I think I can safely say most of us try to do our bit for the environment?! And as the world seems to be adopting the reuse/recycling way of living as the norm, a small further alteration to our daily lifestyle can have many beneficial results. The second edition in the mini interview series, we explore the collection of Madekind the natural, plant based cleaning products.
We are Caroline and Anita, founders of MadeKind. We develop natural, plant based cleaning products for the home and botanical wellbeing products.
We’ve been friends for over 10 years, and started out as fashion buyers and merchandisers for high street brands.
So many things helped bring MadeKind to life. We talked a lot about the effects of harsh chemicals on Caroline's daughter's health, friends who have cancer, and eczema caused by cleaning products. We were also gradually facing up to the amount of plastic packaging that we use and supposedly recycle, but a lot of which still ends up in the ocean. All of this fed into our idea for safe but effective natural cleaners in non-plastic bottles – and bottles that look beautiful on a kitchen counter too!
Name a person or business that you admire or inspires you?
I’ve always been inspired by Anita Roddick (founder of the The Body Shop), whose early goal was to earn an income for herself and her two daughters. She built the brand on empowering women and girls with every product and every business decision, striving for equality and creating opportunities for women. She believed that business has a responsibility to give something back to the community and the world, supporting local communities and environmental projects.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
"If something doesn't work, don't think of it as a failure. It's only a failure if you don't learn from it. "
What is your biggest success story or proudest moment in your career so far.
I think seeing the products in our beautiful amber bottles and having them in our own kitchens. The smell of the products is so uplifting, with the essential oil blends of lavender, rosemary and peppermint. It was exactly as we had imagined and we couldn’t wait to start selling it! Also, our friends trying our products and genuinely praising them, and ordering more!
What has been the biggest challenge running your own business (overall or in the last year!?) and how have you overcome it?
Covid has to be the biggest challenge so far. We were trying to launch a new business, while working from home and home schooling children. Part of our strategy was to have some physical presence in shops and markets, hosting events, and generally getting local people to know about us. Suddenly having to do all our networking behind a screen became a huge challenge.
What would be your dream commission/ project?
We love meeting our customers and dream of having a work space that we can also host events and sell our products. Something with a river view would be perfect!!
We are always looking at ways to make zero waste shopping easier. We're not perfect, but with our refill at home options and our local 'Bottle Swap' subscription we hope that we are making some progress. We would love to collaborate with any other businesses trying to make eco-shopping more accessible.