Creating a giant of green cleaning products with a $22 budget
Eftyhis Vlahakis was born and raised at Chania. His dream was to become a doctor, but due to financial hurdles he was urged to leave Greece at the age of 17 to pursue a better life in the United States, with only 22 dollars in his pocket.
Although he had dreamed of becoming a doctor, he studied chemistry, while working as a waiter to support his daily needs. After graduation, he worked as a chemist for 10 years and his final release from this job inspired him to start up the leading company for environmentally friendly cleaning products Earth Friendly, owning currently 5 factories in the United States and Canada. Earth Friendly’s revenue exceeds in $0.5 billion dollars per year and the brand’s products are exported to Canada, America, England, Greece, Turkey, Taiwan and Japan.
In the United States, he was nicknamed Van and became best known as Van Vlahakis.
At the beginning, his business, located near the city of Chicago, produced cosmetic products, shampoos and lotions and cleaning products later on.
Despite Greece’s current financial crisis, Van Vlahakis’s next step in his future agenda is to set up a new factory in his hοmeland.
“In Greece, entrepreneurs must be given the chance to create new jobs. Therefore, the pro business plan must be implemented and generate new ideas and enterprises. Only then will there be growth”, Van Vlahakis stated in a former interview.
Vlahakis is also the owner of Progressive Solar, a photovoltaic systems producing company.
He also owns 50% of Paramyth Films production company, which has recently released the autobiographical feature film Green Story, following Van Vlahakis’s life course from the poor neighobourhoods of Crete to his present successful businessman icon status.
Read Van Vlahakis interview to ellines.com team