Julie’s Green Light: A digest of the latest green news in North Texas Feb 4, 2013.   This week assistant editor Julie Thibodeaux reports on: • Gecko Hardware to Open in Dallas • The Greener Good in Fort Worth to Close


If I Had a Green Hammer
A green hardware store is coming to town. Andrea Ridout, eco-friendly Dallas radio host of Ask Andrea on 1190 AM, is launching Gecko Hardware with partners Jennifer Stuart and Zach Montgomery. The store, featuring environmentally friendly home improvement products, is set to open in a Lake Highlands shopping center on Earth Day, April 22. 

Prior to her career in radio, Ridout worked in the hardware business in the 1980s and 1990s. Over the years, she became a green living convert but found she couldn’t always find the items she was looking for. “If you want to adopt a green lifestyle, where do you get this stuff?” In recent years, the former host for Mother Earth News Radio and reporter for Neil Sperry’s TV show “Dig in DFW,” had a epiphany as radio advertising declined. Her hardware experience combined with her passion for green living made her the perfect person to fill the green retail void.

The 15,000-square-foot store will be part of the True Value hardware system and will carry many of its traditional products at competitive prices. However, Ridout said they plan to offer green versions of items, along with organic gardening supplies, composters, rain barrels, solar panels and possibly small windmills. Ridout said she hopes the business will serve as an eco-friendly hub with classes in sustainable living, a working beehive on the property, a coffee and juice bar and a pair of chickens serving as greeters.

The store will be located at 10233 E. Northwest Highway in Dallas. According to Ridout, they are already looking at a second location. “We have a fun energetic group,” she said. “It’s just going to be a blast.” See www.geckohardware.com or keep up with them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GeckoHardware.

Green Finale
While green Dallasites were reveling over the news of Gecko Hardware opening, sad news came in last week when The Greener Good in Fort Worth announced it was closing. The store has been a green oasis in Tarrant County as one of the few places shoppers could find environmentally friendly children’s items, housewares, accessories and clothing.

Liz Johnston founded the store as an online business in 2009, opening a storefront on west Camp Bowie later that year. In 2010, they moved to the trendy Seventh Street shopping district near downtown. Despite its prime location, the business struggled last summer. They had hoped to make up sales over the holidays, but couldn’t catch up. While her family and business partners were supportive through tough times, Johnston admitted she had not taken a salary since the store opened. “That takes a toll on you,” she said.

They do not yet have a firm closing date yet. They are still considering whether they will keep their online store open. Johnston, who devoted herself to the business for three years, admits she’s looking for another worthy endeavor to throw herself into.  “My husband’s terrified,” she joked.

The Greener Good will be offering store closing sales in the coming weeks.
Visit www.thegreenergood.com.

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