Totally Bamboo: True to bamboo - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

THURSDAY, November 18, 2010

Totally Bamboo: True to bamboo

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SAN MARCOS (CBS 8) - In a bust economy, business is booming for Tom and Joanne Sullivan. Like the product they sell, their company grew quickly and organically.

"We started at craft festivals, building chairs. It evolved into a bamboo chair, which then evolved into a bamboo cutting board, which then opened all the bamboo thoughts for us," Tom said.

Today they are Totally Bamboo, dispensing over 150 different products from their 25,000 square foot warehouse in San Marcos, all made from the grass grown just outside Shanghai, China.

"It grows to about 70 feet tall, about 6 inches round at the base. We don't fertilize it, we don't irrigate it -- completely natural," Tom said.

It's eco-friendly and completely renewable.

"It's actually 15 percent harder than maple," Tom said.

And Bamboo can be shaped into almost any product, only limited by imagination. Here at Totally Bamboo, they let their imaginations run wild, although many of their best sellers are simple designs.

In fact, if you're bringing home some souvenirs from the islands, they probably shipped from right here in San Marcos.

"We found our products are extremely popular in Hawaii," Tom said.

And if you think there's nothing new in the world of bamboo, check Nuboo.

"It's actually compressed bamboo, comes in big logs the size of railroad ties. It's incredibly hard and such a good product for the kitchen," Tom said.

And Totally Bamboo still markets its director chairs, which have been graced by some of the biggest fannies in Hollywood.

"Every major director in Hollywood has a few of our chairs. Drew Carey loves our chairs. He ended up buying 50 for his entire set," Tom said.

While the economy has most business owners totally bamboozled, there's much ballyhoo at Totally Bamboo.

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