Young: Diversity leads to entrepreneurial creation

The entrepreneurial bug bit after creating cleaning and personal care products, which led Back To Earth Enviroproducts.

Changes in personal circumstances may, invariably, lead to opportunities for new venture creation via the self-employment option.

It does happen more often than we realize, and in the most unpredictable fashion.

That concept hit home during a recent stay at Silver Star ski resort. We enjoyed our stay and accommodations at Silver Star, but we were equally impressed by the personal care products—shampoo, conditioner and body lotion—stocked in the suite bathroom.

The products were created by Back To Earth Enviroproducts so I decided to give company founder Kiley Routley in Coldstream a call to find out more about her business story.

Routley was nice enough to drive down to our corner of the valley and meet to talk about her story.

She was born in Prince George and grew up in Vernon. She has two older brothers and her father owned a golf course in Vernon.

When Routley and her brothers were young, they had golf clubs in their hands before they had an interest in reaching for the tricycle or stuffed toys.

In 1997, Routley completed her visual arts degree at UVIC and a year later married her high school sweetheart.The couple moved to the Kootenays so her husband could complete his teaching degree.

During this period, the couple had their first child while living in Castlegar.  In 1999, Routley began to feel the itch toward self-employment and participated in the Community Futures program in her area seeking to enhance her business development skills.

In early 2000, after moving to Vernon to get settled in as a new wife and mother, the couple had their second child while Routley was still exploring self-employment with her Tree House Photography hobby.

At this same time, she was collecting antiques that would present her with a source of creative inspiration with their uniqueness. In 2004, after enjoying her new venture as a home-based business for about two years, she decided to sell it to a friend and then had her third child.

Then the real fun started for this relentlessly tireless entrepreneur. Back to Earth Enviroproducts was actually created as a genuine venture entity in 2007 as Routley had met a classic herbalist who exposed her to the developing medicinal products being created from native B.C. plants.

The entrepreneurial bug bit as Routley fell in love with creating cleaning products, took classes and learned to create a range of personal care and cleaning products which she started to sell at the Vernon Farmer’s Market in 2008.

She told me with great pride that a turning point with Back to Earth was having her products in the facilities at Silver Star and elsewhere in Vernon, which helped spread the word about her line of products, their diversity and quality.

So here we have it, yet another entrepreneurial venture that began in the kitchen, with Routley in this case fascinated by aromatherapy, herbarium, the art of soap-making and the idea of selling other earth friendly products.

This has led, after countless hours of research and practical training, to Routley obtaining her credentials as a genuine herbalist.

Moving forward, Routley has found sufficient retail space in Vernon to expand the bulk sale aspect of her personal care and cleaning products.

Shortly, you will be able to order Back to Earth products online. Meantime, check out Kiley Routley’s website getbacktoearth.com and tell her Joel sent you.

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