The Return of the Family Business

An entrepreneurial family seizes an eco-opportunity from the jaws of the recession.

Sammamish, WA, June 21, 2009 --( Frightened by the prospect of building a business and raising a family, many would-be entrepreneurs would have thought twice about launching a new company in the midst of the worst recession in decades.

But one mom-prenuer saw opportunity.

“I just felt that it was the right product at the right time,” says Elizabeth Fletcher, founder of EnviroVogue, a fast-growing, family-operated business that sells eco-friendly tote bags made from recycled plastic bottles.

Elizabeth founded the company when she grew tired of carrying reusable grocery bags that were drab or just plain ugly. Unlike many reusable bags, EnviroVogue styles are bold and fashionable. Another unique aspect to this green start-up: a portion of the proceeds from every sale is donated to a charity. “My company is a way for me to give something back, not only by preserving the environment, but by supporting my favorite charities.”

Only seven months old, the company’s products are already carried by over 400 boutiques and national chains like Whole Foods. What challenges face a stay-at-home mom who starts a company in the midst of a recession?

“It’s impossible to keep business and home life separate, so I stopped trying! I involve my husband and two young boys in every aspect of the business. I get their opinions on new designs, and they help with the web site and even filling orders.” Negotiating with customs brokers while helping with homework, Elizabeth feels like her new enterprise brings the family together, especially during tough times. “The other day I overheard my son telling his grandfather that he wants to own his own business when he grows up. I was so proud!”

EnviroVogue is one example of a recession-denying business: an entrepreneur who is successfully growing a company while raising a family.

EnviroVogue, Inc.
Tim Fletcher
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