Businesses in nearly every industry are trying to be more sustainable. Sometimes, the answer comes from simple solutions — like reusing materials that would otherwise be discarded.
For example, Neutrall offers unique products made from old bottles. This solution keeps them out of landfills and provides a stylish solution. Read more in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Sells upcycled carbon-neutral drinkware and glass kitchenware.
Co-founder Ernesto Humpierres told Small Business Trends, “??Our products are made from discarded materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. These materials are given value through an upcycling process. Also, all our products are carbon-neutral since we buy carbon offsets. More uniquely, our flagship product is made from Topo Chico bottles.”
A commitment to making 30 percent of glassware sold in the U.S. come from upcycling.
Humpierres explains, “This would be the equivalent of taking thousands of cars off the roads in carbon emissions. The energetic and sustainability benefits from upcycling are just unparalleled.”
Small Business Deals
Combining multiple areas of interest.
Humpierres and his wife, co-founder Sarah Mitchell wanted to expand their ecommerce ventures. However, they didn’t want just any opportunity. Mitchell works in land conservation. So they wanted a way to combine Humpierres’s business expertise with Mitchell’s passion for the environment. At the same time, the couple’s children got into Montessori education, which emphasizes kids’ glassware use.
Humpierres adds, “We mulled this specific idea for 18 months before deciding to get to work.”
Successfully launching in just nine months.
Humpierres says, “I’d say the biggest win was setting up a supply chain and marketing operation in nine months.”
Launching at scale.
Humpierres explains, “Finding the right glassmaking craft operation here in the US, and then committing funds to that partner to achieve the required scale to launch is the biggest risk we have taken. In other words, we are guaranteeing demand to our manufacturer to help them build their operations, even though we don’t have consumer demand at a level to be profitable yet.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
More specifically, Humpierres says they’d love to work with Marketing agency or expert with the goal of honing their messaging.
Meetings at home.
Humpierres says, “Our strategy and business decision-making happens in the kitchen, in the mornings, while getting our kids ready for school!”
“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” -Master’s degree faculty.
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Image: Neutral; top image of Sarah Mitchell and Ernesto Humpierres c/o Vanessa Cerday