Rogue Wave: A small business fighting plastic pollution with … – The Business Journals

Keya Rivera, Editorial Intern – Pacific Business News
Aug 24, 2023, 9:20am EDT Updated: Aug 24, 2023, 10:35am EDT
Kate Reimann of Rogue Wave
Kate Reimann of Rogue Wave

In response to global plastic pollution, mom and entrepreneur Kate Reimann, founded Rogue Wave, a compostable beach toy and apparel business with a mission to make the world’s oceans plastic-free, reduce the use of fossil fuels and create better products with better materials.
“I was actually inspired by a day at the beach with my kids. We had conventional plastic beach toys, like every other family,” she said in an interview with Pacific Business New. “This rogue wave came in and swept my kids’ toys out into the ocean. I remember thinking, ‘There’s no way I’m going to participate in the plastic pollution problem we have.’ I was frantic, trying to get all these toys back out of the ocean, and I had this moment like, ‘What are we doing? We’re bringing these products we know are made from pollutants with us.’”
It was then that Reimann realized the need for better choices, she told PBN. She moved to Hawaii in 2017 and later started her business. Funding to start the manufacturing process came in March 2020, during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Reimann faced a slew of challenges starting out, including product shortages, delivery delays, and a lack of cardboard boxes for shipping, among others. 
“It was interesting, because when I told people in [Washington] D.C. that I was trying to start a compostable beach toy business and they were like confused by that,” Reimann said. “But when we moved here, people were really supportive of it because you can see the effects on the shoreline, the effects of our plastic use – I mean it’s everywhere. So it was really interesting to see the difference in the reception of the business idea.” 
The business was then put on hiatus for two years during the pandemic, after the death of her mother.
She sent an email to notify Rogue Wave customers who had preordered the compostable beach toys. Her clients showed loyalty and support by refusing the refund and encouraged her to continue her efforts and launch the environmentally friendly product.
Inspired anew, Reimann worked with BioTech research company ALGLIX INC. to develop a plant-based material suitable for injection molding. Through trial and error, she created a proprietary material made up of sugar beet, corn starch, cassava, and other ingredients, for her patent-pending beach toys, available for purchase here.
“We’re hoping to reach anyone who’s concerned about the way their consumer habits affect the environment, now and in the future – specifically parents and families,” she said about her targeted demographic. 
Reimann says she plans on patenting the Rogue Wave biodegradable material and selling it to other businesses that want to practice sustainability sometime in the future.
“I would like our consumers to be educated in their choice,” Reimann added. “That is power, when you have the ability to make better decisions.”
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“Rather than chalk up the disruption to any sort of failure against my original goal, I’ve allowed myself to move with the challenge and consider it all part of finding my way, without knowing the way. Really, how much do we ever really know about how it will all turn out?”
“If being professional means inauthenticity then we’re doing it wrong. I work with small businesses. It’s personal.”
Be honest about your capacity for discipline.
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