Victoria, British Colombia, Canada
Founder of Green Room Body Co.
Years in Business: 2 years
What inspired you to start Green Room Body Co.? The idea to start the Green Room line was born on a Baja surf trip in the winter of 2018. My partner and I (and the puppy we adopted) lived in our van for 2 months and during this time, I was reading a book discussing the ingredients found in many of our “big brand” personal care products. The book also touched on the incredible amount of waste that the cosmetic industry produces globally. My growing concern around the products I was using was compounded by the fact that we were surfing and showering in the ocean, directly disturbing and polluting the very thing that brings us so much joy. And with almost a complete lack of recycling infrastructure where we were in Mexico, our big bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and sunscreen, either found their way into the garbage or we hoarded them until it was time to drive back up through California.
And so, the need for sustainably packed and travel friendly body care made with quality ingredients was recognized. The products are designed to be as multi-use and no-fuss as possible, shifting the focus away from unrealistic beauty expectations and redirecting that energy into self-love, self-care, and creating more space for the things we really love.
What is the story behind the name? Green Room signifies a space where we can explore sustainability and a more mindful approach to life. It also touches on being inside the “the green room” aka the inside of a barreling wave. For the surfy folk!
What is The Green Room Co.’s mission statement? Our mission is to empower others to practice conscious consumerism and ultimately give back to our main girl Mama Earth, the provider of all resources and the root of our happiness, by using products that have been designed with the health of our mind, our bodies, and the environment in mind.
What are some challenges you have overcome in starting this business? The whole process has been a challenge! Learning to build a business from scratch is no easy feat. I have so much respect for all the entrepreneurs out there! I feel like the biggest challenge is not having enough time in a day. My to-do list seems to get longer rather than shorter and everything takes longer than you think it will (at least for me)!
How does your relationship to surfing and/or the ocean inspire you in creating/running your business? It seems silly to say but surfing completely flipped my life upside down. Once I caught the bug and found my community, I made a complete life 180 and never looked back. I owe so much to the sport and to the ocean that I want to do everything in my power to treat it right.
How does your business influence your life? Oh man, my business is my life haha. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep. I devote the majority of my time to it but always always, always make sure to set aside time for myself to either surf, camp, spend quality time with friends and family, etc. For me, running my own business is more of a lifestyle choice rather than a financial one. Yes, I need to be successful enough to be able to sustain myself, but having the freedom to go on adventures and see friends and family is the most important thing. The toss up is that you can never just leave work at work… you wear a lot of hats and it’s a 24/7 job even when you’re taking time for yourself.
In what ways are you striving to be a more ocean-friendly company? I’m super conscious of where we get our materials from, what their made of, and what happens to them at the end of their life cycle. The goal is so source things as locally as possible and we try our best to stay away from any plastic and re-use materials before buying new. If you receive an order from us and it’s not in the prettiest box or there is a little bit of plastic stuffing, we’re just trying to keep materials in circulation longer and re-use things where we can! We purchase carbon offsets and donate to causes in need in whatever capacity we can. The goal is to be as close to carbon neutral as possible in the future.
What are your main obstacles in running an ocean-friendly company? Sourcing ingredients and materials is super tricky. We are in Canada and for many things, suppliers are often international. The best we can do here is try and minimize the supply chain and order as directly as we can to shorten the travel path and buy in as bulk as possible so as to make the trip “worth it”.
As both ocean lovers and consumers, what do you think our main priorities should be? Just being super mindful of our consumption and being happy with what we already have, even if it’s not the BEST. Reusing and repairing is most important. When you need to buy new, try and buy used first. When you need to buy new new, opt for local and high quality, even if it costs a few bucks extra. Sustainable alternatives will usually always cost a bit more but it’s how we can all invest in our future.
What is your big vision for the future? Business-wise, I would like to grow Green Room big enough so that I can provide a whole team with consistent work and create a little work family. My favourite jobs have always been ones where I’ve just loved the people I work with. Personally, this seems kind of clique since all I’ve talked about is surfing, but I just want to continue to improve and feel confident surfing all types of waves and boards. For the oceans, I just want to see everyone care and take an interest. The more we connect with it, the more we want to protect it.