Lauren Saunders and Emily Evans run a clothing brand based on the SALT philosophy: genuine good-natured people who are authentically themselves - the salt of the earth. They both strive to live their lives according to this ethos and to celebrate it in others.
Lauren and Emily came to entrepreneurship over time: there was no decisive moment. They knew that they wanted to do something different, to carve out their own space and create something unique. They thrive on the energy that comes from change: each day has new challenges. They’re excited by unpredictability and enjoy the strategy and planning that go into creating the vision and the brand.
Friendship is a cornerstone of their business: both talk about the strength of their relationship as a key asset. They often spend time together outside work, so they have plenty of opportunities to share new ideas or discuss challenges. They endeavour to be open and honest with each other and feel that this transparency comes through to the clients.
At the heart of the brand is a sense of genuineness. The more Lauren and Emily stay true to themselves, they say, the more the audience connects with that. The more they strive to identify with a sense of authenticity, the more the audience connects with that guiding approach to daily life: the core values resonate with the client base.
The pair feel “honoured” to receive the award. When they started the business, they attended an NLOWE awards gala and left with a strong desire to be the recipients of an award one day: “It’s a nice full circle moment.” It is validating, they say, to have their effort recognized. Being an entrepreneur is such hard work, they explain: every day you go in and face challenges you might not have expected and work through them, and it feels as if no one really sees or notices the amount of work that’s required. The sense of accomplishment that comes from winning the award is “pretty incredible!”
The pair are inspired by the environment: their experiences, what they see, their open dialogue. They share many interests and know each other so well that sometimes one knows what the other is thinking before anything has been said. This depth of connection is invaluable in a working relationship because one can pick up where the other leaves off; their intuitive interaction saves a lot of explaining.
They are also inspired by their team, including the “incredible” store manager - everyone who shows up to work has been deeply committed, “so you don’t want to let them down.” The shared work ethic keeps them on their toes as they plan for the future, which involves pop-ups and collaborations with artists.
Lauren and Emily agree on the advice they would offer to new entrepreneurs: “Do something you love. Don’t hold out for perfection before you jump in and start something.”
Trendsetter recognizes an entrepreneur who owns and operates a successful business that employs innovation and original thinking in both its operational and promotional activities. This entrepreneur's business stands out from others in its industry for setting trends and turning traditional ideas on their heads.
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