Meet Sabrina Auclair
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Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Sabrina Auclair. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Sabrina, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Long story short, I was looking for another bottle of shampoo at the grocery store and I was in front of that huge display of just plastic and more plastic and thought to myself, why am I buying the trash that these companies make? why can’t I just bring back the same perfectly useful bottle I already have and refill it? and right there I swore that I was going to find alternatives to all the unnecessary plastic that lived in my house at the time. That search took me to full market research so I created a group on Facebook to look for people like me, and then I created an Instagram profile to share my experience and that made me step in and create the first Zero waste and plastic-free store in Massachusetts which started online and then after a year evolved in a storefront with a full refillery and then after the second year into a second storefront.
Sabrina, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I was born and raised in Colombia and came to live in the US in 2016 with my now husband. After 3 years of living here, I naturally became very aware of the trash/recycling problem and decided to do something about it while having a full-time job. So I got into the Zero Waste business as a personal journey to do my best for the planet and create less waste, and if I can do it with limited resources, anyone can. When I created Unpacked Living I wanted to make a marketplace where people can shop for sustainable, minority-owned, locally made, plastic-free, low-waste, eco-friendly products without falling into greenwashing or having to research if what they are buying is actually what it claims to be.
I do all the homework and research and I try myself most of the products I carry and sell to make sure what we offer is as sustainable as possible. Our main focus is packaging so most of our products are plastic-free. We also provide over 80 refillable products. We like to help people in any stage of their sustainable journey and any change even the smallest ones add up and help make the planet less trashy.
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
I think being honest, vulnerable, and being yourself it’s always appreciated on social media. We share a lot of backstage business stuff and just everyday events that are sustainable-related without fearmongering or using catastrophic events to coerce people into sustainable living. Definitely, humor makes for a good audience too :)
We’d love to hear the story of how you turned a side-hustle into a something much bigger.
When I decided to start Unpacked Living online I was working full-time for an interior design company in Boston. I would do pop-up events, farmer markets, or craft markets on the weekends.
During the pandemic, my online store grew a lot and I needed to find space beyond my small apartment so I decided to start looking at the possibility of a small office or storage space where I could do half-time my business, but came across a great location and decide to jump at that opportunity (during a pandemic), quit my job and open my first storefront and do the whole small business experiment! it’s been 3 years, and now I have 2 locations with eyes on a third one, our online store keeps working and we have 2 employees. I couldn’t be happier.