It seems unbelievable that 2016 has come and gone already!

As we take a look back, we are grateful for the many wonderful things that have happened, and we want to thank everyone that made 2016 such a remarkable year. As we start 2017 with great enthusiasm and excitement, we would like to share some of the extraordinary things that happened with Relan in 2016.

Most notably, we celebrated our five year anniversary, welcomed amazing new team members, grew our portfolio to include incredible NEW partners, and had some fabulous experiences as entrepreneurs.


Welcome to Relan

Relan welcomed several new team members in 2016. Amanda Stolle joined the team last February as Director of Operations. Coming to us with a design and “roller derby” background, Amanda rides her bike to work nearly every day (over 20 miles each way) through Minnesota’s extreme and unpredictable weather of rain, wind, and snow and sometimes a combination of all three! She was the perfect choice to help us grow Relan and promote our passion for sustainability and healthy living.

Molly Nicholson joined us as our marketing expert last August. Molly has a serious passion for analytics, social media, and pretty much all-things marketing. In less than 3 months, Molly doubled our blog following, put us in touch with some great organizations through social media, and has taught us more about analytics than we even knew existed! In her spare time, she plays the French horn with local bands and orchestras throughout the Twin Cities.

We are excited for all of our partners to meet everyone on our expanding Relan team!

Portfolio Partners

2016 also saw our partner list grow in a variety of categories. We worked with several professional sports teams including the Minnesota Wild, Indiana Pacers, and the Indiana Fever as well as for venues including the Barclays Center, Staples Center, LA Live,  and Rugby Athletics.

Minnesota Wild hockey bags

We are continually amazed at the beautiful banners that arrive from all corners of the country.  Some highlights include creating products for the theatre productions of Wicked, Cabaret, and the Blue Man Group of Chicago.  We loved being a part of the company’s sustainability mission and being able to upcycle the beautiful banners so that they could have a second life.

We formed a friendship with United Airlines at the Sustainable Brands conference last June and in October, United and Relan launched a fabulous new partnership program supporting the sustainability goals of United’s Eco-Skies online store where you can purchase luggage tags, saddle bags, and string backpacks


Watch the video filmed at Relan and aired on the United Website and YouTube channel.


We look forward to growing each of these relationships, and many more in 2017. 


As for Kari and me, we couldn’t be happier with all the great opportunities coming our way. Kari completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program last spring and was introduced to many new concepts, ideas, and individuals.

Kari also had the opportunity to travel throughout the country and educate college students and sustainability professionals by speaking on the topic of sustainability. She’s already planning more speaking engagements into 2017. Let her know if you want her to come speak at your organization.   

I had the exhilarating experience of speaking live on WCCO, Minnesota's CBS news station to promote the launch of ReUSE MN’s new website. We were also featured in Neal St. Anthony’s Minneapolis Star Tribune article which was picked up by the Associated Press and Miami Herald!


Together, Kari and I continued to develop our environmental and endangered species kids book series Mascot Warriors and our first sustainability book, You and the Future of Us.

I was busy designing new products for our clients, such as the hockey bag for the Minnesota Wild, and new products that will be ready for production in 2017. Watch for our product reveal on the Relan Blog soon!

We are definitely looking forward to an exciting 2017. We cannot wait to work with all of you again or to partner with you for the first time. Relan wants more companies to reach their goals of becoming a zero waste facility and together, we can make this world a better place for future generations. Contact us so we can work together in 2017 and beyond!

The CEO Corner is a Relan Blog series by our very own Della Simpson about living a green, happy, and healthy lifestyle from the inside out. Della is certified by YogaFit as a yoga instructor. Learn more about Della here.

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