Welcome to our interview series where we speak with purpose-driven business owners and ecopreneurs from around the globe. Every few weeks, we’ll dive into their journeys, learn about their wins and challenges, and the resources they couldn’t do without.
Prepare to be inspired and learn something new!
Today’s guest is Gabriela Jauregui from Jau Web Design.
Please tell us a little bit about who you are, your background, and what you did before starting your own business?
I’m a mom of three girls, married to an amazing husband, and a dog mom. I was in business operations for about five years before starting my Jau Web Design. I graduated with a degree in strategic business management. While in school, I took graphic design and coding courses to show up the best for my employers. I was often tasked with marketing, app troubleshooting, client escalations, SOP creation, training, data analytics, and so much more.
As you can imagine, I was getting burnt out by handling so much work, and the pay wasn’t enough to cover daycare expenses while at work. I was also breastfeeding my youngest, who was highly allergic to formula, and I wasn’t producing enough milk. So it was this perfect storm of “I need to quit my job.”
I spent the next six months taking care of the kids and learning as much as possible to start my business.
What inspired you to create a purpose-driven company, and how did you come up with the business idea?
I guess you could say my husband and I are hippies, lol, in the very traditional sense of anti-corporations, anti-corruption, pro-social justice, pro-Earth, etc.
Naturally, I wanted to support impact-driven businesses in the best way I knew how. I’m VERY analytical and strategic with business and life. I wanted to take my skills and knowledge of managing a business and turn that into something to help entrepreneurs on a mission to create change.
After conducting research, I noticed a few things.
- Many business owners complain about their website because they feel it’s just sitting there and costs money to maintain.
- Their brand is outdated or copies other companies out there. So they struggle to attract their ideal clients.
So not only do I provide functional websites that will convert clients and IMPROVE business processes. I create revolutionary brands to help these deserving entrepreneurs stand out and make a more significant impact by attracting more clients.
In your experience, what are the main challenges of starting and running a green business?
There is still some questionable information about how much impact the digital world has on the environment. I know website carbon calculators are the big thing right now, but SO many factors go into calculating a real number. What kind of tech is your user on? Are they running on green energy? How long are they on your website? Do the hosting companies purchase carbon offsetting?
After a lot of research, I decided that I wouldn’t be promoting them in any of my marketing or business conversations.
Which I’m sure is a huge shock coming from a green web designer/developer.
It made me realize how researching the best options can be difficult. So I take more of a sustainable approach. What is the company culture like, can this tool help my ability to help other conscious entrepreneurs, what are their eco-efforts, what are their social justice efforts?
I try to make decisions that benefits society as a whole.
What is your business mission/purpose, and why?
My mission is to help impact-driven entrepreneurs revolutionize their communities with the strategic brand and web designs that attract their dream clients in a guilt-free way.
Impact-driven entrepreneurs are on a mission to change their communities in one way or another, and they need designs that stand out to attract more customers. The more money they make, the bigger impact they have on our communities.
Right now, there is a large income inequality issue around the world, and if we got money back into the hands of those looking to make a POSITIVE change… It could change the world.
What makes your business unique?
Much like anything else there are other green web and brand designers to choose from.
Even though I’m young, I have a lot of business experience. I understand how a growing business should be structured, how important SOPs are, how important functionality is to seamlessly grow your business using your website to convert more customers.
But I think the biggest difference is, I’m not here to judge anyone for “failing” to make the greenest/most sustainable choice.
When I first entered the green space, I noticed there are quite a few elitists out there. People who think they’re better than everyone else (some even put others down) that do not follow this sustainable lifestyle to the T.
It was very discouraging for me. I was feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Hello, imposter syndrome.
After conducting market research, I realized that was a common feeling among impact-driven entrepreneurs.
So I’m on a mission to help them make a difference and NOT feel guilty about their choices. It’s ok to bring in that money. It’s ok to use Shopify because you can’t hire a developer to build a WordPress website on GreenGeeks, right now.
At the end of the day, what we do isn’t a science. We’re all just trying our best to improve the world. As long as you’re creating positive change, you’re not looking to hoard wealth; want a positive company culture, then I’m all for it and here to help.
Is there anything that you do outside of your business that is driven by similar sustainability objectives?
I am a member of Denver’s Sustainability Advisory Council. It has been fun learning about all the sustainable efforts Denver is making to become a city within a park.
As part of the committee, we listen to new plans the city has and provide feedback on what we would like to see, as well as new ideas for creating a more sustainable Denver.
Right now, the city is looking to push waste diversion by promoting recycling and composting efforts. The nerd inside me is having so much fun reading the data, lol.
We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but I’m so happy to live in a city that cares about others.
In which area of your business are you struggling the most to reduce your environmental impact?
I’d have to say energy usage. All my work is done electronically and from home. We live in a rental, so our options are minimal for renewable energy sources.
Additionally, educating others on the importance of green web and brand design. The ultimate goal is always to help entrepreneurs on a mission to do good, but sometimes business owners get caught up in what THEY want.
The reality is that web and brand design is never about what YOU WANT. It’s about what your TARGET AUDIENCE WANTS, and most people today WANT to support environmentally focused businesses.
So green web/brand design can be a HUGE selling point when it’s done right.
What’s your day-to-day like?
My husband and I have three kids. Since the pandemic started, they’ve been home with me 24/7, so I wake up early to meditate and get some work done before our two-year-old wakes up.
Then I spend most of the day helping the kids with school work and tending to our garden. We try to grow as many of our vegetables as possible during Colorado’s garden season. We’re also in the process of improving the soil health in the home we rent and stop soil erosion.
We’ve been planting native and some non-native hardy flowers, herbs, and fruit. We have strawberries, mint, sage, and various wildflowers. It’s been quite the journey. Our older girls (8-year-olds) will come outside during their school breaks to help, and our toddler will go through sampling all our edible plants, lol.
When the little one is napping, I’ll do a little more meditation and work. Once the kids are out of school, the four of us will hang out outside or color/reading/telling knock-knock jokes until my husband gets home.
When dad gets home, we talk about our days, and then I work more until dinner time.
That’s pretty much my day.
How do you grow and scale your business, and what are the main growth constraints and opportunities?
My SOPs have been one step ahead of me, thanks to my experience in business operations and my degree. And I think that’s where the biggest opportunity lies. My SOPs allow me to take on more clients and help ecopreneurs make a bigger impact.
My business is just under a year old, so right now my biggest constraint is gaining consistent clients.
Clients that understand how valuable quality brand and web design is. There’s a reason big corporations spend big money on these things.
The right brand and web design is the difference between staying a small business and growing into a mid-large organization.
In your opinion, what are the top skills necessary to be a successful eco-entrepreneur?
Resilience, Resourcefulness, Being Receptive.
Resilience because you need to be able to overcome the normal challenges entrepreneurs face and then some.
Resourcefulness because a lot of green tech is not widely marketed or known. So we have to be able to research, network, and find these ground breaking technologies to increase the impact we make.
Lastly, I’d say being receptive. All the good we do is for nothing if we aren’t open to feedback. The feedback could come from employees who feel unheard, from new research that states your current efforts are more harmful than good, or a fellow ecopreneur that notices you haven’t taken a break in some time.
As a professional in branding, user experience, and design, what are the most common mistakes you see green businesses make?
Using the same color choices as everyone else lol you don’t need a neutral or green color palette to show your commitment to the Earth.
You can be a green business without the color green in brand identity. You shouldn’t aim to look like everyone else. Diversity is what makes nature/people so wonderful. It’s ok to have color diversity in your branding too.
That’s where a STRATEGIC design comes in, so you can stand out and attract your dream customers.
What have you learned about your customers and yourself since the launch?
How awesome eco-entrepreneurs are. The number of people out there just trying to do their part is so amazing to see. It’s important to have a community of people that take a similar approach in their unique ways. Ecopreneurs are overall super caring, friendly, funny, and socially inclusive.
I grew up in a city where sustainability was a “rich white people thing.” I would get ridiculed for trying to be “white.” The reality is I’m just trying to make sure we have a planet to live in, where people can be treated equally regardless of their differences.
And I didn’t realize how much I needed the amazing eco-community until becoming an impact-driven entrepreneur.
What is the role of technology in your business? Are there any tools or technologies that you find helpful and/or looking to implement?
As a web and brand designer that develops websites, technology takes a major role in my business. All things business are run on my computer, so I try to use second-hand computer accessories when possible. Backmarket is where I get my screens/keyboards/etc. (not affiliated)—using eco search engines like Ecosia, using sustainably focused hosting.
And sustainable website hosting. GreenGeeks is my favorite green web hosting platform for WordPress. Then there’s web flow that I recently found out does carbon offsetting for all their servers. They go through a company that is working to reforest the Amazon.
What does sustainable and ethical design mean to you? Are there any specific principles you follow?
Sustainable design is beyond green design. It’s inclusive, promoting diversity, ethical sourcing, ethical display of the designs, AND eco-designs.
I aim to make my designs accessible, inclusive, and green. As a Latina in the ecopreneur space with vision impairments, those three pillars are critical to Jau Web Design.
Sustainable brands have the opportunity to impact their communities simply by the inclusive content they share.
Any “lessons learned” or advice you can share with aspiring or current green business owners?
Don’t get caught up in perfection.
- Once you feel perfection is reached, what’s to keep you going?
- Progress keeps the wheels going and creates a mentality to continue growing and learning even as perceived “perfection” is reached.
What inspires you every day to wake up and keep going?
My kids. I want to leave a better world for them, their friends, and their future kids. The generations before us caused this issue, and it’s up to us to fix it for the next.
The reality is one person can make a difference. One person can spark change in the hearts of others. It’s an exponential effect. I may not rally thousands, but someone I impact could.
Hi! I’m Gabriela, founder of Jau Web Design.
I’m a first generation American from Arizona, now living in Colorado. Growing up I watched family members pass from diseases that did not occur in our family until the arrival of plastics and disproportionately affect minorities.
I started Jau Web Design to create revolutionary brands and web designs for impact-driven entrepreneurs. Sustainable entrepreneurs should feel confident in their brand and ability to bring in the money. I help them get there.
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