Today we’d like to introduce you to Elly Vogt.
Hi Elly, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
There are many experiences in my past that lead to me starting intent products. I received a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management during my undergrad at the University of Iowa and all of my projects were around sustainability.
Being from the Midwest (Minneapolis and Chicago), recycling and sustainability were not widely discussed. When I moved to Australia after I graduated college, it was the first time I saw people bringing reusable bags to the grocery store. I took these sustainable habits with me when moving to San Diego but realized I would still end up using plastic for my produce and bulk section items. This felt really counterintuitive. When I shopped around for reusable produce bags, I could not find any that were good quality, minimalistic and made with organic materials. Since going to the store is a weekly occurrence, I saw an opportunity to create something that I felt was lacking in the market and something that I wanted to use. I started researching fair trade manufacturers and then started building intent once I saw I could make it happen. I was working full-time at a media agency downtown at the time so I built the brand slowly and intentionally.
Everything I do with intent is with sustainability and ethics at the forefront. The bags are fair trade, organic cotton, and shipped using recycled material. I created this brand out of a passion for community, sustainability, and the importance of living life with intention. In 2019, when intent products launched, I worked at a variety of farmers’ markets in San Diego, such as Hillcrest, Little Italy, La Jolla, Solana Beach, and Rancho Santa Fe. I have enjoyed seeing customers utilize them for not only markets and groceries but for the beach, travel, gift bags (perfect for the holidays), and make-up.
Right now, you can find intent products online at MRKT SPACE and Thread Spun in Leucadia. We were also recently in the latest shipment of Seatopia, a company focused on innovative and sustainable fishing practices. I am honored to work with local companies who are passionate about supporting the community and fair trade practices.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There have been some markets where I have not sold one bag and it can make you feel really defeated. When it’s a product that you have worked so hard on creating, it becomes a part of you and it’s hard not to take it personally. Fortunately, I have had a full-time job while operating, so there is less pressure on sales, which has given me more grace in exploring different business methods and sticking to my values. I made this investment as a leap of faith and honestly didn’t even know if I would sell one bag. I was just listening to my intuition and felt like it was something I had to do to satiate my soul.
Last year became a forced break for intent, as I went to graduate school and didn’t have the extra time or funds to focus on it. It also felt wrong to market a product when the world was going through such a vulnerable time. This break allowed me to reflect on where I wanted to focus my energy when I focused on intent again. It’s been three years since I have created intent and it has now slowly started to be recognized, which shows growth takes persistence and patience.
As you know, we’re big fans of intent products. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Intent products are organic, cruelty-free, vegan, and fair trade reusable bags. Help reduce the use of single-use plastics by utilizing our bags when heading to the grocery store or local farmer’s market. Simple actions such as using reusable bags make such a positive impact on our oceans, wildlife, and environment. Intent’s mission is to facilitate the elimination of single use plastic in the most ethical way. We are based in San Diego, California and all of our products are 100% certified Global Organic Textile Standard. Our supplier is a member of Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade America, Organic Trade Association of America, GOTS, Textile Exchange and Fair Trade LA. They also support improving the lives of factory workers and farmers by guaranteeing fair wages, safe working conditions, healthcare and other tools workers need to thrive. We offer free shipping on all products and all the shipping materials are made of recycled materials. You can find us locally at MRKT Space and Thread Spun in Leucadia or online.
Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
So many! Most importantly, my friends and family who were my first customers, supporters and biggest intent fans. La Jolla Farmer’s market for being the first market to open their doors to my product. All the local photographers I have worked with including Kaylee Ohiko and Bo McKinely for helping bring my vision to life with their creative talents. My professor at the University of Iowa in the course Social Entrepreneurship, Joseph Sulentic, for advocating for sustainable business in higher education.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.intentproducts.org/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/intentproducts/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/intentproducts/
Bo McKinley (bomckinley.com)