In the past, consumers often had to choose between eco friendly products and practical ones. But now, there are better options for producing these materials. So people can now enjoy the best of both worlds.
This combination is exactly what Bamboozle brings to the market. Learn how the company brought these two factors together in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Sells eco-friendly homewares.
Brand Manager Avishai Greenstein told Small Business Trends, “Utilizing a revolutionary process, our responsibly made unique bamboo fibers blend is molded into stylish homeware products that are made from reclaimed, renewable, and biodegradable materials. We have brought a sensible and convenient step toward green living into homes, through our practical, affordable, and beautifully designed collection.”
Mixing sustainability with practicality.
Greenstein says, “While many consumers desire to make more sustainable choices, their daily lives allow for little sacrifice. Design, usability, and price tend to dominate their priorities. By understanding what is possible in the realm of sustainability and simultaneously acknowledging their needs we have assembled a product line that empowers customers to make better choices easily.”
How the Business Got Started
Greenstein explains, “We were requested by a factory to find a new use for defunct machines destined to be scrapped. We found that we could through trial and error reduce the amount of resin in favor of more natural filler. From our experience we also knew that furniture factories produce large amount of waste in the form of sawdust that is usually incinerated. By using that waste as the filler, we had created something that was sustainable, dishwasher safe, and biodegradable.
“We took the product to the Inspired Home Show (formerly The International Housewares Show) we had hoped to find a major retailer interested in a sustainable material. Instead of a traditional sourcing partnership we found that all our interest was coming from independent retail and media. To serve that interest we built our collection and the Bamboozle brand.”
Developing a popular composter product.
Greenstein adds, “It was an independent store that suggested it would fit within our brand’s image. We put a lot of value in what our customers tell us and developed the composter with the understanding that design is just as important, if not more so, as sustainability in the eyes of the consumer.
“For the first year, with lukewarm sales we had thought it was yet another trial that yielded mixed results. However, after a major online retailer and tastemaker had presented it to their audience it took off. Funny enough the store that suggested the composter never did order it. The composter now accounts for a rather large percentage of our sales and taught reinforced two core concepts in out development process. First, listen to everyone’s input and weigh it carefully as a comment can make a future. Second, the right product takes its time to find its audience.”
Moving the business.
Greenstein explains, “We had limited warehouse space and no drop ship capability from our location in New York and were growing quickly. We knew that the future of our business would require those capabilities to survive and at the time it seemed like the best option.
“The move proved to be quite disruptive and costly. A few employees had chosen not to move, and some moved back after trying to live in both places at once. It also created a rather large distraction that took us away from our core business. However, as ecommerce grew our bet had started to bare fruit. Our investment into inventory, space, and drop shipping capabilities became the core of our business. Especially now when ecommerce is the only way to safely shop for many consumers.”
Take advantage of earned media for marketing.
Greenstein says, “We had spent significant resources on pay per click ad that yielded disappointing sales. It was only through public relations that our story could really be told properly and attract our true audience.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Greenstein adds, “We are constantly looking for ways to make new materials and products that push the boundaries of sustainability. The process is time consuming and requires us to build partnerships that require us to make inventory commitments on untested products. Having the extra assets to assume that risk can go a long way to speeding up this ongoing process.”
Take risks as a team.
Greenstein explains, “Many of us came here from the corporate world where decision making is a personal risk. Our goal from day one was to change that in two ways. First is to build a trust between every part of our company to suggest ideas and take risks without fear. Fear of failure is an incredibly difficult thing to unlearn but the results are profound. It had reduced politics, stress, and allowed creativity to become our core language.
“Second was to distribute the burden of a decision by including as many stakeholders in it as necessary. This had a very positive side effect allowing different departments and expertise to add input on projects that may not have to do with their direct work. Having a customer service agent in a development meeting, or a marketing manager in an operational meeting brings perspectives that have allowed us to operate as a cohesive unit.”
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