Tell us about you and your company.
My name is Diana Salvati, founder of Saltbox Sash, an e-commerce shop that sells fair trade home decor. I grew up in New Jersey, but I have been living in New York with my husband and two boys since 2007. Up until 2009, I worked in the corporate world for 15 years. At that time, we decided that I would stop working to raise our children. During those years, I developed a love of all things home, and in 2017 I set my sights on starting my own business in the home decor industry. I wanted to curate a small, special collection of unique home decor, offering my customers timeless, high-quality pieces that would illustrate their style, interests, and, more importantly, share their story.
What inspired you to start your company?
I discovered fair trade in 2017 when I attended a craft show and purchased a handcrafted jewelry box. Curious, I began researching fair trade and learned that it is a set of business practices governed by ten principles based on transparency, equality, and sustainability. Artisans and workers are paid a fair and dignified wage, work in safe conditions, and are not victims of forced labor, child labor, or exploitation. This global movement is powered by producers, businesses, certifiers, and consumers who believe in putting people and the planet first. Fair trade products are handcrafted with natural, sustainable materials by talented artisans who practice art forms passed down for generations such as woodcraft, embroidery, pottery, basket weaving, sculpture, and more. Once I learned about fair trade, I knew I wanted to be a part of the movement giving me and my work a greater sense of purpose and impact. I set out to partner with fair trade enterprises and non-profits to source my products, which is how Saltbox Sash was born. We carry gorgeous handcrafted pieces from over 25 countries around the world.
What do you love about being a small business owner?
What I love most about being a small business owner is the creative freedom. Growing up with parents who each ran their own businesses also instilled in me a desire to have my own business one day. Being a business owner certainly isn't easy, but I watched my parents go through enough highs and lows to understand that it comes with the territory, and the positives outweigh the negatives. The most important thing is to keep learning, growing, and use creativity for problem-solving my way through challenges.
What’s on the horizon for your company?
This past year we began doing market events, and that experience has illustrated the importance of connecting with my customers face-to-face. The ability to have an exchange with customers about fair trade, and have them engage with the products has proven to be far more impactful than existing online alone. The next step for Saltbox Sash is to find a retail or studio space (hopefully this year) where we can reach more customers and create even more impact.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a small business owner?
As a small business owner, wife, and mother, the biggest challenge I've faced is juggling my many duties on a daily basis. Sometimes the work-life balance is difficult to achieve, but I'm learning to prioritize my time and give myself grace when things don't go as planned.
What else would you like our subscribers to know about you and your business?
I came into this business not knowing much about fair trade; I just knew that I loved home decor and what fair trade represented. I wanted to be a part of a movement that helps solve some of the world's most complex problems. Fair trade taught me to question things that never occurred to me, such as who made my products and were the people fairly paid/treated. I want people to know that we can make a positive impact by voting with our dollars and creating a more just world when the companies we support align with our values.
What is your definition of self-care?
My definition of self-care is the actions I take to fuel and care for my body, mind, and spirit. I've learned that I'm a much better wife, mother, and business owner when I take the time to care for myself.
What do you do for self care?
I exercise, read regularly, really make an effort to eat well, spend quality time with family and friends, and try to get enough rest. I've also been switching to beauty/home products that are natural, low-waste, or zero-waste.
How can people get to know more about what you’re doing and where can they find you?
People can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest @saltboxsash
Visit our website www.saltboxsash.com
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