Meet the Crew Behind the Sēkr Shop
Aug 04, 2022
Quality Gear, Quality Adventures, Quality people.
Our products come from women and minority-owned businesses, some well-known favorites, and even makers from our own Sēkr community. Hear directly from the founders about why, what, and who we are.
What made you want to start an online marketplace?
Breanne Acio (CEO and Founder of Sēkr): "When I first started my vanlife journey, I had to spend hundreds of hours searching for products across dozens of blogs, youtube videos and Instagram, as well as reaching out to people I saw on social media, hoping they would be kind enough to answer my questions. Five years later, I’ve used and tested hundreds of products, but I still have to search for them the same way, just like everyone else does. Unfortunately, we can’t just go into an RV store to get what we need because they don't carry it. I wanted to create a go-to shop to take the pain of searching across the internet and wasting money on products that aren’t right."
Jessica Shisler, Ph.D. (COO and Founder of Sēkr): "I’ve built a couple of vans now, and it’s always a struggle to source the right products for the job. Oftentimes, it’s scouring the internet or trying to adapt some other product to use in the context of my van build or minimalist camping equipment. On top of the search issues, as the founder of an outdoor travel technology company, the Shop helps us better serve both our members and our brand partners. We’ve supported small businesses for years through partnership marketing, but the new Sekr Shop helps us materially elevate community member-owned businesses."
What are the values you’re looking for when selecting vendors?
Breanne Acio: Sēkr is a woman, LGBTQIA, and BIPOC-led company that supports and empowers other brands led by historically marginalized founders, organizations committed to sustainability and conservation of our shared climate resources, and businesses dedicated to the equal and inclusive treatment of their workforce and communities. We’re looking for vendors who emulate THAT not just with their words but with their actions.
How can outdoor industry brands better adapt to meet the community's needs?
Breanne Acio: Your leadership team should reflect your consumer. The fastest growing consumer segments in the outdoor industry are women and people of color, but they are rarely represented where decisions are made.
Jessica Shisler, Ph.D.: On top of what Bre said, can I just say that women want more choices than tan or teal for their outdoor apparel!
Which products did you wish you had when you first started van life? Or Which products did you highly appreciate when you were vanlifers?
Breanne Acio: My stove. It's an absolute game-changer for cooking gourmet meals outdoors. My wife and I are avid cooks and don't change our lifestyle when on the road. Have you ever made pad Thai and curry while camping? It's a must and our little tradition.
Jessica Shisler, Ph.D.: I would say that I use pots that I received as wedding gifts before vanlife, and if I had been able to buy new pots for the van, I would have purchased something more stackable. Mine take up a whole drawer. But I love them. So they work for me.
Sophie's choice...composting toilet or a portable shower?
Breanne Acio: This is incredibly tough...our outdoor shower is a game-changer, otherwise we'd be stopping at gyms everywhere to shower, but a composting toilet is non-negotiable. Won't leave home without it.
Jessica Shisler, Ph.D.: Composting toilet for sure!