Starting a green business isn’t necessarily easy but Darius Bendoraitis is committed to revolutionizing the way we play.
Yes, toys should be fun but green businesses like his are asking why they all have to be so harmful to the world?
Bubibird is his own sustainable business and it is changing the way we think about our future, starting with our children, but with a view to take on the wasteful world of plastic production, our carbon footprint and carbon emissions.
The husband and wife team have been selling carbon-neutral toys on their Zyro website and have plans to expand their sustainable business strategies even further in the search for an eco-friendly business.
This is the story of how Bubibird built an eco-friendly business from the ground up in his spare time with nothing but a website and a brilliant idea.
We’ve been thinking about starting a business for years
We had so many business ideas and we were jumping from one to another for a long time and we never had a business idea that we were happy with.
We thought of ideas for everything from the food industry to business intelligence but green business ideas were always interesting to us.
Eventually, we settled on three rules:
- We have to find something that isn’t already on the market
- We want it to be a challenge
- We need it to be eco friendly because we want a sustainable business
Even in the biggest stores, we noticed that you can only find plastic toys or wooden ones that look old fashioned and they are not made from sustainable materials.
And for every single kilo of plastic in the world, we put six kilos of CO2 into the atmosphere, for me that is not an environmentally conscious business.
One of our toys is made from a bioplastic made out of sugar cane which is CO2 neutral. It’s part of moving towards more sustainable practices in the things that we do.
In the end, our products are cool toys that a child would want to play with, but ones that don’t harm our environment. It’s that easy to start a green business.
That’s how we started selling toys, working with sustainable brands, and brought our green business idea to life.
Bubibird is our side-business
My wife and I only recently got started on this project and of course it isn’t our primary source of income just yet. Eco friendly businesses take just as much time to get off the ground as regular business ideas.
It is a family business, it’s something that we do in our free time, in the evenings, and on weekends.
We love it.
When we get feedback that people are happy with our product and that children are so happy playing with our toys, it feels amazing to know that a sustainable small business can really work.
You just don’t have those moments in your day-to-day job
When you do something every single day, you’re used to the kind of feedback that you get in a traditional business model.
It could be a success, or it could be a problem, something good, or something bad.
But it’s a pretty common feeling and after a while it doesn’t touch you in the same way.
When you have your own business, it’s much, much more satisfying.
Especially when you know that you are selling environmentally friendly, sustainable products, and seeing that people are willing to pay a little bit extra to support eco friendly green business ideas and green businesses in general.
We know that it is a direct result of the things that we have done ourselves. It is our hard work and the quality of the eco friendly products that we sell that has helped this green business to get off the ground and I hope it can be an inspiration for other people with sustainable business ideas, too.
It’s not just about the money, it’s about learning something new
When we started, everything was brand new to us and there was a lot to learn.
From environmental sustainability, to finding local businesses with green initiatives and eco friendly products that we could stock to working out which recycled materials would be best to stock.
These days though, it’s really not so hard and you don’t have to have a lot of confidence to start a sustainable business.
I mean, it’s just like everyday life, when you have a problem, you solve it.
We’ve got Google and all problems can be Googled and everything you need to know about sustainable businesses is on there. Once you have a good idea, all you have to do is find a platform.
Zyro makes it fun to start a business
For starters, Zyro is a lot cheaper than the competition.
That means there is less risk when you are starting out because you don’t always have a lot of time or money.
We didn’t want to sign any contracts with designers, we wanted to learn how to do it ourselves.
At my main job, the most interesting parts are always the times that we get to interact with new technology.
When we started building our website, we found that it’s not just editing the website design that is interesting but also the parts with the products and with the store manager and everything else.
It’s fun. There’s no doubt about it.
We tried Shopify but we preferred Zyro
You can do a lot with Shopify, but when you’re starting out you don’t need that many features.
It’s more satisfying to do it with Zyro because it’s easier to learn and grow.
When Zyro makes new features, it’s easier to understand and we know that we can implement them on our website.
That way, we grow together.
Zyro feels more modern
The template designs on Zyro look great.
Compared with what we had seen on Shopify, which felt a little bit old fashioned, Zyro feels more modern.
It’s also really easy to find exactly the kind of thing you’re looking for.
We knew it was going to be an eCommerce website so straightaway we needed filters and categories for our products.
Pretty soon, we saw a template that looked good and covered the basics and we got started straight away.
From the start it was clear that Zyro was powerful enough for our needs and that editing our website was going to be very simple.
You just drag and drop. I don’t know what could be easier.
Okay, at some points, we did have to stop a few times, like when we made a mistake with the tax calculations.
But, we contacted support and it turned out that we just needed to click one box and the tax would be calculated automatically.
You can make changes really fast.
When we first started building our website, there was no slideshow feature, so we added a gallery element instead.
Honestly, it wasn’t exactly what we wanted. So, as soon as Zyro created the slideshow element I wanted to change it.
I could do that with pretty much two clicks, one to delete the gallery, and another to add the slideshow.
Even if you hire a professional, you can’t make changes as quickly as on Zyro
If my website was managed by someone else, I would have to write an email every single time that I thought of something new.
Best case scenario, let’s say that they reply to you the next day and then they make the change the day after.
But what if there is a mistake?
What if the communication is bad and you go back and forth?
With Zyro, you can do everything yourself in a minute.
If you make a mistake, you know who made the mistake, and you know how to fix it.
Plus, it makes the success more satisfying when you know you built everything yourself.
Our first sale was on my wife’s birthday
The feeling was amazing.
Even packaging it up and taking it to the post office was so much fun.
I’ll never forget it. Of course, it was the perfect moment to take a photo and we talked about taking one all day but in the end we were so excited that we completely forgot.
We have only just got started so things are still quite small. Just last week, we ran our first ad campaign and right now, we had our second post with our influencers.
That’s just the beginning, we are a distributor of a few brands and manufacturers so we already have our first B2B sale too.
Zyro’s social media marketing integrations work perfectly
It only takes a few clicks to have your online store connected with social media.
You don’t have to do anything complex and everything can be on Facebook too.
I think that it is pretty much a mandatory requirement for every business to have a social media presence these days and the integrations on Zyro are a perfect starting point.
Still, there are things that you can do with a website that you can’t do with social media.
When I see a shop that only has a social media store, I don’t feel like it is reliable.
It looks cheap, whereas a website really builds trust for your customers.
The next step is to raise our brand awareness
If we want to grow, then we have to start working on our brand.
Yes, we already have some manufacturers that we distribute, but we want to increase our product range.
To be successful in that we need to raise our profile. So, we use Facebook and Instagram influencers to create commercials and that is the current plan.
It’s a new business, and we are exactly where we expected to be at this stage but it’s only a matter of time and we already know our next steps in terms of growth.
For now, we are focused on eco friendly goods for our children and we want to make that a success first.
If you want to start a successful business, you have to make it fun
OK, so I think that before you start your own business you need to think about whether it is really going to be something that is fun for you.
If you’re doing it as a part-time project like we are, and you’re only thinking about getting additional money, that’s probably not going to work out.
Zyro is quick and easy to use but you still need to spend time with your business to be successful.
If it isn’t fun, you won’t want to spend time with it.
You need a good reason, we already have plenty of businesses in the world made for the wrong reasons.