Q: Tell me about who you are, what you do, and your Why.
A: I am Sydney Sherman. I am a young, female, entrepreneur and I am the CEO of The Etho – Think… An ethical Amazon!
After I graduated, I did an around the world trip. It was during this trip that I visited Delhi. I’d seen poverty in various places growing up, and even on trips before, but there was something about Delhi… people sleeping in the streets, missing limbs, obviously hungry, and ill. I needed to help and knew it was bigger than one trip.
In fact, I cut my trip short to return home. I love traveling, maybe more than anything, but I had to leave. I couldn’t continue to be there and not help.
People living in extreme poverty like that is my Why. It’s why I do what I do, every day. I thought about having an ethical brand, but I don’t create products. I wanted to know what I could do to amplify the good work other people are already doing by offering ethically sourced products from around the world.
Etsy allowed artists to find a home to sell their work and made it so easy to purchase. I settled on this marketplace model to do the most good I can in the world.
Eradicating extreme poverty is my dream, and while I can’t make this change alone, I can work towards it with others who are willing to do the same in the way they buy, sell and trade.
Q: How are you tapping into your Ellivate Alliance membership?
A: I have been using so many connections I made at Immersion weekend and have made since then.
Marisela Bateman is now my accountant! I did a Root + River session with Emily Soccorsy and her partner, Justin Foster. I attend Office Hours every chance I get. I regularly talk with Sarah Elliott, who is constantly connecting me with excellent resources. I have been working with Misty Megia on grass roots marketing and what we can do to make this shine. I’m not always in Austin but I attend any local networking events when I am in town.
I do all I can to utilize all the connections I have made through Ellivate Alliance and look forward to continuing to do so.
Q: What has been the most valuable aspect of your Ellivate Alliance membership so far?
A: The people, for sure! There were things I had no idea I needed, and these women have helped me recognize those things each step of the way. When I attended Immersion Weekend, I had just graduated with an entrepreneurial MBA shortly before, yet there were so many things I still didn’t know I needed.
It doesn’t matter what you have done before, this is a completely different approach on how you own a business, as a woman especially.
There is so much to think about and so much to do, and the connections I’ve made through the Ellivate Alliance allow me to see the specific items that need action in my business. This has helped me make huge steps in business growth that I would not have been able to do as quickly without this amazing team of women!
Q: What are you most excited about with respect to the Ellivate Alliance?
A: These are the beginning stages of a community at Ellivate, and I’m just so excited to be a part of that and the connections that will be made because of it.