Jaclyn Tracy of SISTAIN & Brand Effect on progress over perfection

Website Header Template

Describe your businesses in a few words:

I am the founder of SISTAIN, a DTC marketplace that curates sustainable products and provides tools to educate consumers about how to live more sustainably one small step at a time across the categories of lifestyle, fashion, home, beauty, and wellness.

SISTAIN is a guide for conscious consumerism. Our goal is to make a greater difference by making sustainable consumerism not only easier, but aspirational. Success is in the collective impact.  We aim to create a movement to change consumer behaviors by committing to choosing sustainable brands, and creating less waste and imperfect progress. 

I am also the founder of Brand Effect, a holistic design, marketing & strategy firm. We have a highly skilled core team who oversee and collaborate with a talented community of freelancers. Our services include: branding, website design and development, marketing strategy, advertising, content creation, social media management and email and SMS marketing.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Prior to SISTAIN and Brand Effect, I worked in advertising at Epsilon and Leo Burnett. My career started in social media engagement; I then moved into the analytics side of marketing and strategy. I also worked in politics for a short sprint, running digital for a number of campaigns which helped inspire me to start my own business.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. When I was very young I made bracelets and sold them to my parents’ friends; I worked for cash when I wanted something (like that moped I saved up for for months); and launched lemonade sales whenever I could. Through college, I was always brainstorming business ideas with friends. When I began climbing the corporate ladder, my world opened up to endless possibilities of the business world.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When I first launched Brand Effect, my strategy was to reach out to everyone in my network introducing Brand Effect and our service offerings. I told the banker I opened an account with, I’d be making $40,000 a month in no time. Boy, was I wrong! I didn’t have a clear skill to sell. Some people start as freelance designers and then they launch an agency years later. In the corporate world, I had experience across many different marketing channels, so I decided to focus on what I was best at: building relationships and seeing the talent in people they may not even see themselves. I built a massive freelance network and was open to working with many different types of clients to continue my own education and to build out Brand Effect’s portfolio which has led me to where I am today. Today, Brand Effect serves B2C businesses looking for holistic design, marketing and strategy; brands ready for a makeover; marketers seeking a digital agency with a human-centric approach and startups ready to scale. Our strongest expertise is building and executing holistic marketing strategies with a focus on lifestyle content for brands. 

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

I’m incredibly proud of SISTAIN: the community we’ve been able to build, the research we’ve done to make sustainable living easier and more accessible to all humans. When people come up to me and say because of SISTAIN, “you’re inside my head now, in a non judgemental way, making me question: ‘is there a more sustainable option?’’’ that’s what I am most proud of because that is the collective impact we are making, one small step at a time.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I do. It’s definitely harder at this earlier stage in a company but I do my best to balance it all. I also do not have kids, so I do not have the same external responsibilities some other business owners do. My top tips for managing it all include:

1. Assess everything in your life as energy. Who are you giving your energy to? Who is taking your energy? How can you elevate and align your energy to find your flow? 

Create space for yourself. For me, that’s my morning and evening routine, which includes yoga, meditation and movement. Commit to whatever helps create space in your brain especially before you start diving into your to-do list, and show up for it each and every week/day. 

2. Choose your highest self. It’s easy to fall “off balance” when we spiral into old habits or allow external circumstances to define our day. Visualize your highest self and keep showing up as her. 

3. Focus on progress over perfection. This is our philosophy at SISTAIN for making small sustainable changes, rather than trying to overhaul your entire life to be more eco-friendly. This approach to life applies to all areas – focus on progress and identify small changes, adjustments you can improve upon each and every day. And celebrate those small wins as frequently as you can! 

4. Have fun with it! Because life is too short.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

Focus on where you are (the present) and play on your strengths, rather than trying to reach for where you want to be. Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. Prioritize and communicate clear expectations, roles and responsibilities and deadlines.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

At SISTAIN, we invested in public relations, working with an amazing PR firm, LVPR, to grow brand awareness and credibility in the sustainability space and as a result, we were recently featured in Vanity Fair (https://www.vanityfair.com/style/photos/2021/08/best-shampoo-bars-all-hair-types-sustainable-beauty). I also did my first round of deskside interviews and we are feeling a lot of momentum on this front!

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Both Brand Effect and SISTAIN are growing simultaneously. With Brand Effect, we are in the process of operationalizing all of our processes so we can scale. You’ll see us taking on more clients and growing our portfolio especially within lifestyle content creation, advertising, social media and email marketing. 

This year with SISTAIN we are continuing to build out our educational media hub, think of this as  “the Google of Sustainable Lifestyle” and our e-commerce platform as “the Nordstrom of Sustainable Shopping” – a one-stop shop for all things fashion, beauty, wellness, home and lifestyle, as well as our online community. We’re rolling out a number of new sustainable brands in October that we are so excited about including Ursa Major, Josh Rosebrook, Leaf Shave and Sarisha Beauty. 

And in the next five years, we plan to expand into fashion and expand our sustainable home, beauty and wellness offerings, build out our give back programs and get certified as a B Corporation.

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

I’m most excited about the league’s educational resources and endless opportunities to network and collaborate. Being a solo-entrepreneur can be lonely and knowing I have this community to tap into of like-minded women at any moment is honestly so encouraging. The women in this league are inspirational. Whenever I see women who have achieved their dreams, dreams others thought were too big, it gives me both hope and motivation to keep going.

Share it!

Tags

Leave a Comment





Ansley Pridgen of Ansley Media Co. on helping small businesses grow

Describe your business in a few words: After attending SMU and receiving an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting, I moved to New York City to begin a career in fashion. While in NYC, I learned about fashion production, design, life, and hard work. However, I couldn’t suppress my deep love and connection to the South. After…

Clinical Therapist Kendra Toothill on how to unlock your well-being transformation

Describe your business in a few words: Hey! I’m Kendra Toothill. I help women unlock their well-being transformation by using their physical scars. I have been a clinical therapist for nearly a decade, and I help women heal from their physical and emotional health challenges by using my groundbreaking system: Scars Reigniting Your Feminine. Did…

Michelle Carter-Love of sHe Eco Investments promotes a healthier and more sustainable home purchasing option

Describe your business in a few words: What motivates me to have chosen a field dominated by men to pursue is to take part in lowering gas emissions and decreasing waste that has led to the acceleration of our climate crises in the construction industry. By profession, I am a financial coach for over 7…

Ariela Gorodzinsky of ZIBARI on founding a premium purveyor of authentic culinary foods from around the world

Describe your business in a few words: I grew up in Mexico City. Four years ago, I moved to New York to study for my masters in Food Studies at NYU.  Two years ago, I moved to Miami and founded ZIBARI. A premium purveyor of authentic culinary foods from around the world, offering a diverse…

Vanessa Ungvarsky of Taylor Made on creating her unique custom nail polish kits

Describe your business in a few words: Taylor Made Polish brings elevated experiences to savvy clean beauty enthusiasts with our patent-pending Custom Nail Polish kits and 15 Minute Organic Manicure sets.   Anchored in historic downtown Easton, Taylor Made sits at the intersection of scrappy and stylish. We are deeply connected to our community and if…

Kristen and Lindsey Archer of ARCHd on empowering women through handmade home decor

Describe your business in a few words: Sisters Kristen and Lindsey Archer create handmade home decor with their original female empowerment illustrations, skyline designs, and landscape photography. From “build your own” wood bookend sets to large wall art, each piece features bold colors and is uniquely made. ARCHd gives back a percentage of each online…

Felena Hanson of Hera Hub on collaborating with like-minded business owners

Describe your business in a few words: Felena is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven.  Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and business accelerator for female entrepreneurs. This as-needed, flexible work and meeting space provide a productive environment for growing businesses.  Hera Hub members have access to a professional space to…

Joy Williams & Jane Molina of Ninni Co. on being moms’ “breast” friend

Describe your business in a few words: We are Joy Williams + Jane Molina. Sisters, best friends, and co-serial entrepreneurs. We launched the Ninni Co. brand on March 1, 2021, and sell direct-to-consumer from our website. Our featured product and what we’re known for is our breastlike pacifier. It’s a technology we patented and worked…

Business Coach Mary Massey on gaining clarity and achieving success

Describe your business in a few words: My journey to becoming a life coach began over 13 years ago when I became depressed after my father’s passing. Having lost my mom at a young age, I learned to grow up fast but never had the tools I needed to help me overcome loss and other…

Candace Noel of Flora Noel on setting the tone of any event with florals that convey desired moods

Describe your business in a few words: Hi! I’m Candace Noel, Founder and Owner of Flora Noel, a floral and event design studio based in Houston, Texas that specializes in personalizing experiences for special events and private spaces. We design floral arrangements that convey the desired mood of each event through color, shape, texture, and…

Dr. Sarah Nadimpalli of Same Team Childcare on streamlining the nanny-parent relationship

Describe your business in a few words: I am Dr. Sarah Nadimpalli of Same Team Childcare, a mom, nurse, and researcher.  Through using my academic lens and personal experiences in working with nannies, I have streamlined the nanny-parent search, hire, and onboarding process by creating a time-efficient online course both parents and nannies take together. …

Dental Entrepreneur Melissa Turner on making dentistry a better experience for patients and providers

Describe Your Business in a few words: I am Melissa Turner, a dental entrepreneur. I am a dental hygienist who has launched several businesses. I am an influencer and speaker to make dentistry a better experience for dental patients and dental providers. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’ve been in dentistry…

Product Management Consultant Christina Kelley Weiss on empowering business development

Describe Your business in a few words: I’m a product management consultant & interim product executive for startups with ten years of experience in product management, software development, and digital health. I work with early- and mid-stage startups to help them grow & optimize their strategy, product team, and development processes. What was your background…

Kaitlin Nares of Hagen | Nares PLLC on helping families affected by serious injuries get relief

Describe your business in a few words: I am a Coloradoan. I am a mother to a beautiful and funny 6-month-old redheaded son named Brody. I am also a dog mom to two rescue pups named Boston and Bella. I am married to an entrepreneur, and he encouraged me to launch my law firm. Hagen |…

Michelle Dear of Tandem on empowering couples’ financial lives together

Describe your business in a few words: Hi Entreprenistas! I’m Michelle, the Co-Founder of Tandem, the easiest way for couples to share expenses. Tandem is an iOS app that eliminates the back-and-forth of Venmo without the need to get a joint account. Our mission is to empower couples’ financial lives together. What was your background prior…