We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Gamboa Grand and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
We started Good Intent because we were frankly stressed about the climate crisis and wanted to know what we could do to make a difference in our everyday lives using our individual actions, especially after realizing the limitations of recycling, which has, for so long, felt like our only line of defense. We know the change needed will require massive, wide-scale change at the government and industry level, and while those may seem out of our control, we also know that we have the power to influence both by voting with our ballots AND our dollars.
And we can do our best as individuals to figure out ways to minimize our harm to the environment. There are many, many ways to do that, and in reality, it takes a lot of thought, energy, and effort just to figure out what that means for you and your family. We recognized that if we want more people to start applying these more sustainable practices to their lives, we can help by making it easier and doing a lot of that legwork on their behalf. That’s what Good Intent is here to do.
There are so many people who care about the environment to some extent and generally want to do the right thing, but don’t know exactly what to do or where to start. We want to take all that good intent and turn it into actions that will make a difference. Everyone can do something, even if it feels small. It might mean one less piece of plastic at the bottom of the ocean, one less piece of trash sitting in a landfill, or one less pound of greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere. We’ve done the math, and it adds up pretty quickly when even just one of us is doing it every day and even more when all the people with good intent out there join us.
What should our readers know about your business?
Good Intent is a low waste shop that offers sustainable alternatives to everyday personal care, cleaning, and home goods essentials. We prioritize packaging, materials, and ingredients that are better for the environment and our bodies than what you typically find at the grocery store. We also make a point to source our products from vendors that are based locally, BIPOC-owned, women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, or generally share our values of sustainable and ethical sourcing and production.
A big part of our mission is to give people a sense of agency and hope that their actions can contribute to a better future. The climate crisis is no joke. It’s literally an existential crisis, and it’s hard to process that. Some people process it by avoiding thinking about it altogether, others process it with rage at all those they believe are responsible, and others carry a lot of guilt and anxiety. That’s natural, and we’ve experienced all of those things to an extent, but we personally were at a point where the only thing that was going to make us feel better was to actually do something about it ourselves.
Yes, we should hold responsible parties accountable and strongly encourage leaders to take action, but on an individual level, we’ve seen a lot of shaming and guilt that felt like it was doing more harm than good. We think positivity is more productive. We think that motivates people more than the alternative. We’re all human. We all generally think we’re good people and don’t want to be judged for not living up to what seem like impossible standards. We think perfection should not be the enemy of progress.
As a business, it’s important for us to try to include people who have been left out of this movement to live more sustainably, reduce waste, and minimize our harm to the environment. It’s better for our planet, but also better for our bodies, better for our communities, and even better for our budgets, especially over the long term. We’d love to be a part of maximizing that positive impact for everyone.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m partial to the Pasadena area since that’s where I grew up, so I’d say a breakfast burrito at Lucky Boy’s, spend the afternoon at Huntington Library, hang out in Old Town and stop by my favorite boutique April Blooms, then dinner at True Food, and an indie movie at the Laemmle. It would also be a must to go to the beach. My favorite is Laguna, but to save a bit of a drive, my go-to beach is Dockweiler, close to my alma mater Loyola Marymount University.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson was definitely a huge influence for us and gave us a foundation to build our own low waste lifestyles and to encourage others.
Image of Alex & Lindsay with signs: Cambell-Salgado Photography Other image of Alex & Lindsay: Christian Grand All others: Lindsay Smith