...and you can, too! Here's how! No wait, this isn't that kind of post. No self help get rich tips here. If only! But what I do have for you is this nifty Reader's Digest article on those two grand co-founders of a little company we like to obsess over... and over, and over, and over, and over, and over and...!
"Messy Guys Make Millions Selling Green Cleaning Products
- By Margaret Heffernan
Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry were having dinner with their new investors. The 27-year-old entrepreneurs had finally gotten a million dollars in venture capital to kick-start their company, but it came with stiff financial targets. It turned out this was the least of their problems that night. "We were passing our credit cards under the table to each other," Ryan recalls, "but none of them worked, because we had maxed them out. Eventually, we persuaded the restaurant owner we were good for the money."
In the eight years since that embarrassing moment, Ryan and Lowry have built Method into the world's largest eco-friendly cleaning brand. Their green products use natural ingredients like corn, coconut oil, and palm oil and are packed in attractive, recyclable containers. In the process, the two changed the perception of green home-care products—and the industry too.
Ryan and Lowry had been friends since high school, but it wasn't until after college that they hit on the idea of a home-care-products company. "We were shocked to learn how toxic cleaning products were," says Ryan. Why couldn't they create green products that would be just as stylish, fragrant, and environmentally pure as Aveda's skin- and hair-care lines?
When Ryan's mom heard about the plan, she stared at him blankly: "I've never even seen you clean your room!" Undeterred, Lowry, the chemical engineer, experimented with nontoxic ways to clean, while Ryan, the ad guy, focused on marketing. In February 2001, they mixed their first four cleaning sprays and convinced the managers of 20 independent grocers to try them. Once they had their approval, they tapped friends and family and pooled their savings to come up with $90,000 in seed money.
From the start, "Go big or go home" was their mantra. Their first financing—that $1 million—was due to be signed on September 11, 2001. By the time they got it, two months later, says Ryan, "we had $16 in the bank and personally owed $300,000."
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