Meditate: I start my day with a 20-minute meditation to clear my mind and focus for the day.
Find mentors: Organizations like the National Association of Women Business Owners have been amazing. The members are such open, sharing peers.
Take your time when hiring: I’ve learned to require background checks, references, and not rely on my gut.
Engage with the customer: This means both the buyer and the end user, the mom shopper. They know what they want. We must deliver it.
Meetings really do matter: They help to keep people on the same page.
I had the pleasure of interviewing with the Founder and mompreneur, Jayme Bella. Jayne created Greenerways out of a need for her family and children.
Greenerway’s mission has always been to create effective, affordable, organic solutions for the consumers’ everyday problems. As a family-run business, it is paramount that shoppers no longer have to compromise their safety based on what they can/can’t afford. All human beings deserve the right to live healthy lifestyles.
Greenerways is dedicated to making life easier and safer for families and their pets by providing an organic assortment of outdoor, lifestyle and personal care products that are infused with the best natural ingredients. It takes this commitment seriously and the company’s many approval seals attest to the level of investment it makes on the consumers’ behalf.
Jayme started creating organic products in 2008 when her house was damaged by a severe storm and became infested with insects. Pregnant at the time and increasingly eco-conscious, she started reading the labels of traditional insect repellents and realized they were ridden with chemicals and other ingredients that were unknown to her. She’d always lived an organic lifestyle. Fearful of what these chemicals could do to her unborn child, she began to research various essential oils and the properties they contained. Her husband, Jim, who operated an all-natural cleaning service, encouraged the use of organic products and helped her formulate an organic insect repellent when their growing family could not find one on the market.
Shortly thereafter, she invested in a small machine that allowed her to mix small quantities of essential oils. After much research, she wound up with a variety of oils, all of which had repellent properties to varying degrees. With a lot of hard work and extensive mixing and matching, she eventually derived a formula that actually repelled insects, was kind to the skin, and safe. Sharing with friends and other family members led to positive confirmation of her findings. From there, Greenerways Organic Bug Spray was born.
This was the birth of Greenerways, a company devoted to bringing safe products to every home. This made her grandmother, Mama Bella, very happy; she had been using organic solutions passed down from her father, a turn-of-the-century apothecary, for years. Mama Bella introduced Jayme to a wide variety of essential oil combinations by sharing a diary she had kept since she was a young girl. In this diary, Jayme found recipes for healing burns, alleviating headaches, soothing sore muscles, and more. Out of these, she was able to formulate a balm to relieve all kinds of maladies without endangering her growing family with harsh, synthetic chemicals.
Jayme Bella’s grandmother always told her, “Read the labels; if there are chemicals or ingredients you can’t pronounce, don’t buy the product.”
Testament to Jayme’s business acumen is that she was named as the National Association of Women Business Owners Los Angeles Chapter’s Business Woman of the Year in 2018.
A resident of Venice, California, Jayme and her family love living in the Los Angeles area. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University.
Learn more about Greenerways at https://greenerways.com/.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Greenerways genesis stems from what Mama Bella always told me, “Read the labels; if there are chemicals or ingredients you can’t pronounce, don’t buy the product.” This was never more important to me than during my first pregnancy in 2008. That summer our home was damaged by a severe storm and became infested with insects. Reading the labels of traditional insect repellants and realizing they were ridden with harmful chemicals and other ingredients unknown to me, I was fearful of what effect they could have on our unborn child. I began to research various essential oils and the properties they contain. My husband, Jim, who operated an all-natural cleaning service at the time, helped me formulate an organic insect repellant. Shortly thereafter, I invested in a simple machine that allowed me to mix small quantities of essential oils. After much research, I wound up with a variety of oils, all of which had repellent properties to varying degrees. By dint of hard work and extensive mixing and matching, I derived a formula that actually repelled insects, was kind to skin and was safe. Sharing with friends and other family members led to positive confirmation of my findings and Greenerways Organic Bug Repellant was born. This was the birth of Greenerways, a company devoted to bringing safe, chemical-free products to every home.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
My favorite story about the early days of Greenerways is about how we were introduced to QVC. In 2013, I took a spin class at Soul Cycle in Yardley, PA. After the class, the instructor and I were lamenting about how yucky the bikes were. I pulled out a spray bottle of our 2 oz. hand sanitizer and cleaned off the bikes. She loved the product, thought it was a perfect fit for QVC and introduced me. She’d been a spokesperson there for 10 years! What a way to get on television!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting?
At our very first trade show, we hadn’t QC’d our bottles. While showing a buyer for a major retailer our product, it leaked all over her and she was in a white dress. It wasn’t funny at the time, but all these years later, we do chuckle whenever we have to recount the details and how we worked the incident into our post-event followed-up. She always reminds us that the way we handled it made us stand out.
Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?
Well, obviously to make sure any bottle we ever leave with has been through Quality Control! I think it taught me early-on how valuable personal relationships are. I always make sure to get to know the people I do business with and to remember the little details.
Are you working on any new exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?
Greenerways mission has always been to create effective and affordable solutions for everyday problems. In these unprecedented times, we wanted to create an affordable hand sanitizer for everyday use. With essential sanitary supplies being low, my talented team of chemists and doctors worked around the clock to create a 70% ethanol hand sanitizer in just three weeks. It is already on the shelf at CVS and 7-Eleven stores nationally.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
- Meditate: I start my day with a 20-minute meditation to clear my mind and focus for the day.
- Find mentors: Organizations like the National Association of Women Business Owners have been amazing. The members are such open, sharing peers.
- Take your time when hiring: I’ve learned to require background checks, references, and not rely on my gut.
- Engage with the customer: This means both the buyer and the end user, the mom shopper. They know what they want. We must deliver it.
- Meetings really do matter: They help to keep people on the same page.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My husband. He is a natural born entrepreneur and when I was pregnant with our first child, he gave me the push I needed to dive in and start my own business. It was scary, but I am glad to have left corporate America behind. Together we balance our kids, business, friendship, and love.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Greenerways donated 10,000 units of its 2 oz. hand sanitizer to Los Angeles Skid Row’s homeless charity, Beauty2TheStreetz. Another 28,000 of our new hand sanitizers were donated to our home city, Los Angeles. And an additional 5,000 hand sanitizers have been donated to a children’s charity, Friends of Los Angeles.
Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main question of our interview. Can you share 5 examples of how retail companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers like to shop?
- An even bigger focus on online retail
- Being even more price-conscious
- Focusing on how to impact customer experience with minimal touching
- Prioritizing the essentials
- More local sourcing and selling items Made in America
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would look to inspire people to do what works for me. Spiritual awareness, whatever that means for each individual. A very healthy family life which takes a ton of work. Eat healthy. By maintaining a healthy diet, low in sugars, I am better able to deal with the stresses of running a business, two kids, extended familial and friend relationships, and still find time for myself. Exercise, the more intense the better. The increased energy I get from working out allows me to have a longer and more productive day while reinforcing my physiological system for health and longevity, and learning, reading daily, incorporating the knowledge, whether emotional knowledge, business knowledge, parenting knowledge, etc. Never stop seeking it. If I was smart enough to bring this all into a cohesive philosophy, I would definitely proselytize to all.
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