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Meet Sunny Wu of ourCommonplace in Mid-City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sunny Wu of ourCommonplace in Culver CIty.

Sunny, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Hey there! I’m Sunny, the founder of ourCommonplace (www.ourcommonplace.co), an ethical and sustainable marketplace where consumers are able to shop by their values.

I used to work in the luxury beauty and fashion industry with brands such as Burberry, Gucci, Lancome, etc., managing their sales teams, operations, and merchandising. After 2.5 years in the industry, I knew I wanted something that was more data driven on the backend. This is when I hopped into the advertising industry as a digital strategist, helping teams manage client budgets upwards of $8M+ for their digital advertising efforts. I knew I wanted to get experience in both of those industries but knew deep down that it wasn’t going to be a forever thing. My heart lies in social impact. I found myself spending my free time volunteering abroad in Argentina and South Africa with women empowerment programs, and eventually, on the board of Net Impact Los Angeles, creating a space for social impact professionals to meet one another.

Someone once said to me to keep tabs on where my mind wanders during quiet moments, and that’s where I should explore opportunities of work. That, for me, is ourCommonplace. Not only is ourCommonplace is at the intersection of all of my passion points, but it also fulfills the demand for a fashion-forward, ethical and sustainable one-stop-shop. Ultimately, my goal is to take us towards accomplishing UN’s sustainable development goals while keeping in mind our innate desire for self-expression through goods purchased.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ouf, not particularly! As a founder, the two most important things that you need is to have is a clear vision for your business and the discipline to execute your ideas. Getting different perspectives and ideas for your business is great, but know when to cut out the noise and focus on what it is that you’re trying to create. No one knows your vision and business better than you do.

As a single founder, I have a ton of exciting ideas floating around at all times, but the tough part is timing and execution. One thing that I’m still struggling with is whether or not I should raise funds to propel the company at a faster pace, or continue boot-strapping all efforts with slower growth, as both come with its own challenges.

There’s also going to be a lot of uncertainty in the beginning, let’s just call that testing and validation (I’m still working through this). Know that that’s okay and it’s part of what makes everything so exciting! I changed ourCommonplace’s name, business model, and aesthetic multiple times starting off, and I’m glad that I explored each of those possibilities so that I can feel confident in what ourCommonplace is now. You’ll never know if your ideas work if you don’t test it – be brave, not perfect.

Please tell us about ourCommonplace.
Women’s empowerment, sustainably made, nontoxic – these are just some of the topics that we’re deeply passionate about here at ourCommonplace. We’re striving to create a world where the standards that we hold our partners accountable for becomes commonplace in the industry. Our goal as a social goods marketplace is to promote varying products tied to a social cause, making it easy for folks to incorporate social good efforts into everyday products that are being used. With the world becoming increasingly interconnected, it’s our responsibility to rethink issues ranging from sustainability to global poverty. By supporting conscious companies, we’re hoping to accelerate the social good movement and take us towards accomplishing UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Our vision is to create a world that is sustainable and empowering – a world where companies are conscious of their production efforts, treatment of workers, and materials used.

6 STANDARDS WE KEEP CLOSE

We love our partners and the world that they’re creating. In order to ensure that we’re stepping into a better world collectively, we hold our partners accountable to at least two of these six standards: woman-owned, sustainable, toxic-free, ethical, USA made, cruelty-free.

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Image Credit:
Nisolo, Maude, Klei, Taiyo, Coclico, Marie Hunter Beauty, August Sage

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