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AMA: Alina Anghel, founder of Ecoeri

AMA: Alina Anghel, founder of Ecoeri

We all want quality. But increasingly, we want to know that what we buy is ethically sourced and sustainable.

After struggling to find sustainable alternatives herself, Alina Anghel founded Ecoeri, an online department store for sustainable and ethical products.

Alina-Anghel

Hi Alina! Tell us a bit about your company.

Ecoeri is an online marketplace for sustainable and ethical products. Our aim is to provide consumers with a one-stop destination where they can discover and shop for eco-friendly products easily.

As well as provide conscious brands with a place where they can showcase their innovative products to consumers interested in finding greener alternatives to their day-to-day lifestyle. 

How did the idea for Ecoeri come about?

The idea of Ecoeri originally started taking shape during the last lockdown when I was searching for a sustainable alternative to my day-to-day lifestyle and found out how difficult it is to know which brands have truly responsible practices and the type of eco alternatives that were even out there.

From there, I ran a consumer survey and did some market research and found out that although consumers were very interested in being more sustainable, they found shopping for it very expensive, with confusing terminology, and hard to find product variety.

I wanted to solve these consumer challenges by creating a platform that’s user friendly with a wide range of products at affordable prices and this is when Ecoeri was born.

Fantastic. How would you best describe your business philosophy?

Playing a part in expanding awareness of innovative alternative products that are not only beautiful but also have a positive impact on the community and the environment. 

Ensuring we handpick the best brands based on their ethical and sustainability credentials, the product design and their quality, while always being transparent to our customers. 

Building an inclusive community of kind makers and supporting small business owners and artisans.

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What is the biggest mistake you've made as an entrepreneur?

Probably not starting sooner!

A lot of entrepreneurs say the exact same thing!

I always knew I wanted to have my own business but it can definitely feel daunting at first to leave your full-time job and throw yourself into the unknown but I believe everything happens for a reason and things will fall into place at the right time.

What motivates you?

Being able to create something that can have a small positive impact on the world is definitely one of my biggest motivations. 

How do you keep your team aligned?

As a small team, it’s been a lot easier to keep aligned compared to when I was working for large corporates.

We have weekly, monthly and quarterly review meetings where we go over performance insights and refine our strategy and roadmap of what we’re trying to achieve so we make sure we constantly adapt based on the data.

As a startup, you have to be prepared to act fast in changing environment while not losing sight of the bigger picture so we try to also keep that in mind when we refine our roadmap. 

Can you share any practical tips or processes to help people work remotely?

As Ecoeri started during lockdown we essentially started as a remote working business so for us, this is almost ‘our normal’ and we had somewhat fewer challenges in terms of adapting to this new way of working.

Having the right tools in place to keep communication open but also to keep track of tasks has definitely helped in terms of ensuring we’re always on track.

I think during remote-working is also very easy to end up having far too many meetings scheduled in your calendar so setting time aside for going through other key tasks that are going to move the needle is also very important.

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Do you have a share or option scheme in place for your team?

Not at the moment as we’re still a small team, however something definitely to consider for the future!

A share scheme is a sure-fire way to attract new talent to grow the team. Finally Alina, what does a Friday night look like to you?

I love discovering new restaurants and going out for a nice dinner on Fridays so I’m very happy that hospitality has now reopened and I can get back to my usual Friday night routine.

That sounds like a great way to spend a Friday night. Thanks Alina, it's been a pleasure!

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