My business partner and I spent the weekend at the Seattle Green Festival. It was a great event and I love meeting new customers and introducing people to ReUsies, but to be honest I find those events kind of grueling and I don’t much like working all weekend. Nonetheless, one of the parts that I do like is meeting the vendors in surrounding booths. They all have such interesting stories and great products and you just kind of bond after standing, talking and smiling for 16 hours…they become “Brothers In Arms” of sorts. I wanted to briefly introduce you to a few of my favorites and share a link to their sites:
I met Josie Gaillard, from Living Ethos, in the booth across from me. Josie is from the Bay Area and makes some of the most beautiful, reusable gift bags. Of course we like to encourage our customers to use ReUsies as their gift wrap for smaller items, but her bags are tough to beat. It’s funny because it was my husband’s birthday this weekend and I used the same shabby, paper gift bags that I’ve used a hundred times (I think I saw just about every family member’s name written and crossed out on one of them). I could have really used some of the Living Ethos bags, I encourage you to check out her site! It was also great to share information with another textile based company that manufactures in the USA…sadly, there aren’t many of us around anymore.
Crown S Ranch
To my right was a woman named Jennifer Argraves who owns Crown S Ranch in Winthrop, WA. She was there (with her cute and well-behaved kids!) educating people about her family’s farm. It is a CSA and you can order different cuts of beef, pork, chicken and even eggs to be delivered to Seattle 7 times a year. Her animals are all treated humanely, raised without antibiotics on pastures that are pesticide/herbicide free and the cattle are all 100% grass fed. I learned a lot about sustainable farming just by the eavesdropping I did between she and her customers! Their tagline says it all: Better for the animals, Better for the environment, Better for you!
Mamma K's Aromatic Play Clay
Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting (in person finally), Kari Erickson-Valenzuela, aka Mamma-K. She owns Mamma K’s Aromatic Play Clay. Mamma K’s makes gluten-free, 100% natural play clay. It comes in yummy scents like lavender, sweet orange, cardamom and lemongrass. I like to keep my nervous hands busy and so was playing with a little ball of cardamom as I stood at our booth. I know typically when you play with other doughs and clays your hands feel so dried out from all of the salt used, but after playing with Mamma K’s I think my hands felt better!
We’ve been at this venture (ReUsies) for over a year now and it has been so fun to see how the knowledge about reusable snack and sandwich bags has grown. Initially when we would go to shows I would say it was about 25% “oh yes, I’ve heard about these” and 75% “wow, what a great new idea”, now I’d say those numbers are reversed (granted we were at the Green Festival so that attracted a certain type of clientel). It’s just nice to know that people are becoming more and more aware of this option as a way to reduce their impact on the planet!
Becky and I just took all of the booster seats out, dropped the extra rows of seats, and picked up a big order of new ReUsies from Mr. Hong (our manufacturer…which we proudly like to point out is located in the good old USA!) We only get new patterns every few months, so when we do we get really excited. Not that we don’t like our “old stuff” we just get tired of looking at it! I equate it to how excited you are to get a new outfit only to hate looking at it/wearing it shortly thereafter.
So yes, the good news is we have a lot of new styles, here are a few aren’t they cute? We listened to the feedback we got from our customers and added the extra piece of velcro that is on the back of the snack sized ReUsie to the larger, sandwich size. If you’ve never seen a snack sized ReUsie it has the unique feature of an extra strip of velcro on the back that allows you to tighten the bag up on itself. This “tightening feature” holds your snacks securely and prevents them from accidentally spilling out.
OK, now for the bad news. We have to raise our prices slightly as the aforementioned Mr. Hong is charging us more to add this extra feature. We think the extra 20 cents is worth it (think about what you can buy for a couple of dimes??) and if you don’t you still have the option of buying the older patterns for the same price they always were.
- Peace Flower
We hope to see some of you at the Crave Green Party this Tuesday night, I’m excited as I don’t think I’ve ever had a venue where I could sell ReUsies and drink wine simultaneously – fabulous!!
Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day – my husband and kids are in cleaning up the kitchen (something I am sure I’ll have to finish up myself later but it’s the thought that counts right!
I just wanted to share a little good ReUsies press we got this week. A popular news magazine in Seattle, Evening Magazine, did a great feature about our company and our bags (our kids even got to skip school to be a part of it) - check us out:
There is a little write-up on the West Seattle Blog about Lafayette Elementary’s composting program (that we helped fund) -
We were also featured on KOMO news and in numerous other print and on-line publications for Earth Day but I’ll spare you…thanks for letting me brag. I hope that your Earth Day was fun and that you pledged to make one small change to help our environment!
We hope we’re able to meet some of you at the Eco Chic Expo on Saturday and at Crave Green on May 11th!
I actually took the time to figure out just how many plastic baggies ReUsies have kept out of the landfills in our first year of business. Admittedly, I had to ask several people to double check my work as I don’t have a lot of faith in my rusty math skills, but I was shocked to come up with the number 4 million! Can you imagine what 4 million plastic baggies even looks like?? Congratulations to all of our customers you should be so proud of yourselves!
There are a couple of great events that we are partnering with for Earth Day that I wanted to bring your attention to…
The first is the Green My Lunchbox Campaign. This is a national campaign asking 15,000 families to pledge to pack a waste-free lunch to eliminate 1 million pounds of waste going to landfills (based on the estimate that on average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year – epa.gov). There are daily giveaways a special promotions so join the campaign on Facebook to take advantage of all of the great freebies!
Locally we will also be a part of the first annual Eco-Chic Expo at the Ravenna Community Center on May 1st. This is a day full of tips, tricks and products to live a little greener. This great event is free to the public, and “will feature some of Seattle’s leading sustainable lifestyle companies in a variety of categories: design, home, food, baby, beauty, including brunch/lunch concessions and more”. We’d love to meet some ReUsies fans there!! We’ll also be selling product at a discount so it’s a great time to stock up…
Ahh, you got to love Capitol Hill in Seattle, we were just coming out of a restaurant and about smacked into this guy. The funny thing was that he was so non-chalant. It was almost like someone dressed him up in this while he was asleep and he didn’t realize he was walking down the street as a storm trooper.
Trooper Out For A Stroll
Ok, that blog title was a bit of a stretch for a segway, but take a listen to my business partner, Becky, as she did a radio interview about ReUsies – Yeah Becky!
There are definately some mis-quotes (ReUsies are not lined with vinyl, yuk! - and even more important my name is misspelled:) but nonetheless a great story.
We spent the last few days meeting new people and introducing them to our product. ReUsies partnered with Bartell’s Drug Stores at the Northwest Women’s Show and while tiring, we had a great time. I had to laugh because the company we shared a booth with sold organic dog treats and all they had to do was say “do you have a dog?” and pass out a treat while we had to do a lot of education with our product. People first of all want to know what a ReUsie is (yes, many thought us a dog treat holder or even worse, dog poo baggie), then we have to explain what you can put in a ReUsie, how to wash a ReUsie and how many hundreds of plastic sandwich baggies a ReUsie can replace. It’s so rewarding after all of that to hear over and over again “wow, what a great idea!”. In addition to teaching people about our product we also had the pleasure of meeting current customers – check out the cute photo below of kiddos that had their ReUsies with them at the show!
Little ReUsies Users!
Becky at the ReUsies Booth