Life is not about making money, says 19-year-old Julianna Keeling, founder of the bioplastic manufacturing plant, Terravive. Since her days as a child, Juliana had always been fascinated by the possibility of a clean greener earth. Among her most cherished principles is one to cherish and respect other people and the natural environment.
Juliana used her love for the environment and made it a profitable business. Her company now sells degradable plastic that breaks down much like plants and animals. Through Terravive, she has managed to reach out to hundreds of thousands of environmentally conscious customers.
The idea of biodegradables came to Keeling in 2015 while still a first-year student at Washington and Lee. Upon her acceptance at the Henrico County STEM specialty program for a project working with methylcellulose, she realized the possibility of manipulating naturally occurring materials that would be as good as plastics
Her company Terravive supplies a large variety of products from cutlery, cups, and bowls, to food bags, adhesive tapes, and industrial films. With a reasonably long shelf life, Keeling’s products last for 90 days. With a fast-growing reception, Terravive is slowly becoming the leading supplier of green biodegradable products. Keeling has her eyes set on establishing a brand bent on providing products beneficial to both the consumer and the environment
During her sophomore years, Juliana took a break from school to focus on her production work in San Francisco. It was there where she learned the principles that laid a foundation for her company. Her stay was dotted with learning from big manufacturers like PepsiCo on how to maintain and sustain corporate disposal expenditures. Upon returning to school, Keeling started Terravive among other start-ups and was to be among the few accepted into the much-coveted Target Incubator program that soared the business to greater heights
Keeling is now working with another incubator program, Lighthouse Labs that helps her develop her Terravive brand and provide materials for her business’ sustainable growth. Recently she enlisted the services of experienced entrepreneur and mechanical engineer Joe Swider into her payroll as her COO.
Keeling is fully involved in her business, with her being included in the daily running of tasks like distribution daily. She also focuses on running marketing and sales of her products with a vision to push her brand and her product’s positive effect on the environment.
Juliana’s story is about how a young girl took her passion for saving the planet and turned it into an innovative company supplying biodegradable plastics and accessories
This post was originally published on The Picayune Current