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Steffany Boldrini was called the “Rachel Ray of Green Living” by The Huffington Post. She writes for the San Francisco Green Living Examiner, interviews companies at the Green Festival for the last three years, and holds a Climate Change Action Certification, among others.
Ecobold is a marketplace for buyers and sellers of natural, organic, non-toxic products, it currently has over 3,000 products listed in several categories from beauty and skincare to food to baby clothes.
MO: What was your inspiration for starting Ecobold?
Steffany: I’ve always been a fanatic for teaching people that the products that they’re buying could be causing them cancer, infertility, or developmental problems in themselves as well as their kids. So I started searching for better and safer products. I discovered an array of alternatives from passionate entrepreneurs who were trying to make a difference, but couldn’t find one place where consumers could find all of them, and Ecobold was born.
MO: Where does your passion for green living come from?
Steffany: My mom! She engrained it on me ever since I was a kid living in a small ranch in Brazil. She’s a vet and nature lover, so we were composting, making our own butter and recycling ever since I was a child. And of course, always eating healthy: salads, juices, vegetables, etc. She’s a wealth of knowledge on the subject and definitely where my inspiration comes from.
MO: What issues do you think that consumers are most uneducated about when it comes to choosing products? What are some easy ways that we can make more informed decisions?
Steffany: I think that consumers are slowly but surely learning about the importance of getting safe products. Food and skincare products should be a priority on their list. For affordable GMO-free and pesticide-free fruits and veggies, go to your local farmers’ market and buy organic, it’s much cheaper than at your grocery store. For skincare products, make sure to always read the ingredients: if you don’t understand them, don’t get them. Natural products would be made with things like olive oil, shea butter, beeswax, essential oils, all of which we know what they are!
MO: Can you share how determination was a crucial factor in the success of Ecobold?
Steffany: I think every entrepreneur needs determination through the entire life of his or her company. Steve Jobs is a prime example of that, he was obsessed with making the best designs technology could (or could not) give, being kicked out of your own company isn’t easy. Ecobold is no different, from the beginning I couldn’t find a technical co-founder, after relentlessly meeting and interviewing 40 people over a period of 8 months, I cried for one night not knowing what else to do, and that same night I had the idea of doing video reviews, I paid someone to build a wordpress blog for $200, bought a camera and a tripod and started learning how to shoot/edit. We soon got several companies wanting to be reviewed at Ecobold and I was able to find my co-founder. The marketplace launched a few months later. At every stage of a company there are different sets of problems you’ll have to deal with, all of them need determination!
MO: What has guided your decision making process in what you feature on the site? What are the guidelines and how have you managed to build up such an impressive network of products?
Steffany: Every item on Ecobold must meet one of our minimum criteria: vegan, natural, organic, recycled, recyclable, chemical free, biodegradable. Most of them meet about 4-5. We also pre-screen the majority of the companies and privately invite them to sell on Ecobold.
MO: What are some of the most popular products on your site? Are you noticing any trends emerge?
Steffany: Wool dryer balls are very popular, they’re pure wool balls that you put in your dryer instead of the dryer sheets that are full of chemicals (and that are disposable – so you need to keep buying more and more). They not only reduce drying time by a whooping 25%, but they last for 4-5 years. You save money across the board and avoid chemicals going into your clothes. The beauty category is our best selling category, women are learning that they absorb on average 4 pounds of skincare products over her lifetime, products such as non-toxic lipstick, perfumes, body lotions, anti-wrinkles and makeup are becoming a priority in their lives, especially because the skincare industry is not regulated at all and there are plenty of companies still using lead on their lipstick this day and age.
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