Growing up, Wyatt Naillon always reached for the top. He was state runner-up in discus and student body president during his senior year of high school. When he switched majors in college, he delved into clubs that would help him succeed in his chosen field. He went from Business to Engineering to Biology, and participated in Bio Club, Quizbowl Club, student research at BSU, and pre-med club. Now he's graduated with a Bachelor's in Molecular Biology, and he wants to change the world. There's always been one thing he's carried with him throughout his whole life, and that's the determination to make the planet a greener place.
In Challis, Idaho, his father was a naturalist and an avid outdoorsman, so Naillon spent his childhood surrounded by nature. He saw the potential for what the environment could do for people, but also witnessed how poorly it was treated. He vowed to make a difference, and worked through college to make enough money to start up a business. In 2021, Naillon started Gaia Industrees, named after the Earth Mother of Greek mythology. Instead of using plastic, he turned to bamboo. "It's cheaper, grows faster, and sequesters carbon better," Naillon said.
So far, Naillon has sold two styles of hairbrush, combs, toothbrushes, and water bottles, all 100% biodegradable. He already has many ideas for future products, such as finishing out the bathroom line with beard combs and wide-toothed combs because bamboo is better at distributing oils in hair. Naillon also hopes to start looking at ideas for kitchenware and other potential products.
"Sustainability for everyone" is Gaia's mission for the future. While Naillon understands that it's hard to be completely sustainable, he's set out to do what he can. He's already brought Gaia back to his hometown, and continues to push for involvement. He's open to doing more projects and sponsorships to further bring awareness to his solution for sustainability, especially among children and education. "The ideal situation for Gaia is to bring sustainability to the mainstream," Naillon said. "We want to make it available and affordable, and take the responsibility that big corporations and the government refuse to take."
Recently, Gaia got its first big break after the company sponsored Miniminuteman, a young Youtuber who jumped to fame with his archeology videos. Immediately after, Naillon sold out on water bottles, compelling him to create new lines of products thin order to keep up with sales. In the past four months, the company has sold internationally, such as Germany and Australia. Instead of sharing his story on their website, he's traded out his bio with a bio about his customers. Naillon wants to build a community based around his company, which would allow for further growth and influence of sustainability. His customers aren't specifically defined, only along the idea of, "anyone who cares."
The big goal, in Naillon's mind, is to contribute to the end of global warming. 15% of profits go towards the research in combating the issue. "I always knew I wanted to start a business with a purpose, and this has been very rewarding in many aspects. It's a big deal for me to go home and be able to give every kid a toothbrush. I'm really proud of our work, and I hope we can continue to promote our cause."
You can see Naillon's products at gaiaindustrees.com.