Welcome to Fantastic B Corps, MyCorporation’s salute to the entity that gives back to business and society. Join us biweekly for a glimpse at the entrepreneurs using their small business to “B The Change” in this global movement for good.
It all started with a pretty olive oil bottle. Meet Michelle Stevens, Founder of The Refill Shoppe, whose shower thoughts sparked the idea for a business rooted in reducing waste. Always one for embracing the unusual (with 10 years of her life spent growing up on a sailboat), Stevens established The Refill Shoppe because nothing feels better than doing the right thing. Read on to find out more about Stevens and her Ventura, CA-based B Corp.
How that pretty olive oil bottle changed everything: “A desire to make a difference in the world and a love of shopping created the perfect storm. It all began with a pretty olive oil bottle, and then buying a bottle of olive oil to pour into the pretty bottle. While contemplating the 20 minute lifespan of that second bottle in the shower (the perfect place to ponder and wonder), an idea formed. Why not just refill all the still perfectly good bottles instead of buying new ones every time?”
After the shower thoughts, what happened next? “A long road trip allowed the simple thought to turn into a vision of a place where you could get just what you need without anything that you don’t. The Refill Shoppe is the actualization of an idea to create a more practical means for consumption. It’s a return to the days before ‘disposability.’ By allowing you to refill your own bottle with over 50 bath, body, home and cleaning products you can do your part to reduce waste in a fun way!”
The B Corp was the right fit for us: “The decision to transition to a B Corp was an easy one for us because it is a decisive way to ensure that our core values are engrained into the very structure of our organization. We love how effectively it communicates to the world our decision to use business as a force for good. Maintaining our B Corp status challenges us to become the company we want to be and to always think about how we are affecting the environment, the community, our employees and our customers.”
Celebrating our biggest milestone: “Thanks to the support of our wonderful community and loyal customers we have been able to refill over 23,000 containers! Enabling single-use containers to become reusable makes us really excited.”
What The Refill Shoppe does to “B The Change” daily: “We have been a member of 1% For the Planet since the very first day we opened our doors. And we have donated over $15,000 to environmental non-profits. This contribution is donated to a different non-profit every month. It’s so cool to see how just 1% of each sale is adding up!”
If you want to become a B Corp… “Do it! The certification process is intense, but it is so worth it!”
Benefit Corporations can only grow from here: “This movement is just going to continue to grow and we are so glad to be a part of it. Businesses caring about their people and our planet are awesome and important. We sincerely hope to see this movement become the way of the future.”
Why we believe in doing the right thing: “It’s our mission. We believe in love, gratitude and doing the right thing. We share with you what we like to use and make everyday necessities extra special, just like you! We do what we do because hot bubble baths, clean people, lovely smells, smiles on faces and a little less plastic in the world makes us so very happy.”
About Michelle Stevens, Founder of The Refill Shoppe
Founder Michelle Stevens credits her alternative lifestyle of growing up on a sailboat for 10 years, mucking around in the everglades during summer conservancy camps, and having incredibly loving supportive parents for her inspiration and motivation. Michelle was awarded ‘Innovator of the Year’ from NAWBO, the National Association of Women Business Owners, Ventura County Chapter in 2012. P.S. We now know of a wonderful place to refill the pretty olive oil bottle. In case you were wondering.