Archive for August, 2012

Well, Here We Are

It’s been seven months since we opened in our new location. The stock market has been way up and way down, global economic crises and slow jobs growth continue to plague us, and now it’s hotter than hell outside!

Is anyone else getting sick of all this turmoil? Election years historically are bad years for business because campaigns drudge up so much negativity. But I think it’s something different: hot weather, draught, gas prices, trouble getting a loan, selling your home, buying a home, etc. It’s exhausting!

So I’m trying to stay focused on the positive. My 19 month-old son makes that easy. He’s as adorable as he is hilarious. Our family is healthy and close-knit. For the first time in three years, we’ve had no fires or floods at the house! Oh, and GHE continues to thrive while similar businesses shutter their doors.

This past May the pioneer of green building supply in Chicago, Green Depot (formerly Greenmaker Supply) closed their doors after almost seven years. In a sweeping move, Green Depot, headquartered in New York, closed 10 of their 13 stores across the nation. Shortly after Green Depot closed I got word that Healthy Green Goods in Evanston will be closing next month.

These are two big pills to swallow. Surely The Great Recession and housing crisis are at play here. But what else can it be? Why couldn’t these businesses make the cut in Evanston and Chicago, while GHE is working in Oak Park? I know how hard it is to run a small business, and the owners of the other stores are hard-working, smart folks. And I know they had loyal customers like we do.

Well, here we are. Suddenly we find ourselves as the only company in Illinois that deals exclusively in eco-friendly building and home supplies. Frankly, we’re the only company of our kind in the Midwest because of our eco-garden center. There’s not much I can say about it other than THANKS!

My heartfelt gratitude to our customers who support us from near and far, who give me the opportunity to live my passion. I owe most of our success to my fantastic staff who have incredibly high standards for the company and are always working to improve things. We know we’re not perfect but I can assure you that we work to improve Green Home Experts day in and day out (literally, since we’re open 7 days a week now!)

In our quest to continuously improve, we have a few changes on the horizon. Every week we are adding more value and content to our website, ghexperts.com. We are looking for a local supplier of pumpkins, straw and corn for the garden center this fall. Mums and fall flowers are already ordered! We have already expanded–and will continue to grow–our selection of sustainable building materials. Soon all of our non-toxic, recycled and reusable school and lunch supplies will be on the showroom floor. Marisa McClellan, author of Food in Jars and foodinjars.com, will be coming to GHE on August 26th for a canning workshop and book signing. Well, those changes will take us through the next 30 days!

Do you have a question, product suggestion, complaint or compliment that you’d like to share? Call me at 708-660-1443 or email me at maria@ghexperts.com. I’d love to hear any feed back from you since after all, we’re not much without you!

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Did you know I sold paint from my house before GHE opened?

Oh new showroom, how I love thee!

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