Sunday, July 19, 2009

What can we learn from Bonnie Siefers, eco-designer and entrepreneur?

Bonnie Siefers' success as an eco-designer and entrepreneur is inspiring, especially to us women in business with a purpose. She changed her career as an artist and business owner to a completely different field in textiles. To add to the challenge, her clothes are ecologically friendly, cutting edge, and yet affordable. In less than three years she has become a principal force in the green community and is involved in the introduction of new sustainable fabric collections, such as ecoKashmere and eColorgrown and coming next fall, Begonia Silk and Energy Satin. Her company was recognized at the Sun Dance film festival and MTV Movie awards. How did she accomplish all this?

Here are some take aways from an interview with her:

1) Stay in the moment and do the best that you can:
Bonnie says that her mantra in the morning is, "if I can stay in the moment and do the best that I can, I cannot fail.”

2) Ask a lot of questions and reach out for help:
When Bonnie entered the textile industry she had to learn how this market operates - "I had to learn what trade shows to go to, how to create catalogs and more." She expresses gratitude for the local talent and non-profits who extended their expertise to her. But it is always a good reminder, that if you are sincere in your desire and ask, you will receive. So, don't be afraid to ask.

3) Effective use of technology:

Bonnie speaks to how the internet and other technologies will only continue to evolve in enhancing communication possibilities while reducing the carbon footprint. Bonnie herself is successfully using social media devices like blogging and facebook to communicate with her customers.

4) Innovative solutions to fit your mission
Bonnie is using innovation not only in her apparel collections, which are made of fabrics that are certified organically grown, renewable, biodegradable and sustainable, but also in how she runs her business over all. She emphasizes that "if you look around you can find solutions that fit your mission.”

5) Transparency in business
Authenticity to Bonnie means “transparency.” It means “being who you are and not hiding parts of you...This is also true in business. Communicating in an honest and open way encourages greater trust, support and can lead to a true partnerships and ultimately success.”

6) Mindfulness in business

"In a nutshell I think the best adjective that describes the uniqueness
of the Jonäno brand and lifestyle would be mindful.” Jonano has created a unique positioning in apparel market as a mindful company that cares for the environment, its customers, and its employees. In Bonnie's words, "Just as a drop of water in a pool will show ripples, my choices will have a ripple effect – which is why I choose organic, and sweatshop free both in my business as well as my personal life."

Bonnie was introduced to meditation and mindfulness 15 years ago. But this is more than a sitting practice for her. The concept of "Metta" is important to Bonnie and she tries to weave it into her daily life. “Metta means to me a giving of love for others and a giving of a prayer for others. Its all about the spirit and energy, which I try to give back because I have been given so much.”

For the full interview with her please visit the iAM Business Consulting website.

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