Meet Ashley from LimeLoop
At UpChoose we are huge fans of Limeloop, a company pioneering smart and reusable packaging. If you're an UpChoose member or follow us on social media, you have seen and used the Limeloop packages time and time again. We have been inspired by their work and are excited to introduce you to the founder who is also a new mom and UpChoose member!
What’s your name? Any nickname?
Ashley Elizabeth Etling and was called "The Bird" growing up. Mostly because I loved being up high and observing :) My uncle even had a song, but I will save that for another day.
Live in? Grew up in?
I grew up in St. Louis, MO, and quickly took to the Arch, symbolizing the Gateway to the West, and moved West. I spent most of my 20's in San Francisco, living abroad, and now happily reside in the Colorado mountains with my family.
You’re the mom of...
Aven William's aka Mi Amore.
Ashley and Aven.
You started Limeloop, a company that is pioneering smart and reusable packaging. What made you want to start LimeLoop and focus on the issue of sustainable packaging? Was there an "aha" moment or a specific event?
I designed a reusable shipper over 10 years ago and rediscovered the shipper during a beautiful collision of events. I was unpacking boxes that happened to have the reusable shipper in them. At the same time, I was indulging in research on the growth in e-commerce. Amid packages piling up at our front door, I was chatting with one of the coolest and smartest engineers of our time, Chantal Emmanuel. The collision of the two of us is what sparked smart reusable packaging.
What's most exciting and most challenging about building Limeloop? Can you give us an example of something you are most proud of that you were able to accomplish?
Being a part of building a smart future where future generations, such as Aven, will thrive. And wow, is that a more significant challenge than I ever imagined. I feel lucky to say there are so many accomplishments to be proud of, but it comes down to the people all and all. I have been fortunate to solve big problems with incredible people such as Ali, the co-founder of UpChoose, inspiring customers such as Toad & Co, my co-founder Chantal, and all of our family friends that come together to support our dreams.
We see a lot of initiatives around compostable packaging or recycling cardboard boxes. Why did you decide to focus on reusable mailers instead? Can you tell us more about how your mailers are made? What are the benefits for companies and for customers?
Second to eliminating packaging all together it is the best option for creating a sustainable future. The mailers are designed with cradle to cradle and form and function at the forefront. It begins with the problem and leads to the materials and the people we work with. This allows us to contribute to a smart future and decrease frustrations with sending and receiving packages. Imagine a day when you no longer have to un-tape or break down a box.
Ashley, Chantal, and Viola are the dream team changing the way packages are sent and received.
On a more personal note, you recently became a mom. How did it impact your approach to sustainability or issues like waste and climate change? Did it give you extra motivation in building Limeloop?
I love the quote, "less is more." While achievable, this becomes a daily challenge with having a kid, which has brought me to question today's sustainable solutions repeatedly and find inspiration in big missions such as UpChoose's.
What made you want to be more careful about the things you buy for yourself or your family? Was there an "aha" moment or a specific event?
I grew up eating Jiffy peanut butter. In college, a friend left peanut butter that had one ingredient, peanuts. After opening it, I immediately announced to my roommates that the peanut butter was spoiled. It opened my eyes to a more thoughtful way of living, from food to purchasing, and am still on the journey.
How did you get started? What were the first few changes you made?
It started with a love for food. Looking at the ingredients on the back of packages, researching where food was coming from, what types of packaging it came in. Living in the bay area accelerated this and led to eating seasonally and shopping locally, mostly at farmers' markets with reusable bags.
Ashley and Aven.
What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?
Actions do speak louder than words. By simply being more thoughtful about how and what we purchase begs others to ask questions and be thoughtful.
Any tips you'd like to share with other new or expecting parents who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out their first steps?
Be patient. It takes time, but wow, is it rewarding.
Can you tell us a bit about the set(s) you received from UpChoose? What did you pick and how have you used the platform so far?
My friends and family joke often that I see the world in monochromatic, so the option to have a classic set immediately captured my attention and fit with our family. We spend most of the year in the snow, so having the opportunity to choose a set that works well under a snowsuit was a beautiful fit for us. Seeing a set arrive in a LimeLoop shipper and being able to send back goods to the team at UpChoose in one still makes me smile.
Do you already have a favorite outfit or item from your UpChoose set(s)?
I love every piece we receive but have to say the pj's are incredibly sweet.
What's most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve?
Working with the team at UpChoose and the community is such s special thing. Together we are achieving it, a smarter future.
Ashley and Aven.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Favorite activities or games you play with the kid(s)?
Hiking and throwing rocks in the river.
Growing up, Dirty Dancing.
My Girl, by Ottis Redding. Mostly out of love for my father.
Dream place for a vacation?
I happen to live in my dream place.
Less of a dish but hands down bread, cheese, and wine with friends and family.
The idea for LimeLoop came about over ten years ago. Ashley was looking to ship goods without all the waste from conventional packaging. She started prototyping a fabric envelope, which she sent to Chantal, her co-founder, and CTO. They both recognized this was the beginning of something significant, not just packaging but transforming how we ship goods.
To learn more and get involved, you can visit their website here.