Interview with DEC Member Mary Beth Allen, Owner of Savvy Green LLC

Describe your background and projects.

With a life-long entrepreneurial spirit, I helped launch Savvy Green LLC, an award-winning “eco” household cleaning brand with domestic and international sales. Diverse in aspects of brand ownership, (product development, sourcing, export, certification, US & International trade shows, marketing, and more) is supported by my consulting business.

As owner of Savvy Green LLC and Mary Beth Allen Brand Marketing,  I am a brand owner and consultant for CPG (consumer product goods) startup companies in Strategy, Sourcing, Brand Building, Marketing, Amazon sales, and Imports/Exports.

My knowledge of export assistance opportunities includes taking advantage of the  US Commercial Service Gold Keys for Denmark and Germany and the Enterprise Florida Trade Event Grants in the UK and Hong Kong.

Over twenty years of corporate experience as a Divisional Vice President in Merchandising, Advertising/Marketing, and Product Development for Bradenton, Florida, based Beall’s  Department Stores set my foundation and path to brand ownership, import/export, e-commerce, and consulting.

Describe your ideal client.

Serving as the USA sales agent for a key client, Diversified Communications UK, as the means I promote exhibit space at the Natural & Organic Products EU Trade Event in London, the September Organic Food & Eco Living Iberia in Madrid, and the November 2021 Nordic Organic Food and Eco Living Fair in Malmo. This has been a fun way to meet many US Natural Products and Food Companies interested in exporting and exhibiting overseas for the first time. The UK show team is knowledgeable about doing business in the UK/EU and has made me a part of their team.

The London show is the premiere show for Natural & Organic products and a terrific first international show with massive growth in plant-based foods and natural beauty. I have signed many first-time brand owners and exporters and love sharing my experience and knowledge at this level. Since I have attended and exhibited with Savvy Green, I love the London show, working closely with Cheryl Withers in Commercial Service in London, Sandra Campbell in Clearwater, and Joseph Bell with Enterprise Florida to meet potential exhibitors.

Do you have favorite export markets?

The UK, EU, Hong Kong, China, and South Korea are favorites.

Describe your biggest export challenge and your solution.

At the Natural & Organic Products Shows, customers in the UK and Hong Kong became interested in buying Savvy Green. A well-known grocery chain was unwilling to handle our CIA (cash in advance) terms and asked for Net 60 upon receipt. As a smaller brand, we were concerned about lengthy shipping and overextending. The local Commercial Service Representative connected us to The Exim Bank. After the applications and nominal fees, our Purchase Orders with Protection Against Buyer Nonpayment and Export Credit Insurance enabled us to make the sales.

What do you like most about your work?

I love traveling to Trade Shows in the USA and internationally (in-person events should start in late summer or fall of 2021), focusing on Natural and Organic Products, Specialty and Plant-Based Foods, visiting friends, and practicing yoga. Trade events offer the ability to make lifelong friends from around the world!  I am a member of TBOWIT (Tampa Bay Organization of Women in International Trade), the North-Central Florida District Export Council, and Startup CPG for Global Development. I can’t wait to spend more time in England and Europe!

Do you have favorite countries?

England, Italy, Germany, China, Taiwan, Denmark, and Australia are favorites. I am looking forward to visiting Spain, Sweden, and Japan.

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