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Green 3 was founded in 2006 by Sandy Martin. Sandy and her husband Jim operate green 3 in Oshkosh, WI. Collectively this team brought over 40 years of corporate apparel experience to their first entrepreneurial venture. Both had worked for billion dollar plus corporations with globally recognized brands, and had held titles starting with Assistant Buyer thru Executive VP. Sandy had traveled the world and sourced and developed product in factories around the globe. Jim had managed teams exceeding 200 employees in multiple cities, and was responsible for customers that included the largest retailers in the world. All of these experiences lead them to take a step back and assess what type of company they wanted to work for, so they started one.
Green 3 is a company that designs, sources, produces and markets stylish, high quality sustainable fiber apparel, accessories and soft home goods, made in the U.S.A.
MO: Can you tell us the story behind green 3?
Jim: Sandy had “retired” from corporate America, but found herself missing being a business person. In 2006 she started Green 3 with a vision to build a business that would be run the right way. I joined her one year later after the company I was working for went thru an acquisition and relocation. At that point we decided to make this our family business and become entrepreneurs.
MO: What influenced your decision to focus on sustainable fiber apparel, accessories and soft home goods, made in the USA?
Jim: In our careers we had both already developed men’s, women’s and children’s product. So the product category was familiar to us. The decision to do sustainable fiber was based on Sandy’s growing up on a farm in Michigan. Anyone who has been around farming has seen first hand the health implications for the farmers when they work with toxic chemicals on a daily basis. The decision to have everything made in the USA was based on Sandy’s experience sourcing products around the globe. In both of our careers we had watched apparel jobs leave the US. We wanted to try to bring a few back.
MO: How has your experience with Osk Kosh contributed to the development and success of green 3?
Jim: I was fortunate to work for an incredibly successful family run company. The impact of business being part of a family legacy was not lost on me. In addition, being associated with a global brand with incredible consumer equity taught me the principles of brand building and maintenance.
MO: What was the transition process like from going to the role of Vice President of a global brand to creating a start-up with your wife?
Jim: Honestly it was a challenging transition. I went from a world where problems were solved by a team of highly skilled associates with diverse talents, to a world where everything rested on your own abilities. Thankfully over time we have been able to add talent to our team and begin to delegate assignments.
MO: What’s been the most challenging aspect of creating green 3? On the flip side, what has been the most rewarding?
Jim: Clearly the most challenging aspect was the economic downturn in 2009. The impact on both the consumer and the banking industry has been substantial. The most rewarding aspect has been our ability to grow despite this climate.
MO: What personal or professional accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
Jim: Sandy and I have a wonderful daughter who is a Junior at the University of Wisconsin. She is a great young adult who is poised to do great things. We could not be more proud of her.
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