After the website launched in March 2009, they received their first big order, for 1,500 bags. “We had to scramble to find a manufacturer,” Whorton says.
Demand increased, and ReUsies grossed $120,000 in its first full year. Whorton and Harper expect that number to grow exponentially. “Less than two years ago, we were trying to sell ReUsies at an awful Christmas bazaar, and our only sale was to a lady who wanted to swap us a microwavable baked-potato holder for one,” Whorton says, laughing. “Now, just a few months ago we met with Amazon.com, which placed a trial order for more than a thousand bags.” They calculate that their business has kept almost seven million plastic bags out of landfills.
The two women did such a good job of bartering that they now have to insist their friends allow them to pay. “We have to be adamant: ‘Yes, please charge us!’ ” Harper says. “We’ve been so fortunate. We’re still in awe that we are where we are.”
Originally published in the February 2011 issue of More.
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