Indie Beauty Network Member Wins Top 10 Spot As Green Business
I was excited to learn this week that Indie Beauty Network member Linda Balon Stein of Zosimos Botanicals was selected as one of StartUp Nation's Top 10 Greenest Home-Based Businesses. Linda's company was chosen from thousands of entries. Pictured here are some of her most popular products, a line of lip balms made with sweet almond oil, cocoa butter and colors from natural ingredients like acai berries from the Brazilian rain forest.
I have known for a while of Linda's business and personal commitment to the environment, particularly after meeting her in person at Indies in the City earlier this year. But now that she's won a national award for her dedication, I'm delighted that the world will know too. Join me in congratulating Linda! Here's a little about her and how she leads her award winning company.
dM: When did you start Zosimos Botanicals?
Linda: In 2004. Before that, I finished law school and sat for the Bar Exam just 10 days before my son was born. I then became a full-time attorney with a requirement that I bill out 2,000 hours each year to the firm's clients. My mother came to live with us at the time because I was never home. I never saw my son or my husband. I started Zosimos in part so I could be home with my family. I also started it because I wanted to offer an alternative to harmful chemicals in so many personal care products.
dM: What does "Zosimos" mean and how did you choose it for your brand name?
Linda: My company is named for the third century alchemist, Zosimos Panoplys. I chose the name because I wanted something that had no existing meaning or association. As a former trademark attorney, I knew first-hand how important it was to brand my company with a name that was unique and that I could actually use in an exclusive manner. Also, "alchemy" is the precursor to modern day chemistry and much of what I do as a cosmetics manufacturer is chemistry related.
dM: How did you hear about the StartUp Nation Home-Based Business contest?
Linda: I am a member of Co-Op America, and another member shared that she was entering the contest. I figured I should give it a try as well so I entered. Not many people know that Zosimos is home-based, but they will soon when I proudly display the award at our website.
dM: Why is it important to you to have "green" business?
Linda: I try to be the alternative for women who want to get rid of toxins in their bodies,s so instead of just telling people about cosmetic ingredients that can be harmful, I actually products that are real alternatives. My main goal is to help women know that they don't have to use harmful stances. I'm happy if they choose my products, but my overarching goal is to educate people about eliminating chemicals for both social and environmental reasons.
dM: What things do you think helped you win the award?
Linda: Several things. First, my company's commitment to the environment and to healthful cosmetic ingredients is sincere and I think that shines through at our website. Also, after I entered, I asked the entire universe (at least everyone in it that I know) to vote for me. While public votes did not guarantee an award, the contest rules indicated that number of votes may be considered by the judges.
Another thing I did that was key was to update my contestant profile throughout the contest. for example, during the contest, I was contacted by two non-profit organizations to help with some environmental outreach efforts. Each time, I updated my profile. I think that helped a lot because the judges could see that they were not just considered a "one hit wonder." I was consistent and focused on being green and I think they must have appreciated knowing that my efforts ware continuous and ongoing, not just a bunch of stuff I've done in the past.
dM: As a wife and mother of young children, how important is it to you to have a home-based business?
Linda: Extremely important. After working full-time at a law firm after my son was born, I eventually took a part-time legal job. That helped but I was still not able to spend the time I wanted to with my children. I started Zosimos while I was working part-time and when the business needed more attention in 2007, I left the part-time job. Zosimos has been my full-time career ever since — along with being a wife and mother.
Today, I take my kids to the bus in the morning and meet them after their school day. I don't have to deal with aftercare and I am much happier with how I am raising my family now than when I was in the traditional workforce.
dM: Are there any special challenges to working from home?
Linda: Yes. Like all children, mine are demanding of my attention. They love spending time with me and are very curious about what I do in my cosmetics lab which is located in our basement. Throughout the day, they want me to do things with them and I can't always do those things when they want me to. Also, since my business line rings over to my home phone (with a distinctive ring), I do find that I'm both always working my business and always working in my home.
Question: Know any other StartUp Nation Home-Based winners, or maybe you are one? Share the good news here!
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