GDiapers stays on independent path
By Wendy Culverwell
Jason and Kim Graham-Nye, founders of Portland-based gDiapers, have decided to remain independent rather than selling the business.
Kim and Jason Graham-Nye moved to Portland from Australia to create a business they could eventually sell.
On Wednesday, the Graham-Nyes said they’ve decided not to sell gDiapers, the company formed in 2005 to commercialize flushable, compostable diaper products.
“We’ve made a decision that we’re committed to this business,” Kim Graham-Nye told about 200 people at a Portland Business Journal Power Breakfast.
GDiapers are sold online and in groceries and other outlets in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., France and other European countries. More than half of its business is conducted through websites such as Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
The Graham-Nyes said they recently abandoned their original exit strategy after realizing that gDiapers is such a reflection of their values they can’t bear to part with it. (The company was last year selected by Sustainable Business Oregon as an award recipient for Innovation in a Sustainable Product.)
Signaling their commitment to long-term ownership, the Graham-Nyes registered gDiapers as a Beneficial Corporation or B Corp., a voluntary program that holds companies accountable to employees, customers, the environment and other stakeholders, not just investors. Becoming a B Corp. wasn’t an entirely popular move with the company’s original funders.
“It took a couple of years and some shareholders not being there anymore to get it done,” Jason Graham-Nye said.
It’s a far cry from the company the couple — he’s from Australia and she’s from Canada — formed seven years ago with investor capital and an exit strategy that involved selling for a “bucket load” of money and going home to Sydney, where they still own their home.
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