Today we’d like to introduce you to Kameko Wild Beckner.
Kameko Wild, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Overall, I think my sustainable living journey started after living in New York City for 15 years. I was working in the fashion industry as a designer at Ralph Lauren and I was realizing more and more how detrimental the clothing industry is to the planet. Plus after all those years sitting behind a desk I had really started to crave more of a connection with our earth and nature. I decided to take up activities I never had before like hiking, rock climbing and camping. I even did a solo overnight camping/kayaking trip even though I had never been in a kayak!
Spending all that time in the great outdoors I found myself becoming more and more environmentally conscious as a result. I made a lot of lifestyle changes trying to reduce my personal footprint and that of my family. We even moved to California to be in better weather and closer proximity to outdoor activities. It’s made a huge impact and now I can’t imagine raising the two littlest ones in a concrete jungle if I didn’t have to. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to live where I do.
I think the the So Good General Store journey specifically began while I was pregnant with my third child, my son Laser who is 21 months old now. I was so taken aback by the ingredients in the so-called ‘green’ cleaning products I was using like sulfates, fake fragrances, dyes and more. The more I read and researched these companies I realized they really don’t care at all about us, their customers as humans, much less the planet they were ruining. There are a handful of huge corporations, owned by white men mostly that are the ones putting all this garbage out there that’s killing us and Planet Earth. Greenwashing is something that I feel is incredibly insidious and selfish.
That is when I began searching for cleaning products that were truly eco-friendly, safe on my babies, still blasted through dirt, smelled amazing and BIPOC-owned. Not a short order by any means and it was a frustrating search to say the least. I could find low impact products but the packaging was not sustainable or the companies weren’t minority owned like I needed. I just couldn’t find the sweet spot I was looking for, so I decided to create it instead. I started reading about plant-based surfactants, the cleaning and the therapeutic benefits of essential oils and even delved a tiny bit into chemistry. I came up with the formulas and the next thing you know, I had this amazing line of four super concentrated cleaning solutions I was using all over my home. Of course I couldn’t help but share with my friends and family. I wanted everyone I knew to be able to have these, safe, non-toxic, amazing smelling concentrates in their homes. So Good General Store was born.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Super smooth? No way! There are so many days when I am waking up wondering what the heck did I get myself into? Raising three kids, pregnant with my fourth and trying to start a new venture all during the pandemic was not something I could ever have been prepared for. I have zero business experience in the traditional sense. Figuring out wholesaling, manufacturing, formulations and scale were something I literally taught myself on an as needed basis, day to day. I was dealing with things I never thought of like supply chain shortages, shelf life, and distribution, marketing and things I am still learning every day.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
So Good General Store is a Black, woman-owned business on a mission to transform your home into a clean, sustainable and healthy oasis while taking care of our collective home, the planet.
I also realized that most cleaning solutions you buy, the first ingredient is water. About 90% water in most cases. Then these companies, they put all your water and a little bit of cleaning agent into a nice big plastic bottle for you. You don’t need the plastic, we certainly don’t need the toxins, and the water you can provide at home.
The So Good Super Concentrates are the products that started it all and I made them highly concentrated to save water, save shelf space in your home and is lighter to ship. All of my products are handcrafted and made in small batches. I only use essential oils for any fragrance and never ever put anything synthetic in my products. So aside from being super environmentally safe they all smell amazing! 100% plant-derived, vegan, all natural ingredients that cut through dirt and grime yet are gentle on you and our planet. No plastic containers, nothing synthetic or manmade, and you can keep refilling our glass spray bottles from the comfort of your home. No more tossing plastic bottle after plastic bottle into the garbage.
Beyond cleaning products, we offer clean skincare made with lush botanicals, as well as a variety of household goods to support you in your zero-waste lifestyle. Any other brands we carry are from fellow BIPOC-owned businesses who are also looking to do good in the world.
One of my favorite parts of So Good General Store is our amazing mobile retail trailer. It’s a little sustainable boutique on wheels! I even had solar panels put in the top so we can have a Goal Zero, emissions free generator. It’s also a refill center for so many of our products plus some that are only found in the trailer like dish soap, laundry detergent, bubble bath and lush hair and body oils on tap. If you are in the SoCal area we pop up everywhere and you can either bring your own bottles or return the ones you’ve ordered from us. Follow our IG account to see where we will be!
So Good General Store is for the people, by the people and powered by plants. Which is how we came up with our tagline, Plant Power to the People.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Well, for starters I grew up in a very segregated, rural part of Virginia with a Black mother and white father. That was gnarly. And they were super religious too and homeschooled me and all my sisters. It was a bit crazy but it informed so much of how I move in this world. Being multi-racial in a highly segregated and racist part of our country gave me a lot of perspective on how much race and outward appearance has on our health and well being. Living in a rural setting gave me my love and respect for Mother Nature. Being homeschooled gave me the chops to be self taught and always be learning. It has all shaped me and I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without it.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.sogoodgeneralstore.com
- Instagram: @sogoodgeneralstore