Monday, February 7, 2011

Oakland Press coverage of the Greenfundraiserstore.com

It came as quite a surprise to me today when I visited the Oakland Press Sunday edition and found an unexpected story about one of my favorite topics.... the Greenfundraiserstore.com!http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/02/06/business/doc4d4a08426e5aa202641561.txt  I want to say thank you to who ever it was at the Oakland Press that found our company of interest and news worthy.  We are coming up on the 1 year anniversary of the creation of the GFS and it only makes sense that this is a time for reflection on the events of the past year.  Here is a brief timeline of the company history:

April 2010  Beginning of the business planning stages for the conceptualization of GFS.

May 2010   Focus group gatherings to begin putting pieces of the puzzle together for how the company will be organized and function.   Critical decision made to make this a fundraising organization first... and a green product store second.  More to come on this decision later.

June 2010  Launch of the actual website : Greenfundraiserstore.com  and partnering with OCS Design out of Oxford Michigan for the creation of the web site and company logo.  Design of the printed brochures and business cards showing the new company logo released.

July 2010  First public introduction of the concept took place at the Oxford Farmers Market.  Second public introduction took place at the Celebrate Oxford Festival.  Little did we know at the time that we avoided a potential disaster as a tent spike was driven into an underground gas main.  It was discovered later in the day after the spike was removed and gas began escaping into the ground causing a mass evacuation of local stores.  That was pure luck that day considering all the people that had come and go throughout the day.  Better to be Lucky than good ... they say...

August 2010  Introduction to the Michigan Green Team as a result of a visit to the Earth Day Festival in Rochester Hills Michigan.   Joined the Michigan Green Team and made the first introduction to the group at the Oakland University Green Team meeting.  Discovered many influential and successful green business owners to network and refer to as a wealth of resources. 

September 2010  Through the association with Michigan Green Team were introduceed to and joined GreeningDetroit.com .   It just so happens that beside my interest in promoting and education the green message... I also am a huge believer in the City of Detroit.  After all I was born there and spent much of my childhood coming and going to events like the Detroit Thanks Giving Day Parade and visiting places like J. L. Hudson and Cobo Hall during the holiday season.  My Aunt Judy worked at the Detroit J.L. Hudson building for years and likely was instrumental in making the impression on me as a child.  Cobo Hall... who can forget the visits to the Christmas set up every year... sliding down the giant snowman slide and visiting with Santa.   To keep this brief... Greening Detroit.com was a natural partner for GFS.

October 2010 Hired first consultants to work on building web site content and tweaking the business model.  Many of the first products were kept off the site because it was suggested that some of the products were not green enough and could be offensive to the hard core greenies.   First attempt at YouTube video demonstrations of the green roof wash and deck cleaner.  Staring my son Alex and daughter Amanda.   By the way... the consultant was soon not renewed and products with more fun and practical appeal began to make their way to the store.  After all... we are a fundraising company and that should be a fun thing to do.... in other words... don't take the message too seriously.  We do not lay down in front of the recycling truck if they don't accept our plastics as some may have been told we do! 

November 2010  Maybe a little late.... but Michigan Green Team sponsors a fundraiser for Roosevelt Park at the foot of the old Michigan Central Train Station.  Good news... lots of cool people enjoying the day... bad news.... lots of cool people freezing their buns off!   Good day for the purposes of creating awareness to the cause of saving the park/station.  Who would have thought this very building would be seen in the major movie hit... Transformers!

December 2010  Website traffic is taking off and we have had thousands of hits in just a short time.  Good news is that people are getting the word.  Bad news is... some are confused and are unaware that you can make a product purchase any time... any day... with or without the fundraiser.  Which... in turn caused us to go back to the drawing board to revisit the life long question of... what comes first.... the chicken or the egg??  The fundraiser concept or the green store?   Minor changes made to the layout of the website to move the message of the green store to the front.  How can you have a fundraising company that has good traffic, people who are in love with the idea, but don't know they can buy the products?  In other words... product sales ahead of the fundraising produces the end result of raising funds!  Which takes me back to the May 2010 design decision to go fundraiser first.    

January 2011  Vision of a green retail products location begins to take shape.  Trial versions of conceptual names for the store are being developed.  Something that will dove tail well with the greenfundraiserstore.com name and mission.   Still in the developmental stage and too soon to elaborate any further at this time.

February 2011  ??? Reporting soon...