Who They Are
What would make two Portland natives, both with successful corporate careers, drop everything and start something new? Perhaps a revolutionary idea for a company, one that would take a material little known to the western world and change the sustainable home game forever? Yes, exactly that. And then some.
Picture this: It’s pre 2000’s and Jeff Dalkin and Rachel Speth, the co-founders of bambu, were living in Asia and working corporate jobs. Surrounded by such new settings, they discovered an eco-friendly, sustainable and versatile material they loved: bamboo. Immediately, the two began thinking bamboo was the next sustainable business breakthrough, but they had some questions: Can we create a profitable business that gives people not only affordable but quality products? And, can we do this using renewable materials while also reducing our reliance on plastic? With this in mind, the duo set out to learn everything there was to know about the wonders of bamboo.
During this time, Jeff kept his job at Ogilvy while Rachel resigned from her job at Nike. In 2003, after years of prepping, researching, and refining, bambu was finally ready for the real world! After two years of business, Jeff and Rachel moved from Thailand to Shanghai, China to source their bamboo locally, as well as employing their factories with local workers. Jeff soon thereafter left Ogilvy and the two put everything they had into bambu.
At bambu, they like to say “Everything matters”–and they mean it. From business decisions to customer care to their local employees, bambu strives to do the best they can every step of the way. Today, bambu is and continues to be a pioneer for bamboo manufacturing and sustainable home goods.