We had the good fortune of connecting with Monique Figueiredo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monique, what do you attribute your success to?
Our partnerships. Compostable’s foundation is built on value-aligned partners. We cannot grow without ensuring their growth as well. This is how all company’s should be developed, to foster collaboration and mutual success. This creates an interconnected web within our communities that ensure diversity and resiliency.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Compostable is a compost pickup service operating in Los Angeles. As soon as a Compostable bin hits your doorstep, you’re making a difference. You’re positively impacting our local food system and helping to support community well-being, environmental resilience, and consumer empowerment. That’s my favorite part of Compostable: it’s designed to be truly sustainable. Sustainability has become a diluted topic – greenwashed for profit. However, you can see through that if you understand the core of sustainability, which is to create a prospering world for future generations. This requires acknowledging and uplifting the intersection between equity, environment, and economy. No decision can be made without first considering its impact in all three of these areas. That’s the standard we have set for ourselves, and honestly, for me, there is no greater joy than knowing I’m working to leave this world and its inhabitants in a happier space. To make this a reality, I have to trust those I have strategically brought into my professional life. They share these values, and so together we can create a beautifully impactful company. This can’t be done alone, and why should it be – community and joy are meant to be shared!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My cousin, Jill, did this for me when I moved here, and she should just be a tour guide. I swear she missed her calling. One of my favorites of these outings was a mini Venice tour. I live on the westside, and to me there is nothing more uniquely SoCal than Venice. So this is what I recommend (adopted from Jill): Beach day near the Venice Pier/Marina del Rey. It’s a little quieter down that way, less tourists so less crowds. After a couple of hours, move up to Washington Blvd for a burger and beer at Hinano’s. Then stretch your legs while strolling the Venice Canals. It’s peaceful back there, perfect respite after a busy bar scene. The canals will lead you out either towards Abbot Kinney for those that like shopping, or the Venice boardwalk. I would go the boardwalk way to grab an ice cream and people watch near the skate park. Maybe you do a little shopping on the boardwalk, but eventually you end up at Larry’s for happy hour. And you are going to make that happy hour last, because Townhouse has a burlesque show on Wednesday nights… but that doesn’t get going until late. So kill some time enjoying sunset on the roof of Hotel Erwin. Not here on a Wednesday? Well then just head down to the Santa Monica pier to catch sunset on a ferris wheel before seeing a show at Harvelle’s. It’s Los Angeles – there’s always something!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are countless people that helped me believe in Compostable enough to get it off the ground. Yet, three individuals, in particular, stand out in my mind at the moment.
My old roommate, Joe Wight, was the first person to show me just how easy it was to compost. He casually kicked aside that initial intimidation barrier. It was as simple as him saying “this is what we do here” when I moved in, and I haven’t stopped since. Every decision we make in our lives starts with awareness – with even knowing something different is possible. And so Joe was the catalyst for every composting decision I have made since.
Well, I was still completely lost in my professional world. I had worked in the mental health industry for 8 years and knew it was time for that part of my life to end. Great… now what? A friend had suggested the UCLA Extension Sustainability program, but was I really about to drop a whole bunch of money just after moving to LA? Yes… because of Gina Simonelli. Gina knew I was worthy investment and was on a mission to convince me of my own self-worth. The money spent on this program would be money spent on my future, and what better way to spend money?! So, I enrolled in the program that would eventually lead to Compostable’s business plan.
Awesome – I love composting, I’ve placed a winning bet on my future – good work, Joe & Gina. Oh, wait… I have no idea how to run a business. The initial part of business development requires creativity and decisiveness. The Libra making spreadsheets should probably just peace out, right? Well, my friend and website developer, Adam Arlit, was unknowingly about to hold my hand for 6 months while I tried walking in that arena for the first time. He had his own business to run, and yet never hesitated to be my sounding board. I mean, never in his life did Adam expect he would so closely understand the woes of finding a perfect bucket, but he heard it all. The beauty of these three individuals, as so many others that helped along the way, is that they contributed so passively, yet sincerely, that I doubt they even know what an effect it had on me.
Taken by me, no credit needed. It would only let me upload 4. I very rarely take horizontal photos… so I couldn’t really find many. I have another 3-4 I could send over, but couldn’t upload here for some reason.