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Kristi Reimers, owner of Eco Carmel, sits on a bed made from organic materials. The bed frame and cabinetry are made from reclaimed wood. Reimers has had a goal of opening a store for 10 years, and believes now is a good time.
The goods Kristi Reimers sells in her Carmel shop range from paint to mattresses to baby supplies, but they have one thing in common — they're environmentally friendly.

"It's a green general store," said Reimers, 35, who opened Eco Carmel this month on San Carlos Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues in Stonehouse Terrace, a building in which her grandparents once lived.

Reimers has had a goal of opening a store for 10 years, and believes now is a good time.

"Everybody is so conscious of the environment," said Reimers, who has long been concerned about preserving the environment. She credits some of that to her Dutch-born mother, and an aunt and uncle in Holland.

"They're very health-oriented."

Reimers, who grew up in Carmel Valley, said she "decided on my own to be a vegetarian at 13."

Much of her professional experience has been in spa management — she worked in London and was assistant manager of the spa at the Monterey Plaza Hotel.

Reimers said she has educated herself about green issues and spent eight months researching what items to carry in her store.

Paint is a fifth of her business, said Reimers, whose one employee is Richard Phillips, who mixes paints.

For interior and exterior jobs, she carries Mythic Paint, which she said is is the world's first high-performance, zero-toxin, zero-volatile organic compound paint. She carries products from The Real Milk Paint Company for furniture and Clay Paint for those who want a plaster look. Reimers worked with Paul and Debbie Sek of T. Paul Sek Painting in Santa Cruz, which emphasizes green products.

Before she stocked her green paints, stains and related products, Reimers used them to make the improvements to her 1,400-square-foot store. She used water-based stains inside and out, and "all the display furniture is from reclaimed wood."

Reimers made trips to the closest green stores she could find, in Santa Cruz and Menlo Park, before opening Eco Carmel. One thing she didn't see were signs telling the benefits of the products on display, so she has "eco tip" signs around her store.

On price, "I'm certainly not going to compete with Target," Reimers said.

Her prices are competitive with good-quality products, she said. "My paint is the same price as Benjamin Moore, which is a quality paint."

Other products Reimers is spotlighting include Holy Lamb Organics, which uses Premium Eco-Wool and organic cotton fabric for linens and bedding; People Towels, a reusable hand towel; Gro-Via baby products; and Savvy Rest Organic Mattresses.

Lane Wallace can be reached at 646-4478 or mhbusiness@montereyherald.com.


If you go
·What: Eco Carmel
·Where: On San Carlos Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues.
·Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
·Contact: 277-0173, ecocarmel.com.