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Featured Member: Nancy!

Here at At The Pool, we like to brag about how awesome our members are.

And this member is definitely awesome.

Meet Nancy!

She’s the founder of Eco-Eats Partyware!

Nancy was kind enough to answer some questions. Check her out!

Why and how did you decide to develop Eco Eats Party Ware?
I was trying to solve a problem with my main product Plate-A-Cup.  At parties I would put down my drink to eat, but when I would go back for my drink there would be five other drinks and I would lose track which one was mine. I didn’t ever want to risk drinking out of someone else’s cup, so I would abandon my drink and go get another.  Other people were obviously doing the same thing by all drinks laying around everywhere.  There was also another frustrating problem I would experience at food trucks and food festivals — it was the challenge of holding a drink, a plate of food, and trying to eat at the same time.  There was usually nowhere to put my drink down so I would usually have to tuck a drink under my arm, risking spilling on myself; or, take turns holding someone else’s drink so the other person could eat.  These reoccurring experiences are the reasons I came up with Plate-A-Cup — a plate that holds a drink and plate in one hand, so the other hand is free to serve food, eat, shake hands or pocket a business card.  The plate is made of leftover sugarcane pulp that would usually be discarded or incinerated after the sugar extraction process.  It is repurposed back into my plates, making Plate-A-Cup biodegradable, compostable, sustainable, renewable, and tree-free!

How did you get funding? Were there investors involved? Luckily, my husband makes decent money and we live a pretty simple life, so we had some money saved up to get started.  I did foresee other expenses coming up, so I convinced my husband to sell one of our cars.  I did have an equity line waiting in case I needed it, but never touched it.  I have not taken on any investors; although, I’ve had quite a few people offering to be investors.  It’s good to know there are people that believe in my product, so if I ever needed some financial backing for expansion, good chance I’ll have help.
What makes your product different from other stuff on the market?
What makes my product different from other similar products on the market is that it’s eco-friendly and it works with a can, cup, wine glass, or bottle.  Not everyone drinks from wine glasses at parties, because it’s not always practical and some people may want a mixed drink, a beer, a soda, or water instead.
What’s the best part of your job? 
The best part about my job is that it allows me security from being laid-off, which I’ve seen way too frequently around me in the last few years.  It also allows me flexibility with my hours.  I’ve been a stay-home-mom for almost 15 years, so my kids have always been my priority.  I could volunteer at the their school, care for them when they’re sick, have dinner with the family in the evening, and then get some more work done until the early morning .  It’s sometimes hard work balancing family and starting up a business, but I’m very thankful to have the “best” of both worlds.
What’s the worst?  
Sleep deprivation.
Alright, now I’m gonna ask you the 10 infamous questions from Pivot’s questionaire (your don’t need to have super elaborate answers, these are just mean for fun)
1. What is your favorite word?  
Yipee! — It means something good is happening.
2. What is your least favorite word?  
Hate…although I have slipped that word a few times.  My kids will be the first to correct me.
3. What turns you on? 
Good humor, good ethics, kindness, and a concern for others and the environment
4. What turns you off?  
Arrogance, selfishness, rudeness, and greediness
5. What sound do you love?  
the sound of rain or my kids humming a song when they think no one is listening
6. What sound do you hate?
The horn of that darn train that goes by my house late at night.  I swear I think the conductor is just plain pissed off by the way he lays on that horn four or five times…totally not necessary.
7. What is your favorite curse word? 
Really??  I could say it??  Well, I won’t say it, but it’s the F-word.  I rarely, rarely blurt that out, but when I do — boy do I feel better!
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? 
A food critic I think, but I’m not even sure if I want to call it that because it sounds a little stuffy and snobby.  I just know I like food a lot and am adventurous enough to eat just about anything.  I also like carpentry work, which I already have experience in, but would like to hone my skills.
9. What profession would you not like to do? 
A coroner or a mortician
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Job well done Nancy! Your family and friends are waiting behind the pearly gates to throw you a welcome home party!

See? Isn’t she awesome?!

Check out Nancy on At The Pool here.