Oak and Rose came on my radar as a new, high quality subscription box, but when I sat down with founder, Lily Bamberger, I learned that Oak and Rose is a lot more than its products. There is such much heart behind what Lily, a mother of a sweet 5-month old daughter who lives in Pittsburgh and spends her days analyzing data while also expanding Oak and Rose, her small business which grew out of COVID desire to shop smaller and smarter while helping the economy and the environment. I will truly cherish our time together and I think that this is just the beginning of what needs to be an ongoing conversation!
Haley Sherif: What is your motivation to work Oak and Rose every day?
Lily Bamberger: In a business sense, my motivation is to showcase small businesses that are doing awesome things for their community and also make their products in the USA. I feel passionate that we all should be making an effort to support the people around us and buy American. In this day and age, we have access to literally anything we want to buy. I think it is time we all be a little more selective about what we spend our money on. For me, that means finding small businesses that make high quality goods in the US, and I want to share that with people.
Personally, I am motivated by my family. I want to create a positive and lasting business that my daughter, my family and I can be proud of.
HS: What was the hardest obstacle you over came in your business?
LB: The biggest obstacle is getting our brand out there! No matter how big or small we are I will always hope for more people to be aware of our brand. I think we have awesome small businesses and I think they deserve to be recognized!
Oak and Rose was in part inspired by Small Business Saturday. In our conversation, Lily said, “We should always be caring about small businesses, not just on Saturday.”
HS: What do you do in a creative rut?
LB: In a rut, I talk to my mom and she inspires me to be better and be more focused to accomplish my goals.
HS:Who/what inspires you?
LB: My family! I’m very family oriented and I’m the most driven by my family.
HS:What is a way you like to give back?
LB: Oak and Rose is about giving back. We only work with companies that give back to the community in some way. Some of our past companies have donated to human trafficking, animal rescue, environmental non-profits, and more!
HS:Favorite client story?
LB: I love all our partner stories, but one of my favorite is Seattle based, Seaslope. Her business was inspired by the birth of her daughter.
HS: Favorite splurge? How do you self-care?
LB: I love splurging on cute baby outfits and things for my daughter! Especially, when I find something cute and handmade in the USA, I just HAVE to get it.
Being a new mom and running a small business, I don’t have a lot of personal time to myself, but when I do get the time I enjoy the mornings before my daughter wakes up and I can drink my cappuccino and listen to podcasts, work out, or in the evening catch up on my favorite shows.
“We don’t need to compete. Be kind. Support other people. Lead with good intentions and the more you will get.”
HS:Why did you feel there was a need for the creation of your product?
LB: It is so difficult to buy American. It is really time consuming to find high quality American made goods. When online shopping, the algorithm doesn’t prioritize American made goods so you really have to search for things. I want Oak and Rose to be an easy place that people can go to and know they are buying American and their purchases will be high quality. Also people can know that their purchase is making a difference because 90% of the small businesses we work with give back or donate in some way.
HS:What about your business do you love? What do you do on a daily basis?
LB: I love the network I am creating for oak and rose and just connecting with our small businesses. They inspire me to keep moving forward because they are so genuine in what they do and why they do it. I’ve met a lot of moms who operate their business and that has also motivated me. I always say “the more you take on, the more you can handle,” and these women I meet are the epitome of that!
HS: What would you hope for the future for your business?
I hope that our business continues to grow and that Oak and Rose becomes a recognizable name.
HS:Any final words?
LB: Fun fact, Oak and Rose is named after the United States National tree and flower! National tree is the Oak tree and the national flower is a Rose.