Eco Inspirations: Greenista Chat with Sophie Uliano

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A dose of inspiration is sometimes all we need to get our creative juices going.  For the start of 2011, I’ll be posting a mini series of interviews with three passionate women who have embraced their Higher Purpose and created businesses that reflect their true values.  From running a green living multimedia company to starting a clean cosmetics brand, the words and actions of these entrepreneurs is proof that with dedication and energy we, too, can realize our dreams.

My first featured Greenista is Sophie Uliano, the New York Times best-selling author of Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life, The Gorgeously Green Diet and Do It Gorgeously.  Sophie is a Green Expert and speaker whose appearances on many television shows, including “Oprah,” “The View,” “Good Morning America” and “The CBS Early Show,” have inspired women across America to live a Gorgeously Green Life.

She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of  Sophie is my favorite green guru and I cannot even begin to describe how inspirational, friendly and motivating she is.  Take a look at our interview below and glean some insider tips on starting a green blog, writing a book or breaking into eco multimedia.

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You recently referenced Goethe’s quote “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”  What was the inspiration behind writing the original “Gorgeously Green” book and what were the actions you took to beginning it?   How did you tap into your boldness?

I had the idea for a while and I just realized that the only way to get anything done is to start it. Even if you think it’s a load of rubbish or you can’t really do it/finish it – you’ve just got to be bold, make the start, work on it every day and the rest follows…

There is so much greenwashing used by companies to advertise their products or exaggerate their contributions to society/cleaning up the environment.  How have you been able to cut through all that false information to report on the most accurate claims?  Do you have a team that works with you?

I don’t have a team because I can’t really trust anyone else’s opinion. My readers are very loyal and I feel a great sense of responsibility to them, so I make it my business to check out any and every company or product I recommend. Sometimes I make a mistake or something slips by my attention, but I always try to correct it when the fault is mine. I’m very wary of greenwashing!

“Gorgeously Green” started as a book but has evolved into a strong green multimedia platform – i.e. a series of books, website, online store and how-to videos.  How did this transformation take place?  Do you proactively plan for the future, or seize opportunities as they come along?

I think everything nowadays has to have a multimedia platform. A book really can’t exist without a website supporting it. The more you add to your platform, the more value you give your readers.

What are the biggest challenges you have encountered in growing your “Gorgeously Green” brand and how have you overcome or sidestepped them?

Manpower! I like to micro-manage and do it all myself, but I wish there were 10 of me because there just aren’t the hours in the day. I have so many ideas up my sleeve, but finding the time to implement them is my greatest challenge.

What was the process of choosing a name for your book(s) and creating your signature logo?

The name just came very easily, as I knew I wanted it to be about becoming Gorgeous from the inside out. The logo was more of a big deal. I wanted an icon/image/woman who was sexy but also very classy and elegant – my inspiration was obviously Vargas. That said, it took about 50 drafts to get the image right!

You make “going green” fun, accessible and motivating for women.  Your message never comes across as threatening or pushy.  How are you able to do this despite knowing about all the scary toxins we come into contact with daily in our homes, schools, workplace and community?

Because I’m easy with myself! I walk the middle path. I couldn’t be extreme even if I wanted to. All I do is share the way that I live, which most of the time is very imperfect!

Can you describe a typical day working on the “Gorgeously Green” brand?

One hour of social networking, two hours of blogging and creating content for G.G. and other sites. One hour of answering emails and two or so hours in creative development.

The “Gorgeously Green” website now boasts a team of green experts.  How were you able to engage these individuals?

They are all people that came to me wanting to align their platform with mine. Some of them are great friends.

Have relationships with mentors shaped your career path?  If not, what people or circumstances have made a difference/contributed to your path?

Oh yes, I have two writing mentors (Jane and Marcus Buckingham) and a host of Spiritual mentors, who support me in every positive project I set out on. Mentors are imperative.

What is the future of the “Gorgeously Green” brand?  When we last spoke, you mentioned a possible TV show in the works and a fourth book.

Yes – a TV show is next on the books and is probably the most important step in expanding my brand.

What important advice do you have for an entrepreneur/writer looking to create his/her own green multimedia platform or seek a position in an existing one?

Look at how you can make your writing/message easy and accessible for everyone. Always look for a good media angle (sound bites), and work your social media like a loon!

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