The co-founder and CEO, whose zero-waste products keep plastic out of our oceans, shares her entrepreneurial journey.
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Sarah Paiji Yoo with Blueland products
Credit: Courtesy of Blueland

Have you ever wondered how to turn your dreams of owning your own business into a reality? We can help. Each week, as part of our Self Made series, we showcase female entrepreneurs—as well as their quality, handmade goods—and share their best advice related to starting, maintaining, and growing your own business.

When Sarah Paiji Yoo had her first child her whole world changed. Understandably so, but it wasn't just that she was adjusting to being a new mom. It's that in the process she was also inspired to begin building Blueland, an eco-friendly cleaning product company. "After giving birth to my oldest son, I was beginning the transition from exclusively breastfeeding to formula-feeding," she explains. "As I was doing research, I was horrified to learn how many microplastics are in both our tap water and bottled water and was shocked that I would have to use this water to make my son's baby formula." It was then that she decided to begin reducing her own plastic consumption, only to learn that it would be difficult given so many products she owned were packaged in single-use plastic. Realizing she could make a greater impact, Blueland was born.

Rethinking Clean

Blueland is a sustainable cleaning product company that was created with the idea that we really can have it all: a clean home, clean clothes, and a clean planet. The product roster includes cleaning sprays, soaps, laundry detergent, and dish soap, all of which are in reusable containers that only need to be purchased once in one of their all-inclusive kits such as The Clean Suite ($83, From there, customers only need the brand's nontoxic refills.

"Eco-friendly products often have the bad reputation of being less effective, more expensive, and more work," Yoo explained. "To maximize our environmental impact and how many households we could reach, it was important for us to flip eco on its head, and create products that are proven to be effective, money-saving with $2 tablet refills, and also very easy to use."

Blueland laundry products
Sarah Paiji Yoo of Blueland
Left: Credit: Courtesy of Blueland
Right: Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Paiji Yoo

Launching The Business

When Blueland launched in April 2019, it was Yoo's first foray into the cleaning product space. However, the serial entrepreneur is no stranger to starting from the ground up: Prior to founding her own company, she was involved in launching and operating several consumer brands like M. Gemi, Rockets of Awesome, and Follain.

From the looks of it, her experience was put to good use. "We frequently hear from our customers that Blueland is their first introduction and step towards leading a more planet-friendly lifestyle," says Yoo, "and how starting off their day using our hand soap inspires and reminds them to be more mindful in other areas of their lives like using a reusable coffee mug or bringing their reusable grocery bag to the store."

The Future of Blueland

Though the company focuses on cleaning products at the moment, according to Yoo, they're just getting started. As they continue their mission to eliminate single-use plastic by giving consumers easy, accessible options, the company also has their sight set on new product categories. "While we're starting with cleaning products, I would love for Blueland to one day be a global company with products across other categories like personal care, beauty, and possibly even packaged food and beverages," says Yoo. "The Blueland home will be filled with beautiful reusable containers that can be conveniently and affordably refilled."


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