We celebrate independent retailers who courageously choose and champion honestly good products. They are growing their businesses while shaping a better world! Today, we introduce you to one of our standout Opal Avenue community members – Brittany Iseli, founder of Joy Fill shop.
Brittany, we are so glad to have you with us today! Joy Fill specializes in helping others enhance their eco-friendly lifestyle and experience complete joy in the process. Where did the idea and inspiration to start the shop come from? What are its roots?
I was in-between jobs and did some soul searching at the time. I wanted a career in something that I was passionate about, and protecting the environment was just that. My husband and I had been taking steps to reduce the waste in our household but found it difficult to do given the limited resources in our city. This gave me the vision of JOY FILL and opening a refill shop in my neighborhood. It was my hope that it would be a place for people to learn more about the benefits of refills, and be a resource for anything zero-waste-related.
When you think about the vision for Joy Fill, what gets you most excited?
I hope that we can continue to be a resource to our customers for all things zero-waste and that we can continue to grow our refillable selection while also striving towards a completely closed-loop business model with our suppliers.
As a retailer focused on sustainability, how important is having product education, training, and support from your brand partners? And is there any advice you wish you could share with up-and-coming brands about this?
I would say that there could definitely be an improvement among brands to supply product education and support with retailers. We can usually find the information we need on their website and such, but it would be much easier and could help sales if brands actually made this an area of focus. Suggestions would be product info cards for customers to take home, POS display fixtures we could purchase, product photography access, etc.
What is your most favorite part about discovering and selecting new brands to stock in your shop?
I love finding successful and thoughtful brands that are women-owned, minority-owned, and brands that are just getting started. It is always great to find innovation in the sustainability sector, especially when the brands are already supporting practices that we require when working with a brand such as plastic-free shipping, take-back programs for empty refill containers or any throw-away components of the product, or even having their own recycling program for consumers.
Being so connected to the industry, what important shifts or trends in zero-waste have you seen over the past year? And what new trend is one you’ve personally enjoyed adopting?
I have seen many new brands ship much more sustainably, which is even more important during the pandemic when online shopping is on the rise. Thrift or second-hand shopping (online or in-store) is also something that I feel has become more popular and acceptable – hopefully, fast-fashion will one day be a distant memory. I have most recently enjoyed using concentrated forms of cleaners whether it be hand soap, all-purpose cleaner, or laundry detergent. By using concentrates, you can help to reduce emissions as you are not paying for a mostly water-based product to be shipped all over the country (or world).
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