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Today I’m speaking with Maame Sapong from Purscents. Maame creates luxury home fragrances like candles, reed diffusers and other aromatherapy scented products. Her commitment goes merely beyond creating delightful scents. She’s also dedicated to establishing a sustainable brand that strives to make a meaningful and possible impact within the candle industry.

We had a great conversation about how she juggles building a product business whilst in a full time job, how she decides what to outsource and invest in, and what she can do herself, and the importance of pacing yourself in the early days. Maame also shares fascinating insights into how she makes her candles, how she ensures they are sustainable as possible, and how her first hand experiences in Ghana seeing the impact of plastic waste and flooding have renewed her commitment to making sure her business is ethical and environmentally conscious. 

  • An introduction to herself and her businesses (01:26)
  • The inspiration for creating her business (01:54)
  • The steps she has taken to ensure her products are sustainable and ethical (04:40)
  • Building a product business whilst working a full time job (10:07)
  • Learning to outsource (13:51)
  • Deciding where to invest in her business (for instance photography) and where to save money (20:03)
  • The importance of pacing yourself in the early days (21:22)
  • Her experiences at Top Drawer (24:04)
  • Championing sustainability by creating candle refills (25:34)
  • How her first hand experiences in Ghana seeing the impact of plastic waste and flooding have informed her business values (31:39)
  • Her number one piece of advice for product creators (33:56)

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Transcript
Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Idea to Life podcast. This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling products, or if you'd like to create your own product to sell. I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product creation coach and Amazon expert. Every week I share friendly, practical advice, as well as inspirational stories from small businesses. Let's get started. Today I'm speaking with Maame Sapong from Purscent. Maame creates luxury home fragrances like candles, re diffusers and other aromatherapy scented products. Her commitment goes merely beyond creating delightful scents. She's also dedicated to establishing a sustainable brand that strives to make a meaningful and possible impact within the candle industry. So we had a really great conversation about all things candles. Um, I learned a lot about candles from this discussion. Um, and all the things that Maame is doing and is committed to. Continuing to do to make sure her business is as ethical and sustainable as possible. She also has a really innovative product, which I am not going to tell you about here because you'll have to listen, that I've never seen the likes of anywhere else and I think is absolutely amazing. And I can't wait for you to hear her tell us all about that. So I would love now to introduce you to Maame. So hi, Maame thank you so much for being here.

Maame Sapong:

Thank you for having me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, you're welcome. Can we start by you give an introduction to yourself, your business and what you sell?

Maame Sapong:

Okay. So, uh, my name is Maame Sapong. Um, I'm the founder of Purscent and Purscent is all about creating luxury candles, home diffusers, and other aromatherapy centre products. Um, we launched in 2022, um, I think with a real sustainable edge. To the brand and that's what we hope to be a very sustainable home fragrance brand.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you. And what inspired you to start your business?

Maame Sapong:

So during the pandemic, um, I think everybody was stuck at home. I work in finance, both my husband and I work in finance. And I never see myself as a creative person, but what I started doing, well, I started teaching myself how to paint. So I watched videos on YouTube, just to break up the monotony of just being stuck indoors all the time. Um, so I even tried growing vegetables, I haven't got green fingers at all. So I actually killed the tomatoes I tried to plant. But then what I also started doing a lot was, um, um, initially when I started, I used to just buy any good brands I knew, but they were giving my husband headaches. So um, I had to stop and that's when I started looking into actually all the different kind of ingredients that go into candle making. Um, and I started teaching myself on YouTube. So when things started lifting, um, in the summer of 2021, we went away. Um, and we were sat at the garden cafe and I could just smell all these fresh plants, lavender. It was a really nice garden. Um, we were sat in there and I thought actually I could bring these scents home. So then I started looking into aromatherapy, um, as an option to help keep me relaxed, help, um, improve my moods. Um, and so I thought actually I could make candles. So then I started looking at alternatives to paraffin wax and everybody gave me such good feedback. So I thought, why not? I could actually make this for a living. Um, and that's when it started. So I think it was just because the store bought candles gave my husband a headache, it got me looking into alternatives and yeah, and here we are.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, wow. Thank you for sharing that. And I'm assuming that the store bought candles, did they give your husband a headache because of the ingredients? Because until I met you and we spoke about candles, I don't, didn't know much about it, if I'm honest.

Maame Sapong:

Yes, I think it was because, for example, paraffin, um, it releases quite a lot of toxins in the air and some of the synthetic fragrances as well, um, they do release toxins into the air and different people react to scents and all of those differently. I didn't react to them, but my husband did. It gave him headaches. So that's when I started looking at alternatives. So I think it's because of what goes into candles. We actually underestimate how much is our indoor air is polluted when we burn a lot of candles. Um, I never thought about it until my husband started reacting to it.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really interesting. And I'll be honest. I never thought about it until I saw you talking about it on Instagram. And then I went around and looked at all my candles and saw what sort of wax they were made of. Um, so do you want to tell us about what the ingredients are for your candles? Because I know that's what makes them quite unique.

Maame Sapong:

Yes. So we only use rapeseed and coconut wax in our candles and we scent them with 100 percent essential oils and plant extracts. So we, uh, there are other alternative waxes I could have used like soy or beeswax, but I actually sat down during my research to think about how I could make my business different. Soy, the research that I found was that a lot of the soy on the market comes from Northern America where they're actually destroying forests because of the popularity of soy, um, there's a lot of deforestation happening and there's some GMO in, in, in soy wax. So I think as personally, I didn't feel that was right for me. Um, and I looked at other alternatives. So rapeseed grows in the UK and it grows in Europe, but it's quite a hard wax. So it's mixed with coconut um, to soften it up a bit and the coca. So we started looking for alternative suppliers who would buy or produce these waxes sustainably. And so then we decided to go for the rapeseed wax and then essential oils are just, yeah, natural scents from plants and leaves and things like that. So yeah, that makes it all natural and not fragrances that are synthetic or made. So yeah, so that's what we use in our candles.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Maame Sapong:

Sorry, I like to go around in a long way.

Vicki Weinberg:

No, not at all. Thank you. No, I think it's really interesting. And I've, something as you, as you know, I've used your candles and something I've noticed, well, there's two things that I've noticed. One is that they burn for a very long time. And the other is that the scents are really strong. Even when the candle isn't lit, you really get the sense from the wax. Um, why, why is that? Because I know that you will know, because I'm sure this is something you've made a conscious decision about?

Maame Sapong:

Yes, I think it's because essential oils are quite expensive. So lots of some people who use essential oils in their candles use reduced amounts just because it is expensive and it makes a candle quite expensive. And if you want to be an affordable brand, it's really difficult to use it the way you have to, to make the scent stand out or so you get uh, good scent through, but we are quite generous in how much essential oils we put in our candles, enough to make it burn well, but then you get the value for money from it. Because a lot of feedback I get from markets is, oh, I burned the candles and after a few hours, the top part burns and I don't really smell it anymore. And I keep telling them, try our candles because we mix the whole batch with essential oils. Um, yeah, to make it burn well and for you to get. what you bought, a candle that actually makes a room smell nice. So, and they, and one, one of the, um, characteristics of grapeseed and coconut wax is that it really burns slowly and it burns clean as well. So it's, it's a better alternative to the paraffin wax.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you. And coming back to the scent. So does that mean that some candles are only scented in like the top bit and they're not scented all the way down?

Maame Sapong:

Yes. So when you're buying a candle for say five pounds, and even if it's been made with a good wax, it's very expensive to be able to justify producing it at that low cost for you to sell it for five pounds. So some manufacturers from the research I found do actually just sent the top part of their candles. Some people only scent the middle bit. So the wax would harden on the outside and they would only send the middle. So you don't always get the central you need. Um, but lots of independent brands who are very proud of what they do and the businesses they do, they do it very well. But when you buy a lot of like large scale manufactured candles, you often compromise on quality.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you. And actually, this is the sense I get speaking from business owners who hand make their candles. I do get the sense that you take a lot of pride in the quality and there's a lot of thought that goes into it. Whereas I guess for the bigger brands, maybe it's a lot more about volume and keeping costs down. And I know that cost is always an aspect, an issue for smaller businesses as well. Um, but I think there's something really nice about them being homemade, handmade and the thought that goes into it as well.

Maame Sapong:

Yes, yes. We make every, we hand make all our candles, our refills, our diffusers, everything is handmade in house at the moment.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I also don't want to like gloss over everything we've spoken to, because what I'd really love to know is, so you've talked about your inspiration for starting a business and everything that you do, you know, it's quite a big undertaking to research all of, you know, the ingredients and the components, but then also at the actual making of the candles, how did you learn how to, how to do that.

Maame Sapong:

Well, I think my husband would tell you I'm crazy. I like to keep busy because I do actually have a full time job as a financial controller. So I am already busy, but I do. I've always loved candles and I, when I wanted to start a business, I knew that the initial research, this quickly highlighted how many other brands are in the market. Like everybody makes candles because it's such a low entry product. Anybody can just start making a candle, but the research, I love to research before, before I started making candles, my friends would normally contact me if they need anything. Oh, mummy, I need to do this, or I need to go on holiday. So I love research. So I, it's something that I always enjoy. So researching would normally be in the evenings after work. I'll be sat on the sofa and just read about it or on a day off. I don't watch that much TV. So for me, doing research is sort of a hobby, I would say. And that's when, yeah, so I managed to. And I think what you find with research is as you start looking into it, you might go in with the idea of finding something, but then something triggers something. So it gets you to think about something else. So, for example, when I thought, actually, how can I create a sustainable candle brand initially? And the other question for me was, how do I stand out in such a crowded market? So that I have to actually think about the jars. I want to use the packaging I want to use. I didn't want any plastic film on it. So it meant I went to, I went for the more expensive, um, um, laminations or because I wanted it to be a brand that was sustainable. And even the jars I chose, I chose jars that could handle a lot of heat. So if people have to reuse it in future, it's available for them to use. It won't crack easily. If somebody forgets and leaves their candle, um, for longer than the recommended burn time, which is maximum four hours, because some people burn for all day. I need a jar that would withstand that heat. So it was just a lot of research after research after research. Um, yeah, and I do enjoy research. So yeah, it was a learning process. But, um, I think managing your time well helps. So I am quite disciplined with my time. I know I have a full time job and a family. Somehow I don't always get it right and I don't always manage it all well, but yeah, managing the time I have. Evenings, um, are taken up by candle making. And then Saturday, Saturday, some Saturdays are taken up by candle making and markets. Uh, but I always made it a point that I'm not going to be working on a Sunday. Um, so that would be the day that I would just take a chill pill ready for the following week. So, yeah, just, yeah, that's it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I guess you have to, because as you say, there's always a lot, like whatever everyone's situation, there's always a lot to fit in and manage and I think you're right, none of us get it exactly right. The balance all of the time. Um, but it's good that you've got the boundary of not working on Sundays, I have to say, because I think sometimes it's good to just set a line in the sand and say, this is what I won't do because otherwise I could well imagine that, or I don't know, I'd love to know whether, you know, how time consuming making the candles is, but I can imagine that it could be something you could just keep, just keep doing. And then of course, all the other aspects of running the business. Um, and you're not doing this full time. I imagine it could eat into every spare hour if you let it.

Maame Sapong:

That's correct. Uh, but then I also realized that I'm strong in certain areas and not. So for example, now I do have a part time social media manager and she handles all the social media because I couldn't do it all alone. I'm good with numbers. I'm good with making the candles, so I do make them, but I do also appreciate somebody else's talent. So I hire a part time freelance social media manager who helps with all of that side of things. And she's such a lovely lady. So, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really good. And I think that's really actually good for people to hear, because I think it can be really tempting, especially, you know, you mentioned that you started your business only last year, especially in the early days, it can be tempting to think, okay, I need to be the person who does everything, but I'm sure that, you know, you'll see the benefits of just freelancing something that you're, you know, you don't particularly like doing, enjoy doing, or probably have the time to do. Um, yeah. I think there's a lot of benefits for that.

Maame Sapong:

Yes, that's correct. That's correct.

Vicki Weinberg:

And coming back to making the candle. So, so you obviously, you know, you did loads of research, but what about the practicals? Like, as in, I don't know what you need to do, melt them, pour them.

Maame Sapong:

Melt the wax, knowing what temperature to melt them at. Um, so I did a few courses online, um, to learn about all the different types of waxes. So I think when I decided I was going to make container candles, I wasn't going to make pillars or mold candles, I was just going to stick with the jar and lots of, I did a few online courses, then I started practicing. So lots and lots of practice, finding out what the right temperature is to melt your wax at. And a lot of the candle ingredient suppliers will give you the information if you ask them. So knowing what's the right temperature to melt your wax, knowing how much ingredients to, sorry, oils to put in. Sorry, um, knowing how long you have to mix it for so that all the essential oils actually bonds with the wax. Yeah, so just had to learn it online, uh, most of it and lots of testing and practice. When you start testing and practicing how to make it, you've come across all the different flaws with you making your own candles, like when I've heated the wax too much, or when I've poured it into a very cold jar, like learning all of those things, it comes with practice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that's really useful. Sorry.

Maame Sapong:

Yeah, sorry. And I was just about to say, because I found it so therapeutic, it didn't feel like it was a chore. I actually do enjoy making the candles. I think for me, that's the fun part because I have quite a serious job. Um, and so for me, I think the making of the candles was the outlet for me. And that's, yeah, I think that's why I enjoy making them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah. And I think that's important. And I guess as well, it would be a lot harder for you to commit the extra time to work on the business if you weren't enjoying, enjoying it. Um, and it's also just what it was interesting reflecting, you know, you said how much you like research, um, but then how did you, did you also enjoy that trial and error stage? Because the thing is you can research as much as you like, but once you actually get to doing something practical, that's when it gets harder maybe because you've got the backgrounds and the knowledge, but maybe things don't always work as they should. How did you find that process?

Maame Sapong:

I think frustrating at times. Um, but I think my friends would say they enjoyed free candles, a lot of free candles during that time because, um, when I made them, they were my guinea pigs. So I'd give them away for them to test the scents and things like that. So yeah, it was, it was frustrating. I think at some point it just, it was a bit costly because when you're buying the oils and ingredients and you're literally just burning them away and not making any money from them. That was, yeah, that was, but that's part of the business. If you want to do it well, you have to be prepared to invest the time and the money to make it work. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah. Thank you. And, and on those lines as well, like I know you've mentioned that you love the candle making. How about the actual sort of business aspect? You said you've got a really good head for numbers and I think that's really important because I know when I had a small business, that was definitely my weakness, is that I struggled with the numbers. So I think that must be a huge advantage to have, to have that other, any of the areas though, apart from, we spoke about, say to social media that you have found trickier to pick up.

Maame Sapong:

Yes. Yes. So, um, when I started my career in finance, I worked for a skincare brand that was, that had just launched. And because it was quite a small business at that stage, growing business, it was, I learnt a lot from there. So yes, the numbers are a strong point for me as I work in finance. However, um, working in a small brand, you are exposed to all the different aspects of the business. So like marketing, MPDs, operations side of things. So I did have quite a good overview, um, about how to run a business, how to launch a brand, even though I might not necessarily have the expertise to do all the copywriting. So I'd give that to somebody to do for me or the web design, somebody to do for me. Um, but I think in terms of my experience in industry, it has equipped me to be able to, um, run the business part of it. So making sure that, um, I'm calculating the correct profit margins, um, in terms of choosing packaging, transporting it, all the additional costs that come with it, but then marketing and social media, like I said, weren't my strong point, but um, finances are also another, um, any, any small business will tell you when you have funds they're stretched very, very thinly. So there are things I've had to compromise on and not get, um, not investing right now, but grow it slowly. Um, but then there are certain aspects that I wanted to get right, right from the beginning, like the photography, um, like the social media, like Instagram. And so I was willing to put the money in there and then things like Google ads and things like that, I thought I could do later. So it's just, yeah, balancing. I, I, there's been, I've made a few mistakes where I've ordered stuff because I want to take advantage of the bulk discount and realize actually I shouldn't have because I changed my mind about packaging and things like that. So those are some of the mistakes that I've made, but learning from them have helped.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I don't think I spoke to a single person who hasn't made mistakes in the early days because I think we all do. But as you said, it's just, if you learn from it, then I think it's actually not an advantage, but maybe actually, because I think as well as, you know, you learn something, but then it also gives you a bit of resilience that, okay, I did something wrong, but it wasn't the end of the world I think that also can be really helpful. And it's, yeah, that's really interesting. Thank you. And it's good to hear as well, how you're speaking about, you know, that you can't necessarily do everything you want now, and then you have a bit of a plan for it, because I think that that can feel really hard in the early days can't it? Where it sounds like you've got a lot of patience, Maame, where you, you know, you know, that, um, things will come. And I think that's really good because it can be very tempting to either not do things or to try and do everything at once.

Maame Sapong:

And I think that's, that's, that's one of the mistakes that small businesses make, um, that because you have very limited time, because often a lot of people start businesses and they have to manage a full time job as well as the small business. You have to know what your strengths are. One, you have to know that actually I can't do it all. Ask for help when you need the help and yeah, just be patient. I think that's it. Just be patient. I think often I found myself in the early days looking at some of the established, um, candle brands within the space I'm in. Um, I see the number of followers they have, I see the kind of content they have. And I'm like, I actually can't do all this, but okay, okay. I can't, that's just the fact I can't do them. So what can I do to actually grow my business and know that with time and the right investment, I, yeah, I will get there because I'm willing to give it my all. Um, so yeah, why not? Just have to be patient.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think it's really good to have that perspective as well because it can be really easy to look at other people, other businesses and think, oh, why aren't I where they are? Um, yeah, that's a, that's a really healthy perspective to have.

Maame Sapong:

Yes. Yeah. And I think talking to other brands, because, so one thing that Top Drawer did for me is I met a lot of lovely brands, small businesses, and I, I am keeping in touch with some of them and sometimes when you feel low, like, oh gosh, is this really worth it? You realize there's somebody on the other end of the phone who's actually going through the exact same thing and we just have to keep going and just persevere. This is what we want to do. I want to give up my, my day job. I would love to give my day job at some point in the future. And focus on this full time, so I can't just give up on it. Yeah. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And actually, we haven't mentioned, but, um, we actually met at Top Drawer in London earlier this year. Um, I wouldn't, if you don't mind, and I hadn't planned to ask this, but if it comes up and please say if you don't want to, but it'd be great to hear a little bit about your experience, you know, at a trade show, because that's a huge show I believe, was that your first?

Maame Sapong:

It was my first, yes. It was my first, I think, um, Top Drawer was very positive. I met lots of lovely people. I think in terms of, from Top Drawer and the feedback I got from the business consultants, I decided to rebrand my, um, candle refills because I was struggling to work out why it really didn't stand out, uh, on the shelf. And I knew that it was because people were struggling to work out what it was. Um, people thought it was bath salts because they'd never seen anything like this. So for me, Top Drawer was great seeing lots of other brands, great meeting lovely people. I've got some sales from Top Drawer, um, because I've met businesses there and the feedback has helped me improve on some of my, yeah, for example, my refills. I've done a rebrand of them from the feedback I had from Top Drawer. So yeah, it was, it was great for me.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really interesting. And I, I haven't heard anyone say about the feedback before, but I think what, you know, how good is that to get that feedback from buyers who obviously look at so many products and have got a really good idea of the market to be able to give you that feedback and for you to then be able to address that.

Maame Sapong:

Yes.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because that could be the sort of thing that you could go years thinking, why aren't people picking these up? Why aren't they selling more? So that's really good. And, um, that actually leads us on nicely. Let's talk a little bit about your refills because people won't know what they are.

Maame Sapong:

Exactly. Okay. So when we started the brand, I did say I wanted to build a sustainable candle brand. And one of the things we started doing was educating people about how to reuse their jars at home. But I just felt that wasn't enough. And I knew I was always going to do candle refills, I didn't know how, um, but then funnily enough, the jar I chose, I don't know if you've seen my original candle jar, it's narrower on the top and it gets wider when you go down. So when I started considering candle refills, there's no way I could go for a block. And the last thing people hate, and that's one of the feedback I actually had from Top Drawer, they buy candle refills, it comes in a block, and you have to actually use the company's jar or a jar that it fits in. So during my research, I thought, actually, all I see are refills out there, but they're all blocks in the UK. How could I make a refill that will allow people to use anything they have at home. As long as it's heatproof, it won't crack, it won't leak. As long as it's suitable for making a candle, how can I just get people to use what they have? Because, or a mug at home, without necessarily having to buy a candle. And, and then something just went off into my head and then I started looking, but then one thing I didn't want to do was to use plastic or, um, to make it quite a long process because there are lots of candle making kits out there where you melt the wax, you have to put the oils in. I wanted something that was easy to use. You could pick up. And just, yeah, use as a refill, but I didn't know how I was going to do that. So I started researching and I found a company that actually did, uh, pouches, that were suitable for using in a microwave. So I asked for samples and I actually said, actually there are lots of households, because I do have friends who choose not to have a microwave. Does that mean I'm going to eliminate them as well, uh, for the market? And the pouches came and we tested it and yeah, and these, we decided actually this is going to work. So we tested it for quite a long time. And that's what brought about the birth of our candle refills. It is a candle that's pre scented. In a 100 percent compostable pouch, that was the other thing. I didn't want a pouch that would add to the problem of waste because one of the biggest things I wanted to do was to do my little part to sort, try and tackle the waste issue we have in the candle industry. Millions of jars end up in landfill and the wax at the bottom of our candle jars, especially if it's made from paraffin, do end up in landfill, which is quite bad for our, yeah, planet Earth. So I wanted something that was compostable, so it would literally disappear back into the soil. Um, I wanted something that was easy to use, something that was unique, something that anybody could use, whether you had a microwave or a pot. You could put on the fire. So then we created our refills, which is our pre scented candle in a 100 percent compostable pouch. You just pop it in a microwave, or if you haven't got a microwave, in a pot of boiling water, you melt the wax, and then you pour it into an existing jar. And everything, the wick and the wick holder come inside the pouch. So you literally pick up the pouch and you make a candle, as long as you have a suitable jar.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for explaining it. And as you know, I picked up one at Top Drawer and I can attest to the fact that it is so easy to use. I sort of expected there to be more steps if I'm honest, but it really was heat, pour, wait a while. Like it really was. And that really surprised me. And as you know, I was absolutely delighted because I just thought that's just so, so, so clever because you're right. If you buy a, like a block candle refill, then it just never fits in the jar. Even if you buy it for the jar it's intended, it just doesn't work. Also, there's something really satisfied about pouring it yourself.

Maame Sapong:

Yeah. I think it's the process. And that's quite a lot of feedback we've had and I wasn't expecting that's just come off feedback we've had from customers who said, I actually enjoyed making it and because it was so easy it just made it even more satisfying. So yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I really like the fact as well that you don't necessarily even need to have a jar that like you say, you can just make it in a mug or just anything that is suitable that you have already. And as you say, that just takes away the thing of, you know, you want a new candle, but you know, maybe you've already got lots of jars from previous candles. Um, I think that's, that's really great. So I think this makes it great for, for everyone. I think, especially for candle lovers, because if you know, you burn a lot of candles and you have a lot of empty jars sitting around, then you have, well, what? What do I do with them? They're really hard to reuse.

Maame Sapong:

Yes. So I did reuse some of my old jars. I put spices in them at home. I use some on my desk to put matches in or pens, but then you've run out of ideas and what do you do with them? And I have been doing a few markets and every single time somebody picks up a pouch, they're like, that is, actually, that is so clever. I could actually reuse my jars. And hearing that from a lot of people is, yeah, it just puts a smile on my face.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, it should. Yeah. Well, you saw I was delighted when I found out you did that. I just, I've never heard of that. And I think it's amazing. And, um, yeah, just such a, a unique proposition. I've said before as well, I also like how much thought you've put into every single aspect of your business, you know, about the pouches being compostable. I just think that the care you've taken in thinking about all the sustainability issues and the ethical issues are fantastic.

Maame Sapong:

Yeah. Because that, that's very important to me. Um, uh, I am originally from Ghana and I know one of the biggest issues we've had, um, I've seen what flooding does to lives. Um, and a lot of that is because of plastic waste and deforestation. Um, and when you're close to the actual impact of what waste is doing. Um, yeah, it makes you think. I think that's what it is, because I, I, I've seen firsthand what the impact of us not caring about how plastic affects us or how, um, we dispose of stuff or what we dispose of. Um, I've seen the first hand what, what that does. So, yeah, it was important for me to think about all of that in the business. So for me, it's not necessarily just entirely about making profit, but just making a difference. However small that difference is just to get people to think twice about what they're buying and what they're disposing off.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think that's great. And I, I agree with you as well that I think even if we all make a small difference that does start to add up. So I think, I think that's great. And I also, yeah, thank you for sharing that as well, because it's really nice to hear the, you know, the personal reasons for, for making the decisions as well.

Maame Sapong:

Thank you. Yeah. So I'm actually in Ghana now, so visiting family and yeah, so it's, it's nice to come back and yeah see everyone, but then also see lots of good, good projects that are ongoing to tackle the main issue of plastic waste in this country. So I'll be talking about a few things on my Instagram and, and online about that in the coming weeks.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing. And I'll make sure we link to your, all your social media and your website in the show notes for the episode. And so I've got one final question before we finish, which is what would your number one piece of advice be for other product creators?

Maame Sapong:

If you're passionate about your business, I will say, um, you don't have to know it all. Um, you can actually do what you love, but also acknowledge that there are some skill sets you're, you won't be a hundred percent at. So please, if you can outsource those, because then you can free up your time to think about the, the things you're actually very, very good at, and you won't always get it right. You will make mistakes, but the lessons we learn from those mistakes is what helps you build a better brand. Um, I've learned quite a few lessons in the one year I've been trading. Some very expensive mistakes I've made, but you learn from them and you move on from it. So, and then you can't always be like the big brands. So how can you be unique and how can you still stand out? It's, it's very, very important. I think that's the one question I've always asked myself from the beginning, because I knew I was going into a very crowded market. But the only thing that kept, kept me going, and that's what steered a lot of my decisions is how do I stand out from the crowd that people would notice me. Um, and that's very important.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is, and I think it's always good to have something to keep coming back to as well. To sort of keep you on track as it were, especially when you get to, as we were saying earlier, you can get to the stage where you want to do all of the things and, but it's just nice to know that, okay, no, that isn't for me because this is what I'm about, for example.

Maame Sapong:

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. I totally agree. So yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for that and for everything that you've shared.

Maame Sapong:

Thank you, Vicki. Thank you so much for your time and thank you for having me on your podcast.

Vicki Weinberg:

You're so welcome. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode. Do remember that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources on my website, vickiweinberg. com. Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful. Thank you again and see you next week.