Our History: HERstory
1980: Cheryl began working with textiles for a national sportswear manufacturer. Naturally, she had a preference for natural fibers such as cotton and linen. Organic cotton to the industry was not yet available.
1988: Met her future husband, the neighborhood eco-warrior and recycling coordinator who also was involved with solar energy. This was the grassroots era of green living where recycling programs, CF bulbs and non-toxic cleaners were only embraced by so-called "treehuggers" like Cheryl & her husband. Times have changed!
1989: Began researching eco-friendly choices and green living products. Trade shows, vendor relations and product sampling underway.
1990: One-year honeymoon cross-country trip was enjoyed while also taking notes, visiting suppliers and developing a business plan.
1991: After two years of research and sourcing vendors, Cheryl and Richard officially opened for business... Tomorrow's World, a retail store located in Hampton Roads. A crop of eco stores opened across the country during this time-frame.
1992: Made the decision to "Go National". One of the first eco-stores in America to offer organic cotton apparel & bedding nationwide through print catalog. Yeah, the paper stuff. Nobody heard of "www" yet.
1993: Featured in the first "eco" home debuting at Homearama. The press couldn't get enough of us in these early years, our business was so unique with hard-to-find products.
1997: Launched online website store. Created custom-cart; E-commerce in its infancy. Lycos search engine only displays www.tomorrowsworld.com when searching for environmentally-friendly products. There were no online competitors yet. There was no Google.
1998: Moves to large warehouse location with emphasis on national sales; retail presence in Hampton Roads is minimized.
1999: Begin producing and manufacturing assorted organic comfort soft-goods under the label Tom's Greenthumb.
2000: Cheryl and Richard establish a second business "Blue Marble & Sun LLC" and purchase the shopping center where Tomorrow's World is located. The building is in dire need of restoration and repair.
2001: Celebrates ten-years in business. One of the few green stores remaining from the crop in the early 90's, however the world-wide-web creates a surge of new "virtual stores". Richard leaves Tomorrow's World to manage Blue Marble & Sun. Cheryl assumes full ownership of Environmental Resource Outlet Inc. - the corporate entity of Tomorrow's World.
2002: Under Cheryl's direction, the business changes to slowly purge out the offering of "everything eco". With Richard's departure she also eliminates wind and solar energy consultations and installations, choosing to focus on her specialty of expertise in textiles and soft-goods.
2004: As more eco-friendly goods become available everywhere, Tomorrow's World begins using new name "Organic Comfort Zone" to focus on comfort products made from organic materials. Moves to a larger location with a spacious second-floor CozyPure organic mattress showroom to better accommodate the ever-increasing amount of out-of-town customers who visit.
2005: The label Tom's Greenthumb is replaced with EcoAveUsa, representing our eco-smart apparel and home textiles made in the USA.
2006: We receive the official government registered trademark for CozyPureŽ - our specialty brand of organic mattress and organic bedding collection.
2007: Hampton Roads is beginning to turn a little more "green"; retail doors are opened to the area once again. We officially take the name "Organic Comfort Zone" as manufacturers and as the gateway to our brands and retail shopping.
2008: Another move to a larger location with 3x more production space. Retail presence enhanced as the anchor-store on the corner of shopping center. Separate room created with privacy for organic mattress visitors. Green energy is incorporated and generated. Small window in retail store allows visitors to peek into our production department. Wholesale program developed for select retailers.