What’s Your Business?
Greentools in a Vancouver, British Columbia based company that sells cool innovative products designed to improve sustainability for homes, businesses and institutions. It is our goal to represent products that help our customers minimize their environmental impact and at the same time, reduce their operating costs.
Why Did You Start Your Business?
While living in New Zealand I was an avid gardener and practiced composting using a variety of methods and worm farms. I came across our first product, Hungry Bin, after meeting the inventor through a mutual friend. When the company I worked for in Auckland purchased a Hungry Bin to process the food waste from our 30 plus employees, I witnessed first hand how amazingly efficient it is compared to other compost systems currently on the market. I was sold. After living in New Zealand for the last 7 years, it was time to come back to Vancouver to be closer to friends and family. When I arrived back home I decided to leave the profession of Urban Design and create Greentools to share Hungry Bin with customers throughout Vancouver and beyond. This is my first business venture and I am excited to give it a go!
Best Kept Secret or Little Known Fact About Your Neighbouhood?
I think the West End in general has been forgotten about as millennials and hipsters clamour for Mount Pleasant and Strathcona, etc. but in reality this is great value for proximity to amenities and downtown. I think most people think of the West End as either a Gay Village or largely a neighbourhood full of seniors but there is good diversity here, continually I am noticing large contingents of young Mexicans, Brazilians and Koreans residents. It’s a neighbourhood in transition.
The One Piece of Advice You’d Give Other Local Businesses Is….
Carefully identify and manage your lead times to get things started or approved/processed. Some things can only be started after you have something else and some things require more time than you realize.
What’s The Most Important Business Lesson You’ve Learned?
Put the ball in people’s court as much as you can and move onto another task(s) while its being addressed, don’t wait around for a response before starting the next task. Be patient. Do not expect your emergency to be someone else’s.
What's The Best Business Move You've Made Recently? The Worst?
BEST: Using a crowd sourcing competition to develop my logo.
WORST: Not doing my research on warehousing alternatives and ultimately wasting rent at a facility that was not able to handle my first shipment.
What Local Suppliers (goods or services) Can't You Live Without? Why?
Modo for Car Sharing, Choices for Groceries, Pizzeria Farina, all the local urban breweries. That’s all that come to mind at the moment but I have only been back for 3 months.
What Inspires You to Keep Moving Forward?
My mother passed away in 2013 and it was a game changer for me. I know it sounds cliche, but it was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I quickly realized that life really is too short to not try something new. I had never run a business before but thought: hey you’ve seen this thing work, you believe in what it can do, so why not give it a try? Now I’m at that stage of making the business a reality and getting out there to let people know that Hungry Bin can really help them so that’s a big motivation to keep moving forward.
How Does Your Business Work To Better Our World?
Turning onsite food and plant waste into high quality fertilizer for growing your own organic veg. Lower the environmental footprint of businesses, corporations and institutions by processing green waste onsite as opposed to having it picked up and trucked to the suburbs for processing by heavy machinery.
Why Is Local Important To You?
I firmly believe that connecting local business with each other is a more sustainable model for the overall economy than resource based mega projects that government(s) seem to only believe in and jam down our throat.