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Life and Work with Anahi Abe-Brower

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anahi Abe-Brower.

Anahi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I often share that it all began with a single Bamboo Straw…

I discovered my beautiful bamboo straws while traveling through Bali with my husband and children, the whole family fell in love with them and immediately realized these bamboo straws would be a wonderful alternative to the single-use plastic ones that are polluting our environment.

As world travelers, we saw firsthand the damage inflicted on nature by single-use plastics. I decided to offer the world a natural alternative through Buluh Bamboo straws.

Buluh Bamboo Straws has evolved into Worthy Picks – creating a sustainable lifestyle, where we design, curate and manufacture the best alternatives to single-use plastics, in order to help people create a sustainable lifestyle.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I launched my 1st ec0-friendly product Buluh Straws with Amazon to test the market and see how people would welcome the idea of drinking out of a bamboo straw as an eco-friendly alternative.

I started this experiment 3 years ago when the media was starting to give more and more attention to reusables and alternatives to single-use plastics and how damaging these are to our environment. Therefore, I was lucky to have some wonderful publications like The Strategist – by The York Magazine and invitations to collaborate with San Francisco’s Bay Area Recycling Organization in their reduce waste campaign.

This media attention and my growing positive reviews in Amazon’s market place helped established my credibility. Nevertheless, selling through platforms like Amazon has its disadvantages, they own all the content one creates from photography, copy to reviews. Amazon takes a great amount of commission for the huge visibility and sometimes, hackers can take over your listing.

After, I fully realized that Bamboo Straws and many other alternatives to plastics are an incredible way to help people create a sustainable lifestyle and saw how my values aligned very well with my brand, I deiced to open my own e-commerce store and this means basically starting from scratch! Finding my customers again via social media channels and building an email list from the grown-up!

This is what having a real business looks like. Now, I am focused on my community and spreading the word here in San Diego and worldwide with my website and social media. I have all the control of what content I create and who I communicate with and how I do it. This is a lot of work but if you are aligned with your brand and live your mission. It becomes natural to sell and speak about what you do. 🙂

Please tell us about Worthy Picks & Buluh Straws.
As a brand, Worthy Picks provides people with well made eco-friendly products so they can create a lifestyle that is sustainable and free of disposable plastics.

Worthy Picks designs, curates and manufactures goods to support an eco-lifestyle with materials that are renewable, reusable and compostable. Our 1st product was our Bamboo Buluh straws. Now we have cutlery sets, organic cotton bags, and bamboo toothbrushes. So much more to come…

Our mission is to inspire people to slow down, stay connected to nature and choose products WORTHY of them and the environment.

We want to inspire people to create new habits so they live a more minimally and conscious life.

What sets us apart is that we actually do a lot of research and test products before working with a manufacturer. We have high-quality standards and we want to make sure the people we honor the people that work for us. We have our own growers of bamboo in Indonesia and we provide fair trade prices to our amazing artisans in India who work with organic cotton. When possible, we make our products here in the USA and support local artists and craft people.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well-positioned for?
I feel we live in times where women are more appreciated for playing traditional roles of daughters, wives, and mothers while having our own business.

Women are natural caregivers and we care for our parents, children, and husbands. So when we embark on being our own boss as well and providing for ourselves and our families, we become role models.

I think the main challenge that women face by being business owners while fulfilling all our traditional roles is to not try to do run a business as a man but rather a woman. Having said this, I think this where we get more support from society, these days since more and more society understands that a woman who does it all and is successful is a superwoman!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Angela McCaw for the photographs of the kids with the straws.
The rest I took myself, Anahi Abe-Brower

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