An entrepreneur with a background in green building certifications is taking cues from her former career to launch a health-focused home goods e-commerce platform.
Jennifer Easton, based out of Fishtown, is the founder of Sway Home, a marketplace featuring vetted, healthy home goods that meet standards of non-toxicity. After launching the company this past spring, Easton headed to Austin, Texas to participate in Techstars‘ current accelerator program to refine her business plan and strategies.
Easton spent seven years working for the U.S. Green Building Council, which certifies buildings that use sustainable and health-focused practices. What she learned on the job began influencing her own purchases for her home —”I became very aware of how the things around us affect our health and wellbeing,” she said.
She began vetting products using research from the Environmental Working Group, Healthy Materials Labs and the Green Science Policy Institute which focus on materials health. Last year, Easton began envisioning an e-commerce platform that would bring healthy products together, and in May 2022 she launched Sway. Her acceptance into the Techstars program was a sign, she said.
“My acceptance to the program kind of gave me the runway and permission I needed to go full time on Sway,” the founder said.
Now, in her third week, and with a $120,000 investment from the program under her belt, Easton said she’s forming the “strongest business plan possible.” She’s in the middle of “mentor madness,” where she takes 12 meetings a day for five days straight to hear as much immediate feedback about Sway as possible. She’s been able to test ideas quickly and speak with expert advisors in the field with an ultimate goal of creating a “sustainable, successful” company, she said.
Since the spring, Sway has been in an MVP platform launch, with about 60 products in the marketplace and 53 vetted companies, with new additions coming all the time. Right now, the products include furniture, mattresses, rugs, textiles and paint, but Easton sees the shop expanding into more home categories, like kitchen and bathroom.
Easton will be in Austin, working through the Techstars programming through November, and is looking forward to building out her team more to include content writers and producers who will add to the education side of the business.
“My hope is Sway can help people make informed choices, [that] it can be a source where consumers don’t have to spend five says deciding which crib is the best choice for their child,” Easton said. “I hope it makes the process of finding the right and healthiest product easy and intuitive.”