S’well is a place that thrives on collaboration. Over the years, we’ve worked with some of the best and most creative brands to introduce to you — our beloved community — must-have products and one-of-a-kind, covetable designs. This holiday season is no exception. We’ve partnered with our friends at Bearaby, the weighted blanket company, to bring you a limited-edition bottle that is inspired by the beautiful weave of their sustainable Velvet Napper. Through this collaboration, we’re displacing 550,000 single-use plastic bottles and proving the power of mentorship in growing purposeful (and creative) business.
S’well Founder Sarah Kauss (SK) is mentor to Bearaby Founder Kathrin Hamm (KH). So we asked these fearless leaders to share a bit more about what moves them forward. Here’s what they had to say:
What inspires your creativity?
KH: I’ve found rest to be a productive way to keep my creativity flowing. Inspirational ideas often come to mind after spending time with my head on a pillow (and my body under a weighted blanket!)
SK: Talking and working with such amazing people! On the very best days, every conversation leads to a new idea to make business better, the planet healthier and our lives happier.
As an entrepreneur, what benefits have you experienced most through collaborations like this one?
KH: The centerpiece of this powerful partnership between our female-founded businesses is how it has brought together our communities, enabling more and more people to live their most sustainable life. By joining forces, we have the advantage of creating products that delight our communities while in tandem, affecting change for our planet.
SK: We’ve worked with such amazing brands and teams of thinkers (and doers) through our collaborations over the years. And because these partnerships start with brand alignment and shared values, we’re able to build on S’well’s foundation of experience to develop new, exciting ways to push design and engage our consumers. We’re able to introduce our community — and theirs — to new ideas and unique, beautiful ways to save the planet.
What is it that you enjoy most about mentorship — either as a mentor or mentee?
KH: Learning from Sarah, a deeply knowledgeable businesswoman who has already paved the way for so many female founders, has meant that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It’s been such a special privilege to be able to build a relationship with her that allows me to ask without hesitation. I’ve also enjoyed discovering that you can be a mentor even very early on in your journey. Many others are at the exact stage you recently were and could benefit from what you’ve learned on your path so far.
SK: Mentorship has been a guiding light for me over the years and I’m so grateful for everyone who has taken the time to share their experience and advice. I love that no matter if you’re the mentor or mentee, you have the chance to learn simply by taking the time to be open and share with one another. But I have to say one of the greatest joys for me comes when I can share my own experiences (and mistakes!) to help someone find success, faster.
You both founded purpose-driven brands. What helps you stay true to your sustainable commitments?
KH: Sustainability has always been at the core of our business, so for us, it’s less about how we remain sustainable and more about how we can continue to innovate in this space, be forward-thinking, and deliver on our values. Giving back by supporting organizations like Lonely Whale has also always been an actionable aspect of all our initiatives to keep our eco-commitments moving forward. And seeing the tangible positive impact that brands can create by encouraging behavior change away from single-use plastic is a major motivator behind our work.
SK: We are a purpose-driven company that attracts purpose-driven people. We’ve been investing in the planet and our communities since day one, and continue to do things like becoming a Certified B Corp to help guide us forward. Ultimately, it is the people at S’well — our team from the bottom to the top, and our partners in business and social impact — who help us continue to think creatively and act sustainably every day.
What is something you’ve learned from each other?
KH: How Sarah has instilled a spirit of mentorship at every level of her business, has inspired me to echo this practice here at Bearaby. Building mentorship across the teams helps shape how you think about a process, paving the way for impactful partnerships.
SK: My words won’t do all that I’ve learned from Kathrin justice. Her strength and perseverance are absolutely inspirational. Her knowledge is expansive and her passion is contagious. Getting to know the person behind the entrepreneur has taught me so much about the role life and the search for well-being can play in driving business dreams forward.
Check out below to get your hands on the S’well x Bearaby bottle or visit bearaby.com to purchase the bundle for your holiday gifting needs!