Western Michigan University
The Bee Joyful shop is 100% plastic-free. Everything in the store is either bamboo or second-hand, from the shelving to the fixtures. They sell and create all-natural products that are vegan and dye-free. The idea is that they do not want any harmful chemicals to end up in our bodies or in the water system. The shop offers refilling stations for almost any household product that one could think of. This helps to promote reuse in the community.
They offer a box that is filled with perfume, a vegan candle, lemon-poppyseed bar soap, a dark chocolate bar, a lemongrass vanilla lotion bar, strawberry lip balm, and a sisal soap bag. These products are all-natural and the sisal soap bag, for example, has an ingredient that comes from a cactus plant. Beejoyful has other products that range from reusable food wraps to reusable straws, to dental sets, and a market set that contains two organic cotton produce bags, two mason jars, and a cotton carrying case.
The business was created in April of 2017 by Jessica Thompson. She wanted to, "cut down on the single-use plastic that [she] was personally using in [her] home." The biggest inspiration for her was her children. Jessica was thinking about what kind of world she would want to leave for them. The idea was to leave it in the best way that she possibly could and the healthiest.
There wasn't exactly an "aha" moment, but the owner, Jessica Thompson, grew up "off the grid" and had to learn to be creative with what she had. "What is now 'Bee Joyful Shop' started as a simple idea. Creating and using, Earth-friendly materials"(Thompson, 2021). The shop really developed from a collection of her childhood experiences and her experiences now with her children.
The overall impact is that the Bee Joyful shop is spreading awareness about reusing items and also using all-natural products. Not only are they selling and promoting sustainable items, but they are also helping to change the minds of others. During the interview, Jessica said that she was getting her suppliers to think about their own use of shipping containers and potentially reusing boxes. The shop has been very successful and is opening a second location. This shows that there are many people that are buying into the idea of reuse and sustainability.
This is a zero-waste shop so that means that there is absolutely no waste associated with any of the products offered in the shop. As previously stated, any packaging that is not biodegradable or recyclable operates within a closed-loop system. When the shop needs to have its laundry detergent refilled, they use the same plastic containers and the company picks those up. Plastic never makes it to a landfill so it is serving a continual purpose.
The business has benefited greatly from this innovation because the innovation is at the heart of the shop's concept and is therefore embodied in every product that they offer from natural products to the refilling stations. A second shop is soon to open in Dexter, Michigan. They will be adding four more employees to the new shop. The whole zero-waste idea is proving to be a success for Bee Joyful.
Their success is evident in their expansion with a second store. Jessica said that she has many repeat customers that bring their own mason jars and organic cotton bags to shop with. She also said that she gets really excited when she hears the mason jars knocking together when a customer arrives because then she knows that they are committed to zero-waste just like the shop is(Thompson, 2021).
Jessica Thompson, Founder & Owner
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Kalamazoo, Michigan, US
Business Website: https://www.beejoyfulshop.com/
Year Founded: 2017
Number of Employees: 2 to 10