Interview first published on the Female Entrepreneur Network.
Where did your journey begin?
Courage. A deep breath. An email. Then another. Then a phone call. Then multiple calls, whatsapps, a website, a launch!
We both worked in London for 15 years in the arts and design worlds. As is often the case, having children makes you re-evaluate every aspect of your life; home, work, relationships, self and lifestyle. We both looked around our children and realised that we were drowning in plastic and it was far from the model that we wanted to be for our children, let alone ourselves.
However, finding the alternatives that were truly plastic free and looked good was time consuming –there is so much out there that is plastic free but yet wrapped in non-recyclable plastic! We wanted to do the Right Thing and yet it is difficult. With an eye for design and a heart for change, we could perhaps help answer this problem. PomPom was born!
What challenges have you faced on your journey?
Technology. No interest! We like reading, we like culture, we like art not computers and yet … httppsssssss keeps creeping back in. We are having conversations about SEO, user experience, back end, coding. It is often mind boggling, it takes patience and persistence, much like a second language, I fear it will take years of confused conversations before we make the grades!
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Each other. We truly admire the strengths in the other and that inspires us to work harder, think more imaginatively, problem solve the gaps where our weaknesses lie, muddle our way through things we both struggle with – website, accounting, finances!
What has been the biggest thing you would say has contributed to your success?
Consumer, brands and current trends. The enthusiasm and interest from brands, customers and press, it has been such a welcoming response. Plastic is very much on the cultural and political agenda currently and that is trickling down daily to consumers.
Is there anything you would change?
Perhaps how we tackled the website. We scrimped, paid peanuts, got monkeys and paid again. Surely we should have learnt from our own messaging, buy less but more consciously!
How do you work with your clients?
Our clients are both our buyers and indeed, our suppliers. Regardless we work openly, honestly and humbly, we are on the start of a long journey and have so much to learn from other people. We are not frightened of the phone, that helps strengthen our relationships as well.
How do you help people?
PomPom is a purpose – led business. Its partner is the Marine Conservation Society, the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. We will donate 20% of our profit on select products (bamboo toothbrushes, polar balancing set and whale mobile) to support the Marine Conservation Society’s vital work.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
I think we are the ones who need the advice – drop us a line, we would love any thoughts and ideas! We don’t feel at all precious, please be in touch with your feedback, it will be gratefully received!
What has been the best advice you have ever been given?
Just get on with it. Just launch. Your website will never be perfect. You will keep tweaking, improving but you will never be satisfied. Get on and put yourselves out there.