As we mentioned in our last blog, we’ve recently launched our Women We Love initiative, celebrating women-owned, led, and supported brands, which includes one of our favorites, Seltzer Goods. We chatted with Gay Lam, founder and CEO of Seltzer Goods, to find out how she started this amazing business, what inspires her and her team, and what she sees for the future of the brand.
Describe how Seltzer Goods was started. I know you were originally based in New York City and now call Asheville home.
Seltzer Goods started in New York City, where I was taking design classes at FIT. To support myself, I worked as a sales rep for stationery lines that I knew from being a buyer for my store in San Francisco. When I met Brian (on Friendster, if that gives you an indication of the year we met!) he was leaving his job as a copywriter and was going to start his own business. Somehow I wrangled him into starting one with me instead! The combination of my experience in retail and merchandising, and his copywriting, clicked and became Seltzer Goods.
Your greeting cards are made on 100% recycled paper and you make your products as eco-friendly as possible. Why does that matter to Seltzer Goods and why should it matter to everyone?
As a creator of products, it’s really important to make items long-lasting or sustainable in some way. It’s about the environment and also about doing your best work as a company. We use a litho printer that is zero carbon and has very high environmental standards. The paper is FSC-certified and 100% post-consumer recycled, custom made for us in the USA.
Our customers care about the environment, and we care about the environment, because having a future matters.
How do you keep Seltzer Goods fresh and new? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Seltzer releases a new collection of items every few months!
We are literally always working on new ideas and designs, and I sketch and write every day. Our inspiration comes from observing the culture that we live in, which is really fascinating, and we like to make commentary with wit, humor, and a sense of style. Women do everything in one day, going from work to play to fitness to family in a seamless movement of moments. We want to create Tools for Modern Living that help women live their best, multi-faceted, complex lives.
We know that Seltzer Goods is a women-led company and makes a lot of products with women in mind, especially your Feminist collection. Tell us how you came up with these fun, empowering pieces.
We are really inspired by the changing lives of women, and the strong girls that are growing up to dream big and achieve their goals! Women have more options now: attaining an education, getting married or not, owning a business, having multiple careers, maybe a third act after retirement.
The milestones in a woman’s life are not as limited as they used to be, and women want to wear the flair that speaks to this newfound freedom. That’s why we made our Feminist Buttons, and our favorite thing is to find new ways for people to express themselves! And the Feminist Definition Tote is so simple but just had to be put out into the world.
Is there a fun product idea or trend that you’d like to tackle but haven’t had the chance to yet?
Life is always inspiring new ideas. We are working on new products for 2019 now, but I can’t divulge our secrets! I’d also like to write books about small business, for women who want to own their own businesses. I’ll call it my “Business Ma’am” series.
What do you see for the future of Seltzer Goods?
Seltzer Goods is always evolving. Our team is improving, learning to be better every day, whether in design, writing, or running the company. Our future is creating products that make women’s lives better.
Anything else you’d like our customers to know?
How much we appreciate the support they give us. As customers and as women-led businesses, we set an example of how women can support each other.