By Diane Mastrull
The Philadelphia Inquirer
As a mother-to-be in 2008, Jayme Bella had a lot going on in her life. A nor’easter that left her North Jersey home flooded and infested with flying insects only added to the chaos.
And then, it set her on a course to entrepreneurship.
Now living in Langhorne, Bella is the mother of two and chief operating officer of Greener Days L.L.C., founded in 2010 with her parents, Alan and Sharon Neiburg. The company’s Greenerways Organic Bug Spray has garnered national and international sales and interest from QVC. There is a plan to launch a hand-and-surface spray cleaner in early 2014.
Greenerways Organic also has ongoing research and development for a biodegradable organic hand-and-surface wipe, as well as what is believed would be the first certified-organic baby wipe.
“It was serendipity,” Bella, 34, said of that nor’easter, which sent her out in search of an organic spray to kill the mosquitoes that had become part of her soggy home. “Everything we found was filled with chemicals and DEET.”
An article in National Geographic about essential oils and their medicinal uses provided the spark for Greenerways. When the citronella Bella planted in her North Jersey backyard helped address the post-storm mosquitoes, she asked her parents about going into the organic bug spray business.
Alan Neiburg, 67, had spent 33 years selling medical/surgical supplies. His grandchildren, who now total four, were his motivation for stepping out of retirement and into the organic-products business.
For his wife, it was the grandchildren, plus what she noticed in her teaching career — “all the sicknesses that go on and all the allergies that have been prevalent,” said Sharon Neiburg, 61, a retired literacy coach for the Neshaminy School District and now a facilitator for the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Literacy Network.