NATURAL SUPPLY CO
We chat to Sarah and Celeste about becoming THE destination for all things natural, organic and zero waste.
How did your business get started and what were the main challenges?
We launched in October 2014, and cash flow was the biggest challenge; we were (and are) fully self funded, and so we had to grow slowly to be able to invest back into buying in stock and new brands. There are also so many facets to being a small business owner, so you have to be the marketing manager, logistics coordinator, order packer, social media manager, website developer and look after customer service - learning about most of it as you go!
What changes have you seen over the past 18 months during covid?
We've seen a real swing to supporting local small business, and people who didn't feel comfortable shopping online have been embracing it. We've also seen a swing towards people wanting natural but effective cleaning and sanitising products; a lot of people have come to us with terrible dermatitis from hand sanitising, and we've thankfully been able to help with this.
Favourite part of running your own business?
There is so much to love about running our own business; we literally pinch ourselves that we get to do what we love everyday. Getting to spend so much time together, and the flexibility of setting our own work hours, is a big part of it. We quickly learnt that no matter how long our opening hours were, there would still be people that they didn't suit; so we open in school hours, to fit in around our kids, and it takes so much stress out of our day-to-day lives. We love being able to offer the same flexibility to our team members. We also love being able to champion other women in business doing good things, especially locals in the region.
How has your approach to sustainability changed in the past few years?
We look for every opportunity to reduce waste, both within the business and at home. Opening our shopfront in June 2020 has seen us being able to accept TerraCycle from our community, and we love sharing recycling and eco tips both ways with our customers. Even our postie brings his toothpaste tubes in to be recycled with us. Using our platform to help educate the community on recycling is definitely a meaningful part of our business.
What's next for your business?
The sky's the limit! We've just branched into stocking local, sustainable and ethical fashion, and our product range is growing every week. It's incredible to see how many businesses are finding new ways to innovate and create more sustainably. We love to see it, support it and share the amazing finds with our customers; for example, Grown Alchemist has just launched their incredible hand wash and hand cream in refillable glass bottles for Christmas, and in 2022 they'll be offering refill packs for these. We're anticipating Christmas 2021 to be a very busy period for us, with incredible offerings already landing in store and online.
Visit naturalsupplyco.com for more.