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Female Disruptors: Isabel Aagaard of LastObject On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

I think Sadhguru says it’s really good: “The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing“. Being disruptive is questioning what we do and being willing to change it. If we stubbornly keep walking the same paths we are simply idiots. We as humans need to disrupt and question our ways of living to develop the best way.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Isabel Aagaard.

Isabel Aagaard, 29, is a Co-founder and Designer at LastObject. Frustrated by all of the single-use waste, she decided to design innovative solutions to wasteful habits that make a lasting impact, starting with LastSwab — the world’s first sanitary, reusable cotton swab. LastSwab was followed by LastTissue, and most recently by LastRound. One by one, Isabel is tackling the single-use items that have become an unfortunate part of our daily routine.

As an eco-fighter and power-mom Isabel stands by her products and hopes to inspire others to be the change and adapt to living sustainably.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I am a designer from the Royal Academy of Design, more specifically a co-designer and have always been very interested in waste reduction and sustainable design solutions. Everything that I have done throughout the years has in some way tapped into these interests.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

We wanted to put a dent in the wasteful industry of single use items. We have gotten used to just consuming without thought, this is where we wanted to disrupt a mindset and an industry.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We made plenty of mistakes. I don’t think that any of them were particularly funny :)

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

We stand on top of giants that made it possible for our product to have a place in people’s minds. Lauren Singer, the woman behind the blog Trash for Tossers, has paved the way not only for our mentality, but many others too. FinalStraw was one of the first colorful mainstream zero waste initiatives that inspired us a great deal.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

I think Sadhguru says it’s really good: “The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering. Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing“. Being disruptive is questioning what we do and being willing to change it. If we stubbornly keep walking the same paths we are simply idiots. We as humans need to disrupt and question our ways of living to develop the best way.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

  1. Test your idea as much as possible. Prototype hundreds of versions, get feedback, change it and test it again. It’s really important not to sit on your ideas and think you know best. And don’t be afraid to change things along the way.
  2. Preparation. You cannot prepare for everything, but preparing for as much as possible will save your ass. We collected emails before our launch, and this became a huge factor for our success in the beginning.
  3. Understand every single corner in your business and then systemize and automate as much as possible. As soon as a task can be automated it should not be in your daily activities. There are thousands of platforms and outsource opportunities that can make your life easier, but you need to understand the task first.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

We will probably stay in the bathroom department for a while, but our main focus is creating products that really make a difference to their single-use equivalent — we’re definitely not done yet.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

Sustainability is quite woman dominated, maybe we feel a bigger responsibility to clean up the world for future generations because we send them into this earth physically.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

The universe has your back by Gabrielle Bernstein. An amazing book about finding a clear direction in life and leaning into it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Create less waste. It can become a game in life if you let it.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Incredible things can be done simply if we are committed to making them happen” — Sadhguru

I feel like being sustainable sometimes can seem endless and doubt how much of an effect one can really have. And when I feel like that I remember this quote.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram @lastswab & @lastobject

https://lastobject.com/

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.

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