Earthy

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In 1980, John Vlahakis graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in communication studies and political science. He joined the family business, Venus Laboratories, Inc., a manufacturer of industrial cleaning products. He later attended Northwestern’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, which helped him hone his entrepreneurial skills. He graduated from Kellogg in 1985 with a Master of Management degree in marketing, transportation and organizational behavior.

In 1990, John applied his education and experience in the family business to his interest in the environment. Under Venus Labs, he launched environmentally safe cleaning products to the industrial and institutional marketplace. While that generated some interest, the mainstream consumer was still missing from the environmental equation.

In 1993 he launched Earth Friendly Products and decided to sell his products in the retail arena. He started with just four non-toxic cleaning products.

Throughout the company’s growth, John has been supported by his wife, Stephanie, and his three children. All family members took up the interest in the environment when they were building their new, environmentally friendly house several years ago, especially when selecting non-toxic paints and other building materials.