As new mothers, Debi Golembieski ’99 and Christie Fredenburg ’00 each wanted to use naturally made products to ensure the good health of their babies. That required a lot of research and online shopping, something each found time consuming and frustrating.
When the two met in a playgroup, they shared their feelings and mused that “somebody” should open a store devoted to the quality products they longed for: sustainable, organic, non-toxic, recycled, global fair trade, and locally made merchandise.
“We’re not the types to sit around waiting for someone else to do it, so we did it ourselves,” said Golembieski, who majored in Interdisciplinary Studies at Appalachian.
So in 2007, Golembieski and Fredenburg, an English major, opened Green Mother Goods in Boone with another mom. Now located in Asheville, the store specializes in toys, clothing, gifts and home essentials that are eco-friendly and not made in sweat shops.
Golembieski credits Appalachian for teaching her how to juggle multiple responsibilities, network with available resources and find practical solutions to community issues.
“We wanted to start a for-profit business that could be an example of what a business can do – for a community, the earth and the world. We look at the ‘triple bottom line.’ Is what we do successful in terms of environmental stewardship and social justice as well as profit,” she said.