Wholesale Distributor Feature: Meet Lilla McPhearson, Owner of Conscious Living!
Once a quarter, we feature a wholesale partner of ours to talk about their standards, how they choose products, and the future of the sustainability industry.
This quarter’s feature is Lilla McPhearson who owns Conscious Living in Colorado Springs. She’s been a partner of Mountain Time’s for many years, and we’re excited to tell you more about her shop!
Thanks so much for doing this interview with us, Lilla! Can you tell us a little bit about your shop, for those who haven’t visited? What made you want to open a shop like yours?
Conscious Living is currently the only bulk refill supply shop in Colorado Springs. Our mission is to advocate for a more conscious way of life that focuses on using and producing less waste; thereby, eliminating the need for single use disposables that damage our environment.
We offer bulk, everyday options for home and body such as cleaning supplies, personal care, dental care, skin care, as well as non-plastic reusable swaps for things like paper towels, utensils, food storage, cleaning brushes and more!
Customers can bring in their own containers from home and pay for the bulk products by the ounce. It’s a perfect way to try a little something for the first time, or to fill up with products that will last for weeks!
The store originally started online only, selling the reusable type items. But not long after, I stumbled across the bulk refill idea and decided to launch that aspect of the business to help people reduce even more.
It’s no secret that our precious earth is drowning in plastic waste and disposable packaging. I wanted to offer people real solutions that can make a huge impact. While it may not be possible for everyone to live a zero waste lifestyle, it is most definitely possible for us to consciously choose ways to create less waste!
When selecting wholesale products for your shop, what do you look for?
Ideally, when looking to add products to the shop, I try to find local options from other small businesses. However, that is not always possible, especially with some of the bulk items.
For all suppliers, I look for products that are environmentally safe, made with clean ingredients, cruelty-free and fair trade. I also look for suppliers who package their products responsibly, without plastic.
With bulk products, I go a step further and try to find those who offer a closed loop system where they will take back their containers, sterilize and reuse them, or responsibly recycle or repurpose them.
What made you want to carry Mountain Time Soap and Supply?
I found Mountain Time Soap in the early days of opening the shop. I saw their soaps in another refill shop in the Denver area and was immediately impressed with the quality ingredients, sustainable packaging and creative soap names. I love that they are a locally-made family business with a staunch commitment to sustainability and our environment.
And Stacy has always been so friendly and accommodating!
Any advice that you would give to low to zero waste store owners who want to purchase products at wholesale?
Do your research, then research some more! Reach out directly to the company and ask for samples. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about pricing, ingredients, suppliers, packaging and sustainability efforts. Try to find companies whose mission and values closely align with yours, and always support other small businesses when possible!
Where do you see your store, and the sustainability industry in five years?
I would hope that Conscious Living would continue to grow and expand, to a larger space or possibly with a second location.
As for the sustainability industry as a whole, I would love to see refill shops in every city and state! We need to make refilling and reusing as commonplace and readily available as single use disposables currently are!
Also, I truly hope more manufacturers will start to take responsibility and accountability for the way they package their products.
What are you most excited for in the last few months of 2022?
Discovering more creative and innovative products and companies that are fighting the good fight in the “waste-less” movement!
Any last departing words for our readers?
Trying to live a low waste or zero waste lifestyle can be overwhelming and discouraging, especially in the aftermath of a pandemic! I like to tell people to just start small.
Start with one item, one room, one area of your life. It’s about progress, not perfection.
If you’re interested in talking with Mountain Time Soap and Supply about our wholesale program, please fill out our form and we’ll be in touch!