Seven years ago when I started my business, I made these boards that I hung above my desk. They are still there because my message hasn’t changed:
I also wrote out my Mission and Goals at the same time. I see it every day because it’s pinned to my vision board behind my desktop. Here it is word for word:
1-To provide alternatives to plastic bags through reusable market bags, produce bags, biodegradable bags and reusable sandwich wraps ( I don’t like most biodegradable bags anymore since they pollute the environment, unless they are made with 100% natural materials like corn or natural starches. I do believe in composting all my vegan kitchen scraps and turning them into nutrient rich material for my garden).
2- To provide support to cooperatives around the world, as well as connecting to their cultures, and raise awareness of their struggle to overcome many challenges to survive.
(I still feel this way and look to support women’s cooperatives in my store and when I go shopping).
3-To provide products that provide shelter and care to our animal friends, with birdhouses, bee houses, and non-toxic shampoo for dogs, a scratch pad for cats and several books celebrating animals. (Sadly, I didn’t succeed at having a section devoted to pets since I found it difficult to find products I wanted to carry. I donated the dog shampoos since then to an animal shelter).
4- To provide a selection of non toxic home care products to teach and encourage people to rid chemicals from their home environment with natural alternatives, such as Bon Ami cleaners, natural sponges and non toxic dryer sheets. (I have stopped carrying many of the cleaning supplies because they are now widely available in most supermarkets, including the classic and wonderful Bon Ami line. I have also learned how to make my own cleaning products for a fraction of the cost of buying them in the store).
5-To provide sensible educational materials, games and books for parents to share with their children. (I still feel the same).
6-To provide inexpensive products that help you save money and energy through using less water and electricity.( I still carry these products and have learned new ways to waste less water).
7-To provide support to businesses that are making useful products using recycled materials.( I still believe this very much so and have always shown my support to small businesses that have come up with a wonderful and healthy alternative to a conventional product and especially when they use innovative and creative ideas in reusing, recycling and repurposing materials).
Clearly, seven years ago I didn’t know about how laden with toxins women’s beauty products are or I would have offered a non-toxic skin care line right from the start. It took me a few years to find one that I really love, which is Odacite’. I use it every day. In fact, I still won’t carry a product in my store that I wouldn’t use myself.
My updated wish list is as follows:
* That all paper products are made from recycled paper, whether it’s books, magazines, school and office supplies, home supplies such as Kleenex, paper towels and toilet paper
*That all beauty and skin care products are made free of chemicals
*That all cleaning products are non-toxic
*That as many products as possible are made using recycled materials
*That all food is grown without the use of pesticides, chemicals and are GMO free
*That we reduce and remove the use of plastic in our lives, and instead use reusable market bags, reusable produce bags, glass storage containers for food and glass water bottles.