By Christine Hill
Discover recycled, local and artisanal products at The Greener Life Market. This community-oriented “Made in KC” shop is proving that it’s more than just another Lee’s Summit store.
“My mission is to educate the world on going green, and to make going green easy,” says Gabriella Sanders, owner at The Greener Life Market.
Sanders does that and more in a store filled with natural, recycled and biodegradable products. From handbags made from recycled yoga mats, natural toiletries, cleaning supplies, jewelry and decorations, the store always has something trendy and unique to offer environmentally conscious shoppers.
The majority of products at The Greener Life Market are one of a kind, not mass-produced, and all have some type of green aspect. Many of the market’s products are made by artists who use handmade recycled items to create functional works of art. There are also some sustainable factory-made items.
However, a green shopping experience is not the only thing The Greener Life Market has to offer. Since opening last August, the market has already established itself as a positive educational force in the Lee’s Summit community.
Every first Saturday of the month, The Greener Life holds Recycling 101 classes for children ages four and up for $3 per child at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The classes teach the basics of recycling and help foster it as a lifelong practice. Kids learn how and why they should recycle and create a recycled craft during the class.
“We always do crafts, and we always use recycled materials for whatever craft we come up with,” said Sanders.
Sewing, crochet and other crafting classes for kids are offered as summer camps starting in July.
Sanders is dedicated to keeping kids active by offering fun productive classes throughout the year.
“During spring break, Thanksgiving break or Christmas break, we always have some type of activity going on,” she said.
Kids birthday parties are a popular personalized event at The Greener Life as well. The child and parents pick their birthday craft, which is then approved by Sanders before the event. Parents often use Pinterest as inspiration for their party’s craft, and talk with Sanders about how to make their idea happen.
“I always encourage moms to pick something where the kids can learn a skill,” said Sanders.
Whether the party consists of decoupage, making jewelry, braiding bracelets or countless other craft ideas, kids will have a green, fun and educational way to spend a birthday. Birthday parties are $50 for a group of 10, with additional supply fees depending on what craft is chosen.
The Greener Life Market also participates in local events geared towards the whole family including the monthly Downtown Lee’s Summit Fourth Friday’s when shops are open from 5 – 9 p.m. to showcase art, theatre events,and music in the Downtown Lee’s Summit area. The Greener Life Market will also host Happy Hour Henna parties for free henna body art from 5 – 6 p.m. every Thursday in July.
The family-oriented events and atmosphere at The Greener Life Market stem from its origins as a family business. The idea for the market began when Sanders and her sister-in-law started making vinyl handbags from billboard material that is usually ends up in the landfill. After participating in art shows, and filling notebooks full of green ideas, the concept for The Greener Life Market was born.
“While I was doing art shows, I saw a variety of places around the country and the Midwest and my idea just started with my obsession with recycling.”
Sanders saw the need for a green store in her community and decided to start the metro’s first green shop.
The Greener Life Market is located at 227 SE Douglas St Lee’s Summit, MO, and is open from 12 – 5 p.m. on Mondays and 10 – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.