Startup Stories: Koru Street, Recycled Materials from Around the World


Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
Koru Street sells products made from recycled materials from around the world, direct to consumers and wholesale to small boutiques around the U.S.

What inspired you to launch your business idea?
For years I worked in the big bad ad world, selling dreams while putting my own on the backburner. In 2007 I decided to finally take a quantum leap of faith. Quit my job and take a trip around the world. Crazy isn’t it???

Beginning my journey in “Lord of the Rings” country New Zealand, I fell in love with “Koru”, the Maori name given to the unfurling fern frond that symbolizes new life. I collected as many koru necklaces as my meager budget allowed to remind me of the new path I hoped to find for myself back home. As my trip through Asia came to an end, I ventured through the unadjective-worthy country of India where I happened upon the new “green” trend there to fashion waste materials into new products and provide employment for an unskilled workforce in the process.

Once I realized the interest in these products, I searched for similar items from other parts of the world and expanded to Spain, Colombia and South Africa.

What problem does your business or organization solve?
Utilizing recycled materials, both in the products and in the packaging, to reduce the impact on the environment and provide safe employment for people around the world. Because I carry products directly from each organization, I am able to offer these products at a fair price, dispelling the myth that eco-friendly has to be boring and/or expensive!

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
Finding ways to increase awareness of the products, especially in the business to business realm.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
It has helped me learn from others’ experience, both through exploring the processes of their own businesses and the ability to ask specific questions of women who have been in similar situations.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
When you find well made, well designed, well priced products that arrive on schedule from developing countries, they are always run by women!

Company: Koru Street


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