weeBgreen Brings Together East Coast Mompreneurs Into One Online Shop

The products are made by mompreneurs, the materials or products are locally sourced, everything is either recycled or repurposed, and Teresa is determined to make sure it stays that way. For entrepreneurial moms along the east coast, this is also an opportunity to help spread the word about their green products.

It all started with the loss of a job, well two. Teresa and her friend were discussing what had happened, and what they should do. During their brainstorming session a business idea was born.

Although they won’t officially launch until the middle of next month, weeBgreen is open for business.

What was the inspiration for weeBgreen?

Being directly affected by the economic downturn, a friend and I were talking one morning after our recent lay-offs about our desire to stay home with our girls, follow something we’re passionate about, use our creativity for good, have fun with our work, and not return to a traditional work environment. My friend became my brainstorm buddy and we together developed the idea for a blog by normal everyday moms that would share our baby steps to earth-friendlier lifestyles, feature events and local craftspeople that are helping to make our earth a better place for our wee ones. This then evolved into a companion online boutique where we could share our favorite local handmade or “parentpreneur” invented products for wee ones. Bottom line, my friend helped me iron out the concept and I ran with it finding local and regional craftspeople interested in partnering with us. It’s our way of doing our part.

What are some of the products that can be found within your online shop?

Our shop will always be evolving and our product lines will change from time to time. Currently we’re featuring Chesapeake Ribbons accessories for babies to toddlers and beyond by a local mommypreneur. We also have fortytworoads’ inventive environmentally friendly and imagination building toy instruction kits that allow the parents to get creative building play kitchen’s or washer/dryer sets from items mostly found within the home. And for the mommy-to-be, or new arrival we have organic plush toys and rattles by ecoleeko. In the near future we will be adding additional products like yoga inspired apparel for wee ones and mommies, upcycled apparel and organic blankets and bibs.

Which products seem to be the most “in demand” with your customers?

Since we’re basically a newborn in the ecommerce arena and won’t officially launch until early May, we haven’t seen much of a trend yet as to what customers are buying. I would expect people to love all of our handpicked, wee tested products, but in reality we know some products will sell better than others. Over time we will be carefully tracking “best sellers” and reevaluating what works for weeBgreen. It’s an evolving process, and we’re taking it one step at a time.

Are all of your products made from earth-friendly materials?

Most of our products are either made completely from earth-friendly materials like organic cottons, organic threads, etc. or they have been recycled or upcycled for further use as opposed to being thrown away. Some of our products may be made from 100% cotton and made locally or regionally cutting down on environmental strains. Our goal is to provide a resource and shopping outlet for the Philadelphia area and regions beyond that will allow them to find unique products that are better for their children, improve safety within the home, and promote buying locally / regionally.

You mentioned that your products are currently produced by mompreneurs. How does a mompreneur go about getting her own product considered for your store? Is there a process or any specific requirements you have?

We prefer mompreneurs to contact us if their products are made in the USA, made with earth-friendlier materials and produced on the east coast. Not all of our products will be from the east coast, but our goal is to have 90% representing PA, and neighboring states. It helps us stay true to our buy local / regional philosophy. Additionally, to help preserve resources we prefer our partners to accept a drop-shipping agreement where we will help them promote and sell their product while they maintain the inventory. With drop-shipping resources are saved because the item is only being shipped once and the maker retains a good portion of the sale.

What are some of the non-profit organizations you support?

Currently we plan to donate a portion of after tax profits to Philadelphia area non-profits including St. Mary’s Villa for Children and Families, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, The Greater Philadelphia Sustainable Business Network and Cradles to Crayons.

Although your products and materials are from around Philadelphia/on the East Coast, is your customer base limited to that area?

Our customer base is not limited to just the east coast. Of course part of our philosophy is to promote buying locally / regionally but at the same time we would not want to turn a customer away because the resided elsewhere. I would love to help spread the word about Philadelphia’s great craftspeople and share inventive, earth-friendlier products produced here with the world. We will use the United States Postal Service, which is Cradle to Cradle certified (http://www.mbdc.com/usps), and recycle boxes/shipping packages to help make less of an impact when shipping our products out.

What lessons have you learned from your business?

One lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t do it all at once. You have to take baby steps and really iron out your processes and plans before leaping too far. Having an accountability partner can truly help you maintain focus and take bite-size steps to reaching your goals. And being earth-friendlier does not mean you have to make drastic changes right now…everything is a learning process and it takes time to implement change.

If there was one lesson you could pass on from your experience as an entrepreneur, what would it be and why?

I would say if nothing else, ensure you’re following your passion. Do not go into entrepreneurship for the money or because someone else made it look easy. And if you think it’s going to be easy, you’d better get a reality check fast. Being your own boss means you answer to yourself and you need to be tougher on yourself than ever before. Keep your goals in plain sight and don’t forget why you started on this path in the first place. Lastly, don’t let anyone steal your dreams…you know what you’re capable of, “just do it”!

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