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Founded in 2010 by Donna Steinmann, Medicine Mama’s Apothecary is a skincare company that harnesses the power of nature in all of their eco-friendly, organic products for the skin and face. This dynamic woman is truly an inspiration, and it was fascinating to learn a little bit more about the woman behind this eco-fabulous line that has “Mom” raving!

An Interview with Donna Steinmann, Founder of Medicine Mama’s Apothecary

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

As a skin care company, we trust nature’s intelligent design and understand that the less we meddle with it, the better off we are. We source the finest organic, natural and pristine ingredients that we can find because we know that will make us the best Magic.

The honeybee products that we use to make our creams are the most eco-friendly raw materials on Earth since the bees naturally give back to the ecosystem with every plant and nectar they harvest. We are ever mindful to be as sustainable as the bees and our production line is zero-waste with no byproducts.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

I ride my bicycle to work every day.

Guilty green pleasure?

I love wearing clothes made with organic materials like raw silk, bamboo and organic cotton.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

If you love what you do, are passionate about it and can’t imagine doing anything else or anything differently, you have already succeeded.

A new children’s apparel company has launched on the market in the past year, ready to delight and inspire your little ones at playtime! The founder, Sonal Gerten, infuses her line with the joy and wonder of childhood, as seen in the bold, bright colors of the line, as well as the name, Tumblewalla, which loosely translated means “one who tumbles” in Hindi.

This is an adorable new line that is socially responsible, as well, giving back to two separate organizations!

A dollar from each item purchased from Tumblewalla goes to the company’s Tumble & Tickle Movement, to raise funds and awareness for two nonprofits doing work critical to the development of children in India and Kenya: The Priyanka Foundation, a Minnesota nonprofit that operates Child Life and Development service programs for chronically ill children worldwide; and One Home Many Hopes, which finds, rescues, houses, loves and educates orphaned and abandoned girls in Mtwapa, Kenya and equips them to be the future agents of change in their community.

An Interview with Sonal Gerten, Founder of Tumblewalla

Tell us About Your Eco-Inspired Company!

Tumblewalla celebrates the intrinsic playful spirit of kids around the world. Our clothing line is un-restricted so it is easy to move, play, and just have fun. The line features Indian-inspired free flowing cuts and vibrant colors. We believe that unstructured play is critical for emotional and social development. Many children from around the world do not have the access or resources to play as they should. That’s why Tumblewalla is committed to partnering with emerging organizations across the globe that do just this – make it possible for kids everywhere to celebrate their youth.

How do You Choose to go Green in Your Own Life?

Our kid toys and clothes don’t get thrown away – they always find a home. We also live in a great walking/biking neighborhood so I prefer to get around without the car when we can.

Guilty Green Pleasure?

In the summertime, I love buying fresh produce, pastries and other goodies at the farmers market. We also grow our own vegetables and herbs – mainly tomatoes and parsley – the easy stuff.

Can You Offer Any Encouraging Words for Those with a Small Sustainable Business?

Friends and family are a valuable support network! I had my ups and downs (I still do) and it’s so wonderful to have a group of people cheering you on and helping you along the way.

Recently launched in the US Market in 2011, Baby Gourmet has been feeding tiny little tummies healthy, delicious meals since 2006! Recently, “Mom” not only had the pleasure of taste-testing founder Jennifer Brou’s creations with her own little one, but was able to ask her a few behind the scenes questions for Tiny Green Mom readers!

An Interview with Jennifer Broe, Founder of Baby Gourmet

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

All of our products start out in my kitchen — not in a lab or a factory. Depending on the run, so far 13 of the 20 ingredients used in more than a million pouches were sourced in the USA from American growers and suppliers. And once the food has been manufactured, we taste every batch. If we don’t absolutely love it, we start from scratch. Our factories are tested after each run on a microscopic level for remaining allergens. It is a nut and egg free- factory, and dairy is only found in the apple crisp flavor.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

I cook fresh food from farmer’s markets instead of buying pre-packed or processed meals. I like that it not only saves on waste, but also helps support local industry.

Guilty green pleasure?

My Vitamix is my new obsession! Instead of buying juices and soups at the grocery store I make my own. I even make my own flours from healthy grains! This also ties in to my theme of buying local and cooking for my whole family. I run a business promoting organic, homemade baby food and I live my life the same way.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Anything is possible, as long as you do your homework! Research and laying out a solid plan is the cornerstone to running a successful business. Taking chances can be a gamble, as long as you are prepared to handle any outcome then roll the dice.

An Interview with Carl Blanchet, Owner of Cascades

Founded in 1964, Cascades has been providing affordable and sustainable products to consumers for decades. Committed to the environment in both his personal and professional life, Carl Blanchet truly knows what it means to live a greener, more eco-friendly existence.

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

Since the beginning in 1964, Cascades has respected the environment by recycling and reducing the use of natural resources, as much as possible. We have used 5 times less water than the industry and produced 50% less CO2 emissions in our operations since 1990. We have a R&D Center which focuses its innovation on sustainable development approaches.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

By recycling, composting, by using eco-responsible products and recycling my clothes. I educate my child of the importance of respecting the environment via many simple gestures. I drive a car with low gas consumption.

Guilty green pleasure?

I like to grow my own vegetables in my own garden.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Each small gesture counts. In the long-term, sustainable development is profitable. A company has to walk the talk and be constant in what they say and what they do. Employees are proud to work for a green company. It enhances the sense of belonging.

From a family’s legacy comes the rich, creamy SheaMoisture line of skin care products that uses certified organic ingredients and sustainable materials to make your skin happy after a long, hot summer. Richelieu Dennis, the Founder & Ceo of Sundial Creations, which makes SheaMoisture, recently answered a few questions about this family-run business that has been growing steadily since 1992.

An Interview with Richelieu Dennis, Founder of SheaMoisture

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

This company is a family-run business and the legacy of our grandmother, Sofi, who sold her handmade shea butter products in Sierra Leone to support her family. We’ve made it our mission to create culturally authentic skin and hair care, with organic, fair trade and sustainable raw materials.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

I’m avid gardener. I grow my own vegetables, which reduces packaging and waste. I encourage my children to recycle and seek out eco-friendly choices when shopping. And, I ask them to not buy water in plastic water bottles, even if it is convenient!

Guilty green pleasure?

Organic chocolate! It’s the best.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Don’t underestimate the intelligence and engagement of your customers. Consumers have developed a new sensibility when shopping – they have educated themselves and demand products to be effective, eco-friendly and healthy. They research the ingredients and origins of raw materials. They want to support companies that give back as well do business sustainably. We interact with our customers via social networking blogging, shows and events and they help us get it right in terms of creating products that work for them, which also support eco-friendly and fair trade practices.

*Image provided by SheaMoisture.*

Whether you are a surfing mama or a hiking mama, you will adore Teresa Delfin’s eco-fabulous line of activewear for the mom-to-be who wants to stay comfortable while enjoying her favorite sports or activities while pregnant. Created in 2009, this top-quality line is quickly gathering quite a following!

An Interview with Teresa Delfin, Founder of Mountain Mama

1. Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

I created Mountain Mama to provide high quality outdoor apparel for maternity and beyond. Because a healthy outdoor lifestyle is at the heart of Mountain Mama’s mission, we’re committed to producing our garments using the smallest possible footprint. We source fabrics that comply with strict environmental standards, including Blueline, the highest eco-standard in the textile industry. Beginning Fall 2011 we’ll be offering garments made with bamboo and wood pulp fabrics as well as organic cotton. 100% of our products are made in the USA and many travel only 30 miles from fabric mill to factory to fulfillment!

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

My favorite ways to go green in my own life are to live outdoors as much as possible. For me, this means everything from enjoying regular hiking, skiing, paddling, backpacking, cycling and camping outings to growing as many organic fruits and vegetables as my yard can handle! Little things like having to carry your garbage on a backpacking trip can be excellent training for working toward a “leave no trace” lifestyle everyday.

Guilty green pleasure?

As an outdoor athlete, I’m also a gear freak! You should see my garage: skis, kayak, bikes, tents…! I justify my gear purchases because they make my time outdoors more enjoyable, but I research like crazy before investing in new toys so that I don’t consume more resources than I need.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Committing to running a green business means also committing to fewer profits – in the short term. Stay connected with like-minded organizations such as B Corp and 1% for the Planet and find inspiration by reading success stories like Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s, Let My People Go Surfing.

*Image provided by Mountain Mama.*

Founded in 2008, Project 7 is the brainchild of founder Tyler Merrick, a self-proclaimed “social capitalist.” Merrick founded the company on the premise of turning the 7 deadly sins upside down. Through the sale of everyday consumer goods like bio-bottled water, gum, mints, T-shirts and coffee, Project 7 was created to give back and educate people on seven global issues. In the first quarter of this year alone, purchases of Project 7 products have given more than 130,000 meals to American families and more than 100,000 avocado and mango trees have been planted in Haiti. Merrick is an inspiring force to be reckoned with, and we are thrilled he took time out from making a difference to answer some questions for Tiny Green Mom’s readers.

An Interview with Tyler Merrick, Founder of Project 7

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

Simply put, Project 7 exists to give. Project 7 was created as a way to give back, inspire others and educate people on real needs throughout the world.

We are a cause-related company that makes every day consumer goods, like bio-bottled water, gum, mints and coffee. For every purchase of a Project 7 product, some good is done in seven areas of need – Feed the Hungry, Heal the Sick, Hope for Peace, House the Homeless, Quench the Thirsty, Teach them Well and Save the Earth.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

Green is a way of living and a way of life. It is core to the products of Project 7 and it is essential part of my life. We make a point to locally source all the water for our bottled water and only use bio-bottles. We’re debuting a gum pack that is 10% post-consumer recycled material, all our products are made in the USA, our t-shirts are made from organic cotton and recycled bottles, Project 7 coffee canisters are 90% post-consumer recycled material…I could go on 🙂

Guilty green pleasure?

Recycling. We have fun with it in my house. We’ve gotten the kids involved in helping and we even make a little game out of it, by making sure we recycle more than the we put in the trash.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Believe in yourself, believe in your product and keep hustling. Learn from adversity and listen to what the market is telling you. Don’t be afraid to try something out and admit if it doesn’t work. Remember, nobody is undefeated.

An Interview with Tammie Umbel, Founder of Shea Terra Organics

Founded in 2000 by the awe-inspiring (yet extremely humble) mom to 13 children, Tammie Umbel, Shea Terra Organics is bringing us closer to nature with the use of the products from this phenomenal line. “Mom” was simply floored as she learned more about the company, its’ commitment to preserving native cultures and indigenous people, whose knowledge makes it possible for Shea Terra Organics to create an unparalled line of products in the organic skincare industry.

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

Shea Terra Organics is about Tammie’s discoveries of little known anti-aging and healing skin care treatments used by the indigenous people of Africa for thousands of years. Shea Terra Organics is focused on preserving native knowledge, cultures and habitats.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

First, I use my own products on my skin. Not only are they green, but they are highly effective. I also run a small family farm with my husband Dr. Ishaq and our 13 children. We produce our own free-range eggs (some are green and blue), fruits and honey. We also trade and barter locally with neighbors for other locally grown foods as well.

Guilty green pleasure?

Muscadine grapes, Sambazon acai, a well water soak using Calming Bath Beads made with calming African oils, and a day out with my horses.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Stay true to your heart. Don’t let others discourage you and lead you astray. Keep firm on the path that you believe in. Rome was not built overnight.

*Image provided by Shea Terra Organics.*

We have to admit, we were just so impressed by Claire Gutschow, the classy entrepreneur behind Fie’d Skin Care, an eco-fabulous company that is sweeping the nation! Her commitment to the earth, her passion for naturally beautiful skin, and her desire to make a difference – wow, what a combination! “Mom” had the distinct pleasure of asking Claire a few questions about her up and coming skin care line, which was recently launched in 2010. For more information about Fie’d, please visit www.feidskincare.com. (PS Claire, please share that homemade lemon meringue pie recipe! Yum!)
An Interview with Claire Gutschow, Founder of Fei’d Skin Care
Tell us about your eco-inspired company!
I’m from South Africa, and I spent my whole life in the sun. So I have dark marks all over my face. Being pregnant with my son didn’t help matters – I was one big blotch with no pregnancy glow in sight! I tried loads of products, but nothing worked. Since I’d worked in the skin care industry in my “past life” (i.e. pre-kids), I knew I could make a better product than all the ones I’d tried. I was still in touch with a couple of the best formulators in the world, so I was super-lucky. It also helped that my husband is a traditional Chinese healer. He knows some of the most respected traditional Chinese herbalists in the US. So once I’d found the right people, it was just a matter of getting them to work together. (Which was a lot easier than I thought – easier than managing a toddler play-date and WAY easier than coordinating a block party.) Not that I’ve ever coordinated anything as complicated as a block party. In fact, I have yet to discover domestication of any kind. I can work a microwave though. Does that count?

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

For years I followed the experts’ advice and tried to be “perfectly” green. But their suggestions were often way too complicated. So these days I just try and use common sense. We recycle. We buy used clothing for my son (they grow out of everything so quickly anyway). We avoid plastic bags like the plague and we try to buy local when we can. And we walk instead of drive wherever possible – it helps the planet and it tires out my son so it’s a win/win scenario!

And of course, Fei’d is as green as we could possibly make it. We do no animal testing, ever. Fei’d is 99% natural, certified by the Natural Products Association, biodegradable, and sourced from renewable resources. Our carton is 100% recycled, FSC certified, made with 100% renewable energy, Green Seal Certified and processed chlorine-free.
Guilty green pleasure?
Homemade lemon meringue pie made from the lemons in our garden. Although I have to be honest, I don’t feel TOO guilty. The way I see it, it’s a great way to get my daily allowance of vitamin C!
Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?
Be prepared to pay more for EVERYTHING when you make the commitment to be green. I couldn’t believe the cost of our cartons the first time I received the quote! Recycled board is just so much more expensive. But I have to have faith that it’s worth it. In my mind, it’s a karma thing. I want to look back at my life when I’m old and believe that I made a difference. Even if it has affected my “bottom line”!
*Image provided by Fei’d.*

Touted as the “break-out snack food of the 21st Century,” Organic Popping Sorghum, by Just Poppin Popcorn, is simply fascinating! The creators behind Just Poppin Popcorn, who produce the finest Organic Popping Sorghum available, took a minute out of their day (when they weren’t popping corn or sorghum, of course!) to answer some questions for Tiny Green Mom.

An Interview with Buck & Jennie Smolow, Founders of Just Poppin Popcorn

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

Founded in 2007, Just Poppin wasn’t exactly eco-inspired. However it is eco-influenced. What I mean by that is that we reduce waste in every way possible. We use recycled, recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable packaging and shipping materials – much of which has received Cradle to Cradle Certification. Our popcorn and other products are non-GMO – not genetically modified. We’re incredibly excited and proud of our newest product – Organic Popping Sorghum. It is a naturally eco-friendly crop which is sustainable, and organically grown and harvested.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

Like many people, we do what we can within our means. So while we don’t have solar power for instance, we do recycle (what is not recycled by trash collection we take to recycle stations). We collect condensation water from our A/C to water plants, fill the bird bath or wash outside things and we installed a 1/2 flush system on our toilet. We use reusable steel water bottles, a high efficiency front load washer and dryer, CFL bulbs, reusable shopping bags, and we compost in our worm farm.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Try to find the time to learn about things to help you to be more efficient and sustainable and implement those things if possible into your life and business.

*Image provided by Just Poppin Popcorn.*