This Week we're delighted to introduce the fabulous Alegre of Green and Greener in Los Angeles (Valley Village). Green and Greener is an eco-living general store and design center. Alegre has graciously taken a moment out of her busy schedule as a store proprietor and new mother (congratulations!!) to answer our questions.
1. What inspired you to start your business?
As a green consumer I was frustrated that there was no ONE place where you could find a range of green products, and that the mainstream retailers “green” options were really not much better than their traditional counterparts. This frustration, coupled with the fact that I knew I could provide the service of vetting products and providing information to people because of my knowledge as a LEED AP, lead to the creation of Green and Greener. I call G&G an “eco general store” because we carry a wide range of products, with a focus on necessities. I buy functional, non-toxic, eco-friendly products as locally as possible and from the most socially responsible businesses I can. G&G also has the community feel of a traditional general store as it has become a resource for people to learn more about how they can incorporate sustainability into every aspect of their lives from bath and body to paint, from cloth diapers to mattresses.
2. What is your background and past experience?
I studied Anthropology and Political Science in undergrad and then received an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship and sustainable business. I’ve been practicing interior and landscape design as a LEED AP (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a professional designation given by the U.S. Green Building Council.) My whole life has lead up to the creation of G&G. I gave up drinking soda at 11, nail polish at 18 and hair chemicals at 20 and my mom likes to tell how when I was a child I used to walk around the house turning the lights off in all the rooms to save energy. I personally don’t care for the moniker “environmentalist” because I think it has a lot of baggage. The reality is, I just don’t believe in wasting resources and I don’t want to expose myself to toxic products…that’s not about a belief system in my opinion, that’s just good sense and it’s a way of thinking that is very common in other parts of the world.
3. How do you define beauty?
For a person, I define beauty as equal parts “feeling good in your skin” and good health with a dash of grooming. It’s having the inner glow that shines through to the outside when you are confident, healthy and at ease…however, a little blush and lip gloss never hurt either! My preference in make-up is to apply it so that you look like your best you and I think that’s what Alima Pure does. It doesn’t hide the real you, it just brightens you up.
4. What do people love about Green and Greener?
People always say my store “feels good” and I like that. It’s bright and airy, the clay plaster we have on the walls really gives the space a good feeling (clay release negative ions which clean the air and make you feel good.) Customers also love that I and my employees are super friendly and approachable but also knowledgeable. They know that we do our homework and they appreciate that. And they appreciate that G&G is a small business and that I, the owner, am often there to answer their questions and help them out. It’s such a different interaction when you are buying something from a person you trust versus some nameless corporation. They know I stand behind every product I sell and that puts them at ease.
5. Do you have any favorite anecdotes?
My favorite thing, and it happens regularly, is when people walk into the store and thank me for having opened it and for its existence. That’s the coolest thing ever.
6. What are the other 'don't miss' gems in your neighborhood?
Sun Power Natural Café and Hugo’s Restaurant are fantastic places to eat clean food that is delicious.
7. Anything else you'd like to share?
Green and Greener can now bring green “edutainment” (that’s education + entertainment) into people’s homes by arranging for engaging and knowledgeable speakers on any eco topic from composting to eco-friendly spa parties (complete with Alima Pure make-up application!) People love these events because it gives them a chance to really learn a lot about a specific topic and or/products they might be interested in and ask in-depth questions. Other topics include cloth diapering, how to build a vegetable garden and how to make your own cleaning products just to name a few. For more information email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green and Greener
4838 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Valley Village, CA 91607