Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in sustainability but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Misha Medvedev, Co-Founder of Earth Brands, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
In late 2020, my cofounder, Peter, and I ––then student-athletes at Williams College––saw an opportunity to make a difference. On our way to tennis practice, we would see thousands of (red) plastic cups littered across the campus and recognize the problem that is single-use plastic waste. We did some quick digging and soon learned just how harmful and ubiquitous the cheap-looking cups are. So, in April 2021, we launched Earth Cups, 100% biodegradable and compostable cups, an eco-friendly alternative to typical single-use plastic. Operating with the simple mission of making sustainability cool for next-generation consumers, Earth Brands seeks to solve the issue of plastic waste by providing innovative, plant-based alternatives to environmentally harmful and outdated products.
We work with college groups, breweries, stadiums, festivals, coffee shops, hospitality groups, and different types of organizations all around the world! We help these groups become more sustainable through our products, services, and resources. We are building a globally recognized brand - founded in a dorm room, fun from a garage, going to the moon.
Tell us about yourself
I started Earth Brands with the goal of increasing press coverage about plastic pollution in the oceans and the growing concerns about climate change. I have always been passionate about the environment and wanted to do something to take action.
I’m inspired every day by the thousands of ambassadors, dozens of interns, and all of the love that we get for the brand and the movement that we are building. And, in case I’m ever lacking motivation, my best friend sends me a selfie with a Solo Cup every week to remind me of my mission.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has been turning an idea into a product. The second that I came up with the idea for Earth Cups, I started calling up experts on plastics, testing samples, and working with composting facilities. So, after months of working non-stop on this vision, seeing our first batch of Earth Cups come to fruition in April of 2021 was a very unreal experience.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding time to eat.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- The best piece of advice that I can give is to start today. Don’t wait until the “right time,” just start the second you get the idea.
- Don’t listen to anyone. There’s gonna be hundreds of people trying to tell you why you won’t succeed, but if you have an idea that you are deeply passionate about and obsessed with, nothing can stop you.
- And, going off of that, find something that you are obsessed with. You should be thinking about this business idea 24/7.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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