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Meet The Disruptors: Jonathan Nussbaum of ‘Greentouch Home’ On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

The main piece of advice that has stuck with me is to have confidence in what your capabilities are on a personal and professional level.

With this in mind, I was able to build a successful company from the ground up. Greentouch Home was built from hard work and determination to get the job done. As I mentioned before I was paying my employees through PayPal and credit card withdrawals. Fast-forward to today, Greentouch Home has a joint venture with big names and is incredibly successful.

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan Nussbaum.

A North Miami native, Jonathan Nussbaum attended the University of Miami before settling full time in the sunshine state to raise his son Sebastian and build his reputation in the home space with his booming businesses — O3waterworksTM and Greentouch Home®.

Greentouch Home is a leader in the in the custom home furnishings space producing premium on-trend designs and products — Jonathan channeled his rich history of manufacturing experience, design and global sourcing to cultivate some of the most established partnerships to date with the likes of the Kathy Ireland, Ellen DeGeneres and more, to offer customizable home collections needed for enhancing new and existing spaces.

Additionally, In 2018 Jonathan launched O3waterworks — an innovative company that disrupts the cleaning industry with products that are improving the sanitizing space and the planet such as the celeb-favored Sanitizing Spray Bottle and Aqueous Ozone Laundry Attachment. Both products utilize Aqueous Ozone — a safer alternative to the countless toxic cleaning products stored in our homes.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Once I graduated from the University of Miami, I began working with my father in his line of business; home furnishings. As a sales representative, I quickly learned the business and together we sold to major retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Kmart.

Through the years, I became successful as a sales representative and after much self reflection, decided to embark on my own journey and focus on a completely new venture in the electric fireplace and bathroom vanity space. I was tasked with handling the bulk of the business for the entire country across the majority of their top accounts. Eventually, I shifted my sales efforts to Lowe’s where at the height of my sales career I was well outperforming expectations by the numbers, which led the owners to sell Lowe’s into private equity.

In 2013, I decided to make a career change — I left the sales business to start a version of what would become Greentouch Home. Greentouch Home is the leader in custom home furnishings (based in North Carolina, the Mecca of furniture) producing premium on-trend designs and products that combine aesthetics with functional design that are attainable to all consumers. Within a year, I ran through all of my savings until I had under $200 in my checking account. I had to pay employees through PayPal and credit card withdrawals until the light at the end of the tunnel appeared in September of 2014 when I was able to cultivate my professional relationships to secure business with Lowe’s. To date, Greentouch Home has produced over $140 million in revenue and is home to over 70 employees with manufacturing hubs in China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia. The success I have had with Greentouch Home over the years led me to invest my time and resources into my latest venture, O3waterworks.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

I want to start by asking you a question — how do you define clean? The general population associates clean with the aroma of bleaches, chemicals, detergents and artificial fragrances; what they don’t know is that the smell is actually caused by toxic chemicals and properties. We’ve been programmed by commercials and advertising to believe that this scent is “clean” when in reality clean doesn’t smell anything like that.

With O3waterworks, I set out with a vision to develop safe, easy, effective and environmentally friendly technologies for the home, inspired by processes found in nature with just one button. Ozone cleaning technology has been around for generations and most consumers have been using ozone in many areas of their lives for years probably without even realizing it. Specifically, the products we have produced are the Sanitizing Spray Bottle and the Aqueous Ozone Laundry Attachment so that the consumer can clean their homes and clothes in a non-toxic way.

It is also important to mention the sustainability factors that makes O3waterworks such a green company — each product eliminates the need for single use plastics, whether it is getting rid of the need for a ton of cleaning sprays, wipes or detergent. Greentouch Home has taken a similar route in that all our products are shipped in green packaging to reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

What I once thought was my biggest mistake turned out to be my biggest success. While it was not funny at the time, the thought of giving up makes me laugh because it is not in my DNA.

One of the most challenging moments in my life was when I made the decision to bet on myself and leave my lucrative sales position and start a business on my own, Greentouch Home. At the end of the day Greentouch Home has turned out to be my biggest success story but not without first draining my bank account and copious amounts of uncertainty in my professional life. It’s important to stick with it and forge on even when times seem uncertain.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

My first mentor was my father, as I mentioned we were in business together for many years before I went my own way to build Greentouch Home. I think it is extremely important to recognize how much you can learn from watching someone’s success but also their failures. I will always appreciate that time I had to learn from him.

While having a mentor can be great, It is equally as important to have an inspiration — my 4-year-old son is my inspiration and I am constantly looking for new ways to improve his life and clean up after him. My son was a major factor in my decision to invest in O3waterworks — producing products with the intention to clean up after children, pets and family without traces of harmful chemicals, which can cause serious health issues.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

In any industry there will be significant challenges when introducing new technology to consumers, especially one that requires a scientific explanation. Consumers will ask — how can sanitizer come from tap water?

In addition to this speculation, we tend to experience challenges because the general consumer has been conditioned to associate clean with the smell of chemicals or bleach when really clean doesn’t actually have a smell at all, only the harmful chemicals and artificial deodorizers have a smell.

When you disrupt an industry, you’re able to educate your consumer in a different way — genuinely believing and understanding the product and the space you can create a high level of transparency with your employees and the consumer. That is what sets us apart, many brands that contain toxic ingredients just avoid discussing them.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

The main piece of advice that has stuck with me is to have confidence in what your capabilities are on a personal and professional level.

With this in mind, I was able to build a successful company from the ground up. Greentouch Home was built from hard work and determination to get the job done. As I mentioned before I was paying my employees through PayPal and credit card withdrawals. Fast-forward to today, Greentouch Home has a joint venture with big names and is incredibly successful.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

I like to think of myself as an incredible visionary. I am able to see the big picture from start to finish in a business atmosphere. Not only that, but I can project growth and industry trends to get ahead and stay ahead of the curve — I am constantly researching new investment opportunities in industries that might have a void or gap that I can step in and fill.

A gap I recently noticed is in the wearable technology market… take that as a hint for what is coming up next!

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

I’m an avid Howard Stern listener — It is less about his advice and content and more about his mentality. I believe in being honest and forthright in business and life in general. I find that being that way is a recipe for success, having a level of transparency with everyone from partners to employees to consumers is always beneficial.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

While it is very short and sweet — I always loved the phrase never give up and always give back. It is instilled in me and something that I share with my son Sebastian.

I am always looking to improve the lives of others around me and give back. I am very involved in the local Miami community — and have created a non-profit called The Big Serve, founded to help children in need through tennis.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

You never know what your small idea can trigger — it is a domino effect.

I grew up playing tennis and know that not everyone can be so lucky to get to play it. That is why I started the non-profit The Big Serve. This organization is designed to help inner-city and underprivileged kids get access to tennis courts, equipment, etc. that they otherwise wouldn’t. While this endeavor is not going to change the world, it’s all about starting somewhere and knowing that you are making a difference even if it is only for one person. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a change in a child and giving them opportunities.

How can our readers follow you online? *in addition to @O3waterworks on Instagram — any personal accounts you would like to include.

Instagram:

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman

Author | Speaker | Financial Guru | Podcast Rockstar

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