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Devin: Stephanie, what is your superpower?
Stephanie: My superpower is my imagination.
Devin: Hayley, what's your superpower?
Hayley: I'm going to say the word connecting, the ability to connect. And it's not just with people. It's with animals, too.
Twenty-somethings Stephanie and Hayley Painter founded and now lead as co-CEOs of Painterland Sisters Organic Skyr Yogurt, which is growing like one of the well-fed calves on their dairy farm.
The pair founded the company to ensure the farm could remain economically viable for future generations. “We are the fourth generation on our family's organic dairy and crop farm,” Stephanie says. “We're a regenerative farm in northern Pennsylvania. We've always wanted to vertically integrate our family's farm and connect consumers to the direct source of their food, which is the American farmer.”
The company is raising money on Wefunder to provide the fertilizer it needs to continue its rapid growth. “We decided to utilize a crowdfunding campaign instead of going directly to one investor because we are a mission-oriented company,” Stephanie says.
“We want to sustain Mother Earth. We want to give people great transparent products,” she says, adding, “We are also young women in this CEO role.” Data shows that crowdfunding may be one of the best ways for women to attract business capital.
The campaign could benefit Painterland Sisters’ growing community. “It's a great opportunity for our community who supported us from the beginning to come in,” Haley says.
One of the things that attracted my attention was the pair’s commitment to regenerative agriculture. Folks like me, far removed from farm life, hear about cows’ contributions to climate change. The sisters explain how the animals can contribute to carbon sequestration.
Cows and land and soil it's a symbiotic relationship along with the community that supports it. And so as the cows release that carbon and that fertilizer, it goes back into the soil where they graze. They also act as natural aeration because when they walk on it, that really supports getting the ground ready to accept that carbon in that carbon goes back into the ground, back into the soil, and then it comes back fueling those plants for the cows to then eat again. So it's a completely symbiotic relationship.
Stephanie adds, “We need grazing animals grazed sustainably and regenerative agriculture so that we can help turn around the climate crisis that we are facing today and sustain Mother Earth for generations to come.”
To build Painterland Sisters–which they tell me did over $1 million in revenue in its first full year in operation–they used their superpowers, Stephanie’s creativity and Hayley’s ability to connect with people and animals.
AI Episode Summary
Stephanie and Haley Painter are the founders and co-CEOs of Painterland Sisters Organic Skyr Yogurt.
They come from a fourth-generation regenerative farm in northern Pennsylvania.
Their goal is to vertically integrate their family's farm and connect consumers directly to the source of their food.
They launched an organic Icelandic-style skyr yogurt and have achieved significant sales growth, with a projection of $3.5 million in sales for 2023.
Their yogurt is sustainably sourced from their family farm and other local farms and contains high protein and billions of probiotics.
They are raising money through a crowdfunding campaign on Wefunder to allow their community to invest in their mission and become equity owners.
Stephanie's superpower is imagination and creativity, while Haley's superpower is connecting with people and animals.
Stephanie coaches others to develop imagination by visualizing solutions and maintaining a positive mindset.
Haley encourages others to develop their ability to connect by getting involved in communities, volunteering, and networking.
People can learn more about Painterland Sisters and their crowdfunding campaign by visiting their website, social media platforms or searching for their campaign on Wefunder.
How to Develop Imagination As a Superpower
Stephanie developed her imagination early in life, leading young family members on adventures.
I would just line up all my siblings and cousins, and we would go on all these adventures. We would be–I didn't realize it was called hiking until I went to college–walking up the hills. We just called it walking. We'd walk up the hills. We’d imagine ourselves in different worlds. Like, we grew up in the middle of nowhere. That's what people would call it, the absolute middle of nowhere. We had to create our own world and our own fun.
Stephanie offers a few insights for developing imagination. “I just naturally tell people how to expand your mind. You can do it. There's always a different way to figure things out.”
“I think imagination has to be coupled with positivity and a belief in yourself and a connection to your soul,” she adds.
By following Stephanie’s example and advice, you can strengthen your imagination and build it into a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.
How to Develop Connecting with People and Animals As a Superpower
Hayley sees the business as evidence of the benefits of her superpower, connecting with people and animals. “We started in 2018. We did not know how to start a national yogurt brand. I didn't even like yogurt. Now I love our yogurt. I had to make one that I liked, and then I had to make one that was really nutrient dense. That was the problem. How we got started is we talked to everyone.”
Things are going pretty well as a result of those connections, she says. “We've now been asked to sit on the board of Team PA next to the governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, and Secretary Russell Redding, the agriculture secretary here.”
Hayley offers a few tips for strengthening your ability to connect. “Don't be afraid to try something new.”
To help you see how she works, she shares an example of her approach. “When we were learning how to make products, I wanted to make cheese. So, I traveled across the country, meeting different cheesemakers.”
By following Hayley’s example and advice, you can improve your ability to connect with people–and perhaps animals–potentially turning connection into a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.
Hayley Painter (she/her) and Stephanie Painter (she/her):
Co-CEO and CO-Founder, Painterland Sisters Organic Skyr Yogurt
About Painterland Sisters Organic Skyr Yogurt: Sisters Stephanie and Hayley Painter launched Painterland Sisters Organic Skyr Yogurt as part of their mission to preserve, showcase and utilize their family’s Pennsylvania organic dairy farm, Painterland Farms, as well as others like theirs. Additionally, they strive to connect the consumer with the direct source of their food; The American Farmer. A fourth-generation family-owned and operated farm, Painterland Farms practices regenerative farming and uses rotational grazing to keep the farmland as nutrient-rich as possible. Painterland Sisters Organic Skyr Yogurt is a certified Woman-Owned business, and the yummy skyr contains billions of probiotics (BB12), is high in protein and calcium, lactose-free and Kosher.
Company Facebook Page: facebook.com/painterlandsisters
Instagram Handle: @painterlandsisters
Biographical Information: Hayley Painter is one of the two sisters who founded Painterland Sisters. She graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Animal Science. After college, Hayley focused on value-added products through learning how to produce, sell and market cheese, yogurt and gelato. One of the most fun experiences, she says, is getting to work in farmers markets in NYC, where she sold the products she helped make and got to connect with all types of consumers! With that experience, Hayley went on to pursue her dream of vertically integrating her family’s farm alongside her sister by creating Painterland Sisters and selling their Icelandic-style skyr yogurt!
Personal Facebook Profile: facebook.com/hayley.painter.75
Biographical Information: Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Admin with a specialty in Marketing and a heavy load of entrepreneurship classes. She gained business insight, management experience, and sales experience at a top high-end auction house after university. She’s traveled extensively around the country and the world to figure out how to connect the farm to the consumer and the consumer to the farm. She is a momma, a dog momma, a hiking/ outdoor lover and natural food enthusiast!
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Léa is a Sr. Investment Analyst at KingsCrowd who writes the company's impact investing monthly article, providing investors with the best impact investing deals and market insights. She previously worked for Stanford's accelerator, StartX, and led the first award-winning study on the Malawian startup ecosystem. She holds a degree in Anthropology from France and studies at UC Davis, working toward an MBA.