EcoEnclose (ecoenclose.com), a Colorado company previously based out of Longmont, has been purchased by Denver couple Kyle Wente and Saloni Doshi and recently relocated to a 9,440 square-foot warehouse in the Colorado Tech Center in Louisville, CO, more than doubling their footprint.
EcoEnclose is one of the country’s leading suppliers of earth-friendly shipping supplies. One of the first in their category, EcoEnclose gives small and large businesses alike environmentally-friendly options for all of their shipping needs. Offering everything from 100% recycled poly mailers to 100% recycled boxes and eco-friendly tape, and custom-printed and fabricated packaging options, EcoEnclose is bringing innovation and eco-solutions to an otherwise archaic industry.
Some notable customers of EcoEnclose include Smartwool, Amy’s, Threads Worldwide, LUSH Cosmetics, Yale University Library, Spoonflower, and Acure/Better Planet Brands among many others.
Wente and Doshi, both holders of Masters of Business Administration from The Kellogg School of Management, purchased the business in September 2015 after searching for an entrepreneurial opportunity that aligned with their moral and social compasses. Says Wente, “I grew up in small business – my parents owned and operated my hometown’s plumbing and heating company – so I’ve seen firsthand how small businesses can build communities and create economic opportunity.”
After business school, when many classmates pursue more stable, corporate jobs, Wente and Doshi decided instead to begin looking for a company to purchase – a solid, small business in which they could invest and grow substantially, giving them a chance to run all aspects of a single operation and at the same time create great jobs. Says Doshi, “We’re avid outdoor enthusiasts and are committed to sustainable practices personally. Additionally, having run a social venture (Fresh Takes Kitchen) and helping develop the Kellogg School of Management’s Social Enterprise program, we were drawn to EcoEnclose’s core mission of making the business of shipping products more eco-friendly.”
As well, the company’s commitment to servicing a clientele made up largely of small businesses was attractive to the couple. In fact, EcoEnclose served over 4,000 small- to medium-sized businesses across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and 23 countries outside of the U.S., most of which have a stated commitment to the environment. Wente comments, “Given our passion for the importance of entrepreneurship and small business, we loved that EcoEnclose is a business whose focus is supporting the work of mission-minded small businesses worldwide.”
The company also has attractive growth potential. EcoEnclose is in a rapidly growing industry. E-commerce is expected to grow 17% annually through 2018. The mailed package has become one of the few opportunities that companies only operating online have to connect with their customers and establish their brand. Additionally, customers who purchase online love the convenience, but are increasingly taking note of wasteful packaging practices. EcoEnclose offers a line of products and services to address both trends.
Since the company launched in 2012, EcoEnclose has served over ten thousand small- to medium-sized businesses. EcoEnclose was launched as a provider of the most eco-friendly packaging on the market. This is still the heart of what they do, but the new owners have made efforts to expand how EcoEnclose can support these small businesses.
Some of these initial efforts include research and sharing of content, as well as advice and insights on all things related to sustainability, shipping and packaging. Wente and Doshi have done this through new website articles, newsletters and by responding individually to customer questions.
The new owners are also making efforts to further promote their customers. Says Doshi, “Our customers are awesome--they have made an important decision to use environmentally-friendly packaging, and we think everyone should know about and buy from them. We’re trying to promote them and their products as much as possible.”
Using Instagram (@ecoenclose), EcoEnclose has been able to showcase some of their most unique and inspiring packages and print jobs. They also recently revamped their Pinterest board to showcase a subset of their most active customers, so people have one spot to learn about numerous eco-friendly businesses they can support; Doshi and Wente took advantage of holiday browsers to promote their clients’ eco-friendly packaging choices.
All of EcoEnclose’s 100% recycled corrugated boxes have always been custom-cut to customer specification, so they both fit the customers’ products perfectly and display their products beautifully. As part of EcoEnclose’s expanded mission to help the mission-minded small businesses with whom they work be successful, they are now doing more to work alongside the customer to develop custom-designed packaging.
Since acquiring the business, Doshi and Wente have begun working with customers on unique, creative box designs and print jobs for a variety of different uses. Bambeco’s custom retail packaging display for shot glasses and Bedrock Sandals’ full-box print job designed from a hand-sketched image are prime examples of such custom innovation.
EcoEnclose recently added a second machine to custom cut boxes. This will allow them to grow that part of the business considerably. They also hired two new team member, bringing the staff count to six, to accommodate their growth. Looking to the future, Doshi and Wente hope to triple the size of their business, create more than ten new jobs, and help their customers grow and strengthen their businesses.
Say the couple, “We plan to keep pushing the envelope on green, and bring our customers new and innovative eco-friendly products to set them apart. We also are going to continue greening our own business, serving as a model and example for the like-minded businesses with whom we work: we will install solar panels, put in a composter, and bring in a more expansive waste removal and recycling service.”