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Through strong marketing and a loyal customer base,
retailer Green Nest is carving out a niche in Culpeper, Virginia. What’s
more, there are green marketing lessons in here for you.
Poornima Apte
Where Green
Comes to Roost
ake one look at their logo and it becomes revenue-generating proposition was exciting. Store management
immediately apparent that the folks at Green also noticed the lack of an earth-friendly gift store downtown
Nest, a green gift shop in Culpeper VA, have and decided the time was right for Green Nest.
really done their marketing homework. The
compelling image shows a nest gently cradling
Product mix
Merchandise mix is important in any gift store but even more
packaging, shipping and of course what the product represents,” she says.
Mother Earth.
so when a store is green—after all, the customers are buying
“Now, it’s important that the products we carry are as earth-friendly as
The store’s assistant manager, Courtney Simpson, says the
possible, from production to the final product.”
team gave it a lot of thought. “We wanted to represent the
into the green idea when they visit your store and want to be
Products Green Nest stocks include EnV bags, bath and body products
earth since it is our ultimate goal to lessen our impact on the
sure the products they purchase meet the store’s green mission.
from Inara, candles from Paddywax's "Eco" collection and Small Plum kids'
environment. And so it just made sense that the Earth would
Simpson says that when Green Nest started out they had a
rest in our nest,” she says adding that a local graphic
long list of extremely strict guidelines for product
designer ran with the idea and created what
sourcing: products had to be packaged in recycled/
Green marketing
has turned out to be a strong part of Green
recyclable containers, bath products had to
The store has been especially successful with their green marketing
Nest’s overall marketing strategy.
be organic (preferably USDA-certified);
initiatives. Green Nest has been involved in Culpeper’s community garden
all paper products had to be made of
and donated crops to local food banks. Last spring, they partnered with a
Beginnings recycled components, labeling had
local school to sponsor a planting project and gave the students ideas for
Green Nest, which opened for to be printed on recycled paperwith
crafts made out of recycled materials. “We have also participated in local
business almost a year ago last non-toxic inks, the company
baby fairs, consignment sales and other events to bring awareness,” Simpson
February, has an older sibling: needed to abide by Fair Trade
says, “we are trying to become a resource for our community and its citizens
Pepperberries, a gift and fashion guidelines, use minimal packaging
who want to live a greener lifestyle.”
destination that has been in and have very little shipping
The store has a Facebook page and joined community groups like
business for six years and has a waste.
the community garden, the local La Leche League (the league supports
strong and loyal customer base. The store does still follow all
breast-feeding mothers).
It was a little more than a year
these benchmarks but has come
ago when Pepperberries’ owner,
to a more realistic realization
Business basics
Sharon Clark, began to realize that
that not every company can meet
Green Nest employs one full-time manager, one part-time assistant manager
the store had too much storage and
every mark on every product,
and a sales associate. Having Pepperberries as a sister store has helped with
office space that was being wasted.
Simpson says. “We look at the com-
a steady customer base and attendant traffic. Simpson says the store has also
The idea of turning the space into a
pany and the green initiatives it takes,
had a lot of success in “working with wonderful vendors. We have found so
130 GREENRetailer
n Winter 2010
GRM Features.indd 130 12/15/09 4:45:30 PM
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