Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Prisca Ongonga-Daehn, Founder of baresop, located in Elwood, VIC, Australia.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Your traditional hand, body, shampoo, and conditioner is 90% water and 10% active ingredients. Essentially, we're just shipping and storing diluted water and plastic across the world. This results in tonnes of carbon emissions and billions of single-use plastic waste. It makes no sense. We have a patented technology that crystallizes only active ingredients into a concentrated plant-based powder to foam soap that makes it easy for you to reduce your plastic waste and carbon footprint without compromising your everyday personal care experience. We exist to create impactful change with every wash by innovating product solutions that make it easy for you to create change with every wash. Impact humanity and our planet and change how people engage with hygiene care routines. Our core customers are people who are looking for easy-to-adopt hygiene care solutions that are better for our planet.
Tell us about yourself
The idea of the baresop concept came out of my journey to find solutions that make it easy for us as a family to own the waste narrative, following a conversation with my daughter, who is frustrated about the plastic piling up in the pacific garbage patch. We're eliminating 1 billion single-use plastic bottles from landfill, 50,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided from our atmosphere, and 600,000 L of water conserved by 2035. Of each L of water we conserve, we make that accessible to grass-root communities that have no access to clean and safe drinking water.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I see our biggest accomplishment being our continued growth, given that we launched during covid and have been operating in a 'business not as usual' climate. We have not experienced the so-called 'business as usual' synergy, but that goes to our advantage. It has enabled us to work to make decisions that move us faster to our mission. They say that the most successful companies were founded during the turn, including Facebook. So, there you go.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Staying true and authentic to your conviction on why you do what you do (exist) when the fires and challenges become overwhelming.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Show, don't tell.
- Have conviction about your why. It's what's going to keep you going through the journey with all its challenges.
- Grow your network and bring as many people along your journey as possible.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We exist to make impactful change for shared humanity and our planet - from making water accessible to communities running out of this basic need. And will be scaling that to sanitation and hygiene as basic needs - in the short term.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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