Meet Lawrence and Greg – Nature’s Generator’s Founders Their Eco-friendly Solar Powered Generator Offers an Affordable Solution

Meet Lawrence and Greg – Nature’s Generator’s Founders Their Eco-friendly Solar Powered Generator Offers an Affordable Solution

While they may joke and spar like two wild and crazy guys, in truth they’d more aptly be described as “techies” — maybe cool techies of the Steve Jobs’ ilk — but techies, nonetheless. 

So, the question is, how did an immigrant from China and a guy from America’s great Midwest get together to form an up-and-coming solar-powered-generator business powerhouse? Here’s their story. 

In an unassuming building in an Oxnard CA industrial area, you’ll find Nature’s Generator Inc. This company started just seven years ago. The founders Lawrence Zhou and Greg Adams had met years prior while both worked for Best Buy. They became friends and kept in touch even as each of their career paths took them in different directions. 

In 2012 Adams relocated from Minnesota to California for a product development job. In 2013 Zhou and his family relocated to the greater LA area and the two met to catch up. That meeting created huge ripple effects in both their lives. In 2015 they resigned their respective positions and launched their own company.

As with all entrepreneurs, they had a big idea — which they designed and refined into the first Nature’s Generator. While they started out supporting customer specific requests, they realized their true path forward was to sell the product directly. In the summer of 2018, the 1800-watt solar-powered Nature’s Generator was launched with their company wholesaling directly to Home Depot. In 2020 their Elite 3600-watt series was launched. Now in 2022 their latest innovation, the Powerhouse was launched, tipping the power scales at an impressive 7200-watts.

Their first Nature’s Generator brainchild is a compact portable solar generator which connects to a solar panel and can deliver up to 1,800 watts of electricity. When developed, it was the world’s first “smart” solar powered generator. It’s equipped with a Bluetooth app that links to Android and iOS operating systems, allowing real-time troubleshooting assistance. This generator system is modular, and they sell separate, stackable Power Pods that can be connected to infinitely boost wattage and hours of use. Each power pod supplies an additional 100-watts of power storage.

“Importantly,” Zhou said, “it provides a backup electricity storage system that could be used in power outages as an emergency backup system to avoid being left powerless in our now all too common power outages. Of course, it’s also good for everyday portable electric power around your home and for things like camping or using this off grid solar generator to power a cabin. People have even told us stories about how they’ve used our generators to power a booth at a farmer’s market, antique show, or outdoor school function. Our generators are clean, safe, and silent, they really can be used just about anywhere.”

The founders know that Nature’s Generator can help consumers’ wallets too. Their standard generator was designed to provide homeowners with some relief from high power bills while also reducing the load on regional power grids during peak-use times. With peak-use rates being substantially higher, the generator with its power storage capacity, will end up paying for itself as homeowners use its stored power to avoid those costly peak-use rates.

“In peak hours you can connect two or three of your appliances to this generator and get off the grid,” Adams explained. “In this way it helps protect the grid from power outages or rolling brownouts by alleviating some of that peak hour demand and it allows homeowners to avoid the higher peak-use prices.”

As firstborn, this Nature’s Generator will always be the heart their product line, but the founders realized that climate-change is a huge and pressing issue and there was no time to waste in getting affordable solutions to the market capable of powering an entire home — thus the Powerhouse was born — providing enough power capacity to power an entire house. 

Zhou explains the Powerhouse is a very high-capacity generator with a battery capacity of 4800Wh (Watt-hours). They consider the Powerhouse the next champion for a whole-home eco-power solution. It weighs in with an impressive maximum 7200-watt capacity that can power almost anything in a home –whether it is 120 Volts or 240 Volts.

“We designed the Powerhouse to be able to single-handedly power a house.” Adams said. “But because we get the importance of being able to expand a system, the Powerhouse is also modular and can easily be upgraded with Powerhouse Power Pods for even more storage capacity. People can basically add as many Power Pods as they want to create the perfect eco-power solution for their home. Additionally, the Powerhouse can add multiple Solar Panels, Wind Turbines, Security Camera systems, etc. The homeowner can build the system they need without having to pay for something they don’t need.”

The founders briefly explain how their Power Transfer Kit also enables users to connect their generators directly to their home’s electric panels so that important appliances and devices could be powered by the generator instead of the grid — with only a flick of a switch.

Asked how the two founders worked together to create these innovative products, Adams said:

“One of the reasons our partnership works is Lawrence and I both have the same shared drive and vision for where we see the company going.  Although admittedly our working styles differ because Lawrence is extremely detail oriented — he’s an i-dotter and t-crosser – and, not unlike a chess player, he’s always thinking 6 or 7 moves ahead. Also, he’s a numbers guy… and did I mention he’s the CEO/CFO and he’s extremely fiscally responsible?  Where I’d say I am more off-the-cuff, dealing with the here-and-now, fix what’s in front of me guy… and I’m the sales and customer-oriented guy.”  

Lawrence confirmed: “Greg’s a people person. Everybody really connects with him. He’s also a problem solver – he’s great at dealing with and resolving the business’ latest crisis or problem—especially if it’s a customer or employee management problem.”

Both Zhou and Adams agreed that their different skills bring balance to the company and keep it on an even keel. 

Zhou said, “We bounce ideas off each other and make sure we look at the pros and cons of each decision to steer our business on the right course. We feel our different perspectives help us make the right choices.” 

In talking with employees at the company, it becomes apparent both these owner’s want to do right for their employees, their customers, and their world’s climate; and that they sometimes truly feel the weight of their decisions and making sure they’re on the right course for success. Greg’s been known to joke, “Hey a lot of people’s jobs depend on our decisions, but no pressure.”

When asked about the challenges the business has faced, Zhou looks at Greg saying, “I’m thinking back to when we first started and wonder if the 5 AM mornings we shivered through at the county fairgrounds would count as challenges?” 

Adams shook his head, “That was cold, that was really cold – I’ve heard of cold calls, but product marketing shouldn’t give you frostbite.” 

Zhou then described the current trouble in marketing and educating people about all the benefits of having a Nature’s Generator. “Because we try to keep the product costs down, we don’t want to go overboard on advertising expenses, but we do believe we will get to a place where everyone who needs one will have a solar-powered generator to be more self-reliant and ready for whatever emergency nature or the grid throws at them.”

When asked about the opportunities Nature’s Generator could see in the current world and business climate situation, the founders both agreed that with all the natural disasters (prolonged droughts, extreme floods, wildfires etc.) always in the news they felt that people will start to see how there’s no time to lose that we all must act, and act now, to protect families in case of emergencies, and to prevent climate change from reaching that hard-to-reverse tipping point. 

With the constant coverage of climate-related weather extremes there should be a heightened awareness of the problem and people should understand better how Nature’s Generator’s affordable products can offer a solution. When people recognize that the environmental condition that we leave the planet in for our children and grandchildren is absolutely worth the investment in and effort of installing a solar-powered generator, then Zhou and Adams felt, that people will make the right choice.

In 2018 you started out wholesaling to Home Depot, is that where our readers should look for your product? 

Zhou replies, “Sure, especially if they have a Home Depot close.  We are now also partnered with other retailers like Lowe’s, Walmart, Tractor Supply, Menard’s, Camping World, Amazon, and an East Coast store called Earthtech products.com.  You can also go directly to our website: naturesgenerator.com to purchase our products.”

It’s obvious that these two do not rest on their laurels, they’re driven to continually innovate and create new product lines and accessories to meet the world’s growing demand to have clean, green, renewable energy to fight our current climate change crisis. It’s more than a business, it’s their life’s work.

Zhou and Adams saw the climate problem and strove to be part of the solution. They understood that to reverse global warming everybody will need to participate in solving the problem by transitioning to clean renewable energy as soon as possible.

The true shame would be if history shows that we had these clean renewable energy sources solutions — but because not everyone could afford the equipment to harness these resources they were not universally utilized — and we failed to stop the climate change dominoes from falling.

The Nature’s Generator founders saw what needed to be done — what they could do. The answer was to create the best solar generator at the most affordable price they could. The sooner everyone had access to the free sustainable solar or wind energy with affordable equipment to harness it, then the sooner the world could collectively step away from polluting fossil fuels.

Almost like a religious mantra, they explained that the more affordable they can make their generators and accessories, then the more people can buy and use them — and the sooner we can wean ourselves from the dirty carbon footprint of nonrenewable energy and make electricity production a green industry where power comes from inexhaustible clean sources. 

On a slightly different note, they also shared that one of the company’s founding principles was to correct the deep inequity in access to electricity around the world. They understand that a lack of accessible electricity is holding back whole communities, here and around the world, from being able to participate in newer technologies. And they made it their mission to try to correct this unequal access to electrical power.

When asked about this Adams replied: “We started down the road to providing power to all those who need it — at the most affordable price possible.  We believe in a modern society, electricity should be available to everyone, not just a select audience.  From the beginning we provided low margin to our retail partners and ourselves, to keep the cost as low as possible.”

Zhou added: “Since the launch in 2018, the price of our standard gold system has never changed from its $999.99 retail price.  This is the best value for the money in the market — and to date it has not been matched.  This is the mindset we adopt every time we launch a new product.”  

Adams emphasized: “We want to be providing the most power for the money in the market –period.”

In looking at their company’s growth trajectory chart, it seems their mission to do the right thing is paying off.

Anastasia Filipenko is a health and wellness psychologist, dermatolist and a freelance writer. She frequently covers beauty and skincare, food trends and nutrition, health and fitness and relationships. When she's not trying out new skincare products, you'll find her taking a cycling class, doing yoga, reading in the park, or trying a new recipe.

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