Led By a Love for Building, Sarah Beatty, Podcast #112
Sarah is a true gem. I really feel lucky to have met her years ago. What she is building with her family in Montgomery Alabama is beyond impressive. We had a great conversation.
Sarah Beatty is Founder and CEO of Greenmaker Industries, Owner of Green Depot, and the Co-Founder of Montgomery Builds. Sarah considers herself an accidental entrepreneur but listening to her story you’ll see she’s anything but. Like many of the inspiring business leaders we meet, Sarah is a woman on a mission. And like most entrepreneurs, when she couldn’t find solutions to problems in the market, she solved it herself.
You can listen to this on iTunes here.
Episode #112Sarah Beatty, Founder and CEO Greenmaker Industries ‘I guess that I just think that for me, I have always been driven, first and foremost, by the world that I want to live in. And trying to be a part of the conversation of creating something that is better.’ ‘And for me what’s better, is something where everyone has an opportunity to learn, where we live in an environment where people are open to igniting conversations that people will all learn from so that we can create and innovate together.’0:49 Starting to think about green in real estate in 20051:55 Started out in Macy’s training program (same as Joanne). Learned how businesses work. How to deal with people. How to be political. ‘That training program really taught me on how to be a manager as well as how to be accountable and responsible to goods. What it takes to run a business. It was very humbling.’3:14 ‘I think the people quotient, the human quotient in business, is so important. One that I that I hope we can get back to and how we’re thinking about successful business.’4:02 The art of the conversation. ‘In a time where we say we have all these tools to enhance that conversation…but in many ways, we seem to becoming more disconnected.’4:28 Went to MTV. ‘Kept on knocking on their door.’‘The golden years of MTV.’ MTV Unplugged. Choose or Lose.5:20 Interesting breeding ground where a lot of the people from there went on to be insanely successful.5:56 ‘So many women (at MTV) were looking there.’ ‘It was really so motivating to be there then, very empowering.’7:02 How did you transition to product and architecture and buildings? Where did that motivation come from?8:10 Took a year off, and bought an around the world ticket. ‘The thing, I think, I came back from this trip with was, we are more alike than we are different. The things that connect us are stronger than those dividing points.’ ‘We are the same, but we also have different ways of expressing it.’10:42 ‘I think the themes of my life (are), I’m definitely a seeker. I’m a bit of curious explorer. And I love building things. I love, just, creating the possibility with something. Having a vision and then creating.’11:10 Was supervising the renovation of the apartment in NYC, and one week before having baby, found out that it was toxic. Led to asking what are in the materials that surround us? How do they affect our health?12:50 ‘That got me thinking in 2005 about this notion of systems, and how it relates to the built environment.’13:25 Started a niche business that focused on aggregating the best in class in all the materials that help people build green sustainable spaces that are healthy for people.13:45 What does “green” mean?14:33 So many moms were coming in with kids. Which led to opening a store front to serve the consumer directly. Opened Green Depot on the Bowery. ‘It was ahead of its time.’15:39 ‘I guess that I just think that for me, I have always been driven, first and foremost, by the world that I want to live in. And trying to be a part of the conversation of creating something that is better.’ ‘And for me what’s better, is something where everyone has an opportunity to learn, where we live in an environment where people are open to igniting conversations that people will all learn from so that we can create and innovate together.’18:02 Accidental entrepreneur and Montgomery, Alabama. Start of Montgomery Builds. Rebuilding culturally relevant historic spaces in downtown Montgomery. 21:57 Revitalization of Detroit as comparison. How do we ensure that this community survives?22:50 Hopefully we can create a new integrated space. That’s my true hope.’23:45 ‘I actually think we need to create a new word for feminism.’25:00 Building relationships in Montgomery. ‘I had my own images what I thought Alabama was. I am a bit ashamed of it because I think that, in a way, at first I had all these assumptions and then I went there, and they weren’t a lot of those things. And I thought ‘wow Sarah’ you profiled them without getting them a chance to meet you. So that has been a good lesson to me, about really being willing to have the conversation first, and find out what people’s interests are and then see if they align.’26:00 Samuel H. Kress, the Jeff Bezos of the south.28:00 Treating the Kress building like an archaeological site.29:30 Incubating business in the area and small business development. ‘Creating new innovative businesses that connect people and build community. That’s what excites me as much as the buildings.’33:45 Project with JR, acclaimed international artist36:00 Kress community room, storytelling series. ‘And that’s the thing that excites me. Because I feel like, the more that we can just tell our stories about how we’re human. And what we want to create. We can start creating it. We have to start walking the walk. Stop talking about it. Start doing it.’
thanks Bryce. I really loved this episode.
I did too. What a cool story. Sarah is very genuine.