At SAM & LANCE, we are a mission-driven company, believing that purchasing with intention matters. We created SAM & LANCE as a space to elevate women-owned, sustainable brands, and make it easy for like-minded people to shop and support them.
Purchasing with intent is how we address our new normal as e-commerce brands. More consumers are making decisions based on what a brand stands for. According to an Accenture study, 63 percent of global consumers would rather purchase from companies that have a purpose and similar values to their own. In a fractured and fragile world, purchasing with purpose – one that gives back – makes us feel like we’re doing something good while separated from the world we know and the people we love.
Before the global pandemic, our business looked slightly different than it does today.
Our main focus for SAM & LANCE was to seek out new and smaller suppliers at markets and fairs to leverage business and community. When the world came to a stop, and we had to shift our focus, we continued to work on smaller projects, but we couldn’t look away from how the crisis was impacting everyone’s lives.
It didn’t feel like staying at home was enough, and we didn’t want to feel helpless. We started donating profits to local food banks, but continued to feel that we could be doing more. We wanted to find a way to show our gratitude and give back to the community. So, we looked to our past.
Finding our Future in our Past
Our namesake, SAM, came from our paternal Grandmother Shirley Anne May (SAM). She volunteered at her local hospital for 40 years helping with intake, sitting with patients who were waiting for test results, comforting children who were having minor procedures and she loved every minute of it. She was heartbroken when the SARS outbreak hit Canada in 2003, and she had to stop volunteering for her own safety. She had so much love and respect for the nurses, doctors, staff, and everyone else who worked at the hospital. Because of her, we’ve always had a special place in our hearts for the hardworking hospital staff.
During the crisis, we’ve continued to hear stories about doctors and nurses who have had to send their children to live with family members to protect them. Unable to ignore the feeling of a shared connection, through or grandmother, we sought out to do something with our platform that would offer more support to frontline workers navigating these difficult situations. That’s when Care Crates was born, a box of self-care items from local Canadian, female-led artisans.
Caring for the Community Through Product Innovation
For each Care Crate purchased, one is sent to a frontline worker with self-care supplies like incense, a candles, and rich luxurious hand creams that we hope provide some relief after a long day. SAM & LANCE is making sure that each of the products are sources from local Toronto suppliers so that we can get the Care Crates out faster to frontline workers while supporting small businesses. With this small, consumer and community focused product, consumers are purchasing with a purpose while supporting healthcare workers and small businesses.
This means that by purchasing a Care Crate as a gift, Torontonians are; showing friends and loved ones they are loved even from a far, are supporting our frontline community in the turbulent days ahead and are offering continued support to small and local businesses who are working to opperate through an unimaginable time.
Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock Inc, put it well when he said that consumers have higher expectations from companies. “Every company must not only deliver financial performance but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential.”
SAM & LANCE is an online marketplace with an expansive collection of lifestyle goods made ethically from women-owned businesses around the world. Created by sisters Alora and Veronica May, SAM & LANCE takes the guesswork out of ethical shopping with a marketplace that offers ethically-sourced jewelry, skincare, and home goods made by women around the world. The business was named after Alora & Veronica’s grandmothers: Shirley Ann May (SAM) and Georgette Lee (LANCE).