Monday, March 3, 2008
Green Living store is good source for ecological shoppers
Products are certified fair trade by an independent third party. A set of guidelines to determine whether or not a product is genuine is also in place.
DALLAS When you step into Green Living, an ecologically-minded store in Dallas' Lakewood Shopping Center, you feel like you’re shaking hands with nature.
Immediately when you walk in the door there is an abundance of fair trade items such as:
- teas and chocolates
- shade grown, organic coffee
- handcrafted baskets and textiles
- gifts from around the world
- children’s toys and instruments
You walk a little farther and you see certified organic cotton and wool items such as:
- cotton and latex mattresses
- sheets and pillows
- baby goods
- adult clothing
Kate Macaulay, 29, and Michael Johnson, 33, owners of Green Living, spent two years in Singapore. Michael, a marine engineer, built ships for different companies. Kate, an economics/political science major, worked for non-profit programs like micro-credit lending and health and child welfare. They had a good life together, but they also dreamed of owning an environmental store in the United States. And so they saved their money and dreamed and planned.
"In 2002, we took the plunge and returned to Dallas with opening a store in mind," Kate said. "The process took us about 10 months and in June 2003 Green Living opened its doors."
To make sure that products are certified fair trade, Kate said that they involve an independent third party. They also have a set of guidelines that determines whether or not a product is genuine.
"Our paints have no volatile organic compounds, or basically no harsh chemicals," she said. "Our clothing is made from special fibers such as bamboo, hemp, soy, and cotton."
"We sell a push lawn mower which is quiet, and we have a tester mower which we will let our customers use for a day."
Kate said that when they first opened Green Living they made sure that their sign was up well before opening day, and they did a little advertising.
"Basically, most of our customers learn about us through word of mouth," she said. "We also have a monthly newsletter that we e-mail on request."
Michael and Kate share duties in that they may find themselves, among other things, putting up shelves, mixing paint or working on their website, she said.
"It's all part of running a small business," she said.
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