What It's About
Eco wares for food (and environment) lovers!
Words of Wisdom
As Seonaidh says, she doesn't see mistakes or issues as a negative thing. Instead, she sees them as opportunities to pivot or re-strategize. Sometimes, when you're pinned in a corner, it can bring out some pretty creative ideas that help get you back on track again.
The next time you're in a difficult position, try and remain positive! A solution may be just around the corner—and it might lead to something even better.
In the North Pacific, a gyre, or slowly swirling whirpool of ocean currents, collects plastic debris. It is estimated to be twice the size of France, and Charles Moore, the oceanographer who discovered it, has predicted that it will double in size within the next 10 years if we don’t change our ways.
It is not exactly a nice, neat island that we can tidy away, it’s more like a ginormous plastic soup made of confetti-like fragments of plastic. It has been imagined that it would take 67 ships 1 year to clean up less than 1% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. That's why solutions like this are so very important.
Notes from Chris
Episode 838Seonaidh Murphy in Sydney, Australia calls herself a “multidisciplinary designer,” having worked in many formats and mediums. She’s now based in a creative studio, focusing on eco-conscious hospitality, events, and retail businesses. Her side hustle quickly became her main hustle when she decided to take a big-picture look at her life and make some changes. But let’s go back a bit... Seo was working as a restaurant group manager (not a waitress in a cocktail bar) when she began this project. The job was well-paying but ultimately left her feeling unfulfilled. Having saved some money from working all the time (she almost never took a vacation...), she bought a one-way ticket to Hong Kong to regroup. Then she kept traveling throughout the region. Along the way, she began to meet people who would play a key role in her next career move. Seo had been troubled by how much plastic she was using and disposing of. It was hard not to use disposable plastic, but the designer in her had begun to ponder and contemplate potential solutions. The trip and her meetings also coincided with a time in the cosmos when a lot of people were looking at the role plastic plays in our lives and its effect on the planet. At some point throughout, her travels in Shanghai, industrial China, and then Thailand. The adventure turned into a venture—you could say the straws were aligned! This new business, which she now operates in cooperation with the creative studio, makes and sells planet friendly eco-wares with the aim of eliminating single-use plastics and minimizing food waste. It was a whole new world, with lots to learn. Working with a partner, she began to design and then create these eco-friendly products through a manufacturer. They made bento boxes, reusable Ziploc bags, containers, cups, cutlery sets (silverware), and … even those reusable straws designed to replace the disposable plastic ones. As products came in, they went up for sale on a website she built. She paid special attention to the copy, making sure to highlight the fact that the goods were good for the environment, but also looked great and were highly functional. She called it Big Bite Eco, and she debuted her wares at farmer’s market, through a subscription service, and online wherever she could. Big Bite Eco is now bringing in $10,000-$15,000 per month, and steadily increasing. During the holidays last year, they were up to $25,000 a month. With new wholesale accounts coming online, they anticipate a lot of growth this year. So—what’s been hard, and what’s next? Despite the high sales volume, cash flow has been a challenge. In her words:
"Sometimes you have so many great ideas that you want to implement but you only have so much money to invest. We're at the point of working out whether to gain outside investment."Can you achieve the trifecta of passion, skill, and profit? Well, yeah—that’s what this is all about! And not only financial profit, but the knowledge that everything she sells contributes to minimizing the amount of damage caused to the planet.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Big Bite Eco: Take a bite out of our problem with plastics and fill your home with more substainable options over on Seonaidh's website!
- Environmentally Impassioned Citizen Designs Plastic-Free Bags: A Washingtonian carries her passion for sustainability on her sleeve with a line of eco-friendly grocery bags
- Yoga Mat Reseller Changes Lives While Earning $4,000/Month: After being inspired by social good companies like TOMS, a woman in London creates a yoga accessories business that focuses on empowering women worldwide
- Detroit Women Make Jewelry for Profit and Social Good: An attorney starts a jewelry company with purpose, employing disadvantaged women in Detroit to help them transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance
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