Supporting Irish business is a passion of ours at Image, and it's easy with so many entrepreneurial and innovative Irish businesses to buy from. From now until Christmas we are highlighting Irish businesses or business people that we are excited about. Today it's Reuzi, a sustainable retailer who aims to raise awareness on the environmental problems posed by single-use materials while making the solutions accessible.
What is your name, and what is your business?
My name is Pat Kane and my business is called Reuzi – it means 'reuse' in Esperanto. Esperanto is the language of internationalism. Moreover, it's a language which was created with a specific purpose in mind: to unite the human race.
Reuzi is a true one-stop-shop for sustainable living. We believe that sustainable products and resources that positively benefit people and the planet should be widely available to everyone, so we work hard to create a curation of awesome green products that will help you take that extra step towards a more sustainable life.
What is your mission?
Our website, reuzi.ie, was founded in May 2018 and our first store opened in August 2019 in Foxrock Village, Dublin 18.
We want to break the stigma around sustainability. Sustainability is not exclusive to scientists or the ‘all-or-nothing’ folk. We want to make sustainability an easy to digest subject with fun, colourful products and educational services.
We want to encourage minimal-waste living; we want to help everyone take one extra step towards sustainable living – whether that means helping them get their first stainless steel straw to providing the tools and knowledge to transform their entire grocery shopping routine.
Of what part of your business are you proudest?
I am proud of our business for several reasons but I think one very important area would be our community – the #IRL community but also our online community. Our exchanges – in person or virtually – are so rich and so powerful. We teach, we learn, we discuss solutions, we vent ... It's truly wonderful to know that people feel comfortable to share their experiences with us and to ask for advice on their personal lives.
Who are your heroes?
My business hero is Holly Tucker MBE, founder of Not On The High Street. She represents everything I love about being a woman in business. She’s smart, creative, colourful and fun. She is always talking about how every business should have creativity at its heart.
This quote of hers stuck with me: “You have to have sacks of creative, risky, bold and customer-first thinking if you’re going to have a chance of making something last long-term” – just perfect!
On a personal level, the women in my family rock but my mother will always be my number one inspiration. An extremely hard-working lady. My mother has built a very successful business and she’s incredibly innovative and resilient.
How have you found the last six months?
I've found the past six months extremely grounding. Although we were constantly busy, I took time to reassess what really mattered and how I wanted to run my business. I decided to leave silly worries and irrelevant comparisons behind and to trust my gut, more than ever before.
I truly enjoyed spending more time with my boys (husband included). And no, I am no longer willing to compromise this new lifestyle.
What keeps you positive and what new perspective has 2020 brought?
Knowing that we are helping people make small changes every day keep me positive, strong and focused! It will sound like a cliche but I learned how to be more present. I learned that everything can wait – I am not a heart surgeon so yes, everything can wait.
Best/worst moment from 2020?
Best moment wasn't a moment, it was a realisation ... When I realised that Reuzi was actually thriving through our first lock-down after wondering if we would survive at all.
Worst moment was to lose a loved one to Covid-19 right at the start of our first lock-down and to not be able to there for her. Life's short and unpredictable so we gotta live it to its fullest.
How will you celebrate Christmas this year?
With my husband and our boys, at our home. I am already looking forward to it. I love getting the house ready for Christmas with the boys. We have great fun putting up the tree and talking about what their Elves might be up to.
Another Irish business you want to shine a spotlight on?
I'd love to highlight the work Cream of the Crop Gelato is doing. They are a zero waste artisan food business producing gelatos and sorbets from the ripest surplus produce available from local farms. A wonderful and delicious idea.
Anything else you would like to let us know?
We have just launched The Sustainable Christmas Co. in partnership with The Good Neighbour, a zero-waste grocery shop. The Sustainable Christmas Co. is located in Terenure (97 Terenure Road East). We are hoping to have everything you need for a plastic-free Christmas.
At Reuzi we offer services to businesses and schools such as 'lunch & learn' sessions, eco-strategy for businesses on how to green up their practices and processes and much more.
I am currently running a programme called SEED that focuses on helping small business owners to create sustainable businesses. In this post-COVID-19 world, we have decided to offer our services for free to one small business every month as a way to give back to our community and support small business owners. I am a massive fan and cheerleader of the small business community and I want to do everything I can do to help them set up greener businesses.
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