Monday, February 29, 2016

Kickfurther Merchant of the Week: Ever Bamboo




This week's Kickfurther Merchant of the Week is Ever Bamboo, Inc.. In case you didn't know, Kickfurther is a company that crowdfunds inventory for businesses. Instead of loaning the companies money, Kickfurther purchases inventory from a business and then returns it to the business to sell on consignment. As the inventory sells, investors are paid. The founder and CEO of Ever Bamboo, K.B. Lee is visiting with us today. K.B., tell me a little about yourself and your company--what is your background, why did you decide to sell bamboo charcoal deodorizers, and how did you go about starting the company?

A: My passion has always been in entrepreneurship, probably because of a gene that I inherited from my grandfather who co-founded a towel factory in Hong Kong, and my father who owns a general insurance agency in Calgary, Alberta. After graduating from Civil Engineering in university, I helped my dad grow his insurance agency later forming my own agency branch. Over time, I found it hard to scale such service-based business and lost my passion for an industry that is very traditional, heavily regulated and geographically restricted. I started to look for a business that was more exciting and rewarding.

I saw bamboo charcoal deodorizers and dehumidifiers for the first time while travelling in Asia in 2006. On the same trip, I visited a trade show and met a bamboo charcoal manufacturer. The idea of Ever Bamboo was conceived then and there. I started testing the products at local festivals in the first year and started to get into some local retailers in the second year. Little did I know that building a global brand and introducing a new product to market is both challenging and fulfilling at the same time. The fact that we now have retailers across North America and Australia allows me to travel to new places. Each day is an adventure with new challenges and opportunities.  I began testing the products at local festivals in my first year of business, finding my way into stores by the second. I learned that it is hard work building a global brand and introducing new products to the market, yet each day is an adventure with new challenges and opportunities. Now we have retailers across North America and Australia, with more countries “rethinking the stink” on the horizon.

My motto is “Keep going and making new mistakes each day.”

Q: Sounds like a great attitude. I've heard it said that if you show me someone who has never made a mistake, I'll show you someone has never done anything. The information on Kickfurther says that you became aware of Bamboo Charcoal when you visited Asia. Where are your products made today? Where is the bamboo grown?
bamboo forest

A: All of the bamboo charcoal deodorizers and dehumidifiers are made in China. They are made from a specific type of bamboo called Moso Bamboo, which is heavily populated throughout China.

Q:  I know a lot of people are concerned about things made in China being laced with chemicals like lead or arsenic. Are you sure these products are safe?

A: Bamboo Charocal is derived from the natural growing moso bamboo. It is one simple ingredient making it safe for humans and pets everywhere!

Q:  I'm curious about your room deodorizers. How do they work? What do they look like?

A:  The Room Deodorizer is one of our bestsellers. It’s a square pouch filled with 200 grams of unscented bamboo charcoal granules. You could set it in a room up to 100 sq.ft. Because bamboo charcoal is extremely porous (with millions of tiny holes) and has a negative ionic charge, it absorbs odors and excess moisture in the air, as they have a positive charge. To reuse the product, simply leave the pouch under direct sunlight for 3 hours on each side very 2-3 months.  The UV rays open up the pores to let out the odors and moisture that were trapped inside. The product lasts up to one year, and once it loses it's odor-fighting ability, it is easily recycled; just mix it with soil for gardening.

Q:  Is that good for plants?

A:  The charcoal granules deter pests and regulate moisture in the soil, and are  ideal for gardening, delicate plants like orchids, indoor terrariums or clever home accessories.

Q:  So I can take the pouch and put it inside a decorative bowl or something, or do I have to, I guess for lack of a better word, display it? 

Ever Bamboo Room Deodorizer


A: Set is out anywhere, and get creative!

Q:  Which product is your best seller?

A:  Our bestsellers are the Room, Closet, and Shoe Deodorizer + Dehumidifier.

Q: Who invented the Bamboozler? Does he/she have a story?

A:  The story behind The Bamboozler is that while brainstorming our new approach to a brand voice, our creative copy writer & strategist Natalie Bonelli brought the idea of a cartoon/mascot to the table for packaging and marketing purposes. She felt that there needed to be something ‘fun and original‘ to set us apart in the market, and that putting a “face” if you will, to the brand would resonate with consumers not only in a fun visual way, but by driving home the 3 R’s (Rethink - Reuse- Recycle) of ease and sustainability of Ever Bamboo’s message. I took this concept to our brilliant illustrator and creative designer Felix Wong and the moment I saw his rendering, I knew he nailed it. This team effort brought our little guy to life, but now he needed a name. The team came to the table with a lot of really fun ones, so we decided to have a crowd-naming campaign on social media - entitled “BamWHO?" - and ultimately Natalie’s name, The Bamboozler, came out on top. We think of him as our SuperHero of Stink as he bamboozles must and odors anywhere, anytime. Watch for more of him in the future.  

Q: How did you hear about Kickfurther and why did you decide to use them?

A: Kickfurther approached us. I like the concept of crowdfunding ever since Kickstarter got popular. Kickfurther is a natural match because it’s a win-win for both backers and us.

Q:  What do you see as the advantages Kickfurther has over conventional financing?

A:  Conventional financing has lots of restrictions and not easily accessed by new and small companies. For short-term inventory financing, Kickfurther fills a niche that I haven’t seen being done before.

Q:  Have you tried Kickfurther from the investor side? Would you recommend it to your family and friends?

A:  Yes, I became a backer two weeks ago just to see what it’s like and experience the process as a backer. I have recommended Kickfurther to other businesses (to pitch) and friends (to back) already during this short time frame.

Q:  Well, K.B. I hope you are successful not only with Ever Bamboo, but also as a Kickfurther Investor.  Readers, if you want to help companies like Ever Bamboo and (hopefully) make a few dollars, invest via Kickfurther. If you use this link, you get $5.00 toward your first investment.  If you have a business and want to explore using Kickfurther to finance your inventory, use this link and I get a commission.  K.B., is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

A:  I'd like to offer your readers a chance to try our products.  I'm making two offers:  First, all of your readers get a 15% discount in our online store.  Just enter the code give_stink_the_boot on check out (Expires 3/15/2016).  Secondly, we are giving away three pairs of shoe deodorizers to two readers.  

Q:  Ok readers, the Rafflecopter gadget is below.  Thank you so much for the giveaway and for joining us here today, K.B.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disease Called Debt

40 comments:

  1. Love giveaways that allow me to try new products

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  2. Oh my - I know which stinky (soccer) shoes these would go into!

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  3. I have the most need the f the closet deodorizer and Dehumidifier.

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    1. Closet musty? Treat it Justly! ...that's the tagline for our Closet Deodorizer + Dehumidifier. =)

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  4. I could use the fridge deodorizer.

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  5. The dehumidifier would be fantastic.

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  6. i like the fridge/freezer deodorizer and the shoe deodorizer!

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  7. I'd LOOOOVE the Bamboo sheets!

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  8. The bamboo product I have the most need for is SPORTS KIT DEODORIZER + DEHUMIDIFIER for my teenage son

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  9. My son needs all the deodorizing products but we could definitely appreciate some shoe deodorizers

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  10. I could use the shoe deodorizer the most, especially in the summer.

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  11. I could use the Bamboo Charcoal Bath Mitts please. They look interesting! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

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  12. Shoe deodorizer thanks for the chance

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  13. the fridge deodorizer would be great for the fridge at work. thanks so much for the chances to win.

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  14. I am most excited to try the sports kit deodorizer dehumidifier
    Thank You for the chance

    Fiona N

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  15. I'd really love the Bamboo Charcoal Bedding Sheets Set! What a great way to know you're sleeping in the safest environment!

    coriwestphal at gmail dot com

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  16. I can actually use the Ever Bamboo Shoe Deodorizers. MY fiance has the stinkiest feet/shoes ever!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. hi Katrina, great to know that you/YOUR fiance uses our Shoe Deo already =). We now have a email reminder program, in case you want emails to be sent to you every 2 months to remind you to reactivate the pouches under sunlight --> http://everbamboo.com/pages/email-reminder-opt-in | KB@everbamboo #RethinkTheStink

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  17. The one I have the most need for is the shoe deodorizer or the closet deodorizer.

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  18. The shoe deodorizers look great!

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  19. I mostly need the Fridge + Freezer Deodorizer (150 g)!

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  20. Would be great to try Spa Pack

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  21. The fridge deodorizer would be most helpful for me

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  22. I would love a deodorizer for my son's sports bags! This is one place where all those funky smells come together and smell horrible!

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  23. Replies
    1. are your leftovers becoming leftodors? =) that's our tagline for our Fridge + Freezer Deodorizer.

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  24. I could definitely use the closet deodorizer.

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  25. I could actually the shoe deodorizer. My husbands shoes do not smell nice.

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  26. I would love to try their Fridge + Freezer Deodorizer.

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    1. are your leftovers becoming leftodors? =)

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  28. Good luck to everyone who entered into the prize draw. 440 entries in with less than 4 hours to go. Thank you for everyone who commented. #RethinkTheStink!!!

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  29. Definitely the SHOE DEODORIZER. My husband feet and shoes smell really awful!

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  30. Room Deodorizer + Dehumidifier (Jumbo, 1 kg).

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