstarter in 2016. While I was home with our new baby, we pushed to move our first products - our staple bamboo tops - to production. We've been selling since the spring of 2017.
What's your mission?
For every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our world's oceans and waterways. With the help of more than 10,000 volunteers, we've removed over 1.5 million pounds of trash spanning 250+ cleanups in 48 states.
We've made our fair share of mistakes, and we're always continuing to learn. A challenge we're currently wrestling with is finding ways to scale production while continuing our commitment to ethically made items of long-lasting quality. Building and maintaining partnerships can involve ongoing logistical hurdles and complications, but it's always worth it.
-Shea + Raan Parton
There are so many - it is hard to choose just one! Overall, I'd say it has been realizing the impact this simple idea has had in inspiring others. People will come up and tell me their stories at speaking engagements or ask to take a photo for their daughter and, in that moment, you realize how many lives you've touched and the responsibility you have to keep doing more. It is truly an incredible feeling.
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