If you want to 'go green,' what are some of the first steps? It can be so overwhelming.
Green is defined differently for every single person. There are many different ways you can go green. We find that people care more about the health aspect in many ways, so our biggest categories, for example, are like "baby," right? You'll drink poisonous stuff all day, but that baby's not coming near anything. That happens to be our biggest category.
Everyone kind of defines green their own way — BPA-free, or recyclable, or solar, or whatever it might be. We have different ways that you can shop with the filters, so you can figure out what things matter to you and try to find products that fit into those categories. The general population is not going to go way out of their way to go extreme green, so you've got to make it easy.
What's been the economic impact for Spokane?
We have 73 employees now. The revenue growth has been great. That's been exciting to see, and in terms of the economics of Spokane, to be honest, I don't know if it would have been possible in other areas because we were able to leverage internships pretty heavily. We weren't in a position initially, keeping with kind of a bootstrap mentality, to go out and hire six-figure bigwigs around town or from other e-commerce companies.
In fact, GreenCupboards.com grew out of one of your classes at Gonzaga University, didn't it?
I was lined up to be a financial advisor. But I took this class and kind of got formally introduced to entrepreneurship. "Creating New Ventures" was the course. I immediately, within the first couple of weeks, figured out that this was my calling, passion, whatever it is. I really had the bug. You've got to have a few loose screws in the head to pursue entrepreneurship, but I had those.
I've always had kind of the business mindset. I always wanted to do yard sales for the parents and take a commission and that kind of stuff. I always had it in my bloodstream — whether it is healthy or not, who knows! But it's working out.