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Sustainable Locals: The Refill Shoppe

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At Sustainable Socially, our goal is to create an open dialogue through social platforms, moving people to believe in the importance of sustainability across brands and industries. So we thought, what better way to do that than highlight our locals who are actively involved in sustainability? Thus, Sustainable Locals was created! Keep reading to find eco-friendly locals, shops, and products in your area as they are featured!

Our first Sustainable Local is Michelle Stevens in Ventura:

This afternoon I had the chance to chat with Michelle Stevens, entrepreneur and owner of The Refill Shoppe in Ventura. Michelle is such a vibrant woman with a passion for sustainability. She is a leader in her county, being named “Innovator of the year” by The National Association of Women Business Owners. The Refill Shoppe is such a cool concept, and I wanted to catch up with Michelle to get the story behind the store:

Sustainable Socially: “What was the inspiration behind The Refill Shoppe?”

Michelle: “Well, I grew up on a sailboat so I’ve always been very connected to the ocean and organics. After I graduated from Visual Journalism school I started planning my future and decided it was time to start something. I got the idea for The Refill Shoppe from a bottle of olive oil I had. I kept thinking, ‘Well, this seems like a short use for such a nice bottle’ and it sort of went forward from there. It was a combination of my gut feeling and my wanting to make a difference in a fun way. Also, I love shopping so I wanted that to be incorporated as well.”

Sustainable Socially: “I love the idea; it sounds like you really enjoy the purpose of the store. What drives your passion for the environment?”

Michelle: “I watch a lot of documentaries, and mostly they freak me out. It’s almost too much for one brain to handle. I watch people that are set in their habits and it seems so difficult to change that, so I wanted to create a way for people to be environmentally conscious without having to go completely out of their way to do so. Making a bunch of little tweaks in daily life can really help things. If we all lived a little more consciously it would make a big difference.”

The Refill Shoppe, Ventura CA
The Refill Shoppe, Ventura CA

Sustainable Socially:
“I agree. I see The Refill Shoppe is on Facebook. How do you use social media for the shop, and also for your own environmental 181182_459817104042072_1776373197_ncauses?”

Michelle: “I mainly use Facebook, my demographic doesn’t seem to be too into Twitter at the moment, but I might consider starting one soon. Facebook is a great tool for me because it’s a relatively green way to get the word out. Some people have suggested I pass out flyers, but obviously I’m an organic friendly business so that would go completely against everything I do at the Shoppe. Facebook provides a great space for open dialogue with my customers, we share things and talk about new products. I’ve also held a casual networking event called Green Drinks and posted that on Facebook, there was a great turnout and it’s such a nice way to network in a relaxing space with other environmentally conscious professionals.”

The Refill Shoppe is continually expanding as they had a record 5,000 refills this year, and will be selling online soon! In the meantime, you can find Michelle and her amazing products at 363 E Main St. Ventura, CA 93001. Follow them on Facebook, and check out their website!

What bottles do you have to refill?

Sustainable Socially Jordan benSheaSustainable Socially, Santa Barbara, California

An interactive platform to encourage dialogue utilizing social media for sustainable efforts.

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