The growing number of eco-consumers is slowly shifting how companies are doing business today. More and more consumers understand that they have a big impact on the health of our planet. As such, they are looking for products that are functional and stylish, yet earth-friendly. From choosing clothes made from sustainable materials to buying energy-efficient lightbulbs, marketers everywhere are taking note of the eco-consumers.
Chanell R. Scott is one of the millions of Americans who shop in an eco-friendly way. When thinking of a business model for her online store, she naturally focused on providing consumers with quality yet environmentally-friendly products. Guffly.com was born, offering eco friendly products and fair trade lifestyle goods like home, pet, clothing, office and personal accessories.
We interviewed Chanell on how she started Guffly.com:
What inspired you to start your business?
I started Guffly because I have a huge appetite for awesome, unique products but a nagging conscience that tells me to make better purchasing decisions. I wanted to take my personal passion and commitment for fair trade and sustainability and combine it with the shopaholic in me.
What makes Guffly different from other online stores? What is your vision for Guffly?
Guffly is a one product per day online store and community featuring eco friendly products and fair trade lifestyle goods like home, pet, clothing, office and personal accessories. We’ve made it our job to find only the most stylish eco friendly and fair trade products out there. We happen to think that making purchasing decisions you can feel good about doesn’t have to mean committing to a life without style or convenience. We search high and low so that you can bet Guffly’s green products are stylish, fun and attractive – eco stylish if you will.
What appealed you to the concept of one-product-per-day?
The one-product-per-day model made sense for us because we wanted to make the necessary information on the eco friendly or fair trade attributes of the products simple to digest for the consumer. One product per day prevents information overload and is a fun way to shop.
What were the challenges you faced in starting the online store?
Website development! We’re perfectionists who are obsessed with making the customer experience great. So, when the site needed improvement we put a lot of focus and energy on making it better.
What does the name “Guffly” mean? How did you come up with the name?
All of our products are good for the environment or good for people. So we took “good” and “stuff” and made guff, and then called it Guffly.
We have already added another team member, so that makes 4 on staff plus our 3 interns! I think teamwork is effective when everyone really understands the goals that drive the business and how his or her specific duties relate to those goals. I also think work culture is very important. We’ve created a fun, pet friendly environment where everyone is encouraged to brainstorm crazy ideas and turn them into reality.
How are you selecting the products offered in Guffly?
We search high and low for great products and connect with the people who make them – we visit trade shows and events, hit the internet, and take recommendations on our site. We’re always looking for new products to consider.
How are you marketing Guffly? So far, what can you say is the most effective source of traffic to the site?
We drive traffic to our site by having quality search engine optimization, we also advertise in various places, but most importantly, we focus on social networking with purpose and relying on word of mouth. Our customers have been our best asset.
How do you see Guffly five years from now?
I think there’s potential for all kinds of opportunities in the future. It’s hard to say what exactly they will be, but we’re certainly open to partnerships, acquisitions, or rolling out added features to our site.
How has Guffly changed your life?
It has made me more appreciative of small businesses and the people who start them. It takes a lot of work to compete with big companies and I admire any entrepreneur who does it. Guffly also keeps a roof over my pup’s head and feeds my addiction for eco friendly goodies. Most of all, it’s given me a new level of confidence in myself. I know that any problem that comes along isn’t the end of the world and that one way or another, everything will work out fine.
What advice can you give other entrepreneurs?
Start simple and get good at one thing. Once you’ve truly mastered it, don’t be afraid to try new things.