BY MORGAN LEGEL
L.E.A.F., an eco-friendly company aimed at reducing green waste on island, is looking for palm leaves to recycle towards different products.
The company was founded after Andrea T. Murer, its owner, went through a Guam Unique Merchandise and Arts program to provide business training and incubator to support these talented individuals. Initially Murer’s business plan was eco-friendly wrapping paper made from fabrics; the idea shifted to the new business plan when Murer realized all she could do with palm leaves.
“I was inspired by my son, and all the garbage I see on the streets when I go running every day,” she said.
L.E.A.F. is committed to reducing waste and plastic pollution, thereby building a more sustainable, environmentally conscious future “for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children,” Murer said.
The palm leaves she uses to create her products — which range from bowls and plates to paper and pencils — are being left as green waste on island.
“It’s such a unique plant we have,” she said. “It grows all over the island, and we’re just throwing it away, burning it, taking it for granted, letting it become green waste.”
Murer recycles leaves from eight different palm varieties — Christmas Palm Tree, Bottle Palm Tree, Royal Palm, Foxtail Palm, Areca Palm, Carpentaria Palm, Spindle Palm and Betel Nut Palm.
The process of creating the products starts with collecting the leaves and prepping them, by washing and drying them, followed by a sanitization step before heat pressing them into a desired mold, creating 100% bio-degradable products.
While the idea of creating products from leaves such as these is not new, Murer said it’s an important addition to the island and she’s happy to bring the knowledge and ability to Guam.
In fact, through a joint grant from the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Government of Guam and the Office of the Governor, she is setting up seminars for schoolchildren to help teach them about the importance of recycling green waste and allowing them to create these new products from things like the palm leaves. The goal is to have two per month from April until December.
For L.E.A.F., Murer plans the soft launch of the company in March, and the true launch will follow in April. Her goal through the business is “Reducing our island’s waste, one leaf at a time.”
The Grovey Effect, an Arizona-based workout regimen of dance fitness classes, has made its way to the island and will be taught at G6 Fitness Guam and Urban Fitness Guam.
Ryan Grovey, owner and CEO, decided to bring his company’s presence to the island after having visited the island previously.
Since the Grovey Effect is a program, there is no single physical location, the classes depend on where the instructor sets up to teach each class.
The idea of creating his own regimen stemmed from the beginning of the COVID pandemic, when he— like many others — had to pivot and figure out how to navigate the new waters.
“When everything went virtual, and people were asking me to teach my own classes, I just gathered my team and started creating, and here we are, with the Grovey Effect,” he said.
The classes combine high intensity interval training and strength training. With 13 years of experience in the fitness world since starting in 2009 teaching Zumba classes, Grovey took all his expertise and molded it into the business plan, which debuted on Jan. 1, 2021 and is expanding to Guam about a year later.
While in-person classes are being taught, Grovey also focuses on virtual programs as well, some of which will be taught by him.
“I’m really loving the virtual aspect,” he said. “The important thing for everyone is changing lifestyles, getting people out of depression, or just out of the house, and getting people moving, however shape that takes.”
For a list of classes, including virtual, and to find information on becoming an instructor, visit
A new printing boutique, Craft & Minted Co., that specializes in direct-to-garment apparel and merchandise is making strides in Guam’s small business culture.
Owners Kaz Endo and Kelli Wedd officially started the company in November 2020, but through many COVID-related supply issues and delays, debuted the initial clothing collections in summer 2021.
From t-shirts and hoodies to tote bags, aprons and more, Craft & Minted offers exclusive design collections and custom design services.
Wedd said the company is important for the island’s economy, as it does not outsource much and can offer a unique product to the island’s residents.
“Craft & Minted Co. is one of very few companies that produces its own design collection in-house,” she said. “With the exception of the blank inventory, the entire design and manufacturing process is completed on island. This makes printing, prototyping and distribution efficient and cost effective. For local clients who wish to print their own brands, or prototype their designs, this means working with a local vendor who shares in the creative and craftsmanship required to produce a quality product.”
Craft & Minted’s products are unique because of the method of printing used, Wedd said.
“Unlike screen print — which can be thick and gummy to the touch and create unwanted heat under the printed area on your skin, our prints are water-based ink — which creates a soft and breathable feel when worn and a smooth, soft touch,” she said.
A special technology bonds the ink to the fabric to produce stunning colors and images, she said. “We use a printing technology that is called a direct-to-garment print, and this advanced technology is how we produce stunning detailed prints for you to enjoy. Over time, these water-based ink prints will look and feel like some of your favorite old t-shirts.”
Wedd said the unique design collections offer a “no-size-fits-all customer base,” and said, “The Guam Collection is perfect for humans of all ages, whether you live on Guam, or are just fond of those Hafa Adai vibes. Our Kids Collection offers fun, playful designs for infants, toddlers and kiddos that you won’t find anywhere else. One of the design collections we’re most proud of is our signature Humankind Collection. This collection is available for all ages and is a great reminder that in order for humankind to thrive, it first begins with kind humans. We think everyone could use a reminder to lead with kindness every day.”
While Craft & Minted Co. is an online-only retailer, with no plans to open a physical storefront, its print lab is a traditional brick-and-mortar set up in Hagatna, spanning 1,400 square feet.
“While we have our roots in Guam, our online store allows us to design and deliver orders worldwide,” Wedd said.
Both owners are partners in creative agency, 8 Ronin LLC, as well as KONQER Sports, Guam’s only regional obstacle course circuit with events in Guam, Saipan, Palau and Rota. Endo also hosts the Mint Talks podcast, as well as the weekly sportscast “This Is Sports” and other programming.
For more information, visit https://craftmintedco.com. Journal subscribers and readers are offered a unique promo code for the site — MBJ2022 — for 20% off.
In other new business news, The Boka Box announced on Jan. 11 the launch of The Jumpstart Program, an eight-week long weight loss program that provides daily meals, nutritional coaching and periodic assessments to help you smash your New Year goals of losing weight.
Additionally, the Guam Green Growth Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub opened its doors to the public for the first time on Jan. 13, in three houses at CHamoru Village in Hagåtña.
The Lees Reyes Art Gallery opened in the previous Castro Art Gallery location in Tumon.
Subway Restaurants opened a new location in Mangilao inside the Mobil Service Station.
Issin Japanese Restaurant at the Westin Resort Guam reopened on Jan. 20, after being closed for minor interior renovation. mbj