A coffee with Cara
Hi Cara, welcome to the Lepelclub journal. We’re so happy to have you here with us! First thing’s first, can you tell us a little more about yourself?
Sure! I like to order one of everything on the menu, I am a 39 year-old mom of 2 crazy boys, I’m very into 90s music (especially Whitney), I’m also very into dancing and… I founded goodbuy just about two years ago. I am Canadian born and raised, and began my career in marketing/advertising nearly 20 years ago in Los Angeles. I ran creatives teams, and was a creative director for some pretty big consumer brands.
You’ve founded your own company, goodbuy. Was it always your dream to start your own business?
Absolutely. I’ve had an entrepreneurs heart my entire life. A few funny examples; when I was 15, I started a jewelry line making custom pieces for prom dresses, and as a college-aged dance teacher I started a clothing line that actually did pretty well. All that to say, I love turning ideas into reality; I love the process, I love it all.
Can you tell us a little more about goodbuy, and its core values?
goodbuy is a free shopping tool & mobile app that connects independent, small businesses with values-conscious shoppers.
You know how you sort of wait for instagram to serve you cool independent brands you’ll love? And then when you try to remember that cool thing from that brand you liked, you can’t find it? goodbuy is a fix for all of that. It centralizes ALL of your favorite D2C brands in one unique search engine (think Our Place, Never Fully Dressed, KOTN, Tower28, etc.).
And because of our mission to advance economic prosperity to small business owners, we’re also a certified B Corp!
How did the inspiration for goodbuy come about initially, and how do you keep inspired each day?
That’s a big question:) Well, I am the child of small business owners. I had been keenly aware of how the rise of e-commerce and mega retailers had affected those businesses. Price matching, a lack of visibility, trying to compete with SEO, ending up on page 25 of search results. I mean, 70% of all online U.S. spending happens with just 15 mega retailers. Oy.
Important to note, that my personal experience of wanting to support small businesses, became a larger and more shared experience during the beginning of the pandemic. When buying a sandwich from a local restaurant made you feel like a hero. We all experienced that. Shopping and buying just felt GOOD.
But, Where the spark really happened was when I had purchased a few water bottles from an online mega retailer and later, when visiting my parents store, saw they were selling those exact same water bottles as well. Gut punch. It clicked, there were thousands of small businesses selling the same products we’re all looking for, we just can’t find them easily (and at our moment of search).
Re: keeping inspired each day. It’s tough, some days are a day full of wins and inspiration and excitement, and others are really tough. But what keeps me inspired is 100% hearing from our brands; about their struggles, their wins and the innovative businesses and brands they’ve put out into the world.
What’s been the most challenging part of starting your own business, and what’s been the most rewarding?
Most challenging: Balancing start-up life, with raising my two little kiddos. I like to say I don’t believe in work life balance (because life is never in a constant state of balance - that’s too much pressure). So I subscribe to work life fulfillment, some days/hours work takes priority and some days my family does. It’s important to me that I’m present and I give my best to whatever I have committed to in that moment.
Most rewarding: (Maybe not a modest answer) but for me, it’s for sure external validation. There is nothing better than seeing the company you’ve built spoken about on Good Morning America.
Everyone is talking about goodbuy! Even Hailey Bieber posted about you. How have you drawn such attention to your business?
I’d have to say my best answer here would be relationships! We’ve worked hard to cultivate a community with both our tiny internal team and our incredible brands. When people can feel the good we’re all trying to do, the energy creates momentum and referrals (to other people, and sometimes even celebs). Also, nearly 95% of our small business owners (and our internal team) are women, and women have an incredible way of supporting each other:)
What’s the best piece of advice, personal or professional, you’ve ever received?
Stop worrying, it’ll get you nowhere.
Here at Lepelclub, we love to relax with a coffee or a cocktail. When you’re not working, how do you unwind?
With others (‘cause I don’t love being alone); A cup of tea, a dance class, and my favorite of all… shopping.
And finally, how do you hope to stir things up in the future?
Ooh great question. We’re working on our evolution here at goodbuy; to be more focused on innovative tools that can help our incredible small businesses grow. I’ll leave it at that for now;) Stay tuned.