The Formation of CaraGreen
A trifecta of talent and opportunity resulted in the formation of the business that means “Friend of Green,” advocate of natural materials, human health and wellness in the built environment: CaraGreen.
The three founding members came from diverse backgrounds: business law, construction, and interior design. Together, they formed a partnership that solidified their familial links, creativity and business savvy selves.
The opportunities were complementary yet complex as well. The lack of availability of materials, the advent of green building and having a prime location in North Carolina which was centralized and growing all contributed to the beginning of CaraGreen.
The intersection of talent and opportunity sprung to life a business that was rooted in its belief that products could also do good. Thie belief that beautiful materials could also be purposeful and give back to the environment from which they came. This mantra drove CaraGreen out across the world to find innovative, earth-friendly products that had great stories, but maybe not the right storytellers or ways to tell them. That is where CaraGreen thrives.
Founded in April 2008, CaraGreen began when the construction market was just starting to stagnate before the crushing blow to the financial markets which sent it tumbling. We survived with some shrewd financial decisions and commitments from our partners. We stayed true to our core values and came out of the downturn with a renewed look on the market and an excitement for what was to come. We really honed into our purpose and started to build the team with that in mind.
CaraGreen hopes to create change in the building industry and bring light to green products. We do this by focusing on six main ways of doing business.
Distributing Products. This is what we do, but we take a nontraditional approach. Like traditions distributors, we keep stock of material, and we have a warehouse that we sell out of, but our value proposition is not in the number of trucks and turns that we do. The products we have chosen and how we take them to market are really what matters. We choose products with healthy stories: products that have some way of making spaces become better places to live, work or play. We assess them carefully and weigh pros and cons before we decide to add them to our portfolio. We do not chase the shiny, high volume products that deplete the earth’s resources, we find the ones that do their best to give back.
Educating the market. Bringing sustainable products to life through their stories is what invigorates us. We enjoy the idea of charting the path of recycled glass to its renewed life in IceStone. We have followed the course of paper as it gets recycled multiple times and finds its resting place in the durable, steel-like strength of PaperStone. We covet Durat and Kirei and pridefully tell the design world how they have taken plastic from the waste stream and turned it into colorful, beautiful, functional art. We teach Lunch & Learns nationwide to designers and architects so they have the latest information on upcoming trends and certifications.
Our Team. We have built our team with our purpose in mind. We have found the bright, the motivated, and the inspired few that embrace our goals and take pride in them. We have built a team that thrives in the design world. A team that enjoys meeting with architects and designers and brings them a portfolio of materials that present like a beautiful, useful storybook that can quickly become a designer’s go-to toolbox of materials for making the best choices through their own eye.
Our Approach. We do not tell designers what they like. We show them what we have, and they tell us what they like. We are educators, not decision makers for our clients. While the decisions are in the designer's hands, we guide them with unbiased, accurate information to keep them informed of the latest trends, standards, and innovations in the built environment. We work with subcontractors across many disciplines in areas that are not our expertise and, we listen, collaborate and work with our clients to make sure we are reasonable and fair.
Our Manufacturers. They are our partners. They are confidantes, collaborators, and consultants to us. We do buy from them but we try to give them more than just money. We offer marketing, best practices, reporting metrics, insight into our tools, and product feedback in an effort to forge relationships that will last and create partnerships that will thrive. We are open and honest in our communication with our manufacturers. We believe that seeing these relationships as partnerships is a powerful way in which we do business.
Our Future. Is truly unbounded. We continue to scour the planet looking for the innovators. The next idea that needs a leg up or an audience to get their brand out there is what we are looking for. We evaluate and assess materials to see if they hold up to their claims and if they could use a partner like CaraGreen to give them a path to market they would not otherwise have. We make sure they could be like-minded partners that we can collaborate and grow with. As we continue to grow, to expand, and to take this unconventional business model to the broader market, we shall adapt and flourish in a market that is evergrowing.