A half-dozen entrepreneurial-minded Cincinnatians are joining a growing, nationwide eco-consultant business Green Irene
saying it gives them a way to quickly start their own businesses and teach others about products that make their space more energy efficient, less polluting and wasteful.
Green Irene was launched by a husband and wife out of New York City, Peter J. (PJ) Stafford and Rosamaria Caballero Stafford. The Green Irene business eco-consultant model is similar to Tupperware or Mary Kay (but with an eco-conscious bent) because it's based on local relationships and entrepreneurship to sell retail products nationally. It is not a franchise, so there are no franchise fees. But there are training fees.
"The idea behind it is to have local eco-consultants in a grass roots effort across the country," said co-founder Rosamaria. "We have 500 consultants in 47 states. They go into people's homes and help them implement green initiatives and help their families and co-workers lead healthier lifestyles."
The company launched in 2007 and an online training program for consultants was launched in 2008. In Cincinnati, there are at least six Green Irene consultants in various stages of training. Green Irene consultants can spend as little as a few hours a week on work to making it a full-time job and may just sell products to individuals or to small business. Others speak to larger groups on a wide variety of environmental topics and do "green home makeovers" where a consultant comes into a clients' homes or businesses and makes wide-ranging professional suggestions on what they can conserve energy, or what less polluting and chemical-free products they could use.
Ellen Hall, of Lebanon, became a Green Irene consultant in February 2009. Hall became more aware of pollutants and chemical effects on health after one of her children was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Though her child is now disease free, she remains vigilant about her children's exposure to pollutants and chemicals in their food, laundry detergent, soaps, and in the home cleaning products. She's able to share her personal passion with others through Green Irene. She strives to help others see how green can fit into their lifestyles, and to do that in a way that inspirational rather than dogmatic.
"My message is to encourage one to things they can use that can get them started. It's a behavioral change. Some people will do some things, but most people aren't going to do everything," she said.
Among products sold, which can also be purchased online are CFL light bulbs, water purifiers, kits that conserve water and electricity, water purifiers, non-toxic cleaning agents and more.
Marjorie Phillips and Betsy Behne are best friends in Loveland, who work on Green Irene as a team. The "green" aspect of it is what drew them to the business idea.
"We are both stay at home moms and had been thinking about opening a store or getting involved with a business in some kind of capacity and we researched Green Irene and really liked it. We really liked the products and it was a flexible way to start a business," she said.
Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Sources: Ellen Hall, Marjorie Phillips and Rosamaria Caballero Stafford Green Irene
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