Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Navigating AI’s Impact On Business
Today, we had the opportunity to interview Alexa Allamano who is a Ownerat Foamy Wader.
Welcome to our interview with Alexa Allamano, owner of Foamy Wader. As a self-taught jeweler, Alexa’s journey to success has been a unique one. In this interview, she shares her backstory and how she shifted her focus entirely to growing her business after losing her corporate bank job during the Great Recession. Foamy Wader has made significant efforts to reduce its environmental impact, from using primarily recycled precious metals in their designs to incorporating carbon offsetting with all shipped orders. Despite facing challenges in implementing sustainable practices, Alexa has overcome them and seen impressive results. Find out more about her journey and the steps she’s taken to make her business more eco-friendly.
Interviewee Name: Alexa Allamano
Company: Foamy Wader
Alexa Allamano’s favourite quote: “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” – FDR
Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?
Alexa Allamano : I’m a self taught jeweler; originally making pieces as a creative outlet while working a corporate bank job. When I lost that role during the Great Recession I shifted my focus entirely to growing my business. First through an Etsy site in 2008, then I began vending at craft fairs and trade shows in 2009, and expanded into my own brick & mortar retail space in Seattle in 2014. Feeling the call of island life, I relocated my business from Seattle to Whidbey Island (about an hour north) in 2017. I’ve occupied three different locations on Whidbey since moving here, having downsized to a 200 sq ft location during the pandemic only to expand into my dream location in 2022.
In what ways has your company worked to reduce its environmental impact, and what results have you seen from these efforts?
Alexa Allamano : I shifted my business model in 2020 to offer fully customizable and inclusive sizing online reducing wasted materials, incorporating carbon offsetting with all shipped orders, using all recyclable packaging and shipping materials made from post-consumer recycled paper, and all energy-efficient lighting/utilities in my commercial spaces. I reduced our packaging waste by having standard order information printed on the inside of shipping boxes with a QR code leading to our FAQ for supplemental information.
I use primarily recycled precious metals in my designs and recycle all precious metal scraps. I offer a lifetime guarantee of complimentary repairs so that unsalvageable materials can be recaptured into the supply chain. Also shifted my marketing approach to promote reduced consumption and educate my customers on how to care for their jewelry rather than replace lackluster items.
All of this lead to having my highest grossing year in 2022. Customer retention has never been stronger with an average 40% open rate on my newsletter (3500+ subscribers). We’re continuing to see new customer acquisition through referrals, organic social media (no paid ads), and earned press placements in Business Insider, Inc, Entrepreneur, etc.
What challenges have you faced in implementing sustainable practices, and how have you overcome them?
Alexa Allamano : The biggest hurdle to overcome was finding an alternative to using bubble mailers for shipping. I switched to post-consumer recycled cardboard boxes from EcoEnclose. I worked with them to customize my boxes with standard order information printed on the inside of the lid to further reduce paper waste. I had custom tissue paper made from recycled materials to both upscale the final presentation of the shipment and serve as void-fill in the shipping boxes.
I was long overdue to adjust my pricing in 2021, so I did the research and crunched the numbers to incorporate the higher cost into the price increase. I announced the forthcoming price increase and was transparent with my customer base on the reasoning behind it.
Leaders Perception would like to thank Alexa Allamano and Foamy Wader for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!
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