BIV is proud to recognize Samantha Rayner, co-founder and CEO of Better Basics, and 39 exceptional business leaders with 2022 Forty under 40 Awards.
Each recipient is featured in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine, and will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 22. Profiles of each award recipient – originally published in the magazine – will be available at biv.com in the days ahead.
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
I come from very hard working and self-made parents, but my motivation is also linked to my values and purpose. Early in my career, I realized that I had to feel connected to what I was doing, and when work doesn’t feel like “work,” I can seamlessly accomplish more.
What drives you?
I want to make a positive mark on this world. I want to challenge unhealthy consumption norms (like plastics and nasty chemicals in our home), delight people with wonderful products and change business to maximize people, planet and profit.
Now that you are (or are close to) entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?
Just two years into the business, we will be ready for significant expansion, team growth, new product innovations and new business channels. Personally, I’d like to live abroad, teach yoga again and build a new home and garden.
What was your childhood career dream?
As a child I always wanted to work in business, and I had the vision of being a female leader in a large corporation full of men. I think the young feminist in my mind saw the lack of female business leaders and thought: I could do that.
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
Business decisions that may leave people disappointed are always the hardest to make. Letting employees go, whether a layoff or because the role just wasn’t the right fit, always takes most of my energy.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Pay attention to the things that light you up, and those that upset you. The sooner you can determine your values, you will align your career to a greater purpose and live with more satisfaction and success.
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
I have an identical twin sister, Olivia Hornby.
Best piece of advice ever received?
To invest in yourself when you are young. Take a loan from your older self to do so.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
Don’t worry about the competition, just worry about your customer. Consumers are intelligent and you can’t buy their interest. To make an impact you need to be authentic and transparent about the whole model: Product, internal culture and business operations.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
I am proud of launching Better Basics, the standards we created and the amount of plastic we have diverted. I am extremely proud when I see people on my team thrive and accomplish their dreams.
What’s left to accomplish?
I feel I am still at the infancy of the impact I want to create. I hope to make Better Basics a household name, divert billions of plastics and create an incubator for the next generation of talent.