These Eco-Friendly Ladies are Saving the Earth, One Website at a Time
We could all use a little more green in our lives. And no, we’re not talking about that fab Marc Jacobs bag from Nordstrom. We mean green as in Earth power, and while tossing that empty Starbucks cup into the recycling bin outside of your yoga studio might be a good start to a new, sustainable you, there’s plenty more you could do (that you probably don’t even know about)!
Enter Shelby Sanchez and Ana Belén Salatino, two lovely ladies from sunny Southern California who are out to change the way we do business today so that we can have a better tomorrow. The pair had long been friends before starting Dream Inspired Design, a company driven by girl power, dedicated to branding and marketing businesses in an eco-friendly way. The two had been looking to do something outside of the regular ol’ 9-5 (a feeling we can def relate to!) that would be emotionally and spiritually fulfilling. But their seemingly opposite backgrounds (Shelby worked for years in marketing and social media, while Ana comes from the world of fine art) makes them the perfect team to take on this sort of project!
Dream Inspired Design is all about helping both new and seasoned entrepreneurs achieve their dreams — and the best part? Everything these ladies do online has some serious benefits for the real world. From tree-free printing solutions to working with green-powered tech companies, Shelby and Ana represent a newer way of doing business, one that marries our crazy, computer-driven lives with the kind of earth-friendly awareness that’s sure to make this planet a happier one for future generations!
Turns out the Internet can have a hand in sustainability, too (and here we thought the best thing we could get from the web was a bunch of shirtless Ryan Gosling pics)!
What was the inspiration behind starting Dream Inspired Design?
Shelby: I feel like it stems from the desire to create this independent creative path, and the desire to help other entrepreneurs that have these ideas that start out in the realm of just visions or dreams. We wanted to be that business that would really hear them out and really help them through that process from visioning to coming into reality.
It’s very transformative, it’s not just about putting something up on the Internet. It can be this transformative process of really stepping into the world in this new way, where you’re fully expressed. We believe that businesses are always changing, and you want the visual identity of your business to inspire you. It should inspire you. It is possible to be in that state of continual inspiration, fun, and play, and everyone benefits when we’re in that joyful, happy state.
Can you talk a little bit about your personal sustainability efforts?
Ana: Well, we’re dealing with websites a lot of the time, and people don’t necessarily consider intangible things like that sustainable or not sustainable, but in reality, there’s some great companies out there that are offering their services through green-powered or earth-powered sources. So we like to partner up and recommend to all our clients to switch all of their hosting, or their website, all those accounts, to companies that are investing in green energy and clean energy.
Shelby and I, on a personal level, are really committed to sustainability. We offer tree-free printing, so essentially, [customers’] business cards and brochures — all of that — can be printed on paper that’s actually not even made from trees, and what’s more, it’s made from waste. There’s a company that’s based in Costa Rica, and they’re downstream from some fruit plantations that, once they harvest fruit from the trees, all the leaves and everything leftover are thrown into the river. And so this paper company collects all of that fiber and turns it into beautiful paper. They’re careful about materials that they’re using to make it, but also they’re not adding chemicals, which is really common in the paper industry. It’s adding a lot of value to something that wasn’t given much value. And the printing method that we have is also a vegetable-based ink, so it’s completely safe to put into your soil.
What are some easy changes people can make in their daily lives to be more green?
Shelby: I think it can start in simple areas, like converting all your paper — recycled is one level, but then the next level is tree-free paper. Or not printing everything. I think the older paradigm is for businesses to print more things than they need to — there’s a lot of internal document sharing free programs out there. An easy one would be encouraging employees, if it’s possible, to ride their bikes to work or walk to work. That’s something that we are really conscious of, we try to ride our bikes to most meetings, or carpool, or take public transportation.
Ana: What comes to my mind when thinking about sustainability is my grandparents — older generations and the conservation that they exemplified. And if you can have more of a connection with the Earth, whether it be gardening or getting involved in some type of project where you’re actually touching soil or touching plants…I think that helps that connection. Or just having natural light as much as possible during the day. Home life, there’s a lot that can be done. Switching to cloth napkins, or eco-friendly cleaning. Really reducing your exposure to chemicals will let you breathe easier.
Shelby: Being aware of every action that we take in our life, questioning — is this in harmony with the Earth, is this going to harm future generations or is this going to support them? I have two little girls, and being a mother, I think about those things.
What do you think is the most important thing women can do to find their own personal success?
Shelby: With women, it has to start at the most basic level, with self-care. In this day and age, a lot of us have been taught to take care of everybody else but ourselves, and when you’re worrying about everyone else around you but yourself, there’s such a lack of clarity in what you want for your own life. If women can start incorporating self-care practices, taking time for themselves, relaxing, being more receptive, that space that is created in those passages of relaxation and time allows for visioning.
From there, it’s sharing those visions with other people, either family or friends, that will support them in a positive way, and taking those steps toward your success. And it can be baby steps. Sometimes, it can take a little longer to develop that confidence and support network that will help you get there. But success at its core starts with believing in yourself and taking care of yourself, loving yourself.
If you could give our female readers one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ana: It’s pretty basic, and I feel like I’ve heard it lots of times, but I feel it’s helpful to hear at any point, and it’s that you have value, and you have unique value. And it’s worth cultivating that and spreading that for your own self, but also you can and will improve other lives.
xx, The FabFitFun Team