VOL. 130 | NO. 188 | Monday, September 28, 2015
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
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Greenbox Memphis Provides Packing Solution for Movers
LANCE WIEDOWER | Special to The Daily News
Melinda Pigors has had her fill of moving, or so it would seem.
Through the years, the Seattle native has traveled up and down the West Coast for college, jobs and family. After attending the University of San Diego, she took a job with FedEx Corp. where she had a sales territory covering Southern California. She met her husband, whose job at FedEx ultimately brought the couple to Memphis nine years ago.
Melinda Pigors owns Greenbox Memphis, a business she launched in January that rents reusable, plastic containers to people or businesses packing up for a move.
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
Pigors is no longer with FedEx, but she has used the experience with the global shipping giant to form an eco-friendly packing company, Greenbox Memphis.
Cardboard boxes are the typical storage container of choice for movers. Finding used ones might prove difficult, buying new ones can be expensive, and finding a use for them once finished can be cumbersome.
Enter Pigors and Greenbox Memphis, an online service that delivers sturdy, plastic moving boxes to the homes and offices of Memphians needing to pack up for a move.
“I’ve moved enough times to have a hundred boxes piled up in my house and what do you do with them,” she said. “There are just so many of them and you only need to use them once. You have to take them to a place to recycle, but what does recycled really mean? There is more energy being used to recycle this thing than the purpose of it.”
Prices start at $99 and include free delivery and pick up of the plastic boxes, which are offered for up to a week of use. Two weeks costs $129 and an additional week is an extra $30.
A package that is listed for an apartment up to 700 square feet includes 25 green boxes, a dolly, zip ties and labels.
The company only operates in the Memphis area. Pigors said a lot of apartment dwellers, specifically Downtowners, use the service, but she said Greenbox also has worked with seniors, homeowners and business owners.
“We are within Memphis and the greater Memphis area,” Pigors said. “We are here to serve the community, and make the drudgery of moving more fun and cheaper, faster, easier and greener. It’s making the job we all hate more fun.”
The ‘green’ in the company’s name is part of its mission. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and living on the West Coast where environmental movements are a way of life for a larger percentage of the population, Pigors said the idea of providing plastic boxes that can be reused 400 times instead of single-use cardboard boxes is important.
“That resonates with me growing up in Seattle,” she said. “It’s in my background to be mindful of resources. I love to hike. Those are things that I live for. They refuel me.”
Pigors believes the Memphis community wants a product that is environmentally friendly, as well. She said she is invigorated living in Memphis, where residents seem to have an interest in giving back to causes while taking pride in the city. And that includes paying attention to the city’s resources.
Pigors discovered the business model in urban areas such as Seattle and San Francisco as well as along the East Coast.
She began working on the idea in 2013, trying to determine whether to use a franchise or create her own business. She decided it was something she wanted to tackle head on, so she started the company in January.
Right now she runs the business with the help of her husband and daughter. She uses a facility to store the boxes and has a truck that she often drives herself to deliver the crates to customers.
Having a green company is important to Pigors, but it’s not the driving force. She said Greenbox Memphis serves an important purpose for companies with a green focus by giving them an environmentally friendly option for moving.
“But I haven’t targeted green movement people,” she said. “That will help but at the same time the service is just as beneficial for the non-green person. It’s like yoga. You don’t have to burn incense to enjoy yoga. I don’t want to pigeon hole myself as green.”