‘Sprout’ing good business practices!

I recently sat down with Sharon Quercioli of Sprouts! Inc and Glenn Swift of Our Wonderful World Media. We had a great time discussing their pursuits and the nature of business in South Florida.

I originally met Sharon at the Localecopia food expo at The Breakers Hotel a few weeks back. There, local business owners in the agriculture space met to mingle and share best practices. The event was a huge success, and I’d like to thank Geoffrey Sagrans of Localecopia for putting it on.

When Sharon and I met, we immediately had a connection. Something about us spoke to our souls and said, “This person gets it.” So we exchanged contact info, and had this follow-up meeting. Boy were we right.

It turns out that Sharon is heavily involved in doing social good. Her company, Sprouts! creates unique green greeting cards printed on eco-friendly, seed infused plantable paper. Handmade from 100% recycled paper and embeded with flower seeds, when Sprouts! seeded cards are planted they naturally biodegrade and grow flowers! She also creates these awesome  Blooming Boxes™, advertisements, memorial cards, and invitations.

blooming box sprouts
Blooming Box
sprouts Happy_Birthday_Cupcakes
Plantable Happy Birthday!
avatar reduced img
Avatar Film Invite

Not only are her products embedded with environmental purpose, they are also a great way to fundraise. Many non-profits, especially schools and art programs, regularly use Sprouts! as a fundraising platform. Among other things, Sprouts! has fostered student drawing contests, where they put student artwork on cards and bookmarks. Some of the organizations she works with are:

Some of the ArtFest Children’s Art Cards:

There is one cause in particular, though, that I’d like to highlight. This is the company’s “Bee Kind” campaign. As many people know, the honeybee population, and consequently the world’s food supply lies in peril. In 2006, researchers sounded a nation wide alarm that the country’s bee population has declined calamitously. “Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on the honeybee to pollinate that food,” states Zac Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation. Tens of billions of bees have been lost so far according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America; researchers named this epidemic “colony collapse disorder.”

The innovators over at Sprouts! thought to themselves, “What can individuals and corporations do to lessen the ecological stresses and our dependence on the honeybee? “

The answer: “Increase the natural habitat and food supply for the honeybee as well as other pollinators including native bees by planting bee friendly species of plants.” 

Sprouts! does this by filling its recycled paper with bee friendly wildflowers. So by planting Sprouts! paper, you not only help the world by reducing the amount of trash in the world, you also help by supporting the repopulation of bee colonies. Please see the video for more details.

Sharon is what I would call a “Social Entrepreneur,” and her business is a Social Enterprise. The best part about meeting her was seeing how every aspect of her business is infused with sustainable values. Her revenues stem from doing good, her marketing is based on principles, and her raw materials are recycled.

Sprouts! definitely helps bring hope to the world, one seed at a time.

 

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