Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Niche and Business Sustainability

Working through the vision.  Aromatic Traditions™  2015
After I read Paul Hawken's book The Ecology of Commerce back in the early 90's, I started to think about his term "restorative economy".  At the time I was applying some of his thoughts to my own businesses - a healing studio, a store which featured items made from recycled materials and my own body care business.

At the time I had a small farm and was very focused on creating the best soil so that I could take advantage of the short growing seasons in northern Pennsylvania.  I was also a massage therapist with a message.


Restoration of self , community and eventually planet.

As I see myself now going forward I am working more and more towards the goal of restoring myself, then community, then planet.  How? Slowing down and taking an assessment of my energy drains in my personal life.  I've decided that I can no longer foster relationships that are not reciprocal.  I had to take a close look at lip service versus acts of friendship and kindness.

For my community, I keep my company production "close to the bone" as I like to say.  I know where my raw materials come from by working with companies (some of whom I have had a relationship with for over 15 years) who are committed to transparency and ethical sourcing.

Waste and packaging is another consideration.  I was thrilled to be one of the first employees working for a co-op who took the sustainability model seriously -  from raw materials in the door to waste out the door and nothing, yes NOTHING went into a landfill.  Now, there is a role model.  I recycle and take good care when sourcing my packaging materials.  I re-use, recycle and refill.

This is just the beginning as we all need to know  how to trim off the fat in our production and use.

How "big" do I want to get?  I recently read an interview with another maker which echoed a friend of mine's business policy. Both expressed the idea of keeping it small and manageable.  This way they as artists can keep their hands in the creative mix and not lose integrity of what they are making to mass production.

And for that matter - mass consumption.  Another issue of our society.  We don't need all this stuff.

Over the next few months I am excited to explore some other small, niche manufacturers to see how they are using efficiency models and how I might want to set up my business statement to reflect sustainability.

As always, I am open to your comments.


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