Opening a sustainable store was always a dream of mine, but I never imagined would come true. But the true motivation for Oh Eco was twofold. My first motivation is parenthood. When we became parents we realized the urgency to protect our planet for our children and our responsibility to our community and to ourselves to live sustainably; so we started on our own personal sustainable living journey. Still, at this point, we never thought to do it as a business!
It wasn’t until returning to my corporate job from maternity leave after a very traumatic birth with our second child that I began to put everything into perspective. I didn’t want to waste any time away from my family in an unfulfilling job that brought little to no good into this world and left me feeling stressed. That’s when we decided to take the plunge and take a risk on something that would, hopefully, make a positive impact on our community and the world around us. I decided to become a business owner because I felt there was something missing in this world, and I wanted to create something to fill that hole. I didn’t feel like I was positively contributing to the world around me, and I wanted to change that. Owning our own business has also given us the freedom and flexibility we wanted in our own lives. We have two small children, and being present for them and with them is so important to us. We hope to build something that makes them proud and shows them they can follow their dreams, however big or small!
The inspiration behind “Oh Eco” kind of two-fold. Firstly, living in Orlando (or O-Town), the “Oh” represents Orlando. Also, it’s most people’s reaction when they see our products: “OH, that’s eco-friendly!? Orlando is called “The City Beautiful” for a reason! Our store is located in Ivanhoe Village, right in front of Lake Ivanhoe and Gaston Edwards Park. It’s such a beautiful place, with incredible shops, restaurants, and residents! We knew this would be the perfect place to share our love for this planet. We regularly participate in community clean-ups to help maintain a balanced ecosystem in our neighborhood. We have also donated products to those impacted by Hurricane Ian, and regularly donate a portion of sales to community organizations. Not only are we a sustainable shop and refillery, but we carry items people wouldn’t think are (or would need to be) sustainable. I think having a wide range of products, including self-care, skincare, makeup, and toys causes people to really stop and think about their plastic consumption, and consciously choose better products.
Our goals for Oh Eco are endless! But really, we would like to promote access to greener living around our city, state, and country. I’d love for our store and community to promote more sustainable initiatives throughout our city. Living as sustainably, or as eco-friendly as possible shouldn’t be a choice, but rather the only way to live. When I was thinking of forming a business, I wanted to have a positive impact on this planet while lessening our burden on the environment and the world, and I am able to do that through our work by providing sustainable resources and options people can use every day.
We view our greatest achievement as simply opening our doors! It’s not easy to be the first of anything, but being able to open and bring eco-conscious products to Orlando is a huge win, and it’s a step in the right direction toward a brighter future for our planet.
Seeing the positive feedback and reception from our customers and community members has been so exciting. We are constantly hearing people say, “FINALLY! I’ve been wanting something like this here”, and being able to create and provide this space for them is incredibly humbling.
I want our customers to know that we are here to help! You don’t have to be completely zero waste to want to make better choices. We are on this journey together, and we are all learning every step of the way!
Our mission when we started Oh Eco was to make sustainable options accessible to our community. We wanted to educate people that sustainability is not an “all-or-nothing” lifestyle, but rather, the small conscious decisions we make every day. This is still our mission today. We can all take small steps to create positive change for our world. I love that this is a family business. My husband Patrick and I are so hands-on with the business and having Santi and Cami close to us at the shop, and being able to teach them about sustainable living through hands-on experiences is such a huge blessing.
We appreciate you being here!
With much love,
Alyssa, Patrick, Santiago, and Camilo.