Ecopreneur Interview Series: Author Diana Tenes

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Part 13 in a series where Krates Ng (co-founder of Mokugift the ecard service) interviews fellow ecopreneurs.  Today, Krates interviews Diana Tenes, author of ‘90% OFF Every Day!’.

1) Why did you start your company?

So many people would ask how I could dress so nice and have nice things as a struggling single mom? When I said Second Hand Shopping, it was a huge surprise to most people. The first question was Where do you shop? That is when I realized people did not have a clue how to shop second hand or where. I saw a need for specific information on how to shop second hand. People don’t know how to. it requires different skills. Retail stores seduce you with their coupons and slick advertisements, jingles and websites. They let you shop easily, but you pay for that luxury deeply. Some of these companies are doing really negative things to our planet as well.

2) Is there a story behind the name of your company?

90 % OFF Every day! describes the value, joy, exhilaration when you find something valuable for your efforts of shopping second hand.

3) What was the toughest challenge in getting your company through the most recent growth stage and how you got overcame the challenge?

I wrote this book in 2002 and realized I needed to bring peoples attention to my message. It is as relevant in 2002,  if not more important now, than ever. I decided it was a very worthwhile message that can change our planet and people’s lives in a simple positive direct way. It is a green activity, a way of life, a skill anyone can learn, you can give back to your community give to charity and help reduce waste, and personal expenses and even business expenses. I attended the San Francisco Writer’s Conference as a most important first step, and  I found their was a huge push towards marketing what you write about.  Writing is important, it is your brand.”Getting discovered” was straightforward; through Social networking, blogging and finding media that was interested in what I had to say.

4) Can you describe the moment when you knew that your company hit full stride as a business?

Realizing that I had several very specific relatable, doable messages, that could really help people where they were at financially, socially, economically, ecologically. It’s been there all along. I just didn’t know how to get the message out.

5) If you had to pick one product in your lineup, which one would you showcase and why?

My product is my message, my message is my book; 90% OFF Every Day!
I would love to get the message out however possible to our communities and our country and address specific needs, questions or requests.

6) How is your company  going to grow in 2011? And how can other ecopreneurs help?

My company is growing because I learned how to get the right media to look at me, my book, my message. My message is not new. It is simply in another format that people can envision in their lives. It is practical practice you can learn to do in almost every area of your life. The best part about is is you don’t have to go anywhere to do this. There are no membership fees. You can start in your own backyard or neighborhood.

I think one area that the eco minded community is not considering adequately, is that new sustainable companies are emerging which is great. But some of these companies are creating new products.

We need new products, but there are a lot old products that can be reused!!! recycled, reworn, renewed!

I just see so much waste, I see that we use too much and discard so much. We are abundantly blessed in this country. Please!! Let’s try and use what we have, before we start making and buying new things.

Think Vintage, antiques, your grandmas closet, your uncles shed, storage unit, your church school, business. Try to swap, trade, barter. rent, or loan first. Be a real neighbor.

There are lots of things you can consider or do before you open your wallet. And when you do shop go local. Try a Second Hand shop,  farmer’s market, flea market, Ebay, Craig’s list, a garage sale in your own neighborhood.

Related Posts:

Ecopreneurist Interview Series: labs

Ecopreneurist Interview Series: The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co.

Ecopreneurist Interview Series: DoGood HQ


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