Wild Habitat Founders Sherry and Briana Tautiva: Uniting Brands That Protect the Wild
Sherry and Briana Tautiva are a mother-daughter team who sought out to reject traditional industry norms and invite athletes to be rebels for the Wild. Their company, Wild Habitat, is bringing together brands that are proving that animal rights, environmental concerns, and giving back are their first priority. Wild Habitat aspires to bring together communities of caring human beings, willing to take a stand and eradicate the damage done to our planet. They are proud to create a platform to unite inspiring companies and conscientious adventurers who are shaping the future together.
Briana left the fast-paced, profit-driven corporate lifestyle to start a family company that put passion before profit. Together, Sherry and Briana have searched high and low to bring together the brands that commit to doing the right thing. They truly believe that sustainability is the only business plan: From the clothes we wear to the boards we ride, they are banning together with the tribes of adventurists and outdoor enthusiasts who shape the future together.
- What is Wild Habitat?
- How did you get the idea for Wild Habitat?
- Why is ecology important for you?
- How do you find businesses to work with?
- How will you market Wild Habitat?
- How will you attract athletes to be part of the business model?
- What’s it like working as partners?
- How do you split roles?
- For Briana: What skills did you bring over from corporate and which did you leave behind?
- For Sherry: Share a little of your journey and why you decided to launch this company.
- Did we miss anything?
- Wild Habitat
- Website: https://wildhabitat.co/
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/wild.habitat/
- FB: https://www.facebook.com/shop.wildhabitat/
- YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD0as0L_zKSvAh7RRdD1WIA
Location: Miami, Florida
Welcome, Briana and Sherry, the co-founders of Wild Habitat, to Saltwater High. Hello!
Thank you so much for having us.
Awesome. I'm so happy to talk to you guys again. I missed you. It's been, what, two weeks since we spoke last?
I believe so, yes. How was your trip?
My trip was amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Got a lot of waves for surfing in?
It was probably double overhead, which is, pretty big. And there was nobody there. And yeah, it was just a beautiful trip. I went with a buddy of mine and we had some good bro time.
Yey! So let's start with what is Wild Habitat?
So Wild Habitat was born because I started looking for sustainable alternatives out there for my gym apparel. I've been an athlete my whole life and I knew Patagonia, which is an amazing company, was doing some great things out there. But I thought there has to be more. There are so many people caring about the environment and really making moves for a sustainable future. How come that we're all still buying from the mainstream stores? Why are we still purchasing on Amazon, not thinking about the impact of our purchases? So I started looking for what other brands are out there. And upon looking further and further, I realized, there are not just one or two or even three players out there. There are mom and pop stores all over the country, all over the world, really just creating the most innovative and sustainable alternatives to everything we use in the athletic industry. From surfboards made out of cigarette butts, from bags made out of hemp, from bathing suits made out of recycled plastic. And the list goes on and on. And we realized that, I came to my mom and we said, other people should know about this without having to go to page 14 of Google. And that's how Wild Habitat was born. It was the idea that if we made conscious consumerism easier for everyone, then more people would participate. And that's how kind of the dream was born.
Very cool. And so did the two of you come up with the idea together? Was it kind of your hashing out some ideas and thought you wanted to do something together? And this is something that came up. So how did that all go down?
It was definitely a joint process. It was a process of me coming to her with an idea of, hey, maybe this and her bouncing back ideas until one day I remember I was on a walk in Miami, I was still working in my corporate job and it clicked and we started getting excited. And I think she was jumping up and down the kitchen where she was.
I was realizing I was like, "Okay, this is it. This is what we have to do." And it was kind of just a brainstorming back and forth sesh for months.
Very cool. And you guys are in Florida and I wouldn't say Florida's the most progressive state. I could be wrong. I've been in and out of Florida on small trips. But so how two women from Florida have this idea and obviously the influences are other than your environment. Is this something, Sherry, that you've been thinking about a lot in your life and kind of spread that to your daughter or, how does, because not everybody's interested in ecology. Right? So how does one kind of catch the eco wave, if you will?
So we weren't born in this state. We're originally from Massachusetts, which is much more progressive for sure. So, always as a mom, I wanted to do what was best, obviously, for my child. So that was feeding her healthy, making sure she had everything, the softest clothing near her body, whatever I could do as a mom. But as I started to learn, Derek, so as I started to learn about how bad our industry is in with food, for example. She had a project. What grade was it in, Briana?
Sixth or seventh grade.
And she did her project on how the meat industry is polluting our world. And when we did, as a mom, of course, I helped her build her board and et cetera. But as I was sitting there learning, I said, I don't want to eat meat anymore. This is real. And so little by little, when I learned that as a dance teacher my whole life, I would throw my leggings and my sports bra and my leotard into the washing machine, I didn't know what microplastics were. I had no idea how they were ruining our environment. But as I became educated and I'm 60, I always say 60 none of your business years old so I'm not a kid. But it's so important to me, Derek, that I care for the next generation and for the generation after that and for the wildlife that's being squeezed out of their habitats, for the turtles with plastic in their stomach and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And so for the future generations, not so much for my generation, we have to care.
So that's sort of I drilled that into Briana.
I drilled into her that it's this world isn't just about you. I remember the first time she saw somebody homeless eating, looking for food in a garbage can. And she cried to me. But I was glad that she saw the world from an outside perspective and saw that we need to care. And not only do we need to care our daughter, we need to speak. We need to speak up.
Well, I think one thing you always did was lead by example. I think growing up, it was never, "Hey, you should do community service." It was "On Saturday, we're all going to the dog shelter and we're volunteering." It's a family activity. It's something that we're doing. And I think she just taught me to care at a very young age. And so when I went into the workforce and went into corporate life and realized that the impact I was making was not one of the lifestyle that I had been raised by, I think that is kind of what really inspired us to care. And she just really led by example.
That's beautiful. And how did you come up with the name? Wild Habitat. I love that name.
I guess I can answer this. So the objective of Wild Habitat is to save the wild, right? It's to save the wild habitats. And so we knew we wanted to attach this business to a mission. And so upon check out in Wild Habitat, you get to pick an organization that means something to you. We're partnering with three incredible organizations and you get to pick upon check out whether you want to save the land, the ocean, or support Earthjustice, which fights in the legal system for the environment. And so really the goal is to protect wild habitats with everything you do, whether you're out and you're a hiker or a surfer or no matter what you do, the playground belongs to you and the wild. And so that's how Wild Habitat was born.
I love anything with the word "wild", and I don't know why.
Join the wild.
Maybe after the podcast, you'll share that with us, Derek.
Well, I'll tell you, Sherry. There's a book called Walden, which is an incredible book. I love to read. And it's Emerson who wrote that book, Thoreau. Emerson, I think. Yeah. And there's a scene in or there's a scene there's a passage in there where he's talking about walking through the woods and all of a sudden he feels wild, he feels he's the closest thing he's ever been to being wild before. And actually, I've done a couple of trips to Nepal and walking in the Himalayas, and there was one time I was walking alone. I must have been walking for like 6 hours, and just these majestic peaks. And I remember thinking, "Oh, this is what he was talking about." I had just this feeling of I was this wild thing walking through nature. So that's why I love that word.
And when we don't take care of our wild habitats as the diversity in them, even when we plant trees so we plant one type of tree that we can produce, it should be a varied habitat. It should be a habitat where there's animals and different vegetation. And the more we destroy that, the more animals that we've grown up, Derek, being able to see and see nature shows will not be here anymore for the next generation. And as we squeeze out, squeeze them out of their habitat, so goes our habitat.
That's beautiful. I really like that. So now so you have this vision, Wild Habitat, you're going to create something. I like that it's kind of a forward-thinking business idea, right? A lot of people start with a product and then they're like, well, I'll sell the product or I'll donate part of whatever to a cause. But you guys really had this as kind of, I would say, the main driving factor of the project, right, instead of like an afterthought, which a lot of businesses have, which is great. I'm not saying that's whether it comes first or second or third, wherever it comes in the process, wonderful to have such the heart, right, of the business. So I imagine finding other businesses that align with that energy or that intention is important. So how are you going about finding those people?
It's very difficult, actually, because I spent many, many hours on Google searching. For example, I will type in "eco-friendly", "sustainable", use those words, and then I'll look for the products that we all want. But it's not that easy to find. And that's why we want to do Wild Habitat because we want a central marketplace where that's easy for the consumer to shop. So in other words, if it's that hard for me and I want to find a helmet for skiing that's made out of plants, actually, which I just found this week.
Wow, that's cool.
And if it takes me hours and hours and hours...
Or weeks sometimes to find products or companies, then the consumers don't have that luxury. We want to create a place where you can go online and say, how cool is that, that I could get my sunglasses made out of bamboo or my fantastic bag to carry my surfboard in made out of hemp?
So in other words, we want to make it easy for the consumer, because even when you go to the big marketplace that everyone shops at, it's not easy to identify the products that are sustainable.
And the other thing I think was definitely hard for us, especially in learning about all this, is there's no regulation for the word sustainable, regulation for the word eco-friendly. And so something we came across and we didn't realize is anybody can tout sustainable. And sometimes the only thing you find about their company that's sustainable is that very word sustainable. And so, it takes us learning okay, but what are your fabrics made of? What's your production process? What's your manufacturing look like? What's your packaging? It's everything from point A to Z and realizing that not every company is going to be perfect. There are some companies that are so far advanced and have the resources to be near perfect from a sustainable perspective, whereas others are trying and they're halfway there and they're really putting in the effort and being transparent. And I think for us, it's looking for that intention. It's taking every company we see with a full lens and speaking with the owners and really understanding where is your head at, what are you trying to do to make this world a better place? And we can't expect everybody perfect, I mean, just even the pen I have sitting in front of me is made of plastic. It's very hard to be 100 percent in everything. But it's looking for people that are looking to make the world a better place.
That's really cool. I was thinking while you were talking, maybe down the road, once you get some momentum, you could even have, Wild Habitat certified or something. A badge that you once you work with a company for a while and they align with your vision, then you could say, "Okay, now your Wild Habitat certified. Here's a badge you can go put on your website."
Because like you said, there's nothing out there that certifying. Organic farming, yeah, you can get certified for organic farming, but nothing else in the industry is there's no other regulatory agency. Right?
There's something called Blue Sign, which is sort of certifying the actual production, dyeing processes. There are certifications out there but nothing's a wholesome perspective, right? So if somebody doesn't have the certification because maybe they couldn't afford it, but you see that their manufacturing process is incredible, you see that they have 70 percent recycled use and the others are 100 percent organic. You look at the things they're doing and you're able to kind of because we've educated ourselves so much on this, we're really able to look and within seconds know whether someone's greenwashing us and or not.
Sometimes maybe let's say they're 70 percent using recycled fabrics, not 100 hundred percent. But we look at how much they're donating to charity. We look at how they're going out in the community and helping. And so we're trying to look at the whole picture. And even the very best of us are trying to always work to do better. And I think we shouldn't feel guilty if we don't get everything right. I think we should be proud that we're working toward it and to know that if each one of us just always tries to do a little bit better, the world will be a better place.
I totally agree. Yeah, everyone talks about this greenwashing, like you said, but I think we have to be gentle with companies and realize that even if they're using recycled boxes or they have those fillers, right, but now they're made out of cornstarch instead of plastic. They might not be an eco company, but they're making certain strides to be more ecological. They should also be applauded. Right?
That's important for society and for habitats. Or like a fully eco surfboard with everything eco. It's just we don't need to go overboard.
Right. We agree completely. And quality also plays a role, right. I think especially when it comes to a lot of gear, people are looking for the quality of their fabrics and the quality of the surfboard they're using. And so it's sometimes hard for companies to say, okay, this could be one hundred percent recycled, but who is going to use it if it doesn't work right? So it's making sure...
Derek, you said something on one of your podcasts that I listen to that really hit home for me. You said when you learned that when you're making your product, you're so into getting it to be something that will last for a long time, that your quality is so good because if it's eco materials, but it falls apart in a month and when I heard you say that, that really struck something in me because I think that's so important that if it lasts, you don't have to replace it.
Yeah, that's the most ecological of all, right? If you buy something and usually high quality is a higher price and that's okay. Right? So you imagine spending a little more money on something, but it last than getting a deal or buying something cheap that falls apart in a year, it doesn't make any sense. Right? The first thing that companies should be thinking about and this took me a while to figure out because I was eco forward from day one. This whole Wave Tribe was built on the idea of ecology. And it wasn't till later on when I really realized that, oh, you actually have to be quality first and then eco can go along with it. So it's tricky. It's tricky.
It is tricky. And I think it's important like you said also, we don't need so much. I'd rather spend more money, and this wasn't who we were before. We would go, I'm just as guilty, I would go and look for that sale and fashion. I didn't understand. But as we've educated ourselves, I'd rather have one or two of something that's quality and that I know that when I purchase it, not just in my helping the environment, but somebody can go home with a fair wage and feed their family that night.
And so I think that if even if no one knows we spent that extra money instead of going out to dinner on something so that somebody can support their children and have quality of life, it feels good inside to do the right thing. And I think that there's so many young people now. We sent out hundreds and hundreds of surveys to athletes asking them, what do you want, how can we do a good job in building this company to support you and your values? And I think that so many of these wonderful young people now get that. They want to buy from small business. They want to buy things that they know are helping not just the environment, but humans as well in getting a fair wage. And so that's important as well.
One of our favorite quotes that we preach over and over and over again is every time you spend money, you cast a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. And I think that's what we embody and that's what we try to preach and drive home.
I love that. Yeah, so one of the things that I really like about your business model, and I'm still not quite sure how you're going to pull it off, and I'd love to talk about that a little bit, is this idea of attracting athletes, which I think is brilliant personally because then the athletes can also become ambassadors. You can work in conjunction with them, and then the brands get excited because you have certain athletes that are kind of in your sphere that have access to the product, right? So I'm just wondering how you're thinking about that side of the business.
Yeah. So I think that was where we started really before we even touched, it was kind of just like my mom was talking about, we sent out surveys. Before we even touched the business model or anything, we wanted to know what athletes cared about. And so it was literally sending Instagram DM's over and over again, sending private messages to athletes around the country, around the world, asking what matters to them. And the beautiful thing about outdoor adventure athletes is when you're a surfer, when you're a hiker, when you are in the outdoors, that's your playground. You naturally care about the space in which you do your sport, in which you live. And so I think it was from the very beginning, reaching out to the athletes to find out what mattered to them and the response we got was, if this exists, we would care. We want to be a part of it.
How can we help?
How can we help? We had so many messages on athlete's just talking about where their wild habitat is and telling us what change they want to see in the industry. And I think that's what we want Wild Habitat to be. That's our vision for it long term. It's not just a marketplace. It's not just a place where you can buy sustainable products, but a resource and a place where athletes can come together, like-minded athletes can come together and share their stories, share about their wild habitat, share about their beach cleanup they did this weekend or just share their experience and really be a part of the process because we're building it for everybody. It's not for us.
Yes, it's for all of us. So now we get to the fun part of the podcast. What's it like working as partners?
You want to take that or should I?
You start, Brianna.
We should all take deep breaths.
And like the usual, I'll probably cut you off.
Yeah, you will.
We'll do a short meditation.
So here's the beautiful thing about working with your mom. First of all, she's my best friend and my partner in crime. And we are perfect complements to each other in every way. And what I mean by that is I am type A, I am the planner, I am going to wake up at 6 a.m. and every hour of my day is going to be planned from 6 o'clock.
I think she schedules her bathroom time.
I won't go into detail, Derek.
So I'm a little on the OCD compulsive have to get everything organized and perfect. And I think that's kind of what makes us move forward and what makes the goals we have attainable. But sometimes that rigidness, that structure makes me square. And my mom is the creative. Every 5 seconds we'll be talking about taxes and she'll interrupt me with an idea about a marketing campaign. She'll go "Oh, oh I have an idea. Oh, oh I have an idea." And that's who she is. And she is the creative, the visionary, as a choreographer, as a dancer, that is where her mind's at. And I think it plays as the perfect complement where we're able to really balance each other's strengths and weaknesses. And it's definitely interesting. I'll wake up in the morning at 6 and then she'll roll out of bed at 9 and says, "So what am I doing today?"
But Derek, let me explain. I get a list every day. I may be the mom. So growing up, it was make sure you brush your teeth, make sure you eat your vegetables, et cetera, et cetera. But she's the boss now. I get a list. I get a list every day of what needs to be done and by when it needs to be done.
Well, if I didn't give you a list, it wouldn't get done.
I'd be listening to another podcast and coming up with another idea.
And sometimes I do give her the free idea time. I say, "Okay, you have like today to just go and think about whatever you want to think about and come up with some great ideas." But sometimes we have a lot of work to get done.
I'm very lucky that my daughter of 24 is excited and wants to work with her mom. I feel so blessed, so very lucky. But we have a disagreement once in a while, but it never lasts, we can't stand it when we're mad at each other. So one of us will start to cry and say, "I love you. I don't want to fight. I don't want to fight."
We're good though. We come together for the ideas, we come together to recap on the work we've done, and then we go our separate ways and I think really divide and conquer, which is part I think that's kind of the way you have to work in businesses. You have your tasks, I have mine, and let's meet up to review at the end of the day kind of thing.
Nice. Yeah, it's exciting. I've worked with several partners over the years, and it's always a challenge and to work with your well, with your family, I've never worked with a family member. So I can imagine just the dynamics, right, of like sibling and parent. And I think it's super interesting. I think you guys should take notes and there could be some kind of, put in there, something down the road. Yeah. So basically one's the creative, one's kind of organizer, the taskmaster. But how do you split, because everyone has stuff that they'd like to do and then everyone has stuff that they have to do. Right? So how do you kind of think about, especially you guys are kind of in the beginning, right? How are you thinking about different areas of the business, so like marketing and then you've got bookkeeping and then you've got outreach and then eventually you're going to have some advertising in there, right. And so there's so many elements. This is the thing I love about business is you never get bored.
Never get bored.
No. And I think that we divide it based on skillset. There are things that Briana, she has a different type of corporate experience than I do. So we divide it based on what we're better at. And I do all the research. I find the companies. Briana, tell them a little bit about..
I think it's majority split between she does a lot of the research and creative work. So when it comes to thinking of ad campaigns, stuff we may do for Instagram, kind of how we want to structure the website, it's all about the creative layout of how things should look. And she also does a lot of the research in terms of she researched which charities we should align with and all the companies that we're reaching out to. Whereas I do more of the execution works from bookkeeping to reaching out to these companies to kind of doing the physical let me get this done. And I think it's more from the days in corporate. I just have a very fast way of getting things done. And so sometimes I'm able to just kind of execute it really quickly. But I think we really split everything pretty down the middle and just really work well together.
And we're learning a great deal. There's so much that we don't know, that we spend a lot of time reading articles, reading books, just trying to get those answers.
I always say, as an entrepreneur, your best friend is Google. And half my life is spent saying how to Google and really figuring it out along the way and leveraging resources and reaching out to people.
And we're going to make mistakes for sure, we know that.
Of course. Those are the lessons that propel you. Fail forward as they say.
Fail forward. Correct.
And how are you thinking strategically? Obviously, there's a financial component in this. So are you, like putting a 1-year plan together with some financial goals or number of partners to have? I'm just wondering how you're thinking big picture because there's a lot of moving parts in your plan, as I understand it. So I'm just wondering, are you starting with let's build in the partnerships and then from there. Yeah, well, you guys, it's your business. You tell me.
Yeah, definitely. I definitely think it's it's a moving target and we are kind of playing with it every day. I come from the numbers background. So every single day I am looking at what we're spending versus what our projections are, where our break even point is. If we launch here, how long will it take, customer records. I'm constantly playing with those numbers and seeing kind of where we'll wind up. But I feel like right now we're bootstrapping it with the money that we've both saved. And should we choose to kind of take in financial partners down the road? I think that'll be a later decision that we make together based off of what needs to be done for the business. But right now, I think it's just the goal is to launch in early 2021 and obviously just make the most and make every dollar that we have stretch.
Hmm. I love the long runway. I feel a lot of people rush too quickly into the launch and you guys are really being patient and giving yourselves enough breathing room and maybe COVID had something to do with it, too. But I think the more time new businesses, new entrepreneurs spend in kind of the soil, the better chance they're going to have. And it's so easy. Just say, "Okay, I'm going to put the website up. I'm going to drive traffic. I'm going to try to make a sale." Right? But anybody can do that really. And it's really I think what you guys are doing now, which is so vital to the long term success. Anway, that's kind of the way I see it.
No. A hundred percent. Rome wasn't built in a day.
And we want to make a difference. We're not looking at it that maybe the first couple of years, maybe we're not going to make anything. But if we can look at it long term, what can we do as a business eventually to employ people, to give back. I just think long term, we're looking at a lot. We want long term success. The only way Briana and I both felt we could start a business is if the mission was bigger than just profit. And although I know she's looking at the numbers and you have to, you can't run a business at a loss for very long. But we also are looking at it that we really want to do good in this world. We really want to be proud of what we build. So if it takes a little longer, that's okay. And all of you out there listening, if you want to write to us and share ideas and share any, we are so open and we want to build that community. And we know I think right now, Derek, people are so hungry for interaction with others to be able to be together. We're lonely right now in the middle of COVID. So I think for us, any time we can reach out and meeting you and having you say to us that the best part about being an entrepreneur is helping other entrepreneurs and that you're here if we have questions and it just means the world. And so we want this community. So everybody out there, reach out to us. We'd love to hear from you.
Absolutely. Yeah, let's do a little dreamscaping. So let's do Wild Habitat 10 years from now. What does it look like?
Oh! So my vision, our vision, I would say, and we've talked about this, how we would extend it to beyond just product. And one of the things that we've talked about is creating eco trips, as well as just having a place to buy sustainable gear. We want to have on staff nutritionists. We want to have on staff trainers that are available throughout a virtual community that really are here for surfers, for every type of athlete that we have and take a trip to Hawaii and do a surf trip with an eco lens, stay in eco-resorts and really support businesses that all around the world that are that have an eco lens. That's kind of our long term vision.
We'd love to have nutritionists, sports psychologists available on our site where people can write in questions, or we can have all kinds of activities going on. We want to build a community.
I love that. Yeah, it's all about community.
One step at a time.
One baby step at a time.
Yeah, it's fun though to do that. I think I try to do it maybe, well, for sure I do it at the beginning of every year. Just kind of think big picture and think about how. There's this book called Traction, which is talking about really looking ahead. And I don't like to do it too much, but look ahead 3 to 5 to 10 years and just kind of in your mindscape, what does it look like? And I think I really feel that kind of visioning practice is really important. And I don't do enough of it. And I think as humanity, we should be doing more of that. Cleaning up the planet and being nice to each other. Yeah. So, Briana, I saw some of your corporate stuff. And I'm wondering what are the "good" things that, good in quotes, that you're bringing with you and what are you leaving behind besides the 9 to 5?
So I definitely took with me my work ethic. I think I worked, and not all corporate is like this, absolutely not at all, but I happen to work in a corporate environment that had me working 72 hours a week, being on red-eye flights at 5 in the morning, coming back the same night at 1 a.m. just to go back to the office. I definitely had a grueling schedule and it allowed me to learn at a rapid rate unlike any other, and I'm grateful for that. And it also gave me a work ethic unlike any other. So I guess that's why I plan every hour of my day is because that's the grit I'm used to working with. And so I think it helped. It definitely helps to have that now as an entrepreneur, to be able to have that same work ethic. What I left behind, I think it's the reason why I left corporate. I knew every single day my mom raised me with to put passion before profit to care about others. And I think I was working every day teaching myself but not doing anything to better the world. And I felt that every day. And there was something missing. There was that purpose that was missing. And I said, "I don't want to do this for the rest of my life because I know I'm not helping anybody." And so I left that behind because that's the mission of Wild Habitat. And I think it really even drove me even more forward to care even more because I knew what corporate responsibility should be. And I saw the waste and I saw the excessive that the magnitude of problems that exist in corporate when we don't care. And I think that's what compelled me even more forward to care about this mission.
Nice. I love that. And Sherry, dance huh? So you were a dance choreographer? You had some of that in your past?
Yes, I've choreographed for Olympic and world figure skaters.
And dance champions, and I've been very fortunate to travel and teach in many parts of the world. And so, yes, yes, I have a passion for dance. But it's the teaching. I love teaching. And my background, I'll share just briefly. I was not fortunate enough to go to college. I had to work and I helped support my family. But education, obviously, I have wanted my daughter to have an amazing education, but education, guys, doesn't have to be if you're not lucky enough to have that Ivy League education or to be able to go on for advanced degrees, you can read and you can learn. And I tried to show Briana that although I didn't have a formal education, I always had a book in my hand or I was always listening. So I think in starting this, I think for us, one of the things that's so exciting for me is that I'm learning every day. I left dance for a while, Derek and I actually worked my way up in a direct sales company to a national vice president position. But just like Briana, I had a really nice paycheck, but I wasn't feeling that sense of purpose.
So that's a little bit about my background and just very, very excited. We're very excited and hoping that we can do a lot of great things.
Yeah. In many ways you're both going back into yourselves at different stages of your lives. But going back to this truer place inside of each one of you, which, anything that starts in that kind of movement I think is a really beautiful movement and can do nothing but succeed. With a lot of hard work, obviously.
I think that, Derek, and I mentioned about that, that's what got us so excited. When I called that first charity, which was Earthjustice, and I was on the phone with them and I said, "We'd like to donate a portion. We're pre-launch. We haven't launched yet." And they said, "Thank you so much." And all of a sudden and I went in and I read about all the amazing cases that they're winning in court and how they're working to save habitats, the air, the water, et cetera, et cetera. And I said, if we can help even a little bit, we got so excited about that. It was like all of a sudden it wasn't just about us.
It was a bigger picture.
It was a bigger picture. And we hope that as we grow, we can do more and more. I know we sound altruistic, but it's the truth. That how we feel.
It's a great feeling, isn't it?
It really is. It really is a great feeling. And I can't wait till we can write them their first check. So that will be very exciting for us.
I think the studies are revealing, like the psychological studies are revealing more and more that people, they get more happiness from giving than they do from taking or buying. So it makes sense that it feels so good.
It sure does. It sure does and I think COVID has also shown us. Obviously, it's been such a hard time for everybody, but we've learned that maybe we don't need as much stuff as we thought we needed. We really don't. And that happiness, I know so many people that have a great deal of money and they're very, very unhappy.
Well, that was just it. Even working in corporate, as grateful as I was for the experience, I had a beautiful apartment at a beautiful high rise. I had all the things that from the outside looking in were everything that someone could want. And yet I was unhappy. And it was only once I attached myself to a mission bigger than just the paycheck or the place I was living in, that I found a truer sense of happiness.
Hmm, well said. Go ahead.
No, I think for Brianna and I throughout, even her young life, we've had times financially that have been very, very good and times that have there's been more month at the end of the money. And it's been very difficult. And I think through it all, we realized through the good times and the harder times, it's family, it's love, it's caring for each other. Having friends that love us is more important than what kind of car is sitting in the driveway. So we're just excited, we're excited for all the wonderful people that we're getting to meet, like you Derek, and all the good things you're doing.
As you guys say, we're stoked!
Good. Well, where should the Saltwater High community find you if they want to find you? I'll have links to everything in the show notes, but just in case they're listening, driving their car, and they want more Wild Habitat.
Absolutely. So on Instagram, they can find us at wild.habitat and our website, which you can find our mission video and you can sign up to stay tuned for the launch of our actual site is wildhabitat.co, .co.
Nice. I love that video, by the way. Did you make that?
I did make it, yes.
Yeah. Great. So anything else, any parting words or?
No, I think just thank you for having us on.
Yeah, thank you, Derek.
Thank you for bringing us in as a part of your community. We're grateful to have met you. Grateful for the journey forward together.
I agree with everything she said. You couldn't have been more charming, more welcoming, and again, it's the people we take with us and we're so glad that we have the opportunity to work together. Thank you, Derek.
Thank you. The community has already started to grow right here.
Yes, absolutely. Thank you.
Okay, guys, thank you.
Thank you. Have a good one.