So we all know the new year is all about bettering ourselves and setting goals for the year to come. But how many of us have reducing personal waste as a goal? A scary fact is currently the US produces about 234lb of plastic waste per person per year. Are you sitting there calculating all of the products you bought this year? Because we are! These figures become worse as the earth faces an escalating waste crisis driven largely by plastics piling up in developing countries and the oceans.
So what can YOU do about it? While these figures seem vastly overwhelming, there are things that you, your family, and friends can do to make your own personal impact. We believe our February Small Business of the Month, Hello!Bulk Markets is an amazing resource for those living in Utah who want to start taking steps towards being waste-free. With two convenient locations, Hello!Bulk provides the goods without all the plastic and waste of a normal grocery store. Simply bring your own containers, fill em up with everything from bulk foods to body care or even cleaning products and then pay using their easy self-checkout prompts you to enter your "tare" so you only pay for what you put into the containers. Hello!Bulk Markets started as a “seed” in the mind of founder, Jamaica Trinnaman, keep reading as we hear her story!
UMLF: Tell us about yourself and your background:
Jamaica: My name is Jamaica Trinnaman and I'm the Mom of three wonderful boys, two of which are grown and have flown the nest and one 14 year old that is still at home. My college degree is actually in Art (painting to be specific) and I hope to have more time for painting again someday, but for now I've given myself permission to concentrate on the business.
UMLF: What inspired you to start HelloBulk?
Jamaica: I loved shopping in the bulk departments in the stores I worked in for a few reasons:
UMLF: For people who are starting to focus more on their own sustainability practices, where are the easiest places to start? Why is it important?
Jamaica: What we suggest is that when you purchase items at the grocery store consider the end of each container. Is it something you can reuse? And if you are willing to start refilling even just a few basic items, like your body care, that’s great! Start simple….even little things make a huge difference if they are done consistently.
UMLF: With Valentine’s Day coming up, do you have any gifts or goodies you would recommend?
Jamaica: I would just say “Support Local”! When you seek out locally produced items and locally run businesses you are casting a vote for a better community!
* Some of our favorite items that would make a great gift at Hello!Bulk are their cute reusable bags, shampoo bars, high-quality teas or their sustainability starter kits.
UMLF: Every business has its highs and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
Jamaica: Everyday has had its own successes and challenges. I joke that my real job title is “Creative Problem Solver”. I’ve learned that running a small business is really just about buying one month at a time to figure things out! The highs, in my case, have come from being appreciated by my amazing customers and meeting people in my community doing great things. The lows have come from working to the point of exhaustion, and feelings of isolation….unfortunately at times the business becomes your everything. You forget to nurture relationships outside of your business identity and next thing you know everything you do and everyone you spend time with has something to do with the business. It’s important to give some TLC to yourself and prioritize the people that help you to feel grounded outside of your successes and failures of the business.
UMLF: How do you believe the Utah Microloan Fund has helped you and your business?
Jamaica: As someone who isn’t a fit for traditional bank funding, and doesn’t have the support of a spouse, my funding options are especially limited. Without organizations like the Microloan Fund, my business wouldn’t have a chance to grow.
To plan your visit Hello!Bulk Markets hit up:
Also be sure to give them a follow on social media!
Providing business training and funding to entrepreneurs in start-up & existing businesses that do not qualify for traditional funding sources.