Kathy Rohret

Owner of Green City Living LLC

Portland OR | http://greencityliving.earth

What does your business do?

Green City Living creates innovative products to improve the functionality of eco choices. By making green simple and eye catching, we hope to make it a more natural choice over disposable home goods.

Our EcoBagIt! reusable sandwich bags keep food fresh, are easy to clean, minimize leaks and last for years. Our EcoBaguette reusable bread bag keeps bakery bread fresh so it doesn't go stale the day after it is purchased. Our My Last Straw comes in a reusable pouch that fits in a purse or a pocket, and includes a bamboo straw and a straw cleaner. Our Bacon Sponge, an unpaper towel for absorbing grease from fried foods, eliminates the need for stacks of unpaper towels used for this purpose, and is easy to clean.

These are just a few of our current products, but each time we step on the pedal that opens our trash bins, we challenge ourselves to come up with reusable alternatives. Who knows what we might come up with next?

How would you use the grant money?

We are listed on RangeMe which is a site that many retail companies use to locate new and innovative products for their stores. Currently, we have a free membership, but if we can upgrade to a premium membership, we can increase our visibility on the website so that our products can be available to a larger retail market. The cost of the membership is just under $1000/year.

What would the grant enable you to do that you can't now?

Environmental deterioration is a huge problem. Our company motto is, “We can’t just give our kids the world...we need to leave them with a planet.” The ultimate goal of Green City Living is to increase adoption of more eco-friendly practices.
We use any and all profits from the sale of our products to grow--to buy more fabric, hire more staff, and to buy more machines to create our products. In the six years of operating the company, Kathy, the founder/owner has never taken a salary, but worked for the company while also working full time as a nurse.
While it isn't so important to Kathy to take a salary, what is important to her is the lives of her four grandchildren and their future families. She knows that unless there is an enormous shift in awareness and adoption of greener practices, the future may be very bleak. Her life's mission is to try to change that.
Green City Living products are well known in the Northwest US, but are just now gaining visibility in the rest of the country and throughout the rest of the world. This grant could very well "flip the switch" for the company to move to the next level.

If Idea Cafe's Grant helps your biz reach greater success, how will you "pay it forward" to help others in some way?

We try to pay it forward in everything that we do by helping to promote adoption of earthwise, sustainable practices. We also have tried to network with small crafters in the "green niche" to promote their products/businesses through our company. This helps to support them while also broadening our customer awareness of other eco home products that might work for them. The grant, and subsequent increased wholesale shelf space that it could provide would make us better leveraged to support/promote other green businesses.

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