In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to share a female founder who, along with her sister, just like a|dash, has created a business to tackle the single-use plastics head on. Without further, adieu, please give it up for this week’s Feature Friday Female: Lindsey McCoy.
Lindsey spent 10 years living and working in the Bahamas we she saw first-hand the consequences of our disposable lifestyle with plastic on the beach, in the ocean, and along the roads. After looking around her bathroom and realizing how much plastic she owned, she called her sister, Alison, and they started talking about how to change that, and how to make it easy for others to do the same. The Delaplaine sisters founded Plaine Products with a dream to have less plastic waste in the world. Plaine Products is the colmination of their life experiences.
Who are some women who inspire you daily, personally or professionally?
I founded Plaine Products with my sister and love working with her; we have also been able to hire a number of other amazing women. Their energy and enthusiasm for our products and our mission to provide an alternative single-use plastic and non-toxic ingredients in personal care products inspires me daily.
We all come at this with different skills and priorities and working together has brought us success - which is always fun. It can be hard to keep the messaging fresh, so I love seeing our teams' ideas for creative ways to post about our mission and the plastics problem. It helps get me re excited about the work we do!
Who have been the most influential women in your life, in becoming the person you are today, helping you discover and pursue your passions?
I am so lucky. I have an amazing sister, mom and grandmother who were so supportive of me. I was fortunate to have an inspiring woman, Josie Heath at The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, as my first real boss. She taught me the value of collaborative leadership. I think that leadership style suited me but having someone legitimize it so early on was invaluable. She gave me room to try new ideas, and many mistakes were made, but it made me willing to try and fail and fed my burgeoning ambition to problem solve. I am not sure what I would be doing now without that early encouragement and skill building. It taught me that I could make a difference in my own way.
Is there anything that you wish/hope will be different for girls growing up today than it was for you?
I would love my experience of a supportive family, colleagues, and a female boss not to be a unique one. I’ve heard so many other stories of women’s ambitions being crushed early on and it makes me so sad and angry. We have so many problems in the world that need energy and action. Women bring a different perspective to problem solving; they need to be at every table as decisions are made.
What has been your proudest moment personally or professionally?
It took a week or two after opening Plaine Product’s website for someone no one knew to find us and buy a product. The idea that a stranger like our idea enough to buy it, that was a huge moment for me and the company.
What has been your most challenging moment personally or professionally and how did you overcome that challenge?
Originally, we were planning on using stainless steel mason jars as packaging for the shampoo and conditioner. But during the testing phase, just several weeks before the company was set to launch, we noticed the bottles were rusting in the shower. It was a very dark time for us, but we decided to search for a solution. It was a really good time to have a partner in the start-up, we were able to help bring each other up when the other one was down. It took another 6 months and more money, but we transitioned to aluminum, which has worked out well. It would have been easy to give up, but we believed in our mission and I really wanted to give the idea a chance to get out into the world and get customer feedback.
What does wellness mean to you? And why is it important to you and your family?
Wellness is about balance for me. I love working and being productive, but to be healthy I need to take time out to get outside, exercise and spend time with family and friends. It’s so easy to stay in front of the computer all day - working, Zooming, streaming entertainment - it takes some discipline to step away, but it’s so rewarding. They say the goal is to “work on your business, not just in your business.” Stepping away from the computer and taking a walk or doing some yoga gives me the head space to have my best ideas.
What does your typical daily wellness routine look like?
There really is no typical day for me, but I try and get some sort of yoga or exercise in each day, along with a walk with the dog. Now that we have a larger team most of my day is spent making sure everyone is on the same page and has what they need to get the work done, but I try and not let it take over. I could always be working, and responding, but having some wellness goals force me to make time to do things other than work and take care of myself.
What drove you to become an entrepreneur? Do you see Plaine Products as your only entrepreneurial endeavor or do you have plans/goals to be a serial entrepreneur?
I love problem solving! My first few jobs were all in the nonprofit sector, which is where I first ran in to the single-use plastic issue. I was living and working in the Bahamas doing environmental education. As they do not have the same infrastructure there that we have here to make our trash disappear I saw plastic on the beaches, on the roads, in the water, and the information that plastic never goes away got stuck in my mind. I started trying to use less plastic, skip the bag, skip the straw, but I could not find a good replacement for all of those little plastic bottles in the shower. So, we when moved back to the US I decided to start a business to provide a convenient, safe option to single-use plastic shampoo bottles full of chemicals and water. Happily, my sister was willing to do it with me, which made a huge difference. We have complimentary skills, and I would not have been as successful without her to balance me out. Right now, solving that problem continues to be a full-time job as we expand our product offerings, but it is one I am enjoying. I think down the road if I were not doing this and I saw another solution, I would start another business, but I would never start one just to start one. I need that extra drive of passion and purpose to keep me going.
To learn more about or purchase Plaine Products please visit their website, Instagram, or Facebook. They're offering 22% off through tonight n celebration of Earth Day, so don't miss out on doing your part to elimate single-uses plastics from your bathroom with these awesome vegan products.
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