Feisty Debbie Foster first launched her all-things-organic business in 2004 by setting out her modest inventory on three card tables inside a Morristown health food shop, next to the frozen food aisle. “It was really cold sitting there every day,” she reminisces. “That little space gave new meaning to the concept of starting small.”
Today, the Organic Nest, the smart Bernardsville shop she opened in 2006, is brimming with eco-friendly, hypoallergenic bedding, spa robes, ultra-soft baby clothes and toys, botanical soaps, lotions, gift baskets, and even a bridal and baby registry. A longtime proponent of fair trade and the organic-cotton movement, Foster calls her business “feel-good retail.”
“I’m focused on products that are safe for my fellow New Jerseyans, and I especially look for 100 percent organic items made in our state,” she says. To that end, Foster just launched her own line of all-natural pillows. “This business is like a dream come true,” adds the entrepreneur who, as a little girl, used to play store with her mom’s canned goods and a make-believe cash register.
Foster’s passion for sustainable products began 23 years ago when she became a mother. Over the years, she has walked the walk by creating a sustainable environment in her own home, and by developing the organic-lunch program and vegetable garden for the Unity Charter School in Morristown.