It’s one thing to decide to be more mindful of your global footprint. It’s entirely different to decide to take matters into your own hands to help an entire community rethink its habits. For Samantha Simone, that’s just what her new concept store, The Nada Shop, is set to do. Located in The Lumberyard shopping center in Encinitas, Simone’s clean, tidy shop features bulk refill stations and products with minimal or zero packaging, plus other helpful items to facilitate a zero-waste lifestyle: reusable shopping bags, pre-weighed jars to use for refills on your next trip to your market’s bulk bins, fabric coffee filters and loose tea bags, silicone resealable bags, and much more. A free recycle station for hard-to-recycle items is planned as a service to the community.
The idea for the shop was an “aha moment” for the already environmentally conscious Simone, whose frequent travel as a management consultant allowed a lot of time to observe and consider what we fleetingly use and throw away. Watching people toss single-use coffee cups and bags from their take-out food in airports “really opened my eyes to our disposable society. There’s got to be an easy way to make life simpler while helping the environment,” she explains. “It’s an ease and effort sort of thing. If there’s a lot of effort, we’re less likely to do it, but if you make something easier for someone, then ultimately, they’re more inclined to do it. So, if I can help make it easier for people, that’s my goal.”
To say the concept is personal is an understatement. Simone is a one-woman entrepreneur who singlehandedly manages every aspect of The Nada Shop: product buying, interior décor, the store’s point-of-sale and IT systems, marketing, social media, and web presence. And, if you visit the shop, it’s Simone who’ll greet you — she has no employees. “It has been really fun, as challenging as it has been, but the hardest decision I’ve had to make so far, and this is going to sound really crazy, but it was picking a shade of white,” she laughs, adding, “I think the thing that’s kept me sane the most through all of this, as fun as it has been, is the concept of ‘crawl, walk, run.’ Not only this, but in my personal life as well. That helps me through everything.”
While she’s here to help people to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle, she also offers suggestions to get people off on the right foot. “I wouldn’t recommend for people to jump all in at once,” she cautions. “Use what you have at home and then slowly start making transitions. It all comes down to it becoming routine. Small steps add up to really big things and it takes time, but I think the more people become conscious of it, that’s when we start to see the big change.” thenadashop.com