When I first started Earth Bottles. I had a little voice in my head telling myself I couldn’t do it. I was felt scared I had literally no idea what I was doing.
I had ordered some bottles to sell for my musician hubby, Ash Grunwald’s merch table. We sold them quicker than we could get them in the door and I knew I was on to something. At that stage insulated water bottles that looked like they were made from wood where basically none existent in Australia. We would literally get stopped in the street by people asking where the bottles were from and where they could buy one. I knew I was on to something great and I knew they were a step towards reducing the scourge of plastics choking our planet but I didn’t really fathom where it would go or what it would become.
Most of my working life I had played music, or helped Ash with his music career. After my second daughter was born I wasn’t feeling so much like slogging it out a gigs and was ready to sink my teeth in to something but I had no idea what it was. The Earth Bottles thing just kind of unfolded. As I said starting off as merch item for Ash, then other bands and then finally deciding to take the plunge and start a new brand from scratch. I honestly didn’t have the first clue about how to run a business and I have had a very steep learning curve adapting on the fly.
I remember ordering our first 200 bottles of one colour. Then 200 of another colour. Then 200 of a different size and another size and another colour. My good friend Briody Scholes (who lives in a different state) jumped in and said she wanted to try selling the bottles and got our first wholesale account which was Surfocast Wholefoods in Torquay. I will never forget that phone call. The two of us excitedly trying to figure out on the spot what we should charge a wholesale customer. We had no idea about the mark-ups required in retails. Haha. We learned that one very quickly. Such an exciting time. When you are the new kid on the block with a fairly new product things get pretty exciting pretty quickly.
And then they get serious, very quickly. When that voice in your head tells you that you can’t do it. Don’t listen! You may not do it perfectly, you may do it all wrong. But our mistakes have been our biggest teachers. Fail often and fail quickly, dust yourself off and move on.
Having your own business can be the biggest emotional roller coaster. You can feel like you’re are invincible one minute and then feel like you are at the bottom of the barrel the next. But I always say that bottom of the barrel is where the magic happens. It’s where you come up with new initiatives, new ideas or find the courage to keep on going. So many times I have wanted to give up. So many times I have cried and felt like I was in a world I didn’t belong but I am so glad I have stuck in there. We have such a beautiful connection with our customers and our wholesalers and created a great lifestyle and what I have learned on this journey and the people I have met has been life changing. It is one I hope to continue doing, but if for whatever reason life takes my elsewhere, I know that whatever I do I will do it fearlessly and never listen to that voice that tells you you can’t. If you have a good idea go for it. Put in everything you have got. You will have times that you feel like giving up. Keep trying but most importantly keep on learning. Don’t ever pretend like you know it all and you know all the answers. Vulnerability is beautiful and honesty creates a real connection with colleagues, customers and staff.
If I have a gift it’s the gift of doing. I speculate but I tend to act. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse but I have never been plagued by analysis paralysis. Honestly, there are so many great business ideas out there, you probably have one yourself but the tragedy is that most people never ACT on their ideas and I think that’s a genuine shame.