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About Us

Van Hess, Kristen Hess, Steve Savage

Van Hess – Co-Founder, Inventor

In his younger years, Van managed a privately-owned Auto Repair company in Santa Monica, Calif., and owned and operated a local print shop for more than 25 years in Boulder, Colo. After selling the print shop in 2006, he set out to use his entrepreneurial spirit once again to create an innovative way to make kitchen composting a reality for modern families like his. Van always loved cooking when it was his time to wind down after a long day at work. From his love of cooking and desire to be more environmentally conscious, CompoKeeper filled a need for his home and others’. Van passed away in August of 2015 but will be remembered fondly as a great person, neighbor, friend, father and visionary! Van wanted to leave the world a better place than he found it, and he did.

Kristen Hess – Co-Founder 

The young co-founder of CompoKeeper grew up in Colorado where she cultivated a respect for the natural world through outdoor activities. As a yoga-practicing, earth-loving minimalist, Kristen had no interest in a career focused on selling more “stuff”. However, she fully believes businesses and products injected with passion, honesty, and heart-felt intention can improve community faster than any other force – and for her, composting is just about the coolest, most natural thing you can do to keep the planet healthy. After graduating from CU Boulder with degrees in Marketing and Psychology, Kristen teamed up with her Dad, Van, to develop the CompoKeeper brand and bring his innovative composting tool to the public.

Steve Savage – CEO of 1908 Brands

The former founder and CEO of Eco-Products, and now CEO of 1908 Brands, Steve has been instrumental in increasing awareness of environmental issues and sustainability for the past 25 years. Steve is a committed conservationist and entrepreneur who is continually searching for new ways to provide effective and innovative “green” products into the mainstream market. Steve has enjoyed prestigious awards such as the Natural Foods Merchandiser’s “40 Under 40 Award,” Thorne Ecological Institute’s “Champion of the Environment,” Boulder County Business Report’s “Eco-Hero,” Boulder Chamber of Commerce “Entrepreneur of the Year,” and a finalist for Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Our Story

When their progressive hometown, Boulder, Colorado, initiated a curbside composting program Van and Kristen jumped at the opportunity to create a tool to make composting easy, clean and practical for all homes – big or small – to help reduce the amount of kitchen scraps and other organic waste.

Over years of tinkering and tweaking the product, Van and Kristen created a design unlike any others, including foot pedal-activated clamps for opening and closing the compost bag to eliminate odors, messes and fruit flies. 

On a mission to make an environmental impact through composting, the father-daughter duo of Van and Kristen Hess, introduced an innovative new way to compost, turning a dream into a bona fide company.

In March 2014, Van and Kristen join forces with 1908 Brands, a brand management company focused exclusively on promoting natural and sustainable products.

Our Mission 

CompoKeeper technology was created to help keep kitchens­- the heart of the home­- clean and comfortable, just like they should be. 

We inspire clean spaces for those that long for homes that are tidier, healthier and more efficient. Our long term goal is to make the world cleaner, one mess at a time with containers that are intuitive to use and clean to keep.


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