Mary Beth Allen – Principal
After 25 years in retail merchandising and product development, Mary Allen launched an eco-friendly cleaning products company with her friend and yoga teacher, who invented the formulas in her kitchen. The cleaning products were earth-friendly, concentrated and powdered so they’d have a small carbon footprint. Mary wanted packaging to be sustainable, too, and won awards for her package design.
Mary set up production, transportation logistics and fulfillment for her brand. She placed the products in U.S. stores and other creative outlets, including summer camps that needed laundry products appropriate for sensitive skin. She set up an Amazon store to sell direct to consumers. And she found distributors for Europe and Asia at the trade shows where she now works as the U.S. representative, introducing brands to the opportunities that launched her product. The natural brand she founded still sells on Amazon, Zulily and in retailers around the world under the name Savvy Green.
Based on that experience, Mary found her skills in demand from others who had good ideas and valued her expertise and calm demeanor. She began consulting in 2018, working with LTA International Services in sourcing and brand development. She set up a system to handle international quotes and Amazon.com reviews for many leading brands in food & beverage products. Mary consulted in product development with Woolworth’s in Australia. She created Amazon A+ pages for clients including Joyful Bath Company and LemonAID, advising them on product descriptions, advertising keywords, pricing and more.
In 2020, she became the sole U.S. sales representative for Natural and Organic Products EU trade shows in London, Madrid and Malmo. She sold nearly a dozen eager brand owners into the April 2020 show in London, only to have it postponed by the pandemic. She looks forward to the shows resuming soon. In the meantime, she keeps her contacts fresh by serving on the team at Startup CPG and Florida’s District Export Council.
Mary’s product development experience came as a buyer, merchandise manager and as a Divisional Vice President for Bealls Department Store, one of the largest privately held retail companies in the U.S. She got her start with the May Company, making her first buying trip to New York City at age 21, and, before that, in the grocery stores her father owned in Jacksonville, Fla.