Founder of Ecobold
Interview with Steffany Boldrini (left), also called the "Rachel Ray of Green Living" by The Huffington Post, about Ecobold the startup she founded together with Aaron (right) and which launched earlier this week.
Ecobold is an online marketplace to buy and sell green products, and it’s a particularly good resource for merchants looking for a selling platform. Every day, the site’s editors feature one product with an informative video review and a 24-hour flash sale.
Tell us a bit about the history of Ecobold? Where did it all start?
I moved from Brazil 10 yrs ago where I was raised on a small ranch. From the beginning my mom made sure that the family ate healthy meals and cared for the environment. Even as a young child recycling was just a normal way of life for us. We recycled paper by throwing it on areas where the rain had caused erosion, and we had hike days to pick up remains of trash that ended up in what we called our “little forest”. I've been passionate about educating consumers about the several chemicals that are in our products that can not only harm our health but our environment as well.
How do you see your industry and especially the ecommerce market for 'green' products evolving? Will it ever go mainstream?
We are taking a different approach at Ecobold, our goal is to change the way that all products are made so that they're safe for us, therefore when that becomes the rule it will automatically have gone mainstream. Research has shown that once consumers understand what's wrong with the products they buy (and know that there's an alternative out there) they won't go back to their old purchasing habits. So our main challenge right now is simply to educate consumers, which we do through our videos, and reach as many as possible, once we accomplish that the rest will be easy!
Is it easy to find products that you wish to feature on your platform? Or do you feel that there are still a lot of opportunities/gaps in the market?
Yes, companies are trying to get the word out and they are now coming to us, we have a backlog of a couple of months at this point, and this is after turning down a few that don't meet our standards. There's also a lot of untapped markets and opportunities, for example I'd love to have appliances made out of bamboo or a 100% non-toxic nail polish.
What makes an eco or green product, "eco" or "green"? I can imagine that there is a big 'grey' zone of semi-eco/green products?
There's indeed a big "grey" zone, consumers are growing skeptical of companies calling themselves "green" because there has been a lot of greenwashing done. This is why we highlight the major healthy points of the product, be it organic, biodegradable, toxic-free. You can also see the complete ingredients list of the items and our next step is matching these ingredients to the Cosmetics Database list and only allowing ingredients with less a rating of 3 or less.
You launched earlier this week. How was this experience so far?
Launching (4/21/11) was challenging and exciting, Founder Institute and the grads were very helpful in getting the word out. We also just got in TNW and it's just an ongoing process where you have to constantly dedicate a few hours of your day towards.
Congratulations with the launch and wishing you all the best with Ecobold.
One final thing for our readers. To celebrate its launch Ecobold will plant a tree for every person that signs up for their free video recommendation newsletter here.