" Late in 2004, Ori Sivan popped into a building-supply store owned by the family of a childhood friend and hit upon a retail startup of his own: a "sustainable" building-supply store. "
It took Sivan, a graduate of Northwestern University's environmental-engineering school, six months to persuade his friend, Joe Silver, to leave his family's business and become Sivan's partner instead.
The 31-year-olds opened Greenmaker Supply a year later, drawing on $500,000 of personal funds.
The store, on Chicago's Northwest Side, sells such items as recycled countertops, bamboo flooring, and nontoxic latex paint.
Verifying that the goods have only limited impact on the environment is tough and requires a lot of homework, the partners acknowledge.
Still, sales have doubled, to $2 million in 2007, and could hit $5 million next year, Sivan says.
Homeowner Adam Secher, who is turning his Highland Park home "green" is glad to have a one-stop shop.
Says Secher: "No one has the extensive supplies or expertise of Greenmaker."
Friday, January 22, 2010