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How we started Guests on Earth

Guests on Earth Co-Founders Jackie Prince Liz Drayton

The process behind starting Guests on Earth has been a wonderful and challenging learning experience. We are getting smarter each day as we strive to accomplish our mission of creating new, enlightened home systems that are delightful to use and restore the balance between people and Planet Earth.

Here is the 'how' behind our origin story, which we share in the hopes of inspiring other entrepreneurs to follow their dreams (and maybe provide some hustling encouragement).

Part 1: The Spark

Plastic cleaning products bottles

Like many people, we spent a ton of time during the pandemic cleaning. And while we stayed home all the time, we became  increasingly aware of the waste and “recycling” waste piling up in our respective homes. 

We started to talk and examine our recycling bins and found that a majority of the content - apart from Amazon boxes - were cleaning supplies. Plastic, single-use cleaning supplies. 

Which led us to a key question, that became our spark: Why do cleaning products create so much waste?

Part 2: Research & The Recycling Myth

Microplastics in the water
We started to research the cleaning category and learned that despite promises of “recycling” from companies we’d been hearing our whole lives, the vast majority of plastic – a whopping 91% - doesn’t actually get properly recycled and instead winds up either in landfills, breaking down into microplastics and persisting in the environment for hundreds and hundreds of years. These microplastics make their way into the natural environment, in oceans, sea life, and eventually our bodies as well.

PART 3: Smaller Format, Better System

Pouring liquid concentrate into larger Guests on Earth bottle

We began looking into packaging alternatives and discovered that aluminum is the most recycled and recyclable material available, with nearly 75% of the aluminum produced in the United States still in use today (compared with only 9% plastic). 

Once we had an idea for packaging, we wanted to change the format. We learned that most household cleaning products are about 90% water. And most of us have access to water at home. We identified liquid concentrated formulation as the way to package and ship less product.  By reducing the format per bottle, we could reduce the weight and size, and therefore require less transportation and emissions.

PART 4: The Science

Hand pouring concentrated formulation from a beaker

We knew what we wanted. Next was to find a manufacturer who could bring our vision to life. We began cold calling dozens upon dozens of formulation manufacturers across North America to identify a partner who could develop high quality liquid concentrates that when added with water would become a full-sized, effective product. 

After months of outreach, we found the perfect fit - locally, no less! - and began to develop and iterate on until we got the perfect mix of all-natural, effective ingredients + luxurious, nourishing consistency.

PART 5: The Scents

Guests on Earth fragrance

We prioritize fragrance because we believe that scent plays a crucial role in the overall product experience. Scent has the power to transport you in an instant. A scent can take you back to a specific fond travel memory, or to a time period in your life, or to a person.

In the case of Guests on Earth, we use scent to enhance the overall cleaning experience from one of chemicals to one of pure enjoyment.

We identified a fragrance house with extensive expertise and shared our vision with them. Together, we honed our two launch fragrances - Desert Dawn and Dunes at Dusk - over the course of a few months.

Desert Dawn is energizing and cooling – a citrusy oasis. Dunes at Dusk is earthy and refreshing, like a calming woodsy landscape. We hope you love them as much as we do.

PART 6: Branding

Guests on Earth brand logo and silhouettes

 Both Liz and I come from a branding and marketing background and knew the kind of brand we wanted to build. One that elevated the home care category to a counter-worthy experience, with a product that people could proudly display for easy access and ongoing enjoyment.

We were connected to a fantastic art director, who helped bring Guests on Earth to life through design. We went through a discovery process and multiple creative directions until we landed on our signature silhouette motif. From there, we iterated on color palettes, typography, and aesthetics until we arrived at the brand as you experience it today.

Stay Tuned for What's Next!

Stay connected with Guests on Earth by signing up for our newsletter, The Guests List, and following us on Instagram and TikTok.

Best,

Jackie and Liz

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