Guest Blogger:  Gillie from Ware in Asheville answers the question, "How do you choose what to carry in your store?"

Here at dip you know we love small stores more than anything, so it's with great joy that we bring Gillie here as a guest to our blog to explain how products like Dip arrive on the precious limited space on Ware's store shelves.  Take it  away Gillie!


Written by Gillie Roberts, owner of Ware

When someone learns that I own a store, one of the first questions is always something to the effect of, “how do you choose what to carry?” The implication is that there are *so many* options out there, how does one begin to whittle them down?

And, in fact, when I decided what Ware’s values would be and how it would support those goals, it removed most products on the market from my list of prospects.

At Ware, we look for products that check as many of these boxes as possible:

  1. It’s made with responsible use of environmental resources.
  2. It positively impact the lives of the humans who supported its production.
  3. It’s packaged minimally (if at all) and without plastic if feasible.
  4. It’s safe and healthy for humans to interact with it.
  5. It’s made as close to home as possible.
  6. It has branding that makes even people who don’t give a sh*t about sustainability want to use the product.
  7. It works at least as well as conventional counterparts – if not better.

That is a lot to ask of any one product.

It makes filling an entire store with products hard not because of too many options, but because there often aren’t enough. There are VERY few products on the market that check every single one of those boxes. If you haven’t seen the writing on the wall, I’ll get to the point.

We carry the Dip line because it is ALL OF THOSE THINGS and more.

Conditioner bars are one of those low-waste products that even seasoned sustainable shoppers will claim “just don’t work on my hair.” And then they try Dip conditioner bars and come to understand that there is as much variation in quality and efficacy in solid hair care as there is in liquid.

My job gets so much easier when I don’t have to convince people to make sacrifices in the name of sustainability.

Thanks to Kate (Dip’s founder), that’s not a conversation I have around shampoo and conditioner bars anymore.

For all of the reasons I’ve named here, Dip became one of our top 3 best-selling products within a few months of bringing it into the shop, and we’re not looking back.

If you own a refill shop, and you’re reading this, just place the first order. The icing on the cake is the way that Kate reinforces her love and support for independently owned, low-waste living shops at every turn.


Thank you so much Gillie.  It is a joy to work with you--and to call you our peer in sustainability.  Real sustainability--not that slap-a-leaf-on-a-green-box sustainability that ends up hurting the movement more than helping it.