Garbage never looked so good
November 24, 2009
Elaine Murray has lived in Park City for several years and knows how much fun people here have decorating their homes.
She remembers wanting everything in a room to correspond to her theme. Unfortunately, there was always one item that never did. Whether it’s toothbrushes, shoe horns or light switches, almost everything in a home is made in a variety of styles and colors to match the room except garbage sacks.
No matter how high-end a Deer Valley condominium might be, chances are its bathroom has a white or black Hefty sack or Albertsons grocery bag lining an otherwise chic waste bin.
For years it was merely a mild annoyance that made her curious: why wasn’t anyone selling garbage liners that matched rooms? Recently the idea kept returning to her as she sought a post-motherhood career.
For years, Murray was a recruiter for high-tech salespeople. With three children under age six, she wanted to return to work once her youngest was old enough for a baby-sitter, but she was no longer interested in a 9-to-5 desk job.
"I thought back to that product, and the more I thought about it the more I thought, ‘This is fun,’" she said.
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With help, support and encouragement from the Park City Moms, Murray decided to become the person to bring decorated garbage liners to the world.
Other local moms she knows through the group have provided or recommended many of the necessary services a small business needs to get started.
Her business name, Sweet Baguettes, plays with the word "bag," and her 15 four-gallon sacks in every unit of sale are packaged in baguette paper to create an unforgettable product, she explained.
"People get surprised at first, and then think, ‘yeah, why not?’" she said.
Right now, striving for mass appeal, Sweet Baguettes only come in three varieties: a blue and brown design that goes well with the "mountain contemporary" look that nearly every high-end home is designed with today, fairy princesses for girls and trucks for boys.
She’s been presenting the product on a limited scale, but expects to have mass distribution within the next six months. Depending on how fast she signs with carriers, Murray said she’ll begin creating new designs.
Friends have had a blast suggesting designs to her. Since it’s still a trash bag, a number of novelty designs have been suggested involving ex-boyfriends and disliked sports teams. She believes a mountainscape or moose design would do well here. Sweet Baguettes is still small, so more versions will come as the company grows, she said.
At a bazaar last week, Murray said they were a real crowd stopper. No one could walk past without checking them out because there isn’t anything else like them.
For that reason, Murray thinks they’d make the perfect gift. No one has them, yet everyone needs trash liners. It isn’t an item that collects dust anywhere.
"It’s turning a necessity into an accessory," Murray said.
She also believes they’re an item that is guaranteed to impress. What says attention to detail like specialty trash bags?
"It’s something completely different that will stand out," Murray said. "You change the whole theme of the room at a very reasonable price."