The Coast News Group
Store owner Samantha Simone arranges products inside The Nada Shop in Encinitas. Courtesy photo

North County woman opens first zero-waste refillery shop in Encinitas

ENCINITAS — The owner of a new refillery shop in downtown Encinitas, where customers can refill their household and body care products, said her aim is to cut down on single-use plastics and make it easier and more accessible for people to live a sustainable and conscious lifestyle.

The Nada Shop, a one-stop shop for zero waste, package-free living, opened in April and was started by 25-year-old Samantha Simone. She said she envisioned the shop and knew she had to move forward with it when she grew frustrated that there was nowhere to go to get good quality, everyday products for refill.

“I was really tired of single-use plastics for everyday items,” Simone said. “I wanted a place where these items could be refilled and a place that would make this type of lifestyle easier and more accessible to people.”

Customers can bring in their own containers or purchase bottles at the shop to fill up on everything from soaps and shampoos to deodorants and laundry detergent. Refill product is sold by the weighted ounce so containers are tared at the register, so shoppers don’t pay for the weight of their bottles.

The shop also carries popular zero-waste items such as reusable straws and coffee mugs and not-so-commonplace zero-waste items such as reusable paper towels and face wipes. Many products are consciously sourced and procured, from small batch artisan beauty products, to organic cotton bags, to straw holders with upcycled fabric.

“Every product has a story and a lifecycle before and after it reaches the consumer’s hands, and at the shop we strive to provide that transparency to our customers,” Simone said.

When possible Simone sources local, organic products that are good for people and the planet, but still work efficiently, such as Black + Berry, Raw Elements, and Simply Straws. The shop also carries popular eco-friendly brands such as Better Life, Fat & The Moon, and Biokleen.

Simone said she’s always had a passion for helping people and the environment and she knew early on she wanted to start a business that channels that energy and enthusiasm.

“I have this innate interest in helping people reach their full potential, and that gives me a lot of drive,” she said. “In college I was a part of various business organizations where I did a lot of workshop and event planning to help other students, like resume workshops and women in business panels.”

She said her interest in sustainability started after she took a few environmental courses in college and frequently traveled for her job.

Before opening The Nada Shop, Simone worked in management consulting for a boutique firm called West Monroe Partners. She said it was a great career path and equipped her with valuable skills and tools that have helped enormously in the process of starting a business.

She said during her time working in consulting, because it could be very stressful and demanding, she also became interested in holistic wellness. She worked with a group of colleagues to start a wellness program, which was dedicated to helping employees maintain a healthy balance in mind and body.

Having a balance remains important to her and is likely one reason The Nada Shop is closed on Mondays.

“I’m a firm believer in taking time for yourself to unplug and detach or you’ll get burnt out,” Simone said. “Until The Nada Shop grows into a team, I need at least one day to recharge.”

She said starting early next year, she’ll be adding a loyalty refill program for her customers.

The store has nothing but positive reviews on its Facebook page.

One reviewer, Caroline Vatterott, said in part: “Love everything that I’ve gotten from this store and highly recommend it for bulk products like Dr. Bronner’s as well!”

Another customer, Ronette Youmans, gave high praise, ending their review like this: “Every city and town should be lucky enough to have a store like this that supports our planet.”

Simone says most of her customers hear about the shop through word-of-mouth or friends, and she’s been happy with the response so far.

“The community has been super receptive to the concept, which is awesome and inspiring to witness,” she said.

The Nada Shop is open every Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is located in The Lumberyard, sandwiched between Blue Ribbon and JoJo’s Creamery.