An Ethical, Sustainable, Unisex Wellness Brand And Community – with a focus on Transparency, Clean Science, Consumer Education and Botanical Alchemy
Live Monthly Progress
Evolve With Us: return here to track our startup journey through brief monthly updates. Send over your feedback and input if you like!
PRODUCTS IN DEVELOPMENT
Face Wash · Plant Based Moisturiser · Overnight mask · Toner · Exfoliant · Eye Cream · Deoderant · Finishing Powder · DHA-Free Tanning · Shaving Cream · Fragrance · Herbal Tea
- Over the years I’ve worked on a few different (often pretty random) side projects. In April I went to continue work on a travel app and bootstrapped in Indonesia, whilst working with a Developer. I learned and developed a little coding, digital marketing, content creation and project management.
- When the app dismantled, I decided to travel solo for 1-2 months
- Very nearly moved permanently due to the weather, great quality of life and wellness scene (except for all the nasty mosquitos).
- Slightly reluctantly returned to the UK because of the much more vibrant StartUp scene, events, networking, FinTech work and family (I had missed it all a tiny bit…).
- Identified the Industries I wanted my StartUp to be in (Online, Wellness, Tech)
- Identified the problems I wanted to work on
- Set rough goals and targets
- Brainstorming and Wire Framing
- Pitching ideas / networking / learning from as many people as I could in the likes of business, finance, law and tech (anything except for what I had been studying).
- Secured investment in exchange for equity (angel investor).
2017 JULY – AUGUST
- Registered the company with Companies House
- Registered for a company bank account – comparing rates and fees
- Set up accounts and pay role with an accountant
- Structured a shareholders agreement with lawyers
- Refined and extensively researched products, platform and business plan
- Sourced UK manufacturers who could deliver what I was seeking: prices are cheaper abroad but would rather not skimp on quality, communication and accessibility
- Found a Branding Team in South America who’s portfolio suggested they could deliver designs in line with the vision
- Sourced talented developer(s) in Poland who will be needed down the line
- Further refining of products, ingredients, science, ethos and planning
- Some minor delays with commencing manufacturing due to unforeseen circumstances: illness of a key team member, problems sourcing certain ingredients, delays nearing the holiday period
- Changed and tweaked products and split them into groups for sampling
- Split payments into monthly instalments to help cash flow
- Business slows over the holiday period as everyone begins to break up
- Investor suffers a few business problems and delays of their own
- Received the first product sample by post and emailed feedback
- Was not overly keen on the original brand name (‘NIA’ – very lazy I know) and later discovered trademarking and competitor issues (a sign from the universe), so re-branded and arranged to re-do logo designs for ‘Yūgenial’.
- Re-structuring of Branding designs and new logo approval
- Briefing developers to begin ecommerce design
- Setting up and paying HMRC PAYE
- More product samples, revisions and feedback
- Submitting logo for Trademark application
- Website Design and framework
- More product samples, revisions and feedback
- AWS account creation
- Dev’s begin work on landing page and blog
- Independent designer to create 11 custom graphics
- Sampling products from popular US brands for comparison
- Submitting certified documents for Trade Marking
- Talks with a second manufacturer for custom innovative product
- Review Heads of Terms
- Co-ordinate sourcing of packaging for 2nd product
- Review custom graphics and incorporate into site
- Planning part of PR and social marketing strategy
- Visit to Suffolk to see independent manufacturer: another lovely team, understood what goes on behind the scenes with regards to hot and cold mixing, extraction etc.
- Branding delays due to wait over property sales
- Site Mapping
- Rehashing of a few products
- Key ingredient sourced by new manufacturer so half of production moved over
- commercial tea packers need sourcing
- meetings with different sustainable packaging companies for cosmetic products
- Speaking to family-run tea startup in Asia for herbal blend sourcing
- Begin development on 2nd batch of products and send first for testing
- Partner with a Fragrance House
- Sorting problems with the website branding / templates
- On-boarding a new manufacturer for powder cosmetics
- Working with fragrance houses and IFRA regulations to create a scent that adheres to our ethos
- on-board a second packaging company as an array of different sizes of pots and tubulars in PCR and Biopolymer is hard to come by using just 1 manufacturer
- Tea manufacturing to team with Chinese Herbal Medicine stockist in Taiwan
- start approved products on compatibility testing