Finding Ecologic-al solutions
Ojai store owner has personal stake in green options for work, home.
By Linda Harmon
Ojai Valley News, October 10, 2008
Cynthia Grier, owner of Ecologic Life, believes green living is not only possible but essential and that it can be stylish, easy to maintain and affordable. The store, located at 109 S. Montgomery, is focused on providing healthier building alternatives and Grier hopes it will become Ojai’s center for eco-friendly interior building and design products. Grier has a personal stake in succeeding, besides the obvious financial one. According to Grier, her health became compromised 16 years ago when she moved into a new home filled with formaldehyde, PVC, and other toxins found in standard building products. This experience, coupled with her background in interior design, inspired her to broaden her knowledge of ecofriendly, sustainable products and launch the store last April.
Grier, who says she had always wanted to end up in California, moved from Pennsylvania and settled in Ojai after doing her research. “I had been thinking about it for over a year,” said Grier, who opened the store only six months after moving to Ojai. “The complete concept itself took about six months before I opened. I did some market surveys and got them out to the community, to builders and architects, to see what they would be interested in having me carry.” According to Grier, finding the right products and sorting out vendors was difficult. She was concerned with finding not only the most eco-friendly in terms of content but also figured in where everything would be transported from, ensuring it would have the smallest footprint possible. “Is a company regional or is it coming from across the world or across the country?” said Grier. “Also, will they provide really good service and the right prices?”
Grier’s business features up-to-the-minute green design and technologically advanced products, hoping to supply its customers with alternatives to many of our everyday home building and decorating needs.The store holds samples of everything from adhesive caulks, sealers, stains and paints to architectural panels, carpets, fabrics and flooring. Grier walked around her store pointing out the alternatives she offers. Even objects that at first may not seem out of the ordinary, beautiful ceramic tiles available in over 100 colors, turn out to be eco-tiles of 50 percent recycled glass. Linoleum flooring, an old standard revisited, is also considered green. According to Grier it is made from sawdust, pine rosin, and linseed oil. One of my favorite materials in the showroom were the samples of Vetrazzo, a material made of 85 percent recycled glass in a concrete base, it produces a granite-like marble. Grier also carries some accessories, including environmentally found art by local artist Dennis Shives, and several lines of cleaning supplies, including Ed Begley’s line.
Grier was certified as a green building professional, schooled and tested by the non-profit Build It Green, an organization promoting healthy, energy-and-resource efficient building practices in California. For more information call 805.765.7863 or go online at firstname.lastname@example.org.