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Earth Day a "Year Round" Issue for Small Business

Earth Day 2009 may be officially over, but in the hearts and minds of small business owners, attention to Green applications are never far from their minds. This, according to a recent survey, shows that most small business owners are thinking Greenall year long. The survey by PayCycle (an online payroll service) found that even with the economy continuing to dominate headlines and bottom lines nearly everywhere, most small business owners (63%) say that environmental issues are just as important as economic.

The survey showed 84% of small business owners considering themselves at least "occasional environmentalists"; of that group, one third say they are "environmentalists"; taking multiple steps to reduce their impact on the environment. Happily enough, only 5% are not at all concerned about the environment (I wonder what planet their living on!)

One thing is clear, Green is not going away, and every business seems to tout Green standards. It’s good to know that Small Business Owners also see the importance of Green, in fact, 35% worry more about the environment now than ever before. BUT: they are also worrying about costs. Going Green isn’t always a money saver, and when dealing with Green suppliers, “Three out of 4 small business owners found a green vendor to be more appealing than a non-green vendor - if the service and price are the same.”  So if the small business has to pay more, he is not likely to go with a Green Vendor.

This sounds realistic. Small Business Trends talks about business having to focus first and foremost on service and price. Those two factors resonate loudest with the largest group of small businesses as basic survival. Green initiatives have to take their place under a kind of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needsfor businesses. Maslow’s theory says that your most basic needs have to be met first, before higher ideals and needs are considered.


Maslow’s Hierarchy Image Compliments of Wikipedia

So it falls to the consumer to help drive Green initiatives for small business owners – by supporting those that practice environmentally-friendly production and waste management. Then those small business owners may be able to afford the higher costs that still accompany Green practices. I wonder how much our Small Business Community knows about its customer base’s interests in Green practices….events like the Natural Living Expo Iowa, held last month at the Des Moines Convention Center, is one way to make a positive statement about your interest in, and doing business with, earth-friendly and sustainable lifestyles. Small business that offers products and services that support that initiative should be a priority for our dollar. 

#105 Jonathan May Comedy Magician

Jonathan May Comedy Magician With slight of hand and a polished panache, Jonathan May tells the story of how he came to be an entertainer. He also explains why creativity is required not just for crafting his magic shows, but also marketing his business. This interview is a nice "backstage" look at what goes on in the artisan entrepreneur's's life.

Soy Spacasso Skin Care and Candles

Maria Lutrell MurphyFounder Maria Luttrell - Murphy aka SPACASSO
Email address: info@spacasso.com

SOY SPACASSOcan be found and purchased online or at Mountain Memories Store #229 at Southridge Mall, Des Moines, IA

"SOY SPACASSO has re-emerged with a beautiful and sophisticated new look and has now joined the major players in today's global health, skincare and beauty marketplace."

Soy spacasso logo   

SOY SPACASSO is a Des Moines, Iowa based company dedicated to creating and producing premium, healthy and appealing soy skin care products that we promise will rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit....naturally.

Bringing about a transformation in the beauty and skin care industry through the use of natural soy based skin care, candles and fragrance product, that are not only healthy but beautiful and aroma filled. The SOY SPACASSO unisex line provides an alternative to the lanolin and mineral oil skin care products that clog pores which are commonly used.

SOY SPACASSO only use natural soybean lipids and shea oil along with natural ingredients to create a completely botanic and antioxidant rich product line to enhance your skin, health and well being.

In the same way that natural and botanic skin care products   for women, they are also important for men's skincare. SOYSPACASSO understand men's complex skincare needs and knows they have long been overlooked in the skincare industry, especially with new and vital formulations that are essential to maintain young looking skin.

Our exclusive new range of botanic and natural skincare products for men called MANSTYLE regenerates and renews skin cells and brings maximum moisture that combats the signs of aging from the very first fine line.

Mission Statement :
The SOY SPACASSO Company mission is simple: to provide a luxurious and high quality unisex product line, and provide utmost commitment of service to our appreciated customers.  Our online store is designed to provide you with a safe and secure environment to shop our luxurious yet economically priced products.

Prices range from $8.00 -$30.00 (Soy Radiance Whips, Hydrating Lip Spa Balms, M.I.E. (Moisture Intensifying Emollient) Face & Body Cream, Silk Body Essence Sprays,  Soyjuvenating Hand & Body Lotions,  Element Mist Massage Oils, Sweet Vanilla Sea Salts Foaming Body Scrub), etc.

Please do review our website, ecommerce site and myspace for more information.

WEBSITE: www.spacasso.com

SHOPPING:  www.shop.spacasso.com

MYSPACE:  www.myspace.com/spacasso


#104 Alex Johnson Shed Working

When our two children were young and space was limited, I worked out of a home office for a company as a salesperson. Even with a 3-bedroom house that had two solariums, along with the standard rooms, we could not accommodate a separate space for me. Ultimately, for 6 years, (6 LONG years) I took over the living room during the work week. After a tirade or two from interruptions and my own sloppy filing habits that made for a constant mess, I became so desperate for a separation of "work and life" that I placed duct tape around my desk to create "office boundaries." 

AlexJohnson Faced with work-space limitations Alex Johnson, journalist and owner of of Shed Working came up with a far superior solution to his need for work-away-from-home environs. In this interview, find out how Alex has turned his own great idea into creating a resource for others who have either made the garden office leap or desire to do so.

#103 Zane Safrit - Expert in motivation and cash-flow boosting

Zanesafrit Zane Safrit has successfully launched and grown his own businesses for over 20 years and now shares his experience and knowledge to help others achieve positive results. In this interview Zane talks about how to engage employees in your business, build loyal customers, and give yourself the needed umph to take your business to the next level. 32 minutes of useful information. Grab a paper and pencil!

Whole Earth Partners - Prairie Bug Firestarters

Prairiebugfirestarters image one In 2007, Marybeth Gardam's business at EarthStuf, LLC was slow and she was looking for a new product line to broaden her base.  A manufacturer of packing material that replaces plastic non-degradable packing with a standalone protective packing made from recycled cardboard, Gardam knew her shredded cardboard product also worked as a remarkably effective fire starter.  But packaging it was daunting...it was so voluminous and hard to compact.  How to shape it so it would fit easily on a shelf?  She finally came up with the idea of adding soy wax and called one of her packing material customers who makes soy candles in Newton.  Alan Halferty of Wholemade Products declared that he had been thinking of ways to use his soy wax as a firestarter, but the logs he was creating burned too rich, too long.  He immediately saw the synergy between the cardboard and wax. 

Working separately Marybeth and Alan began developing design prototypes that would be effective and not too labor intensive to make.  When they got together for 'show and tell' the one design in common was clearly the most attractive and effective.... and it had a little personality all its own.  "It looked like some kind of weird bug", Marybeth remembers.  "We decided to call it a Prairie Bug Fire Starter... and we thought surely it wouldn't take more than 6 months to get it ready for market". 

Two years later, with a patent pending and packaging that's just right for the mission and concept of this earth-friendly, chemical-free product, Prairie Bug Fire Starters had a great test market on Amazon.com and are being sold in small stores throughout Iowa.  The company is poised to take the cute and green bugs to  a national sales/distribution network and hopes they'll catch on all across the nation.

"We're fulfilling our green mission in several ways", Gardam says.  "We are creating a market for a product made from 100% post consumer waste cardboard and diverting tons of cardboard that would be in the landfill to do it.  And we're creating jobs and using local sustainable soy bean crops right here in Iowa."  This Iowa made natural product can be purchased at dsmBUZZ, at www.Greengoodsforthehome.com, at the Fair World Gallery in West Des Moines and Gateway Market in Des Moines.  It's also available at Amana General Store in Amana and Pioneer Natural Coop in Coralville. 

#102 Heather Yost of Yost Family Chiropractic

Yost team It's always a rush to speak with someone who has passion for what they do each week on Entrepreneur People. Real Stories. Sometimes it is especially exciting to hear a compelling story that has driven a person to own a business. This is one of those gem interviews where the energy and inspiration are contagious. Take a listen to this interview with Heather Yost of Yost Family Chiropractic and learn first hand why knowing and telling your story is imperative to the health of your business. Pick up some useful information about chiropractic services as a bonus. You're Welcome!

Aspire in April on Entrepreneur People. Real Stories.


April 7:  Heather Yost of Yost Family Chiropractic shares her refreshing philosophy on how to build business, utilize marketing, and MOST importantly spread the “why” of her business. She tells an amazing and true story. This interview will ramp you up to think about your story for your business and how this can be the “backbone” of connecting with your customers. You’ll also hear valuable information about the practice and benefits available regarding chiropractic care. 

April 14:  Zane Safrit  is the MOTIVATOR for entrepreneurs who want to maximize their greatest asset, the support and help of their employees. Boost the investment of others in your business and make a profound impact with customers.  Zane has successfully created businesses throughout his own entrepreneurial life and now helps others with useful tools and ideas. Learn more in 30 minutes!

April 21:  Alex Johnson of Shed Workingconnects those of us who either have (or really want to have) our own little space for work and creativity. Alex explains how his own need for a mini-separation abode for his free-lance writing work, led to finding that others were coming up with the same need and solution. Sheds work-spaces come in all shapes, sizes, and themes and people love talking about them. Find out more about Alex and this fun and perhaps just right movement.

April 28:  Watch him pull a rabbit out of his hat! For this interview, Comedy Magician,Jonathan May explains what he has done to create a business mystifying and entertaining people since he was a young boy. Enough with the gloom and doom already! People do want to associate events and occasions with smiles and entertainment. How does he do it? Learn more in this fun interview. 

photo by isolano, powered by flickr

A Success! A Natural Living Expo Recap

NLE booth 2009 Congratulations to the working team of 2009 Natural Living Expo. You did good! Sending a shout out that the effort this year was great! Each year this event gets better and better. 

I honestly wasn’t too comfortable with the expo scene in the past but this year was so much fun because merchants that are part of dsmBUZZ effort displayed their things in our booth. It was a blast to visit with people and have visitors talk about the businesses that were on display. David and I, and even my daughter and son-in-law were present to visit with people and spread the word about dsmBUZZ and the locally owned businesses that are part of our group.

Thanks NLE team for your efforts and a big thanks to the merchants that are part of dsmBUZZ and helping to spread the word about the value of locally owned in central Iowa! The seed has been planted well that as a collective we should be present at more of these events!

Here are a few interviews from vendors and visitors.

#102 Daniel Shipton Impromptu Studio

ImpromptuStudio Daniel Shipton of Redship Technologies enjoyed the many benefits of operating his own business, but also recognized that sometimes he felt isolated in his home office. In an effort to harness the energy of mutual collaboration with others, and seperate his "work-life' of entrepreneuriship from his home, he created the shared work space called Impromptu Studio. Located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on the top floor of a revamped old warehouse, Impromptu is garnering buzz and fans for the energy of its growing community. You'll enjoy meeting Daniel, hearing his stories, and catching on the wave of how work can look and feel for the small business world and freelancers.  

or call 515-274-6703.


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