In What it's Like we ask people working in a variety of roles across the range of sustainability sectors to tell us about their organization, their work and their career path. In this edition of What it's Like, we hear from Lucy LaViolette, Project Coordinator at Repurpose, Inc., a retailer of compostable, disposable products for daily use.
What is Repurpose, Inc.'s mission and core strategy?
We are a group of passionate eco-entrepreneurs driven to positively impact the environment by changing everyday behavior. Our products are made from plants, not oil, and are 100% compostable. We strive to reduce plastic waste by keeping our prices as low as possible.
Tell us about your role.
I am the Project Coordinator for Repurpose, Inc., a small retailer of compostable, disposable products for daily use. Our products range from plates and bowls to straws – all made from 100% plants. My day to day role involves processing all accounts payable and receivable, as well as interacting with customers. Long-term, I generate sales reports, conduct audits and balance our company financials.
How did you get the job- what has been your career path?
I was a Political Economy major at UC Berkeley with a focus in Climate and Energy Policy. I have worked in operations and policy analyst positions and have focused on staying in the cleantech industry. I found out about Repurpose through a job posting on the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator website. Repurpose is one of LACI’s portfolio companies, and one of its most successful, at that. I found out about the job posting by asking as many people as I could about different opportunities in the Los Angeles area cleantech field. It was very important to me to be part of a mission-based company, where I could also apply my prior experience in operations.
Describe the Repurpose, Inc. work culture- what's it like to work there?
We are a small team of nine people. We work to maintain company culture by ensuring team activities, as well as working together throughout all steps of a project. Our goal, as a team, is to support the people around us as a way to enhance our productivity and team morale.
Describe the sector in which Repurpose, Inc. operates.
Repurpose is a consumer products company. Our products mostly sell in grocery stores, small co-ops and on Amazon .
What do you love and hate about your job?
I love that I get to work with passionate environmentalists who are committed to our company’s mission. I am constantly being taught more about sustainability and the complexities of retail. However, my job can not only get repetitive and mundane but, because we are a small team, we all wear many hats and it can be difficult to prioritize.
What advice do you have for job seekers interested in working in your industry?
Any new or soon-to-be graduate (or anyone looking for a job) should network. Ask as many people as possible about connections or ideas they may have. You never know where it will lead you! I would recommend that anyone who is looking for a job in retail, or any company for that matter, should try to determine what kind of company they want to work for in terms of size, growth, and general workplace culture in order to narrow their search. I would also recommend doing some rogue searching on different companies whose products they’d want to buy themselves. Be ready to learn. Retail is a finicky and complex industry with a steep learning curve, but it is rewarding.
Where can people find you?
What is your favorite animal?