The growing awareness of the plastic problem, and the wide issue of waste and pollution, has seen a slowly growing number of plastic-free or zero-waste shops opening across the USA. So what is it like to start and run a sustainable lifestyle shop, what are the challenges, and can we expect to see many more in the near future?
We caught up with Kazmira Davies, who recently launched her sustainable lifestyle and travel brand, Beyond The Haus, in Nashville.
What is your background, and what made you decide to open a sustainable living shop?
About 7 years ago I was diving deep into non-toxic living and recognizing the chemicals and harmful ingredients that were in my everyday products. As I slowly unlearned and relearned what “clean” actually meant, it then made me question what else was in harm. That was Mother Earth. Ever since this personal discovery, I have vowed to be a student of life and not bring in any unnecessary single-use items (not just plastic), even down the clothes I wear.
It hasn’t been a clear path, nor has it been easy in the society we live in, but it was my commitment to myself, the future children, and the environment. Soon after, I realized that our way of consuming was backwards and I made it my mission to promote less is more and slower is better. However, there are so little resources to live this lifestyle of slow and sustainable living. Then came, Beyond the Haus, a sustainable lifestyle and travel brand that provides low-waste essentials for your sustainability practice at home and on your travels.
On the contrary, I went to school for Public Relations and have been working in marketing ever since. That being said, for years I’ve been contributing to consumption, promoting sales, buying something new, and it really made me question my priorities. In a society full of consumption, I decided to realign my core values to my work and the brands I am supporting. Now, I’m proud to say Beyond the Haus Marketing Studio only supports sustainable, intentional, and like-minded brands.
What are some of the barriers/challenges you faced when setting up your shop?
In opening up the first Beyond the Haus Refillery, there were many instances that challenged me in the best way possible. Surprisingly, it wasn’t gathering all the goods because I’ve been curating my store in my head for the last 3 years. It was all of the moving parts and minor details that needed to be handled, managed, and delegated. For me, it’s not always easy to accept help but considering I opened the doors just 5-weeks after signing the lease, there was no other option. I’m so grateful for my Nashville community that showed up in preparation of opening, and to celebrate! I’m sure there are many more challenges to navigate through in the years to come, but for now we are celebrating that our doors are open for business!
What changes in consumers have you noticed in the last year?
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed consumers going from simply overwhelmed to ready to take individual action. Don’t get me wrong, having a sustainable practice and consuming less is overwhelming, and frankly not in our nature. That’s exactly why I wanted to provide more resources and started Beyond the Haus. With our doors open, it’s been so exciting to see people of all ages open to a new way of thinking and shopping. When people say “I’m so excited to start my sustainability journey with Beyond the Haus,” I definitely do a little happy dance! Taking individual action is everything, and it’s been so fun to be part of everyone’s journey!
What are your top 5 selling items?
To us, sustainability isn’t about buying one thing and checking the box, it’s a practice for all aspects of life. We have worked so hard to curate a versatile store of goods to make shopping sustainably as easy and intuitive as possible. Some of our fan favorites include the Clary Collection Olive Balm, Eucalyptus shower steamers, Taper candlesticks for a cozy candle hour, morning meditation note pads, and of course our 14 refill items in the shop! You can shop these goods online or visit us in-store if you’re local!
What’s new/coming soon?
There are so many things in the docket for Beyond the Haus this year! Every week we are updating our list of sustainable destinations around the world on our website, beyondthehaus.com to help make sustainable travel more attainable. A Nashville staycation giveaway is in the works, and maybe even a slow living retreat! Also, we are coming out with a “What’s In Season” Calendar for summer in collaboration with an artist to encourage eating from local farmers and slowing down this summer. At the shop there will be a lot of fun sustainable events/pop-ups, cleanups, and workshops so be sure to follow along!