There's money to be made in recycling and one business has tapped into a profitable way to turn it into jobs and cash.
It really doesn't get any better than this. Two environmentally conscious, savvy entrepeneurs from Southern California, started a recycling business of sorts only ten months ago. And now it's just dizzying trying to keep up with their success.
Bottlehood takes empty soda, liquor and wine bottles and turns them into drinking glasses, tumblers and other items.
In the past four months, business has taken off like a bottle rocket.
"It has gone crazy," said Tiano.
It all began in the backyard of their home in Crest, about 50 miles east of San Diego with four workers cutting bottles and creating products. And now with all this talk about trash, Bottlehead's popularity has soared. The company's workforce is tripled. And its production line has moved from the backyard into a giant warehouse.
You can read the rest of their success story in "Turning Trash Into Cash."
What's great about this, is that all the right stuff is coming together. Bottlehead was "created out of a passion to create local jobs, stimulate our local retail economy and help our environment," says its founders.
And it is indeed hiring people. "Ambassadors," as Tiano calls them, are paid an hourly wage plus commission to sell the products, but they have to be the right "fit" and believe in their mission of re-purposing discardable items. They really need shippers and packers right now too, to keep up with the orders.
One of the keys to their marketing success is grassroots--selling their products at farmers' markets throughout California, like Urban Village Farmers' Markets in the Bay Area. That's where they get direct feedback from customers says Tiano. And she says the Etsy social commerce website is where they got a lot of the practical advice of getting their business started from people who are just starting out.
Absolut Vodka and Stone Brewing must love the free publicity with the re-make of their liquour bottles into glassware and vases.
During a time when we're still uncertain about economic recovery, It's a story that's clearly all good.