Home » Industry News » Retailer Recognized for Ambitiously Selling Sustainable Products
Lowe's Canada

Retailer Recognized for Ambitiously Selling Sustainable Products

A Texas home improvement retailer is getting attention for his ambitious work to create a store chain that makes sustainable products accessible and affordable enough to become the industry norm.

That entrepreneur, Jason Ballard, started the business TreeHouse in 2009 in Austin, Texas. He has doggedly worked to bring together a product mix of smart-home technology, solar panels and other green products, such as organic fertilizer, in his one existing store, according to an article from Inc.com.

“There was no one-stop marketplace for everything you need” for sustainable construction, Ballard tells Inc.com. In response, he has created a company with “world-changing ambitions,” Inc.com says.

The article says he launched his business on this premise: “Why not start a company that does a ton of product research, sources the materials, buys them at sufficient scale to bring down prices, and educates homeowners and builders?”

Ballard wants to create a massive, multi-location business, with each store serving as a one-stop shop for eco-friendly home improvement products. Each store, like his Austin location, would also provide an uncomplicated, educational buying experience for customers, so products such as solar panels aren’t “an intimidating product but a smart, simple way to save money.”

One of Ballard’s goals was to partner with Google-owned Nest to offer smart-home products, even though Nest only worked with Apple, Amazon, Best Buy and Lowe’s. Nest wasn’t interested, but Ballard’s determination and innovative mission eventually won the company over.

“Ballard put a recurring notice on his calendar to call Nest the second Tuesday of every month at 9 a.m.,” Inc.com says. When that didn’t work, Ballard had his workers purchase Nest products from the big chains. The chain store employees didn’t know much about Nest, and Ballard put together descriptions of those shopping experiences and sent them to Nest with an offer.

“He would work with Nest to tell the company’s story in full, provide project management to demystify the installation process, and turn TreeHouse into Nest’s largest volume retailer,” Inc.com says.

He got Nest’s attention, followed through on his promise and won other important partnerships that have allowed him to build a business that rapidly grew to 2015’s $10 million in sales, and is continuing in a growth trajectory.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

Check Also

Fall Reunion 2023

True Value Celebrates 75 Years, Makes Pledge to Retailers During 2023 Fall Reunion

True Value celebrated its 75th anniversary and welcomed retailers to Houston with a resounding message …