Because of our manufacturing partnerships, we're in a unique position that allows us to quickly distribute hand sanitizer. So, after making a small batch for our community with Spirit Hound, a local distillery, we decided to produce more to meet the needs of our customers during the coronavirus pandemic. It's not a product we would normally sell, but we saw a need that we could fill, so we jumped in to do what we can to help out.
Here's a quick Q&A with our CEO with more information on us, this product, and how we continue to do what we can to Spread Goodness.
Tell us a little bit about Green Goo, where it started, and where it's going.
Green Goo is a series of happy accidents, truly. We started making salves for family and friends and had no idea there would be such a need for natural first aid. I remember the first time a customer called and said they bought Green Goo at the Boise farmer’s market and they wanted to re-order. We thought, well that’s a first, and we were sure that would be the only one, so we mailed them some product. But quickly people were calling and asking to purchase more Green Goo. So my mom, who knew how to build websites, created a make shift website. Again, having no idea this was just the beginning. Soon thereafter retailers started reaching out, and the rest is history.
As a small business owner, can you describe the immediate effects that the coronavirus has had on your day-to-day business?
This is a mountain, and we have yet to fully understand the ramifications. There are big challenges such as vendors changing their payment terms, which significantly disrupts our cash flow. Some are just not able to pay at all. Vendors are pushing out launch dates that we expected to have revenue from. Manufacturing has slowed down with social distancing so we are going out of stock on a number of items which also means lost revenue. All of this makes it difficult to pay our own overhead . . . and then the supply chain is incredibly challenged with components being behind production schedule and bigger companies using there buying power to snatch everything up. It makes it hard for smaller businesses to keep up. And that's just a fraction of the day to day challenges for us. We definitely sympathize with businesses around the world who are struggling with this new reality.
Green Goo Launches Hand Sanitizer >>
What steps has Green Goo taken as a company to continue moving forward during these uncertain times?
As a family business with family/friends as shareholders along with a small team of employees who are like family, you are hyper sensitive to protecting them. As soon as I saw what was happening overseas, I started planning ahead. We tried to get ahead of supply chain, optimize eCommerce, set our team up for working from home, dialed in our warehouse for a lean team and then implemented our plan long before Colorado had a shelter in place order. I even started self isolation with family members in preparation for the fact that we as a family might be packing boxes if we don’t have team members available. So, we made sure our family could come out of quarantine to work, if needed. Being ahead of this has been reassuring to everyone, and our team is so grateful. With all the uncertainty in the world, I know our team feels supported and safe, so that means the world to me.
This product's journey started when you partnered with a local distillery to make a small batch of hand sanitizer for your local community. That happened pretty quickly. How did that come together?
The Mayor of Lyons also works in the medical industry so she was able to help guide us and connect all of the moving parts by banding us together with Spirit Hound and helping us locate the raw materials needed to make it quickly. One of the most difficult parts of this project was the packaging. There were plenty of raw materials to make the product, but the packaging components are scarce in the supply chain right now because of the global pandemic. Manufacturers are getting paid up front for packaging from bigger companies, so it makes it hard for us smaller businesses to get packaging and we have to pay a premium. One minute we will have the packaging secured and within an hour, it’s already gone.
At the same time you were investigating options for creating hand sanitizer for Green Goo. Tell us a little about how that happened.
We already had relationships with our manufacturer and we saw locally how businesses were struggling to make customers feel safe without sanitizer available. So, initially it started with wanting to help locally and we quickly realized, this was gong to be a need for our health and safety for sometime. So we wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could, with the resources we had, to help get sanitizer circulating.
This isn't a normal product for Green Goo. Can you talk about what made you decide to create this now?
This isn’t a “typical” product for us, but we knew there was an urgent need for it. We're sure there is an all-natural alternative, but without enough information on the novel coronavirus, we wanted to be sure we didn’t deviate from the formulation that the CDC and WHO considered effective. There is time, as we learn more about this disease, to evolve the formulation in the future. For now, we just want to get people a sanitizer they could rely on, as quickly as possible.
What are your plans for hand sanitizer in the near future? and long term?
We will continue to make this product for as long as it is needed.
We understand you're giving out hand sanitizer for free with each purchase on your website. Can people buy the hand sanitizer? Where can they get it?
Right now, we just have a limited supply, so we are including a free hand sanitizer with every order to ensure our customers are able to share this inventory. A little for all. We will have more sanitizer coming later, and at that time, when it makes the most sense, we can make it available to sell.
In challenging moments like this, what do you do to remain positive and healthy?
This has pushed us all to places we never expected. As our Director of Finance says, “You can’t swallow an elephant whole, you eat it in small bites”. I often revert to this. These are overwhelming times. I go back to the obvious basics: exercise, healthy food, fresh air, and making the time for yourself; an intentional moment for yourself, whatever that means. I do have herbal supplements I can recommend both for immunity and stress relief. I find during these times your love language can be a pretty comforting place to fall back to. I am 'acts of service'. I need a mission, so everyday I put my energy towards a mission and that gives me peace, big or small. For example it might be as simple as cleaning out the junk drawer, planting seeds for the summer or getting hand sanitizer for my town. And you know, when the work is done you should never underestimate the medicinal properties of tequila!
Is there anything else people who are not familiar with Green Goo should know about you?
Hmm, this is a loaded question. Me, personally, I love my dogs, I love to garden, my favorite vegetable is carrots, but I think cauliflower is under appreciated; I am trying to eat more a more plant-based diet, and I like spending time with my family probably more than anything. It pains me to not be able to help more right now and hope that we can all band our humanity together to weather this difficult time. These are real hardships, but it’s an opportunity to rise up and spread goodness.