BY BRIDGET FABI
2619 San Pablo Avenue
Located in West Berkley, between the Lucky Bait Shop and
Big O Tires, sits Ecohome Improvement, the brainchild of partners
Taja di Leonardi and Nina Boeddeker. Not exactly an idyllic or
likely setting for a hip store focused exclusively on green and
healthy home improvement options. Yet, Ecohome has exceeded all
sales forecasts, expectations and the owners’ wildest dreams.
Opened in 2005, Ecohome’s mandate is to provide consumers
with new eco-friendly products. Its slick and elegant interior
displays present products in home-like settings with the goal of
showing customers that environmentally friendly design is
On offer are numerous recycled-glass items including
countertops from Vetrazzo ( www.vetrazzo.com), funky knobs and
pulls from Spectra Décor ( www.spectradecor.com) and tiles from
Terra Green ( www.terragreenceramics.com). Marmoleum, an eco-friendly
alternative to linoleum ( www.themarmoleumstore.com), is popular, as
are Paperstone countertops ( www.paperstoneproducts.com) made from
recycled paper. There’s also a large selection of toxin-free
paints and stains.
With such a mind-boggling selection of fashionable eco-friendly
products, the locals have no reason to visit the big-box stores for
their home improvement needs.
Des Moines, Iowa
500 East Grand Avenue
Growing up Jennifer Hansen loved to play store and would often
organize garage sales for her mother. From the beginning, she
seemed destined to fulfil a lifelong dream to create Eden, an
intimate eco-friendly boutique in the East Village of Des Moines.
When it opened in 2003, Eden was one of the city’s few small
boutiques offering green goods. “I wanted to create a store
experience that exceeded people's expectations,” said Jennifer.
“We continue to seek out the best, freshest, most natural
products available and display them in a clean, sunny manner.”
From organic cotton onesies from Kee-Ka ( www.kee-ka.com) and
Caldrea’s eco-friendly home cleaning products ( www.caldrea.com) to
bags made from r ecycled plastic water bottles, Eden is a treasure
trove of unique eco finds.