Conferences, Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Sustainable Business

Martha, martha, martha…

ImagesLast Friday, right before Green Fest started, Josh Dorfman – the Lazy Environmentalist appeared on Martha Stewart to show her some new groovy green products. And he was good enought to give gDiapers a big plug which was just superb. With three of us in Chicago, the phones at gHQ lit up for most of the day keeping Sue, Kim and Schooey on their toes! Needless to say we broke a few web sales records. Josh did a great job of really showing how the product works. So we think the interest we receieved was well qualified. Josh’s book is being launched next month. His other passion, is his furniture store Vivavi featuring beautiful, sustainably built pieces.

Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Sustainable Business

Chicago Greenfest

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274 So right after the aforementioned Green Business Conference (I did have a last installment but it is tied up in legal and probably won’t see the light of day…) Karen (Admin & Customer Service) and Kelli (Customer Service Queen and resident baseball nut) joined me to (wo) man the well worn booth at Chicago’s first GreenFest. Here we are pictured enduring an excruciating pre- festival session in the bleachers at Wrigley sitting amongst a stag party in 75 degree heat. It was sheer hell.
The festival was a raging success. More people came through by midday on day one than the two days of Green Fest in SFO. I had no idea Chicago was so green.

Conferences, Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Stories from the trenches, Sustainable Business

Chicago Green Business Conference 2007 (2)

Headergreencalogo_2 The conference organisers, Alisa Gravitz & Denise Hamler are brilliant at forcing networking upon the group. Somehow even the quietest wallflower ends up meeting a ton of people through speed networking and other activities. They are quite brilliant.
So in no time I had met and ate and partied with some great new people. All good friendships start at the bar (serving organic beer no less) Evan from Food for Thought was wearing a New Zealand America’s Cup sweatshirt so I thought I better make sure he wasn’t a kiwi, otherwise there wouldv’e been sauce on the floor…He wasn’t and he is a mad sailor so instant mateship. He was with his colleague Tim and then there were three. Evan & Tim are in the jam business and have the first Fair Trade certified spreads. Then Craig joined us. He is launching an online affiliate program with a twist and he races cars, so we essentially had a blokes dream team – sailing, fast cars and beer (and sustainable business interests). Then Jody, Evan & Tim’s organic coffee company mate joined. OK, so we lost the boys club but that’s OK. Then Rebecca from Green Clean rocked up and now we were five. Then Tara decided to come over for a yarn. She is launching a new green business. We coached her a little and she has smartly decided to discard the URL “greenbizhub.com” and go for “gogreenordie.com” – it has a softer edge…
So with a crew of six, it was dinner time. We ended up at a great Japanese hole in the wall with four more ring -ins including Mimi and her son from Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate (good rule of thumb, always hang close to chocolate makers at these conferences…) and Leif Utne who is the Publisher of World Changing and is the son of the Utne’s of Utne Reader fame. So after some gyoza and edamame, we discovered that amongst us, there were no less than three folks who had adopted little ones – from the US, Guatemalas and Korea and a fourth writing a book about adoption. I felt like the third wheel. After beer and sake we were instant mates and it was nye nye time.

Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Start-up business

Innocence lost

Sheaf_wideweb__470x3410 Hate to be the bearer of bad news but Sydney has lost its innocence. After we were “home invaded” in January in Bondi, my local pub – The Golden Sheaf – the one we could all get into at 16, the one where we celebrated the end of our HSC (SAT) exams, the one where you met your first girlfriend… was taken down yesterday by 3 “armed bandits”. A slight exaggeration as they were armed with a starter’s pistol but still. I just love the lackadaisical view of the patrons – their first reaction was to just carry on drinking. God bless ’em!

Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Start-up business

One star vs Five stars…

Images After staying in four budget hotels in 6 days a couple of weeks ago, I had the jarring experience of staying in a 5 star hotel this week. Fear not investors and Board Members, it was at very mates rates (think Super 8) thanks to a friend from way back when who works there.

Some Observations :

– One staff member for every guest – they just swarm all over you
– They didn’t just make the bed, I think they ironed it
– Not a USA Today sprawled over the floor outside the door, rather a choice of any paper ever printed, in a branded bag hanging on the door handle
– A mini bar that was actually fully stocked (I didn’t drink a thing I promise)
– A waiter that said if they didn’t have the tea Kim was after, he would personally go down the road and buy it for her
– The valet doesn’t need your ticket – they know your face
– You don’t actually need a car. They have a “house car” (a 2006 Roller no less…) that is on hand, ready to take you anywhere
– A plethora of shi shi bottled water – Fiji in the rooms, Voss offered as the valet gets your car
– A separate elevator for celebs…never noticed that at Super 8
– Because the hotel is in celeb land, everyone wears sunnies inside, giving the impression that everyone is a celeb. In fact no one is a celeb, they are all just working hard at looking like one. One weird result of this is that everyone looks very closely at everyone else, just to make sure they are or are not a celeb…it’s a tough gig

Checking back in to a Super 8 next week is going to be really, really hard.

Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Start-up business, Sustainable Business

The 2007 Australia Day Gift

This report is 2 months late. I know you have all been waiting with bated breath!

The 2007 Australia Day Gift was run in magnificent East Maitland in country New South Wales attracting a world class field of sprinters from all four corners of the globe. The track was meticulously prepared by the Milkman & Dicko. Rubik – the fastest man on earth was given the traditional butternut pumpkin by the handicapper to keep him honest.

A clean start saw the pigs take the early lead – pretty simple when you’re given a 20 metre start. By the 50 metre mark the pumpkin carrying Rubik tried to make his move by actually weaving around the wayward Buff but to no avail…Dicko and yours truly had made inroads. Come the tape, I had managed to win my first gift, stewards report pending.

I would like to thank the Committee, the Stewards, the Handicapper and the caterers for the magnificent post race fare. The backyard cricket and sprinklers were also a treat.

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Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Start-up business, Stories from the trenches, Sustainable Business

Beanz means Heinz

158648431101_sclzzzzzzz_v44216322_a We had a most surprising week here at gHQ. A local rag called on Monday to say we would be in Wednesday’s edition. But why we asked. It appears gDiapers got a mention in a book by John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry: “This Moment on Earth: Today’s New Environmentalists and Their Vision of the Future”.
They also mentioned that they would be launching the book in Portland that night. So I abandoned my family for an evening and ventured out. Admission came with a copy of the book. There we were in the index. Flicking through the pages I discovered a full 4 pages of text about the history of diapers, their impact in the planet, some familair looking data points, Bill McDonough, Cradle to Cradle and then gDiapers, Kim and me – yay!

So after their 45 minute talk, they asked for questions from the floor. I ventured one and started by introducing myself. Well JK – as I like to call him, just took off and ran with it. He pretty much pitched the business to the audience down to how they work and how they flush. It was quite extraordinary. Teresa chimed in with the compostabl features of the product. So we can stop looking for new sales reps. I wonder what their base will be…

After the event, I spoke with both of them. Such nice folks and so eager to find out where we are available and how we are progressing.

Eco-entrepreneur, Entrepreneur, Green Business, Sustainable Business

Serious Sport…

Bobwoolmer_narrowweb__300x3540 I know everyone is glued to March Madness (as I type, Texas A&M are ahead by one to Memphis) but something really weird has happened at the World Cup Cricket. Not wanting to bang on about it but unlike the “World Series” baseball, World Cup Cricket actually involves countries beyond the USA.
Pakistan is a powerhouse in the sport but was stopped by lowly. Ireland earlier this week Ireland is a team that includes three Australian club cricketers. Upsets are no great shakes except when the coach is found dead the next day – something that happened to Paksitan’s coach.To add to the mystery, according to today’s Sydney paper, he was murdered…holy moley…

Wow – Memphis just won – 25 wins in a row…