Firmology Founder’s Note: I like entrepreneurs. Okay, I like entrepreneurs, A LOT. (Otherwise, I would not have launched Firmology!) I especially like serial entrepreneurs who have launched a variety of businesses that have nothing to do with each other. Think Jack Dorsey of Square and Twitter, Garrett Camp of Uber and Stumbleupon, or even Sir Richard Branson and his 400 Virgin Group companies.
Jacquelyn Cyr is another serial entrepreneur I find interesting. She’s run or founded businesses within a wide range of industries including entertainment, publishing, consulting, and advertising. Now, Jacquelyn is tackling the four billion pounds a year of plastic bottle pollution problem one plastic bottle at a time with the launch of R3VOLVED, a sustainable product development firm. Considered as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by Women’s Executive Network and one of the Top 100 “W100″ Women Entrepreneurs in Canada by PROFIT, I wouldn’t bet against her.
Name: Jacquelyn Cyr
Location: Offices in Toronto and Shenzhen, China; Bringing product around the world
Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Note
Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab
Computer: MacBook Pro
What’s the story behind your business?
We launched R3VOLVED in January of 2013 based on identification of a global crisis crossed with a market gap. Plastic pollution is a massive worldwide problem—in 2009, every second of every day, 1500 plastic bottles were thrown out in the US alone. Each year, four billion pounds of plastic bottles end up in landfills, incinerators or—worst of all—the ocean, each to the detriment of our planet.
On the other side, recycled plastics can be made into nearly anything we touch—from T-shirts to backpacks, laptop cases to aprons, lanyards to umbrellas, pens to fleece winter wear. We thought that if we could create a demand for products made from recycled plastics, then we could enable corporations to be a part of massively diverting plastic from landfills.
For example! A single fleece toque is made from one recycled plastic bottle. One golf shirt is made from five plastic bottles. A yoga mat bag is made from six plastic bottles. A waiter’s serving tray is made from nine plastic bottles. A camping tent is made from 10 plastic bottles. A patio umbrella is made from 30 plastic bottles. If you imagine the money that corporations spend on these kinds of things, you can envision the scope of the change that companies can make.
On our end, we know that the main reason companies don’t make sustainable choices is related to the price point, so we worked diligently to get our production processes in line, tightening up rPET pricing to be cost competitive with virgin materials. Our objective is to make the positive sustainable choice an easy decision for companies.
Our primary goal is to create consumer awareness about the global plastic pollution problem through companies embracing this shift in the supply chain. It’s our hope that in twenty years people will look back and think that it’s crazy that these things were once made of virgin materials. We are unbelievably excited to be working with corporations to change the world, one plastic bottle at a time.
What apps or services are essential to the operations of your business?
Salesforce enables our sales team to run their business with massive efficiency and is super, super easy to use—they even have the mobile app for when you’re out of the office and integration with social tools so you can get visibility to your prospects across channels. I am crazy in love, love, love with Salesforce.
Sharefile gives us secure, cloud-based storage which is great for passing along confidential art files to manufacturers, but it also lets us upload quotes and presentations and then get notifications every time they’re downloaded—this creates major efficiency in the sales process because you’re not relying on guesswork to understand your prospects, which is a big saver of HR-related cash. They also have a mobile app where you can quickly upload/download on-the-go.
As for LinkedIn, social selling is my entire modus operandi. I don’t believe in the traditional cold call, and the conversion we get from using a socially-driven approach is far superior to spending hours making calls and leaving voice messages that somebody is going to delete. It enables listening and understanding, creates better visibility to the whole person, and allows for, in my opinion, a more sincere approach to the sales process. LinkedIn is quite literally always open in my browser.
What apps, services or gadgets do you recommend to other business owners?
How can others reach you?
Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!
Do you have any questions or comments for Jacquelyn? Drop her a note in the comments below!
If you have a suggestion for someone we should feature, questions we should be asking, or would like to be featured on Firmology’s How I Power My Business series, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: How I Power My Business