When I arrived to interview Wendi Lindsay at her new store B. Lime, she was fiddling excitedly with a cherry wood Vers, a sustainably produced iPod dock that had beaten me there by mere minutes. B. Lime, a new “green” store located at 12 East Washington Street, will open its doors for the first time this Saturday.
Wendi began to see a need when she realized that there were lots of cool green products to be found online, but rarely were they in the same location. She dreamed of a brick-and-mortar store in downtown Champaign, and thus the idea for B. Lime was born. B. Lime will feature a wide range of products, from recycled dog collars and leashes, rainwater catchers, and kitchen wares to organic cotton t-shirts, household cleaners, and even a wide range of toilet paper.
Wendi is aware of some of the cynicism associated with green marketing, so she tried her best to make the right decisions for the store at even the most minute level. The paint used on the walls is low VOC, and the blinds in the windows were produced from recycled plastic. The flooring in her office is made from recycled carpet. The countertops throughout the store are fashioned from doors of an old barn that still stands on her father’s farm. She will also be purchasing clean energy credits to offset any carbon emissions produced by the lighting and electricity. Obviously, the same amount of care and concern was put into choosing the actual products for the store. In one instance, she decided not to carry a line of “all-natural” children’s hand washes because she didn’t like the coloring agents that had been used in them. She chose the brand HonesTea to carry in the store because the bottles were made of recycled plastic and glass, and the organic cotton t-shirt line was chosen because it was made in the USA with water-based inks.
Lindsay sees the store as more of a community service, rather than a money making enterprise. As a nutritionist and self-professed “wellness crusader,” she is excited about the effect that the store could have on the C-U community. “I want everyone that comes in here to know that everything in the store is either doing something good for their health or good for the environment. This is my passion – health and wellness, getting people to change their thinking and think about what is the impact of their choices.”
While the store will open this weekend, Wendi wants to stress that they will continue adding new products and attractions every week. “I don’t want people to come in here and think, that’s it?” she says. “Within the next few weeks we will be getting in water bottles, herbal teas, and healthy snacks.” Eventually, there will also be an outdoor seating area with free wi-fi, where people can just come and hang out. By December, she hopes to host another “grand opening” that will showcase the store and the new products in an even bigger way.