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Today on the podcast I’m talking to Ciara Westhead from Pico. Pico brings sustainability to all occasions with a current focus on children’s events. Ciara sells sustainable partyware, and we had a really great conversation about why she chose to start a business selling these products, some of the issues around sourcing them, and other ways you can make a party sustainable.

Pico is a young company, with big plans. It was really exciting to learn about Ciara’s plans for the future, and everything that she has achieved in a short space of time. I found it inspiring, and I hope you do too.

Listen in to hear Ciara share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:16)
  • Her current range of products (02:56)
  • Introducing reusable decorations (05:38)
  • What inspired her to start Pico (08:01)
  • Researching the market (08:50)
  • Finding a UK based supplier (10:04)
  • Organising her search for suppliers, and keeping track of replies (13:04)
  • The importance of having a clear vision (18:21)
  • Educating people on how to have more sustainable parties (21:05)
  • Dealing with greenwashing, and what it is (39:04)
  • Her number one piece of advice for other product creators (42:40)

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Pico Party Facebook

Pico Instagram

Ciara Westhead Linked In

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Transcript
Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas To Life Podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hello today I'm talking to Ciara from Pico Party.

Vicki Weinberg:

So Pico brings sustainability to all occasions with her current

Vicki Weinberg:

focus on children's events.

Vicki Weinberg:

So what Ciara sells is sustainable party wear, and we had a really great

Vicki Weinberg:

conversation about why she chose to start a business selling these products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, some of the issues around sourcing them.

Vicki Weinberg:

What a sustainble party even is, um, Yeah, we covered all kinds of things.

Vicki Weinberg:

I was super, super impressed, um, with everything that Ciara shared and

Vicki Weinberg:

everything that she's done and her vision for the company, um, because

Vicki Weinberg:

it's still a relatively new company and yeah, I was super impressed and

Vicki Weinberg:

inspired by all that Ciara has achieved and all that she plans for the future.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I really hope you feel as inspired by this conversation as I did.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'd now like to introduce you to Ciara.

Vicki Weinberg:

So hi, Ciara.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being here.

Ciara:

Oh, no worries.

Ciara:

I'm really happy to be here.

Ciara:

I'm really excited.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, excellent.

Vicki Weinberg:

Me too.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can we start with you, please give an introduction to yourself,

Vicki Weinberg:

your business and what you sell.

Ciara:

Yeah.

Ciara:

So I'm my name's Ciara, I'm the founder of Pico.

Ciara:

Um, and what we sell in a nutshell is sustainable children's party products.

Ciara:

So we started just over started trading just over three months ago.

Ciara:

Um, but Pico has been in the making for just over a year.

Ciara:

I first had the idea, um, start of April last year.

Ciara:

Um, and basically why I started it was, I was really shocked about the lack of

Ciara:

sustainable party products in the market.

Ciara:

Um, and I really wanted to create a company that was,

Ciara:

you know, also enjoying life.

Ciara:

So having the parties, having these special occasions, um, but also kind of

Ciara:

thinking of the planet at the same time.

Ciara:

So all our products are completely plastic free and that's plastic free in

Ciara:

the product and the packaging, because I used to get quite frustrated when

Ciara:

I would order a paper party product and it would come wrapped in plastic.

Ciara:

Um, so that's something that's really important.

Ciara:

And the beginning of the life, the products have thought about.

Ciara:

So they've either been made from recycled materials or from FSC paper.

Ciara:

Um, tried to keep everything as in house in the UK as possible

Ciara:

to reduce the emissions.

Ciara:

Um, And also that afterlife has been carefully thought out.

Ciara:

So, you know, making sure that these products can either be reused or recycled

Ciara:

or either home composted as well.

Ciara:

So I'd say that's in a nutshell what we do.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I was about to ask you what sustainable partyware was so thank

Vicki Weinberg:

you for explaining that as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because that's really useful because, um, I wasn't sure if everyone would

Vicki Weinberg:

you sort of know what that term meant.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so could you maybe what might be nice if you can give us like, um, an

Vicki Weinberg:

example of some of your products, because obviously I've had a really good look

Vicki Weinberg:

at your website and your range, but not everyone has mm-hmm um, so what

Vicki Weinberg:

examples of apart from, um, the sort of paper plates and cups, what are some

Vicki Weinberg:

of the other products that you have.

Ciara:

So, what we started with is three ranges.

Ciara:

So I'm starting with children's products.

Ciara:

Um, I, the reason why I did that is I come from a really big family.

Ciara:

So I'm constantly surrounded by cousins.

Ciara:

Um, and you know, most children do have, um, a birthday party.

Ciara:

So we started with three ranges, which are dinosaur, under the sea and safari.

Ciara:

Um, and we've started with tableware set.

Ciara:

So in the tableware set, you get a place mat, you get the.,get the cups

Ciara:

and you get napkins, and that's all included in the Pico party table set.

Ciara:

Um, and they've been designed, really lucky, I've got a very close friend

Ciara:

of mine who's an illustrated designer.

Ciara:

Um, so she has designed all the products.

Ciara:

Because another thing that I found with the market was there was, you know,

Ciara:

few sustainable products, but the ones that were sustainable were quite boring

Ciara:

and brown and you know, there's nothing wrong with that, if that's the kind

Ciara:

of viable theme that you're going with for your party, but I wanted to create

Ciara:

really great looking party products that, um, are stand out, um, but also

Ciara:

have that sustainable aspect to them.

Ciara:

So as well as like the tableware sets, we've also got like paper

Ciara:

decorations, again, these paper decorations, we've got like garlands,

Ciara:

we've got like honeycomb balloons.

Ciara:

Um, I love the honeycomb balloons because they're shaped like balloons.

Ciara:

Um, but they don't, but they, um, they're not actual balloons.

Ciara:

And then we've also got the honeycomb balls as well.

Ciara:

So it's, you know, small to start with we're only three months, but I really

Ciara:

want to expand the range further.

Ciara:

I'm already talking about what next tableware set we're going to add on.

Ciara:

Um, and then hopefully, you know, I think the next year stay within

Ciara:

children's parties, but then hopefully start to expand the ages even, even

Ciara:

further to all different occasions.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you so much for explaining that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm glad you talked about the honeycomb balloons, because

Vicki Weinberg:

they're my personal favorite as well from your website.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I just think they're so clever.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And the fact that I guess you can fold them flat again and then bring them out.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I really, I really like that and that's something I've been trying to do

Vicki Weinberg:

myself it's sort of buy a birthday banner, but you know, without an, an age on it.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you can just bring out the same one every year.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think that's quite nice as well because it hopefully as well

Vicki Weinberg:

as being sustainable, it will like for families create traditions.

Vicki Weinberg:

If they always get out the same birthday banner or bunting or

Vicki Weinberg:

whatever it is, I think that's, it's a really nice thing to have.

Ciara:

Yeah, no, I a hundred percent agree and it's, you know, that reusable aspect.

Ciara:

So at the moment, you know, we have to stock the paper decorations, but

Ciara:

all of them are really good quality.

Ciara:

So it means that like I've used some of the honeycomb balloons,

Ciara:

you know, multiple times.

Ciara:

Um, you just, as long as you're not like ripping things up and

Ciara:

so forth, but you can, if you are careful, you can re-use them.

Ciara:

Um, but you know, one occasion then another occasion, which

Ciara:

is really, really great.

Ciara:

Um, and yeah, like with the happy birthday banners, things like that,

Ciara:

that's something we're looking to add.

Ciara:

So then you can put it in the draw and then you can have it out.

Ciara:

So you don't have to keep, I think we do have this culture of like, okay,

Ciara:

it's a new party, it's a new event.

Ciara:

We need to buy a new thing.

Ciara:

But actually I think we really do need to change.

Ciara:

And it's ging to take time.

Ciara:

And I think even for myself, you know, um, you kind of have that culture of like, I

Ciara:

need to buy a new thing for a new party.

Ciara:

Like you need to buy a new outfit.

Ciara:

Um, but trying to change that kind of mindset and trying to, you know, buying

Ciara:

once and buying something that's, you know, fairly good quality and then

Ciara:

you can keep it for years to come.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think as well, it probably is cheaper in the long run to do as well, um,

Vicki Weinberg:

when you think of like cost per use, I'm sure that if you are taking care of that,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, you've got a nice banner and you're taking care of it and you're using

Vicki Weinberg:

it, you know, year after year, it does become cheaper than buying sort of cheaper

Vicki Weinberg:

once, you know, one time use things every year or every couple of times, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

whatever, however, often you have events.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I definitely think it works out cheaper in the long run as well.

Ciara:

Oh yeah.

Ciara:

A hundred percent.

Ciara:

And it's like, if you have something, like you said, that's a sentimental thing that

Ciara:

you, you bring it out for every party, you can keep that from years to come.

Ciara:

If it's something that's, you know, good quality and then you can pass it

Ciara:

on, say to your child and then their child, and then they can keep it.

Ciara:

It's a nice tradition to have.

Ciara:

Um, so yeah, I completely agree with.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think your sort of inspiration and your vision for

Vicki Weinberg:

Pico is so, so clear, Ciara.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but how did you go from that to actually setting up your business?

Vicki Weinberg:

So you mentioned you had a friend who helped you with, um, the actual

Vicki Weinberg:

illustrations, but I guess there's so much else that goes alongside it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I guess, and a big part of that, and I don't wanna preempt

Vicki Weinberg:

anything you're going to say.

Vicki Weinberg:

Be sort of finding suppliers that can deliver on your vision as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

So do you mind talking this through, so you, you came up with the idea and

Vicki Weinberg:

then, um, where you took it from there?

Ciara:

Yeah, definitely.

Ciara:

It was a long process.

Ciara:

Um, so like I said, I started thinking about Pico in April of last year.

Ciara:

And then, um, we launched in February of this year.

Ciara:

So, I guess the reasoning behind Pico in a nutshell is, as I've mentioned

Ciara:

before I come from a really big family.

Ciara:

So my dad's one of 10 and my mum's one of four.

Ciara:

Um, and I was constantly going to these, you know, uh, parties and

Ciara:

it was just the, these products that were completely plastic.

Ciara:

And I was just like, why is there, that's shocking that, is there nothing out there?

Ciara:

Um, And to give you a bit more back of context.

Ciara:

I, my last year of uni, I did quite a few modules on like ethics and

Ciara:

sustainability in the circular economy.

Ciara:

So it really kind of got my interest and I tried to be more

Ciara:

sustainable and all my approaches.

Ciara:

So it kind of just started out as me looking for products.

Ciara:

Like I was like, let, I'm going to look for sustainable party products.

Ciara:

And I was really shocked.

Ciara:

I was like, there isn't really much out there.

Ciara:

There was maybe a few companies that had like a small, sustainable

Ciara:

range that was again, quite boring and nothing really that exciting.

Ciara:

Um, and I was just like, is there not one company?

Ciara:

Like their focus is about making, um, party products more ecofriendly and

Ciara:

I just really couldn't find anything.

Ciara:

So then I probably spent.

Ciara:

Like two, three months really researching the market, looking at

Ciara:

what the competitors were doing.

Ciara:

Just really making sure that there was nothing out there.

Ciara:

Not that it may would've stopped me, but just if there's someone already doing

Ciara:

it really well, um, maybe it would've, you know, stopped me from doing it,

Ciara:

but I just couldn't find anything.

Ciara:

And then the more I started to do it, the more I kind of became obsessed with it.

Ciara:

Um, so getting up really early, you know, working a full-time job, but then

Ciara:

getting up at 5:30 to do Pico in the mornings and then Pico in the evenings.

Ciara:

And I obsessed, I think in a really good way, you know, I, sometimes it

Ciara:

was hard because I was working on out, but like, I just really enjoyed doing

Ciara:

it and I really wanted to, you know, change, change the party industry.

Ciara:

Um, so, and then in terms of like getting a supplier.

Ciara:

Suppliers.

Ciara:

It was hard.

Ciara:

It was tough because, and then I started to realize maybe why there

Ciara:

wasn't anyone in the UK doing it.

Ciara:

Because it actually was really hard to find suppliers.

Ciara:

Um, so traditionally with the party industry, um, and the kind of

Ciara:

companies out there at the moment, they get everything from China.

Ciara:

So they have one manufacturer in China and that manufacturer does their plates,

Ciara:

their cups, their, you know, garlands does everything so they can make sure

Ciara:

everything kind of looks, um, you know, united, um, and it's well as just

Ciara:

easier, they can go to the supplier and just be like, can you get this done?

Ciara:

I really didn't want to do that.

Ciara:

I wanted to keep things more inhouse ,close to the UK, um, just to save on the

Ciara:

admission costs and, you know, really to try to keep that sustainability aspect,

Ciara:

but all times in all the products.

Ciara:

So instead of going to one supplier, I had to go to multiple

Ciara:

suppliers for different products.

Ciara:

And that was tricky.

Ciara:

I remember.

Ciara:

I probably spent about five, six months just trying to find a supplier.

Ciara:

And it was tough.

Ciara:

Like I couldn't, it was, I couldn't find really ones at

Ciara:

times that could do what I wanted.

Ciara:

Like there would be sometimes that I would find one that could do what

Ciara:

I wanted, but they wanted a hundred thousand minimum order quantity.

Ciara:

And that was, you know, a huge investment for me at the beginning when I, I, I

Ciara:

didn't really have the capital to do that.

Ciara:

And I also didn't want to be investing in this huge stock and then not selling

Ciara:

it and then having to pay for, um, you know, somewhere to, um, keep the stock.

Ciara:

So it was a struggle.

Ciara:

It really was, but I'm really glad I didn't give up because then I did

Ciara:

find suppliers who could do what I needed and it's still, I would say

Ciara:

not perfect, but it's definitely closer to what I want it to be.

Ciara:

So for example, the place mats are made in the UK.

Ciara:

And so the cups, um, and the napkins are made, um, in, in Germany.

Ciara:

So again, it could be UK, but there was no one in the UK that actually

Ciara:

could print napkins that I needed.

Ciara:

Um, but that's something to think about for the future.

Ciara:

You know, how I can bring that more in house, maybe making the napkins in house.

Ciara:

Um, so yeah, trying to keep everything as close to the UK as possible.

Ciara:

Um, but also having that sustainability aspect and the way the products are made

Ciara:

and what the materials are made for.

Ciara:

So, yeah, it was a struggle.

Ciara:

It was.

Ciara:

Um, but I think it worked.

Ciara:

It.

Ciara:

I kind of got there and I think the more I'm actually in Pico, actually, I have

Ciara:

people reach out to me now, suppliers, which kind of blows my mind because before

Ciara:

I was always trying to reach out to them.

Ciara:

Um, so I think as we go, my aim is to just keep adding more products and

Ciara:

really keep that sustainability, that ecofriendly aspect to them at all times.

Ciara:

And I think we're just starting and I think there's so many

Ciara:

more things that we can do.

Ciara:

Um, But, you know, I think it's going to take time to get to, you know, make

Ciara:

it even more eco-friendly as possible.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I, I think I, I definitely agree that I'm sure that as the, you

Vicki Weinberg:

know, years go by, you will be doing more and then things will change.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I had to say I'm really impressed because I know you say it's taken a

Vicki Weinberg:

long time, but really, and just over a year, you've done a huge amount.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I really resonated what you were saying as well about sort of

Vicki Weinberg:

getting up early and doing a couple of hours before you started your day.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think that's just sometimes the way it has to be, and I'm really glad that

Vicki Weinberg:

you got where you needed to be in the end.

Vicki Weinberg:

And just, uh, when talking about the suppliers.

Vicki Weinberg:

So how were you finding them?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I think that's something people might be interested in is,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, were you just using Google or were you going to trade shows?

Vicki Weinberg:

What were.

Vicki Weinberg:

What were you doing?

Ciara:

So I didn't actually go to any trade shows, but I think

Ciara:

that would've been something that could have been a good idea.

Ciara:

Definitely.

Ciara:

It was Google, but you know, not just, I was saying not just aimlessly

Ciara:

kind of Googling and, you know, just looking, I had like a really detailed

Ciara:

spreadsheet, just making sure, you know, every time I've contact probably,

Ciara:

maybe 20 suppliers one morning.

Ciara:

And then every time they got back to me, I would then comment if they couldn't

Ciara:

do it or if they could, um, and making sure that, you know, I wasn't just

Ciara:

reaching out to the same one twice.

Ciara:

Um, but also, you know, talking to other suppliers.

Ciara:

So.

Ciara:

You know, if maybe one supplier can't do what you, you want.

Ciara:

Um, just asking them, do you have any recommendations?

Ciara:

You know, they've been in the industry normally for quite a long time.

Ciara:

Um, and that seemed to kind of help as well, but yeah, it was Googling, um, was

Ciara:

my main kind of way of, um, finding them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Uh, yeah, I do think that's underestimated.

Vicki Weinberg:

Sometimes when people ask me how to find suppliers and I say, Google, I think

Vicki Weinberg:

people think maybe there's more to it than that, but Google in a, in a spreadsheet

Vicki Weinberg:

is how I've always done it as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, I don't know whether you found the same Ciara, but something that I

Vicki Weinberg:

would add is, I always found that you had to go beyond page one of Google.

Vicki Weinberg:

You had to go deeper into the searches than you would if you were doing like a

Vicki Weinberg:

regular search in your day to day life.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like sometimes the supplier you need might be on page four or page five, which most

Vicki Weinberg:

of us let's face it don't go that far.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but I found that sometimes there'd be a great supplier, but they're

Vicki Weinberg:

a really small company based, you know, somewhere in the Midlands.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so they're on, they're not on page one of Google, but they are

Vicki Weinberg:

exactly what you're looking for.

Ciara:

Yeah, no, a hundred percent.

Ciara:

Uh, I did the same thing like you trolling through, um, Google and also

Ciara:

trying to change what you are searching.

Ciara:

So maybe it's changing like few words.

Ciara:

Um, like I was looking for full coverage napkins, which no one does in the UK.

Ciara:

Um, but trying to, you know, type it in, in a different way.

Ciara:

When I, before I knew that, you know, it couldn't be UK based.

Ciara:

Um, but just changing that search time a little bit.

Ciara:

Seemed to help, but yeah, it, it was a, it was a struggle and it, you know,

Ciara:

it, it wasn't the funnest thing to do.

Ciara:

Um, it was exciting in a sense, because I was like, every time I got closer to

Ciara:

finding a supplier, that was exciting.

Ciara:

And then I got closer to making Pico, you know, the vision become reality.

Ciara:

Um, but it's, I think it's definitely one of those things that.

Ciara:

You can't give up because I remember there were points when I was like, I don't know

Ciara:

if this is even possible, like I, you know, but I think you have to take, and it

Ciara:

sounds so dramatic just trying to find a supply, but that's what I needed to then

Ciara:

make Pico, you know, become what it is.

Ciara:

Um, But I think, yeah, you just have to like, kind of not give

Ciara:

up and just keep looking, um, and just keep reaching out to people.

Ciara:

And it will, you know, it, it will happen, which thankfully for me, it did.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for explaining all of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because finding suppliers, obviously one of the most important things,

Vicki Weinberg:

and I personally think it is.

Vicki Weinberg:

Possibly the hardest and not hard in terms of what you have to do, because

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, it's relatively easy, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

What, what am I trying to say?

Vicki Weinberg:

It is searching and reaching out to people which isn't like a, you know, it's a skill

Vicki Weinberg:

that all of us can do it, but I think what's hard is the fact that it can be

Vicki Weinberg:

quite boring and quite sole destroying.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I like the point you made about trying different search terms in Google

Vicki Weinberg:

as well, because I think often we don't really even know what we are searching

Vicki Weinberg:

for, um, because sometimes searching, like, I don't know, napkin supplier.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I, I don't know if you found it the same, but often I think when you

Vicki Weinberg:

do any of these searches, what you end up with is a lot of wholesalers

Vicki Weinberg:

rather than the actual manufacturers.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think, yeah, learning how to sort of tweak your searches in Google.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's definitely a skill as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you do need a fair bit of patience.

Ciara:

Oh yeah.

Ciara:

A hundred percent.

Ciara:

And I think like I had a lot of supplies say to me, like, why don't you just

Ciara:

buy products that were already made?

Ciara:

And I was like, no, I want to start something new.

Ciara:

I want to, you know, do something fresh.

Ciara:

Um, so, you know, and not.

Ciara:

You know, sometimes you do need to listen to people and if they have

Ciara:

experience a hundred percent, I think do, but sometimes if you're going with

Ciara:

your gut feeling like there's so many times people said to me, why don't you

Ciara:

just buy some things that are already made and, you know, resell them.

Ciara:

And that probably would've been the easy route, but I'm really glad that I didn't,

Ciara:

because now we, I think our products are great and they are really unique.

Ciara:

Um, and that's kind of the Pico branding and that's what we want to be.

Ciara:

And I wouldn't have been able to do that if I had products already in the market.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm so impressed, Ciara, that you've, how much

Vicki Weinberg:

you've held onto your vision.

Vicki Weinberg:

I just think that's so impressive.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it just goes to show that having a really clear vision, I think

Vicki Weinberg:

you, you do get there in the end because you, you, you know, it sounds like you

Vicki Weinberg:

were so like laser focused on this is what I want and this is not what I want.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I, I think that's honestly, I think that's really helped.

Ciara:

Yeah, definitely.

Ciara:

It's probably at times when, like, , I think my mum's like you put yourself under

Ciara:

too much stress because you're like, she's like, you know, but, um, yeah, it's

Ciara:

probably it's I think definitely that like going with your gut and, you know.

Ciara:

Like I said going with like the vision, that's something that was so important to

Ciara:

me and I knew what I wanted to create and I, but then also I not being so naive and

Ciara:

just creating something that you want, but actually talking to your target market.

Ciara:

So I'm not a mum myself.

Ciara:

Um, so probably think quite mad and I'm targeting mums, but I have

Ciara:

a lot of mums around me who, my cousins and my aunties, my family.

Ciara:

But also going, maybe sometimes they will give me a mission, just that's

Ciara:

maybe trying to make me feel better, that actually going to other mums and like I'm

Ciara:

constantly when you know, on Instagram or like, um, mum's even just like, you

Ciara:

know, talking to like next to a table that I've met asking them, like, what do

Ciara:

you think to try and get their feedback?

Ciara:

Um, because I they're, the people that, you know, are

Ciara:

going to be buying the products.

Ciara:

So I really need to, even though I've got this vision and keep it, um, within

Ciara:

keep it like in a clear, sustainable, and good looking way, but finding out

Ciara:

what they really want and they really need, and making sure that it's products

Ciara:

that they actually want to buy as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is such a good point.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm so glad you brought that up as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

When you have a clear vision, it can be so easy to get stuck in your vision and

Vicki Weinberg:

not think about people who are buying it.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I guess they are, they're the same, but different also, I guess,

Vicki Weinberg:

because I mean, your vision was, you know, to have products that

Vicki Weinberg:

are sustainable and reusable.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but then I guess to other things around sort of how they

Vicki Weinberg:

look and sort of themes and colour.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know, colours and, or I guess there's lots of other things that, you

Vicki Weinberg:

know, it's great that your customers are able to give you input on.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, yeah, it's brilliant that you were doing that and I

Vicki Weinberg:

can see that from your post that you're still doing that as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it's great that you are talking to your customers so much because

Vicki Weinberg:

they will obviously tell you what they need and which will really

Vicki Weinberg:

help inform things going forwards.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, what I am really interested in as in as well Ciara, is so obviously

Vicki Weinberg:

tradition, I don't wanna say traditional.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think, I guess, I mean, plastic, um, party products we've been around,

Vicki Weinberg:

like, you know, since I was a kid and I'm quite old now, um, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

like balloons, paper plates that go in the bin and things like that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so, so what I guess is a two part question.

Vicki Weinberg:

So are you finding there's a lot of education you need to do around, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

why people need to be thinking about more sustainable party products and if so,

Vicki Weinberg:

sort of, how are you addressing that?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I guess that's quite a challenge that people might not be

Vicki Weinberg:

always looking to buy sustainable.

Vicki Weinberg:

Although I think things are moving in that direction and sorry I'm asking

Vicki Weinberg:

you quite a lot of questions in one.

Vicki Weinberg:

I was trying to think of it more succinct way of saying that.

Ciara:

Yeah, no, no.

Ciara:

That makes complete sense.

Ciara:

So yeah, I mean, you know, I'm 23 now.

Ciara:

Um, but I remember growing up and we had plastic, everything at my party was

Ciara:

plastic, you know, party bags, plastic plates, everything was, um, And the more

Ciara:

I kind of researched into, you know, why plastic was an issue was so only 9% of

Ciara:

plastics in the UK actually gets recycled.

Ciara:

So you put them into the bin.

Ciara:

Um, and just the way kind of like our, um, waste infrastructure is that

Ciara:

only 9% get recycled, which is huge.

Ciara:

And then these plastic items, which we use once, um, take

Ciara:

hundreds of years to decompose.

Ciara:,:Ciara:

plastic in the ocean than fish, which is a scary thing as well.

Ciara:

Um, and obviously the, the micro, um, oh, forgot the word now.

Ciara:

Um, Um, the plastic micro fibre, but that's it.

Ciara:

Um, they're going into the ocean and they're going, and then the

Ciara:

fish are eating them and then the fish, we are eating the fish.

Ciara:

And then also, sorry, I can go into this quite, quite a lot, but, um, also, you

Ciara:

know, if you have that plastic in the soil that goes to landfill, and then

Ciara:

that goes, that can get into our water system, then we can drink the microfibres.

Ciara:

So it's quite a scary thing.

Ciara:

I think, to think that, you know, plastic, I know it seems harmless and you use it.

Ciara:

That actually, you know, millions of people and millions of people do use these

Ciara:

plastic items, then it can cause such like a damaging effect to, um our planet.

Ciara:

And I think even though, you know, some plastics are recycled just because of the

Ciara:

way the weighting structure is, it, it doesn't, it doesn't actually get recycled.

Ciara:

So trying to move away completely from the plastic products.

Ciara:

And as I said earlier, you know, plastic free in both the,

Ciara:

um, product and the packaging.

Ciara:

So, not just having like a paper product actually then having the packaging,

Ciara:

um, be made tissue paper as well.

Ciara:

So, um, it doesn't have the plastic aspect and I'm, I'm not, you know, saying

Ciara:

plastic as like the worst thing ever, but I definitely want for me and the

Ciara:

research that I've done, it doesn't feel right having any plastic in the business.

Ciara:

Um, but also I know that paper, you know has its challenges as well.

Ciara:

Um, paper is more likely to be recycled.

Ciara:

And then if it went to landfill, it takes less, it takes a few weeks to

Ciara:

decompose rather than a few years.

Ciara:

Um, so that's why going more down the, and adding more reusable

Ciara:

products is definitely something that, um, I want to consider and I have

Ciara:

considered and want to add to, um.

Ciara:

So, yeah, that's a nutshell.

Ciara:

So I think I went on and waffled there.

Vicki Weinberg:

No, you didn't.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's so interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that fact, I don't know, if you saw my face when you said the

Vicki Weinberg:

facts about, you know, plastic and the fish, I was like, what?

Vicki Weinberg:

That's just scary and yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, and with, um, just, it is something that I don't know.

Vicki Weinberg:

So with paper party products, so I'm thinking plates and cups.

Vicki Weinberg:

Can they be, um, disposed or got rid of?

Vicki Weinberg:

Are, can they, are they biodegradable or are they sort of recyclable?

Vicki Weinberg:

Like you'd recycle cup?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I think once you, you, you have food on plates, you can't

Vicki Weinberg:

recycle them, is that correct?

Ciara:

Yes.

Ciara:

Yeah.

Ciara:

And I'm glad you brought it up.

Ciara:

Because that is something that, you know, is on my mind actually constantly.

Ciara:

So with the cups and stuff, it's fine.

Ciara:

You can get rid of the, the drink and you can just put them in the recycling bin.

Ciara:

But the cups that we have can also be, so it's quite confusing, but in

Ciara:

the UK, we've got home composted and then we've got industrially composted.

Ciara:

So industrially composted means that it goes to this waste unit.

Ciara:

And it can, it can decompose, but it's done in, in industrial environment.

Ciara:

Um, and there is a difference between home composting and industrial composted.

Ciara:

Not all products can do both.

Ciara:

With, um, our cups they can, they can be home composted.

Ciara:

It can also be industrial composted and they can be recycled.

Ciara:

I recommend.

Ciara:

So we've got like a page, what we recommend to do.

Ciara:

Um, I recommend always recycling them because then they can go back and they

Ciara:

can be reused and made into new product.

Ciara:

So that's what, um, my stance is, but say, if you did get them covered in

Ciara:

food or whatever, then you could like cut them up and then literally put

Ciara:

them in your compost, um, at home.

Ciara:

And that wouldn't be an issue.

Ciara:

Um, and similar with the plates.

Ciara:

So with the plates, if you have, you know, Some kind of like, you know, like

Ciara:

cake or something like that, that hasn't got food all over the cake, all over

Ciara:

the plate, then it can be recycled.

Ciara:

It goes into this big kind of container.

Ciara:

Um, and like the water will kind of get rid of any of the residue and so forth.

Ciara:

Um, But if you don't, say you get covered in ketchup and, um, other, you know,

Ciara:

other pouring sauces and stuff like that, you can cut up the plates and you

Ciara:

can put them again in your home compost.

Ciara:

That's not an issue.

Ciara:

Um, most household units don't have waste structures that go

Ciara:

to industrial composted units.

Ciara:

So I, I don't recommend that.

Ciara:

Um, or it can go, if you do get food over, it can go to

Ciara:

landfill, but it will decompose.

Ciara:

In a few weeks instead of a few years, but that's definitely something that's

Ciara:

on my mind with the plates, because even though they are better than plastic,

Ciara:

I think we can do so much better.

Ciara:

And I have don't want to let too much off, but I've got some ideas coming in.

Ciara:

Um, you know, the next kind of six to eight months of what we can do.

Ciara:

Plate wise.

Ciara:

Um, so yes, so watch this space.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's really exciting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And the reason I ask that is, is because I didn't realize for a long time.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, um, we obviously recycle cardboards, but I didn't realize for a long time

Vicki Weinberg:

if cardboard or paper plates had food on and that they couldn't be recycled.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, genuinely didn't realize that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then when I did realize that I switched to not recycling them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but that's really interesting what you did at home composting.

Vicki Weinberg:

So thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is a great tip.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I could take leftover paper plates and then put them in the home.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's thank you for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because that's, you know, I think when we, when we want to be doing our bit,

Vicki Weinberg:

it's really frustrating when you feel like you can't recycle something, but you

Vicki Weinberg:

sort of, especially when you've bought paper plates, because you want to do your

Vicki Weinberg:

bit for the environment and then you find out that you can't actually recycle them.

Vicki Weinberg:

So that's really useful.

Ciara:

Yeah.

Ciara:

Just double check on, um, if you do buy paper plates or so forth, double check,

Ciara:

they don't have a PLA lining, um, which is like a plastic lining because if they

Ciara:

do, then they can't be home composted.

Ciara:

Um, because the piano lines on it.

Ciara:

So a lot of paper plates, that was another issue I came across,

Ciara:

um, is, and that's why we haven't actually got any branded plates yet.

Ciara:

Um, is because I couldn't find a manufacturer.

Ciara:

I actually have found one now, which is great, but I couldn't find a manufacturer

Ciara:

who didn't have that PLA lining on the um, so yeah, just something to think about.

Ciara:

Think sometimes we think all paper plates, but actually if they've

Ciara:

got plastic lining on, um, then you know, we wouldn't be able to do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

I had absolutely no idea that was a thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I'm learning so much.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And speaking of that, so I guess there's two things.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so you mentioned a page.

Vicki Weinberg:

Did, is there something you send to customers when they order

Vicki Weinberg:

from you then to explain how to be and recycle their products?

Ciara:

Yeah, I actually have it.

Ciara:

I'll quickly just show you here.

Ciara:

It's like a little, um, so yeah, everyone listening, it's like a little

Ciara:

kind of leaflet, um, thing, and then they can scan it and it scam me.

Ciara:

Um, and it will tell them how to dispose of their products in the correct way.

Ciara:

Um, because I think there is a lot of misconception about, but I've got

Ciara:

this product what do I do with it?

Ciara:

Like I'm constantly thinking that like I'll buy something from the supermarket

Ciara:

and I try and buy, you know, zero waste.

Ciara:

So I'll try and go more local and not have and go and get my fruit and vegetables.

Ciara:

They're not wrapped in plastic, but I'm not perfect.

Ciara:

And sometimes I might have to run to the, um, the supermarket to get it.

Ciara:

Um, and.

Ciara:

You know, sometimes they don't have it on the back, like what you need to do.

Ciara:

And it's really frustrating because you're like, well, what

Ciara:

do I do with this product now?

Ciara:

So I've tried to break it down quite clearly and like how

Ciara:

you dispose of each product.

Ciara:

And if it's got food on it, how to do it, if it's, you know, not contaminated,

Ciara:

then what you can do with it.

Ciara:

Um, and most people might know, but I just thought that sometimes, you know, you

Ciara:

don't know and you can kind of be looking and it's kind of teaching and educating.

Ciara:

What's the right thing to do.

Ciara:

Um, so yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think a lot of people don't always know.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean I've certainly been in that situation where I've looked at something

Vicki Weinberg:

and thought, can I recycle this?

Vicki Weinberg:

Can't I recycle it.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then obviously the rules for where you everywhere you

Vicki Weinberg:

live can be quite different.

Vicki Weinberg:

So where we live, for example, we can't recycle, you know, like Tetra

Vicki Weinberg:

pack, um, like imagine you get, um, I'm thinking we have oatmeal

Vicki Weinberg:

and it comes in these cartons.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think in some places you can recycle them, but we can't recycle them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I think when it's, when it's confusing for people, when they're

Vicki Weinberg:

like, what bin does this go in?

Vicki Weinberg:

And can I recycle this?

Vicki Weinberg:

Or what do I do with that?

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, it just makes it less likely that people are going to do it, I

Vicki Weinberg:

think because it's just not as easy.

Ciara:

Oh, definitely.

Ciara:

And I think we definitely have an, um, an issue in the UK because

Ciara:

every council is different.

Ciara:

So confusing.

Ciara:

Like it took me when I was researching for Pico.

Ciara:

It took me months to kind of work out what I, what you could do with these

Ciara:

products and the difference between, like I said, industrial composting and

Ciara:

normal composting and the different waste units that, um, different councils have.

Ciara:

And I think you know, you have to take a long, like I took a long time researching

Ciara:

this and a lot of people, fair enough to them, maybe haven't even thought

Ciara:

about it or just don't have the time to, um, you know, so it, it is confusing.

Ciara:

And I think we definitely, as, um, as a country, we have to get better

Ciara:

because if we could get smarter and more efficient in it, I think it could

Ciara:

be so much better, um, and really help to like reduce our waste as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And coming back to the sort of education around, around this, um, are you

Vicki Weinberg:

finding, you're having to do lots of education before people buy from you?

Vicki Weinberg:

So lots of posts and talking about the benefits of buying your products

Vicki Weinberg:

versus traditional plastic ones, or are you finding that people are

Vicki Weinberg:

generally already pretty brought in.

Ciara:

I think, yeah, people are quite excited.

Ciara:

The one, two things that I really wanted to have because is, you know, the, the

Ciara:

eco friendly sustainable side and, you know, have that really strong that's

Ciara:

like at our core, also have these really great looking products that, you know,

Ciara:

people don't feel like, oh, I'll buy from them because they're sustainable.

Ciara:

But actually like, oh no, I'm going to buy from them because

Ciara:

their products are actually great.

Ciara:

Like they've got, they look great.

Ciara:

They've got that, um, ecofriendly aspect.

Ciara:

Like, that's why I want to, so.

Ciara:

It's like almost, you know, it's a really great benefit.

Ciara:

They are sustainable, but they still want to purchase these products.

Ciara:

They look great.

Ciara:

Um, so, you know, there is a bit of an educational piece, but

Ciara:

most people I've spoken to really like that, um, aspect of it.

Ciara:

Um, and most people really like the designs as well.

Ciara:

Um, which has been great.

Ciara:

Um, So, yeah, I'd say a little bit, but mostly people are, are brought in.

Ciara:

Definitely.

Ciara:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for answering, I was just really curious.

Vicki Weinberg:

I, and I think you're right, actually that I'm seeing just myself, just

Vicki Weinberg:

when I go and, and look a lot more products now do seem to.

Vicki Weinberg:

Be going that way.

Vicki Weinberg:

Anyway.

Vicki Weinberg:

So for example, um, if you went on Amazon and you searched for party bags, I, I, I

Vicki Weinberg:

wanna say that the first, however, many, but first page of results are all paper.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm fairly sure that when I last looked, they were all, you know, paper bags,

Vicki Weinberg:

whereas I'm sure 10 years ago, maybe even five years ago, The best selling ones

Vicki Weinberg:

would've all been those plastic ones.

Vicki Weinberg:

We remember when we were kids.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I do think that things are definitely moving that way, which I think is great

Vicki Weinberg:

because it's, I think it's always harder when you're having to sort of explain

Vicki Weinberg:

to people why they need your products.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I think, yeah, it sounds like that isn't needed, which is, I think it

Vicki Weinberg:

makes it a lot easier starting point.

Ciara:

Hmm.

Ciara:

And I think so.

Ciara:

I just want to like mention as well.

Ciara:

It's like, I think definitely with sustainable products, they are a bit more

Ciara:

expensive just because, you know, the route you've had, it's still a newish

Ciara:

concept and, you know, plastic and so forth is a cheaper option at the moment.

Ciara:

Um, but one thing that I really want is at the moment, you know, I probably say

Ciara:

my target markets, people with a bit more money because they can, they can afford,

Ciara:

you know, these, um, party products, but I definitely want, as we grow, um, I

Ciara:

don't want to be an exclusive brand where it's like, you know, only if you have a

Ciara:

lot of money, you can buy the products.

Ciara:

I really want it to be a brand that is inclusive and still, you

Ciara:

know, keeping that, um, like, um, eco-friendly aspect, but, um, you

Ciara:

know, making it a bit, potentially a bit more affordable, um, for everyone.

Ciara:

And I think with time as, you know, things go on, hopefully that

Ciara:

will happen because, um, the kind of the paper products will come.

Ciara:

The unit cost will become a bit cheaper, which will mean that I can, I can do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I really love the vision you've got.

Vicki Weinberg:

Every time you talk about some of your plans.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm really just think I'm just so impressed.

Vicki Weinberg:

I can't believe that you're 23 and you've got such a clear

Vicki Weinberg:

vision for what you want to do.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I, I don't mean that in a patronizing way.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm just thinking back to when I was 23.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't think I was very clear on anything really.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I don't I'm I'm yeah, I'm not trying to patronize.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm basically thinking back to myself.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I certainly, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I don't think I felt so strongly about anything.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I'm super impressed and yeah, and I, I wonder as well, whether as things

Vicki Weinberg:

change, whether there'll be more suppliers in the UK who can do what

Vicki Weinberg:

you want, um, as the demand increases, which I think it, it will, um, like you

Vicki Weinberg:

said, I think you, I think, am I right in saying you are the first company

Vicki Weinberg:

to producing products at the moment.

Ciara:

I haven't found any other company that, you know, their main kind of

Ciara:

like route of their, like for party products that is, you know, they've got

Ciara:

like a real focus on sustainability.

Ciara:

If anyone listening has let me know.

Ciara:

Um, but I haven't found any, um, yeah in the, in the market at the moment,

Ciara:

I think with the UK, one thing that I'm really keen is I think more

Ciara:

suppliers will hopefully come to the UK, which, which will be great, but I

Ciara:

think maybe bringing it more in house.

Ciara:

Um, so making the products actually, you know, I'd love to have, this

Ciara:

is another really good vision.

Ciara:

I'd love to have, you know, a place that we have.

Ciara:

We get all, we make all the products ourselves like in, um, a unit.

Ciara:

Um, and, uh, you know, it again, so it's not like we're, we're going all around

Ciara:

the country and trying to get, um, trying to get, reduce the emissions even further

Ciara:

if we get everything made made in house.

Ciara:

Um, so that's, it's, it's it I'm not sure if that's definitely

Ciara:

the way it's going to go.

Ciara:

It might not be, but that's something that, um, yeah, I would love to do.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes total sense as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I can see sort of having everything under one roof.

Vicki Weinberg:

See, that would be a benefit and yeah, yet again, I'm really just

Vicki Weinberg:

blown away by your, by your vision.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I also feel as well, um, that while I think you are, it sounds

Vicki Weinberg:

like you probably are the first or at least one of the first to do this.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't think you're going to be the last, I think that other companies are going to

Vicki Weinberg:

start following what you are doing, which I think is amazing to be out there ahead,

Vicki Weinberg:

but hopefully as more companies think, oh, actually we could, you know, as more

Vicki Weinberg:

companies maybe spring up or adapt to become more sustainable, hopefully that

Vicki Weinberg:

will change the, the supplier as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I guess manufacturers will then also have to adapt if companies are

Vicki Weinberg:

saying, okay, we are moving away from plastic and we're moving more this way.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, it'd be really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah, I would, I would love to see.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, hopefully I will be able to see in, so in 10 years time where we are

Vicki Weinberg:

and how much things have moved on.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I really think they will.

Ciara:

Yeah.

Ciara:

I mean, I don't think, you know, as a company you can stay in what was before.

Ciara:

Um, and I have seen some party companies, you know, trying to change, um, a

Ciara:

little bit of their product ranges and so forth, um, to align, to be more eco

Ciara:

friendly and yeah, I, I think it's great.

Ciara:

Um, Yeah, I think it would, if you stayed thinking, you know,

Ciara:

we can just sell everything.

Ciara:

I think as well, people have changed, like people's consume like what they want.

Ciara:

Like, I think that cheap looking party, you know, like the foil type

Ciara:

material, um, I just don't really think people want that anymore either.

Ciara:

Like, I think people want something that looks a bit more slightly more premium.

Ciara:

Um, so yeah, I think it, you know, as consumers, they are changing as well.

Ciara:

So, and I think it is consumer driven that is making, um,

Ciara:

these companies change as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I wonder as well, if, you know, as not as well as the consumers,

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm assuming that there'll be change legislation around, you know, what

Vicki Weinberg:

products are made from, for example.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I mean, I'm hoping anyway, that things are going to move in a way where

Vicki Weinberg:

it becomes harder for companies to produce products that aren't sustainable

Vicki Weinberg:

when there is a sustainable option.

Vicki Weinberg:

Does that make sense?

Ciara:

Yeah, no, a hundred percent.

Ciara:

I mean, I think they're definitely there even there's even talk, you know,

Ciara:

like, um, getting rid of like, um, single use plastic and stuff like that.

Ciara:

Um, the government has spoken about it, so I think it is coming.

Ciara:

Um, and yeah, I welcome it.

Ciara:

Um, I think, and I think it's good.

Ciara:

Like, I don't, I don't, I'm not naive enough to think I'm going to be the only

Ciara:

eco-friendly you know, party business.

Ciara:

Um, but I definitely, yeah.

Ciara:

I want more businesses to be like that.

Ciara:

And I, I think it's great that they, you know, people are

Ciara:

thinking business is changing.

Ciara:

Um, but I'm also thinking, you know, you need to be careful that these businesses

Ciara:

aren't saying they're doing like, you know, greenwashing, they're saying

Ciara:

they're doing something really great that actually, you know, they're maybe covering

Ciara:

something up, they're doing one thing.

Ciara:

That's great, but actually all the other things are not so good.

Ciara:

So, and that's where again, we have to do like your kinda like consumer due

Ciara:

diligence and that's, that's tricky because you know, you don't have loads

Ciara:

of time to be reading up about, um, I mean, I do, I do read quite a lot on,

Ciara:

um, like brands and stuff like that, but a lot of people don't, so hopefully

Ciara:

I think laws will come in as well where people can't, you know, greenwash and say

Ciara:

that something is when, when it's not.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and actually, would you mind, I mean, I, I know what greenwashing is,

Vicki Weinberg:

but would you mind just explaining for anyone who doesn't please?

Ciara:

Yeah, I don't I don't know if I'm going to get the, um, the definition

Ciara:

completely right but, um, it's where a business is claiming to be sustainable

Ciara:

or eco-friendly, um, maybe they're saying they're doing one thing, but

Ciara:

actually they're kind of deceiving the consumer and, um, they they're

Ciara:

maybe doing one thing that's good.

Ciara:

Or maybe even not really doing that thing, but then, but then actually in

Ciara:

the background are not as sustainable or eco friendly as they're making out.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

So for example, maybe they're, you know, all their products, the products are

Vicki Weinberg:

sustainable, but they're flying in the, over from China and causing, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

loads of emissions or something like that.

Ciara:

Yeah, definitely.

Ciara:

And they're not being completely transparent.

Ciara:

Um, and I think that's really important to be, um, as transparent as possible.

Ciara:

Like I've said before, you know, I think we're starting great, you know, um, making

Ciara:

the products as standard as possible for what's in the realm, but I think

Ciara:

there's still so much more that I can do.

Ciara:

And so much that, um, you know, and I'm going to keep pushing to do.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, and I have no doubt that you will,

Vicki Weinberg:

and that you are doing that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And before we finish, I've got, got few more questions.

Vicki Weinberg:

First thing is, are, is there anything around your own sustainability

Vicki Weinberg:

practices that you haven't mentioned?

Vicki Weinberg:

Anything that you are doing, um, or you are moving towards

Vicki Weinberg:

that you haven't talked about?

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, because we know you are not greenwashing us because we can tell

Vicki Weinberg:

that you are definitely really on board.

Vicki Weinberg:

Is there anything we haven't spoken about.

Ciara:

Um, I guess I'm trying to think nothing really.

Ciara:

The only other thing is, um, I guess trying to go with, um, I mean, I actually

Ciara:

heard this in one of your podcasts before, we do plant a tree with every order, um,

Ciara:

just to help, you know, reduce the offset, but at the moment, yeah, that's kind of

Ciara:

like, I'd say with how the products are made and, um, yeah, the like life, the

Ciara:

afterlife, and trying to keep things close to the UK those are the, the main core

Ciara:

things that we have at the moment, but yeah, it's always looking for more ways.

Vicki Weinberg:

I did see the planting about the tree on your website as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I just want to make sure I gave the opportunity if you talk

Vicki Weinberg:

about that, if you wanted to.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and then finally, and this is the last question I ask everyone Ciara.

Vicki Weinberg:

What would your number one piece of advice be for other product creators?

Ciara:

Oh, yeah, I suppose, um, I would say time, just like give it time because

Ciara:

you know, we've only been started for three months, but I am in such a different

Ciara:

place to where I was when I first started.

Ciara:

And I'm in such a different place to when, before I started, I know so much more

Ciara:

now from three months ago and then three months before that I know so much more.

Ciara:

And you just have, you know, I think we hear about these overnight successes of

Ciara:

people that they start, and that's amazing that they do, they start businesses

Ciara:

and they're success straight away.

Ciara:

But actually I think, you know, to start a business, you really do need to have

Ciara:

time and you also need to have resilience, which I'm sure you know, most founders,

Ciara:

um, know about you just, you have to keep kind of going and don't burn yourself out.

Ciara:

But give yourself time and really, you know, yeah.

Ciara:

I would just say, keep going.

Ciara:

And you'll be, if you're stuck in somewhere right now, take a break and

Ciara:

then you, you know, take a moment to kind of think everything over and then in.

Ciara:

You'll probably look back in three months time and be like, I got over that.

Ciara:

And then I'm onto the next hurdle type thing.

Ciara:

So yeah, just, I would say give it time, give it time to get orders up

Ciara:

and give it time to, you know, learn so much more to get to the next stage.

Ciara:

Yeah time . Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's really good advice and you're right, because

Vicki Weinberg:

I think it can be really tempting to, I would be really tempting to sort

Vicki Weinberg:

of do thing quickly, or you can get really disheartening that things take

Vicki Weinberg:

time, but I definitely think it's worth spending that time and that's or a

Vicki Weinberg:

lot of the, what am I trying to say?

Vicki Weinberg:

I think there's so much more time upfront than you realize, but it's

Vicki Weinberg:

all the stuff that's really important.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like all the research and the stuff that feels like maybe you're not actually

Vicki Weinberg:

getting anywhere, but I think it's really good groundwork to be doing.

Ciara:

Definitely.

Ciara:

Like, I think about it when I was just, you know, sat on my, um, desk, um, every

Ciara:

morning and Pico was really just a vision.

Ciara:

I remember thinking, is it ever going to become like reality?

Ciara:

Like at one point I was like, am I really going to get that?

Ciara:

And if I can think of myself a year ago, I, I feel like really, wow.

Ciara:

Okay.

Ciara:

I did it.

Ciara:

Like, it's just the start and there's so much to come and

Ciara:

I'm so, so excited about that.

Ciara:

But I didn't in a sense, I didn't think I'd be here at one point, but I am.

Ciara:

And then hopefully, you know, I've got visions for the next six months and

Ciara:

next year, and hopefully I can look back and be like, I actually did get

Ciara:

here and, you know, be proud of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think as well that it seems like a long time,

Vicki Weinberg:

but then I meant, I was mentioning big one before we started recording

Vicki Weinberg:

that we last spoke last year.

Vicki Weinberg:

And to me, the time.

Vicki Weinberg:

Which between we last spoke and speaking to you today, when I look

Vicki Weinberg:

at how much you've done in that time, I just go, wow, you've done

Vicki Weinberg:

such a lot in a short space of time.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think often we are quite hard on ourselves as well, but, um, yeah,

Vicki Weinberg:

whenever you speak to any, any sort of company founder, they've always,

Vicki Weinberg:

always been working on it for much longer than, than you'd think.

Vicki Weinberg:

And actually even a lot of like massive companies now.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I know we are all small businesses like when you even shop to massive

Vicki Weinberg:

companies, they, some of them took like 5, 10, 15 years to actually get to be you

Vicki Weinberg:

know, a household name or in some cases get to be selling anything much at all,

Vicki Weinberg:

really, you know, see any kind of success.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I just think, yeah, we're often quite hard on ourselves, but it really

Vicki Weinberg:

doesn't matter how long it takes does it?

Ciara:

No, I know.

Ciara:

And I think that is again, maybe we have, like I said, you know, we, you see things

Ciara:

like I even saw things and I was like, oh, but like you see these overnight success

Ciara:

stories and all these kind of things, but most, I don't think most companies

Ciara:

actually it does happen like that.

Ciara:

Um, so yeah, don't be disheartened.

Ciara:

That if, you know, I would say don't be hard if you haven't, if that

Ciara:

doesn't happen for you, because yeah.

Ciara:

There's so many companies that it didn't happen, but they have been

Ciara:

huge successes, but it's taken time.

Ciara:

So yeah.

Ciara:

Just give it time.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think overnight success is actually a myth and, um, I'm pleased if anyone wants

Vicki Weinberg:

to prove me wrong on that, that's fine.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I would say nine times, that's, it's a myth.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that actually that overnight success has probably been working away quietly

Vicki Weinberg:

for much longer than any of us realize.

Ciara:

Yeah, I agree.

Ciara:

Agree.

Ciara:

But yeah.

Ciara:

Let us know anyone if, um, prove us wrong.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I'm sure I will be proven wrong on that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, well thank you so much Ciara it was so lovely to talk to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for all you shared.

Vicki Weinberg:

As I, as I said, I'm just so impressed by your vision and by

Vicki Weinberg:

everything you've achieved and everything that's to come as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I've got a feeling that, yeah, there's a lot to come.

Ciara:

Yeah, no, thank you so much for having me.

Ciara:

I actually am someone who, um, really, I always listens to podcasts.

Ciara:

So I it's kind of been a dream to be on a co podcast one day, so thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, you're welcome.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode, do

Vicki Weinberg:

remember that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources

Vicki Weinberg:

on my website, vickiweinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it

Vicki Weinberg:

and also share it with a friend who you think might find you useful.