Young La Mesa entrepreneur has a better environment ‘in the bag’
With all of life stretched before her, La Mesa native Lauren Cannon is like many other 21-year-olds. She wants to make a difference in the world, maybe one day live near the beach. She also admires her father, cherishing his attention and advice.
But Cannon stands out from other young ladies by already heading up her own business, Growcery Bags. According to the description on Cannon’s website, the cloth-made bags are “a sustainable alternative to plastic while keeping form, function, and style in mind. “
Starting when she was just seven years old, Cannon has always been environmentally conscious. “But it wasn’t until I saw the documentary “Bag It” about a year ago that I really began to fully understand the effects of plastic on the environment,” she said.
Once she learned how harmful petroleum based bags are on the environment, Cannon set out to ban the bags from her own life. She began carrying groceries out of the store in my arms. But she did not like the cheap reusable bags because they would often break even with a light load.
The ubiquitous plastic bags break easy and they lack style. Cannon decided to do something about the lack of available options and create a solution. The result was an attractive “Growcery Bag.”
By providing an alternative to plastic, Cannon believes, she is helping reduce the effects humans have on the planet.
“I can only hope that I have a small impact on the health of Earth, and help sustain the lives of all of God’s creatures through Growcery Bag,” she said.
Cannon’s business is a one-woman operation. She created the pattern for the bags, chose the fabric, sewed the bag and made the price tags. Beyond that, she balances the books, does the marketing and seeks out potential wholesale dea.ers. She does her own negotiation of wholesale sales, and shipping. When the need for production increases, Cannon plans on hiring employees to help keep up with demand.
“I foresee that happening within the next 6 months, God willing,” she said.
The next product Cannon wants to develop is a larger bag. As of now, she has created a medium and large bag. She would like the extra large bag that could double as catchall bag, good for taking to the beach or sports events.
Starting up micro businesses is nothing new to Cannon. She started doing so as a hobby when she was a young girl. “When I was 16 years old, I even fixed up an old VW bug. It still runs,” she said.
Cannon receives her greatest motivation from her father. He has been supportive of all of her businesses, including Cannon Scarves, Cannon Curb Painting and an attempt at an ice cream cart.
“This Growcery Bag business defines what I have always known Lauren to be. Dedicated, hardworking, and committed to her future,” said Jeff Cannon, her father.
Cannon’s mother, Mary Johanson, stands with her, too. “I’m very proud of Lauren for her courage and tenacity, but I’m not surprised by her perseverance,” Johanson said.
Following a basic tenet of successful people, Cannon receives new ideas and insights form at least one other person in the business world. She meets regularly for coffee with Rebecca Garcia, a friend and mentor.
“She is an amazing young woman who has an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Garcia.
Cannon has taken classes at Grossmont College where she has completed most of her general education. She also explored several subjects such as architecture, which she said opened her eyes about modern buildings, and she even ventured into engineering.
More than likely, Cannon said, she will pursue a business major. But the expenses at Point Loma Nazarene College, her first choice for a university, means that she will have to wait to finish her education.
“I’m already pretty busy with my business, so it’s best for me to stay with it, especially since I plan to expand,” Cannon said.
To find out more about Cannon and her Growcery Bags, go to www.usegrowcerybags.com.