All Green Podcast Episode 17- Spring Forward with Eco Four Twenty (Spring 2023)
Michael: All right. It's the All Green Podcast. Thank you for listening. This is the
Founder of Eco Four Twenty, Michael Ghazal, and I'm here with my co-owner,
Andrea: Hey, everyone. Thank you for tuning in for this episode. I'm very excited.
Michael: Today is like a spring forward theme with Eco Four Twenty. As you know, it's April now, so we're really excited about Spring. We've already gone through all the holiday hustle and bustle and now, hopefully the snow is behind us.
Andrea: New beginnings, warmer weather, fresh starts kind of thing, so we have some fun stuff to talk about.
Michael: It's crazy to think that we sell our products to so many places around the world where weather is still hitting some people. Like they have snow still up north and it's really interesting, but hopefully in another month maybe everybody will be completely done. But we still sell to people in Alaska, for example, and they still have snow right now.
Andrea: Their seasons are a bit weirder.
Michael: But, it'll be spring in their hearts for us.
Andrea: I think we will emulate it through our podcast.
Michael: Didn't the first day of spring, it snowed here too?
Andrea: Yeah, we got an ice storm too.
Michael: Welcome to spring. But atleast it's going to be warmer
weather now. I'm excited about that. And we're going to talk about today some of the things that Eco Four Twenty is excited about for spring and
some of the upcoming projects that we're working on.
Andrea: Yeah. If you are interested, Michael, I have an interesting story.
Michael: Yes, I know we usually start off with something fun. I have no idea about this story. Andrea researched it all, everybody's finding out for the first
time except me.
Andrea: Okay, so there's a website in the Netherlands, and it's called, pronunciation isprobably wrong, but it's called "visdeurbel", which literally translate to fish doorbell. Have you heard of this?
Michael: No, I have no idea. But I've been to the Netherlands.
Andrea: So apparently there's this canal in the Netherlands, and it's basically responsible for letting fish go through to spawn during specific years or times of the year for like breeding and stuff. And the locks in the canal are barriers for the fish to get through. So the lock manager, who is responsible for typically
having to visually check if there were fish waiting in the locks and let them through, kind of realized that it's like a really inefficient process because you have to physically go there, he's manually doing it. So then they basically started working together with biologists and they came up with this idea of
a fish doorbell.
Michael: And do they do this? Because I think the Netherlands is like a lot underwater. So these locks are even to just not flood their cities, right? Because they're kind of built under sea level. And it's interesting for that reason. These locks are necessary.
Andrea: I think transport, too. Like, this is really necessary as well,
for boats and stuff to go through. So they basically worked together with biologists, and they came up with this idea of a fish doorbell, and they ended up installing an underwater camera at the floodgate. And it shows a live video to the public online. And basically, like, you go on the website, it's a live view of
underwater. And if you see a fish, there's literally a doorbell that you ring, and then you're meant to sort of select from a list of fish, like, which one did you see. And then basically, once it gets accepted or once the system registers enough fish, they actually open the door to the fish.
Michael: Do they manually open it?
Andrea: There's somebody else on the other side.
Michael: Why can't they make that computerized, though?
Andrea: Because it's like if any sign of movement opened the lock, it would be really inefficient.
Michael: Like, a lot of false positives.
Andrea: So I guess they always need that sort of human check. But, like, people you could go online right now. and work on it.
Michael: And work on it?
Andrea: You can watch the fish. Yeah. And then look for a fish, and
if it comes through, you can let it through.
Michael: I like the idea, but I also think it's like, oh, we have to trust the benefits of people if they're doing it, like, the good in their heart. There's so many fake Internet things where people make fun of that whole Pitbull story, where they forged it and made Pitbull go to Alaska to do this contest. So it's just, like, all those kind of things. So I'm worried that people would take advantage of this, but it's not that fun.
Andrea: I guess that's why they have the actual administrator there to register all the doorbell kind of rings and then look at it.
Michael: And it could be a cool way for them to identify and learn about fish. Like, "Oh, this is all the different types of fish in our waterway, like, in that canal." So I thought it was really cool.
Andrea: And, like, fish spawning. Where I live in Toronto, there's a local area where fish spawn regularly every year, and you can smell it.
Michael: Oh, interesting. I didn't know that.
Andrea: Yeah, it's the bluffs, I think.
Andrea: And I think it's salmon or something like that, or trout. I don't know.
Michael: And I think it's like especially with those kind of fish, they always go back every year. They know biologically or they know that's where my parents came from. That's where it's a safe spawning ground. And then that's kind of how they repeat there. A lot of times, if there's, I guess, a big lock in the way, like, there's a big door, they can't really figure it out.
Andrea: Yeah, a big thing about fish spawning is it does get affected by things like overfishing and land developments, and it really does affect their ability
to successfully breed. So I think it's important for humans to protect the aggregations of fish spawning that we have in the world. Because a lot of local wildlife and also ourselves depend on it.
Michael: Yeah. This has over 300 species of fish.
Andrea: Yeah. Isn't that crazy?
Michael:That go to specific spots through that canal.
Andrea: Yeah. So my question similar to the fish doorbell, is there any creative, interactive ideas on how people might be able to get involved with
environmental sustainability projects through the power of the internet? Like, what could you envision?
Michael: Wow, that's a good question. I love the idea of just technology helping people. We're all able to I never understood why we couldn't. We all have smartphones for the most part. Why can't the government send us all emails? These are our official government questions. And then those questions could be
like, do you want to support this? I know we have voting, but we
make it such a hard way to vote. I feel like again, I know it's still going to be left to people kind of attacking it. What's that called? Hacking it and stuff, generally, but it's like we should be able to more easily make change. So, for example, if it's like, "Hey, here's an environmental initiative in your area", "Do you support this park having all of these new garden centers or like garden plots for people to grow gardens?" We shouldn't have to go through hundreds of weeks of processes for that. We should be able to easily and quickly make decisions. I think that's a great way for business sustainability projects. The general idea of this is you're using the macro amount of people. There's millions of people that might want to look on and help at this. So at any given point, maybe there's dozens of people on this website who might help.
Michael: So is there any other macro ways? Well, we have 300 million
Americans, 30 million Canadians. Like, all these people, are they able to macro help in some way for environmental things? I thought it was interesting. It's not exactly the same, but I think it's in India where they were like, "We're going to try to plant a billion trees."
Michael: But one of the ways they wanted to do that was by hopefully getting
a lot of their citizens to help. It's not just the government employees. It's like, well, if everybody goes and plants one tree, then we're able to make this kind of change. And so I think, like, the macro level could be really cool. I don't know any specific ways, but it's a cool way of this way of how technology is helping. I would have never thought these cameras and this kind of reporting
Andrea: It's like idle but interactive. And I think that's very niche for people online where you don't feel like you're doing something for free labor kind of thing. "I'm clearly doing somebody else's job online." It's fun for some reason. There's this part of the internet that just loves fish content and there's probably a subreddit for this honestly.
Michael: Would it only open if it's the specific fish that needs to go through? Is that the idea?
Andrea: No, I think the idea is that they want to, like they want to keep track of how many fish of certain which ones are going through. So it's kind of up to you to use your best judgment to identify based off of the photos they show you that makes and then I think there's also just like a bioload of once there's, you
know, three or five fish in this lock, the guy gets sort of that notification. He looks through it, looks at the camera, and he's like, "Okay, send it through." It's a cool way to make a business process more efficient and interactive.
Michael: I know the technology is probably not there yet, but why can't we have robots and the Internet of things? You would get these sensors on these doors to actually identify the fish. You don't need people to macro level it. You'd be able to get them to count and identify it. The technology is still not perfectly there, but getting robots when they're manufacturing or going through vegetable produce. The lasers are able to identify and scan all the food. "Oh, this food is not ripe. It's broken." And it even blows out the potatoes that are bad, for example, so they should be able to do that with fish.
Andrea: Part of that is because that's more of like a quality control thing, right? Like, that sort of like high efficiency checking. And I think part of the charm of
this fish doorbell thing is the fact that it's encouraging for people to learn and people to see for themselves. And there's people in America learning about fish in a random canal in the Netherlands because of this website. So I feel like that's kind of like the human aspect of it, I think is what makes it cool. And I feel like eventually there's probably going to be other ways that companies sort of use that to their benefit. But yeah, I thought it was really funny.
Michael: I'm trying to go to it now. I think it's really cool. So it's in the Dutch city of Utrecht if anybody's interested in that. You get to see and help and learn about fish.
Andrea: Do you see the fish? In the camera?
Michael: I'm not seeing the live camera right now, but I do see it here. If I'm being honest, it went to a lot of Dutch language that I probably translated and learn it later.
Andrea: If anybody wants to check it out, it's called "Visdeurbel." Or you can just look up "Fish doorbell Netherlands" and it pulls up the website, and I highly recommend it. It's very cool. Tell your friends we love fish spawning season.
Michael: I do have it live right now. Wow, we're live. I can even press
the button right there.
Andrea: Yeah, but don't-
Michael: That's what I mean. Like, what's to stop me from lying and pressing the button?
Andrea: But you can.They're not going to just open the lock.
Michael: And the guy's going to open it and there's no fish and it was just me lying.
Andrea: They're going to get the CIA to your door.
Michael: They're like, "Sir, you've pressed this lock button like 2000 times and we saw no fish."
Andrea: You're like, "Let the fish through!"
Michael: "They don't deserve to be trapped!"
Michael: Yeah, but I think that's really cool. And then it even just talks about
the different fish that have gone through.
Andrea: Like, there's eels, too, or something, right? Was that an eel?
Michael: Yeah, that's an eel, or a "paling" in Dutch.
Andrea: Wow, it's cool.
Michael: It's a lot of different fish in there. Imagine one of these just, like, biting your toes.
Andrea: Nice, Michael. We love it.
Michael: That's a really cool story and just a great example of how technology is kind of like being used collaboratively with people, I think, too, as well, to help animals. Do you have any examples that you would actually do, Andrea, like, turning the question back on you. How could this technology be used
to help other things?
Andrea: I think it's hard, like I said, to do it in a way where it doesn't seem like you're trying to capitalize off of people's goodwill and free labor, online. But it seems like a lot of it comes from these sort of anonymous like the fact that it's sort of an anonymous website. I think there's been other apps that I can think of where if you open this app and you click it every three minutes, somebody in Africa gets, like a litre of fresh water a day or something like that. They had some sort of app where the longer you spent idling on it-
Michael: I used to play a game called FreeRice.com where it was all different categories, but I used to do, like, math questions. And every time you got it right, the idea was the ads on the top of it would pay for rice that would go to another country. And so I could learn a new language, I could do basic math stuff. And I love that game.
Andrea: Have you heard of, I think it's called Free Water? Have you heard of that? Where it's like this company that they sell water in, like, cardboard containers kind of thing. And the way they can afford to do it, they sell it for free-
Michael: Wow. Free rice is still playing.
Andrea: Oh, is it?
Michael: Yeah. That's such a cool thing. Still making moves. Even as of today, they donated 29,600,000 grains of rice. That's one grain, though. But see, the way they do it is like, you can answer questions and then the idea I have an ad blocker, but if you had ads here, it would actually show ads, and then that technically goes towards the donations of the food. So it's a way of people are benefiting, they're learning.
Andrea: Yeah, I think it's just stuff like that where it's like the free water, where it's like people don't feel like they're losing anything by helping out. It's not costing you anything to help. Yeah. So I think stuff like that.
Michael: They're such a new startup, too. They're very new I've only saw
them two years ago. Have you seen them more than that?
Andrea: I see them on TikTok A lot. I think they're doing a lot of online content.
Michael: Do you think they're making money doing that? Is it profitable? I don't know. I'm just curious.
Andrea: Another podcast. We'll look into the business of Free Water.
Michael: We can analyze other eco friendly companies and see how they do. That'd be a cool podcast.
Andrea: It could be cool podcast, I'll add it to the list. Okay onto this podcast. Yeah, we're talking about spring and spring cleaning. So, yeah, we wanted to talk a bit about what we're doing at Eco Four Twenty to get
ready for spring this season. New beginnings, fresh starts, stuff
like that. It's always a great opportunity for us to just sort of reevaluate, especially after like, a busy, hectic winter holiday season. So we thought it would be a cool podcast and yeah, let's talk about it. What has Eco 420 been working on this year so far?
Michael: It's kind of our year end, it's tax season in Canada and America, and just in general, it's a great opportunity to look back, like, what has worked in the
last year, what hasn't worked, what can we improve upon? So even just getting those numbers together and really analyzing things like, where did we spend our marketing dollars, where did we spend all of our logistics? And then looking at how it's increased, especially in this kind of inflationary time, it's crazy to see
like, "Oh, our shipping costs actually went up 26% between from now to
twelve months ago." So it's really interesting to see that on a monthly spend. And I always go back to the old adage, like, what you can track, you can improve upon, you can analyze. And so I think it's even more important than ever to say, like, "Oh, where are we actually spending our marketing?" "Where are we actually spending our money?" And "Is that money giving us a
return on our investment?" So I've been doing a lot of stuff like that, really just even a lot of cleanup of our Excel sheets, Google Drive documents, which we
use, trying to clean that up and reorganize it again for the year, even in our office. Andrea has done much more than me, but she's done an amazing job in
keeping our office organized and clean. We have like, eight huge shelves that at any given time have 50 different boxes on them, and it's hard to keep them organized. And so it actually takes time and hours to dedicate putting that there and improving things. And I think Andrea has done an awesome job at that. It's something I want to continually work on. So it's been an exciting time for that.
Michael: And really just now it's exciting that April is such a big month for the season and for this industry. So I think it's a really good time to be working and reevaluating and reinvigorating our wholesale accounts, our customer accounts, and really just like, getting back out there into the spring of things. I think it's going to be an exciting month.
Andrea; And I know you mentioned to me that we actually have something coming in that's part of like, a cool new project. We're doing custom filters and we're going to do custom laser engraved.
Michael: It's exciting. Yeah. One of my favorite projects that I've ever kind of invested in is so it was like, we bought like a $3000 laser engraver to help engrave our products. So we've already done engraving before for a couple of small companies here or there, but if I may say, those have always been larger projects. These people are buying hundreds of units. They're actually being able to customize a lot of units. We did a big project for Friendly Stranger where they had like eight stores, nine stores in Toronto, and we were able to do customs for them. But now with this new laser, we're able to do customs for ourselves on a smaller scale, bringing it on much a smaller scale. If a store might want two or three lasering ones, we can do that for them now. So I'm really excited about that. We actually did it on Kickstarter and so it's called a Laser Pecker. They've been doing it. This is now the four. I'm buying the Laser Pecker 4 now, so it still hasn't arrived. But just we supported on Kickstarter and it is now in the process of shipping to us. So I'm super excited because I think not only are we going to do companies logos, but we're going to do a lot of one-off engraving projects. So I'm excited for new giveaways on social media, for new marketing projects, collabs. There's a lot of companies out there that does a lot of swag, if I could say. And not to call them out, but I just think you can do so much
better than just a T shirt. You can do so much better than just a hat. Maybe get a product that people would use in this industry, or maybe get a custom project that people will keep on their shelves to use regularly, I think is a much more
unique value proposition to stores.
Michael: So I'm really excited for that. We've done projects now in
Vancouver, we've done projects in the US. We've done it in Toronto here now. So we've done a couple of bigger projects.
Andrea: We're going to be coast to coast because we have one on the east coast coming up as well.
Michael: We do, yeah.
Andrea: I think it's very exciting and I think it's also like a proof of concept. This is a good product because you don't throw it away. So it's like, why not personalize it? Why not put your store name on it? Eventually we're going to do these limited edition versions with cool designs where we only sell one or
two of them on our website. And then you have one of a kind, Eco Four Twenty designed filter.
Michael: It would be cool if we could do people's signature designs, they like, send us their signature and we could engrave it for them.
Andrea: We can do an All Green Podcast one.
Michael: It could be very cool for giveaways.
Andrea: Yes, good idea.
Michael: I think it's really cool to be able to do these one-offs just because a lot of times, smaller stores don't need 50 units. It's hard for them to store and go
through that many units for a small one store business. But At Eco Four Twenty, I've always said I want to be able to sell to the big chains that have hundreds
of stores, but I also want to be able to sell and support small stores that have
one store. Whether you have one or 100, I still want to be able to offer these
kind of custom projects to you. And we have done customs for small stores. For example, we did Squisha House.
Andrea: 710 Kingston.
Michael: 710 Kingston that they only have like three locations. So we've done small brands, but we want to be able to offer lesser quantities. So that's like a big thing for us is we're finding out that people love our product but don't need necessarily 100 of them in their store at once if they're a small store. So we're trying to adapt and it's an exciting project. I'm looking forward to doing so.
Andrea: Yeah, custom lasering will be coming soon in and I think in
tandem with that, improving our products as we go. We haven't really talked about our green and replacements yet, which I think is a cool opportunity
right now. For those of you that may or may not know, we've been selling our filter for four years now or something like that. And we recently took the step in the past year to really think about how we can improve it. And a big part of that was realizing that we're still throwing out plastic. And to an extent, that's unavoidable as it stands, but we just wanted to figure out a better way and a less damaging way for us to sell a great product. So we came out with these plant based green replacement refills.
Michael: They're the exact same as the standard black ones, HEPA and Carbon as well. I really wanted to make it so that when we designed the new
product, it's totally the same and it works just as well. You don't need to buy a whole new system. Some of our other competitors, when they make a new 2.0 version, they've forced all of their previous customers to rebuy the whole frame and think about how much plastic that becomes. At least redoing this green refill, I wanted it to still be able to fit. So people who've had their filter for years now, they don't need to just buy a whole new frame.
Andrea: And it's like still the same reliable sort of technology behind it. But in this sense, now when the plastic is made, the plant based plastic is made for the filter container. It uses less, creates less greenhouse emissions, and it's less damaging for the environment. And it also biodegrades faster than most other PVC based plastics that would typically take down even in our more than our black ones, that they would just have to throw out. These at least would then degrade it, break down easier, and it's less damaging on the environment. So I think this is like a big step that it was about time that we took and we've had great reception for it. I think people really love it and
they're really for the idea behind it.
Michael: It's taken about two years of development from that point. Ever since I even started it. And yeah, we've only sold this product for five years now, I guess four and a half. But my whole goal was always like, how can we reduce plastic more? How can we make this more eco-friendly? Not to say it's the most eco friendly product in the world, but it's like a better alternative than the others, right? And so my whole goal was like, can we improve it 10%? Can we improve it 20%? And making these incremental changes while not destroying the whole original product was my ultimate goal. So it's cool to see it actually
become a reality every time a new product comes. I'm just amazed because we're still such a small business, and it's cool from conception to actual testing to like, there's a million other small steps that go into it, but then to see it, and when you get like, a whole pallet full of them, it's really life changing.
Andrea: So if any of you listeners are fans or customers, or own an Eco Four Twenty air filter and you haven't seen these green replacements yet, or you didn't know about them, they're available. They're available on our website, they're on Amazon. They're going to be in stores. They're in several stores already, but they're going to be in more stores in the next coming months. If you try them, feel free to send us an email and let us know what you think because we'd love to hear from you and we're really excited for this to finally come to
fruition. I think we're really moving forward with a lot.
Michael: And, you know, to be honest, we haven't really wholesale'd that much to stores because at first I wanted to see, will customers have any issues? Really kind of do real test, real world testing in that way, because I didn't want stores to be upset with us. But it's been fantastic. The amount of complaints we've had about their green refills has been even less than the black one. And so I was amazed by that because it's very similar of a product. I would expect the similar amount of complaints, but this one's already been better already. So I'm really excited about the future with these green refills. And always stay in touch with us if you care about these small incremental improvements, because I've done incremental improvements on the inside of the refills, then the green one, we're always taking advice from people and trying to improve our product. I don't want to be such a static company in that way.
Andrea: Yeah, we have a lot of fun stuff, and I think the green refills is kind
of the upper echelon of everything we've been working towards for the past few years. But you should definitely check it out while you're also on our
website. We also came out recently with an eco friendly sticker sheet, and it's something that I designed a few months back, and we finally have them up and
available. They're 100% recyclable, 100% PVC free and 100% sustainably sourced too.
Michael: I think it's so amazing how Andrea did these stickers. Number one is, like, we even started doing stickers because customers asked us, like, in emails to us, people kept saying, "Oh, do you have any stickers to send? Like, can you send it in my order on this order, please send us that." And then when I went to stores, I would ask stores like, oh, what's one of your number one sellers? And they were like stickers. Like, more than 50% of the stores said stickers were a big upsell that people love doing. Like, "Oh, I'll just take a couple of stickers here and there." So that really opened my eyes to wanting to do this. And people put them on their laptops, on their cases, water bottles.
Andrea: On their filters, too. People would send us photos of them putting
stickers and decorating their filters, which I think is funny because it kind of coincides with, like, we have the laser engraver, we have the stickers.
Michael: People want it to be unique in some way.
Andrea: So we really are proud of this sticker sheet. It's very eco friendly themed, and you can totally put it on whatever you want. Laptop, water bottle, wherever else you want to decorate. And you should definitely check it out if you're ever on our website. I think it's a great product and I'm very proud of it.
Michael: We'll be doing some giveaways with them also in the future. So, yeah, stay in tune. See it on our social medias as well.
Andrea: Yeah. And then what else is new, Michael?
Michael: I'm excited to share that we got a new camera. Just overall, that was a gift that I really wanted to give our company. For the last years, I've been borrowing my sister's camera that she got from a church camp. She goes to a church camp that she's gone to for years. And she basically stole that camera
for me so that I can use it for a company. But we're at a point where it's like, we should invest in it. So we did. We bought one of the lower end Canon cameras. But I love it already, and Andrea has already done some good photo shoots with it. She's improved our content a lot. Our Amazon pages that we'll go into, people think, "Oh, it's just a couple of photos and stuff." But it is so much more than that. The planning, the scheduling. If we're going to have a model, where are we going to do it? The actual lighting needs to be perfect. We've gone out there and then it's been, like, completely bad. From a sunny perspective, we can't do the shooting. So it's really amazing to see how Andrea has kind of taken this project of photography and ran with it. So she's a marketing genius, I
think. And yeah, our photos look great, but now they look even better with this new camera that I'm excited about. And yeah, you've already made our
Amazon pages, like, so amazing. We have enhanced brand content. It's called so Andrea has improved those a lot.
Andrea: Got the videos up now. Which took us like least a month to sort
out and everything like that and the whole production of it, but. It really is worth it once you have it up and it looks like a full product
page. And I think people really need videos.
Michael: Andrea did such a professional job and basically what happened is
Amazon allowed us to upload videos into your listing now, so there would be like eight or nine photos you could upload, but now you could upload videos
for it as well. So I really think even Amazon is pushing the whole video. Video is the way to get a better ROI and just share your information on shopping pages, on your website, on social media, too. Even Instagram is even doing it
now. Instead of, didn't it just become a photo app? And now it's like half of your things have to be a reel for it to be successful. So people are realizing that this
video is really the way to go. And we built a whole backdrop and a whole, like, in my, basically, apartment office. Andrea built a beautifully designed photo shoot studio with professional lighting. This professional camera we got now. And you can really see a difference in our videos. So if you ever do see our videos, let us know how you think about them, because we put a lot of hard work and tears into those videos, and I'm so proud of Andrea. So thank you for dealing with me. Through that process of it, I'm sure I was not a good actor. What actor would I be like if I was like one of them? Was I a Matthew McConaughey?
Andrea: Alec Baldwin
Michael: Oh, no! The worst! But only when he pulled the trigger.
Andrea: No, Michael was great. It's good. It takes a lot of planning, and that's obviously what any business project is, is like 50% planning and the setup
and all that stuff. But I think once you build a rhythm in terms of the process, even if it's a bit more informal, it makes it a lot easier. And just to even have that first video approved at that point, I had a better guideline of, like, okay, what words should we use? What should we avoid? That kind of thing. But it was just a matter of time that we got those videos up, and I'm happy they're up.
Michael: And if I could recommend to anybody, if you're a small business and you're wondering, should I invest in videos? I was personally scared and embarrassed to put my face on an Amazon page. I'm not a salesperson model, kind of good looking person. But if I could give any recommendation, is to just get out of your comfort zone and do it. Because it definitely had a good return. And we're going to reuse the videos for many purposes. And I think it really helps get customers to understand you as a person and you as a product, like
what you would be selling. So it's helped a lot on our Amazon pages, for sure.
Andrea: Yeah. The camera has been a huge help, and I feel like in the same breath. I've gotten to make a lot of content for emails. I know for the past few years, we haven't really focused too much on emailing. We had a different provider MailChimp, which. We didn't really look too much into I didn't give it too much time. And once I started looking into emails and wanting to do them,
seriously, because I really, actually realized there's a huge ROI that you can get off of them. People think emails are still kind of old fashioned, but it's not true. And then I think I went back onto MailChimp and I realized there's a lot of things that we needed in our emails that they didn't really provide. And because I'm not very tech savvy, I didn't have the knowledge to just make that. So a couple of months ago, we ended up switching to Klavio. And it's a great experience. I love Klavio. Klavio, if you're listening, you're the best. Customer service is always amazing.
Michael: They ignored my email though, so this is like we're not even saying
that they're the best and they've ignored us after it's because we signed up. And then they were like, oh, all your privacy has been compromised.
Andrea: But you know what, Michael? It's worth it because it's so easy to use.
Michael: Andrea will give up her privacy for Klaviyo. You can have our
email and serve us spam ads.
Andrea: I'm totally okay with it. I've never built emails before in the first couple of months. At the end of last year, almost like a third of our Shopify revenues came from Klavio. So it's a lot of random sales, limited edition drops, cool bundles that are like only for 24 hours.
Michael: And the analytics behind it are very helpful.
Andrea: And it's cool because, you know, have an idea of like, okay, maybe why is this email not hitting? Maybe I have to change these filters or whatever. So it makes it very straightforward. And the customer service is great the few times I've talked to them.
Andrea: And also our email helps our
customers so they receive the emails. And a lot of the times there are promotions and stuff, but a lot of times this is the order confirmation emails or the order automation emails that they would get like, "Hey, your order is on its way," "Hey, here's information about your order," Or "Here is how you can use the product or clean the product." Like, there's informative emails as well. So I think it can be a win win situation for everybody. But yeah, during the holidays it
was a really good promotional tool as well. And all of these people are the
people who sign up for our marketing emails from our newsletter. So we've started growing that. If you're interested in those kind of promos or just learning more about our products, like at the bottom of our website, it just says, sign up for our newsletter. You can sign up there. And I think there's other ways.
Andrea: There's also a pop up if you haven't already signed up for the
newsletter. When you do sign up, you get 15% off your first order, which, hello, of course, but if you already have and you use that, then just stay tuned because we have a lot of stuff planned. A lot of cool sales, a lot of cool email blasts, things like that we're really not going to have on social media. It's just for email recipients. So I really recommend it. You can sign up through our Instagram and our link tree on our website and you can get a lot of cool content, literally written right by me and by Michael, the co owners of the company.
Michael: We're such a small business that when we make these emails, we're not outsourcing it. It's Andrea working on it for the most part, and me going, "Hey, change that square. I'm not happy with that square." But Andrea is like a genius of it and it's really cool even the to go back to analytics. Like, it's so cool that you can see where people clicked in your email so you know, "Oh wow, this image really works well because a lot of people are clicking
on this image," or, "Oh, this part of the story wasn't nice because nobody got any clicks there." So it's really cool to help us improve future emails as well. And I know MailChimp had it, I believe, but it just wasn't as good. Especially the top part, being able to metrics and everything like that, put the metrics for the top because it would just click to the one link instead of about us.
Andrea: I think if there's anybody in a small business or entrepreneur that's working for themselves and you're thinking about ways to send out emails to your customers or your supporters, I really recommend Klavio. I think it's very intuitive to use. There's a lot of great tips and guides online and the customer
service is great. I will say it for another ten times. I don't care, they're great. They will have a plan that suits you. So I really recommend it. Klavio is awesome. Sign up for our newsletter as well.
Michael: I love it. It's always great to be able to talk to people and our customers, like as many ways as we can. And then if you reply to any of those emails, we get it. It comes right to our team. So, Michael and Andrea, we will be answering any of those responses by email. So if you have any questions or
concerns about things, that's a direct way to message us and reach us out back. So we do love talking to our customers.
Andrea: Yeah. So I think we've really been
working hard to kind of do a bit of a cleanse and
get ready for the warmer seasons here at Eco Four Twenty.
Michael: Andrea, just to ask a random question, what is your tips about a cleanse on your personal life, business life? If you could give maybe one small
tip to somebody going out there, what would you give them?
Andrea: I think the idea of spring cleaning can be very overwhelming for
people because it's like there's a million places to start, like finances, my life, my relationships, this, that, the other. But for me, usually what I do is I have weekends off, so I know that every. Weekend, I can kind of dedicate one day to one project. For example, last weekend, I cleaned out my fridge in the cupboards. Next weekend, I'm going to clean out under my sink in the bathroom. The next weekend, I'm going to deep clean the carpets or
something. And then slowly but surely, you'll see that progress and it
doesn't have to be overwhelming or it doesn't have to weigh heavy on you and
and breaking it down into small tasks. Just be easy on yourself and enjoy the new beginnings. Don't be afraid to throw stuff out. If you even think that it might be garbage, throw it out. Don't put it somewhere. You don't need that old T shirt in your closet. You don't need those old bank statements. Like, you just toss it.
Michael: Even old shirts, I always try to donate them
before they get to that point where it's like, "Oh, there's 100 holes in it." I donate if I'm not going to wear it, because I know at least somebody else could use it better than me. So, yeah, I definitely agree. But I always keep old stuff, and I'm like, "Oh, maybe I'll use this coupon that expired from two years ago." It's like, you need to clean it out. That's really good.
Andrea: I think the spring cleaning gives you space to grow during the summer and the rest of the year. So mental cleanse, physical cleanse, whatever it is you need to do.I'm going on vacation, so that's my spring cleanse. What are you going to do?
Michael: Andrea is going to France, so yeah, that's really exciting, I think. And we'll bother her about her. What is her experience in France? Coming back on another episode, I think. I mean, for me, spring, I'm really excited about gardening. Last year, Andrea, for the first time ever, gave me, like, a hot pepper. I had a jalapeno pepper, just a small one, and it was really cool to see over
the months of it growing and getting bigger and making my own hot sauce with it. So it was a really fun project that I did with my brother. I'm excited to try more. We're going to do completely new. We're doing cayenne peppers and
other unique hot peppers. There's this one hot pepper that has five different colours, so we're excited about that. And yeah, just like, trying to do that kind of spring renewing and seeing how it will go, but also cleaning. As you can see, I'm still in that continuous process as well.
Andrea: Yeah, but it's a process. Nothing happens overnight. I think gardening is awesome because it's like you're really just starting something right in time with the spring, beginning of the season and get to see it grow throughout the year.
Michael: You were the one who convinced me to do the seeds. You know that too. I hate it doing things from seeds because it would take so long. I'm like I just want to buy a start. And Andrea was the one who convinced me to try the seeds. And then I even did my own jalapeno from seed too.
Andrea: Michael is fully able to sustain himself on the hot peppers and also stay tuned for maybe Eco Four Twenty hot sauce?
Michael: We will only be able to sell one to three jars per year.
Andrea: But also not FDA approved.
Michael: And it is definitely not like kitchen approved. I mix it with vinegar. I follow a recipe online. It's really funny because I even made my mom try it and she hates hot sauce. And right away she's like, "I'm not going to like this." We're like, "Try it, we made it." And she immediately was like, "I hate, this is too hot." She said it was way too hot for her and that was only the jalapeno ones. So the ones now we're doing are even hotter. We're just going to keep going up the scale of hotness
Andrea: Just keep your mom away from those.
Michael: Exactly. Yeah, she's given up now. Now we're not doing any other peppers for her anyway.
Andrea: That's fair.
Michael: But even just the act of gardening is really cool. And if I could recommend it to anybody, you don't even have to start big. Like what Andrea is saying, I don't need to have 20 different peppers or anything. Just do one pepper. Like the whole year I just did literally one or two peppers. And then now this year I'm trying more. But it was only because of last year starting. You don't need to run your marathon right away, right? You can do it slowly and gradually.
Andrea: I think that's like anything, it's just like building your confidence. Whether it's gardening, whether it's cleaning, or if you're doing some mental
inventory during this time and figuring stuff out like that. I don't think there's
any right or wrong answers. You just build some confidence as you go. But I think Eco Four Twenty is looking forward to a lot of really cool collaborations and partnerships this upcoming months with small businesses and
retailers. With our filters. I think we're really excited to have local collaborations potentially like coast to coast. We'll see what happens. And yeah, we're going to have more cool podcast episodes. Fun guests, funny topics, interesting news.
Michael: We're always on the lookout for more guests. If you have an eco friendly business idea or if you just love to share your business on our
podcast, we'd love to have you. We do have a couple of schedule ones that are really exciting, like unique eco friendly businesses which I think are so cool that we found around Ontario. But if you do know any that you would love to connect us with, we would love to hear about them and hopefully get them on our podcast also. So this is just kind of like a general call out. Like we're always open to having other cool eco friendly businesses come on and just share
Andrea: Yeah. And you can reach us through social media, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just "ecofourtwenty" on Instagram, you can shoot us a DM. We will respond and yeah, thank you for listening. I think Michael and myself are both very excited for spring and summer and the new beginnings that we get to do with this company and the ride that
we're along for. So thank you for listening. Thank you for being part of the
ride as well and supporting us.
Michael: And we hope you all spring forward as well.
Andrea: Yes, spring forward. And thank you for helping us make the world a greener place one podcast episode at a