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.
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!
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!