Carson man launches eco-friendly website
Like many people in the region, the recession altered Steve Rose’s life.
Rose, a chief operating officer for a construction and real estate company in Reno, found himself out of work when the company went belly up a couple of years ago, leaving him searching for a new direction.
“I said I’m going to do something else,” said Rose, 64, who launched Planet Earth Stores Inc., an online retail store for eco-friendly products, last month from his home office in east Carson City.
“Never in a million years did I think that,” Rose said. “Never even thought about retail.”
After losing his job, Rose started exploring his options in the solar energy business, trying his hand at marketing and sales in the industry, but soon realized he’d have a better shot at online retail, “like a green Sharper Image,” Rose said.
So he spent a couple of months looking for products and suppliers before he launched the website, which went live on Oct. 18.
Rose said he has about 50 suppliers who sell their products wholesale or directly to customers through Rose’s website. He’s now selling things like organic gourmet coffee, clothing, electronic readers, LED safety lights for pets and electric vehicles. All the products, he said, are environmentally friendly.
“There’s a lot of people out there who want to shop online,” he said. “I look at Amazon, what’s the best sellers on their list, and try to find a green version of it.”
Rose is hoping the store will grow in size, but he doesn’t want a warehouse or employees if the venture becomes successful. Instead, he wants to run the business from his laptop, whether it’s in his Carson City home that overlooks Eagle Valley or on a St. Croix beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands – a favorite vacation spot he and his wife often travel to.
Rose now starts his day around 5 a.m. by taking his dogs for a walk in the hills behind his house, then heads for his desk for four hours. Another break follows and then he’s back to work in the afternoon until 9 p.m. when he retires for the night.
“I’m having a good time with it; fortunately I’m working here,” Rose said, peering out a window that overlooks the snowcapped Sierra. “If I had a room somewhere I was stuck in I’d go crazy.”
He adds, “Now if I could just make a few bucks then it’d be really good.”