Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anastasia Mikhalochkina, founder of Lean Orb Co., located in Miami Beach, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lean Orb Co specializes in compostable plant-based food and beverage packaging, to-go ware, and catering supplies. The company is uniquely placed to help enterprise-level customers validate their existing packaging goals and supply a wide range of sustainable product solutions. Products are built with sugarcane, bamboo, banana leaf, wheat straw, and recycled paper. The company's mission is to design and effectively produce disposable products to support both human needs for having food on the go and the environmental stability affected by processes. Clients include hotels, restaurants, schools, corporate HQ, and gov agencies.
Tell us about yourself
Since 2014 I have been working with ocean conservation groups. Learning that 180 billion single-use plastics are discarded by the industry got me to start thinking about solutions. At the time, I was pursuing my design degree, which gave me first-hand experience in product design. I took a few years to research the market. I learned that companies are not meeting the highest standards for composability when they build solutions to plastic. The company was born in 2017. Outside of my current work at Lean Orb, I lead programming at Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter, which relates to education on plastics as well as composting. In my free time, I surf, and kite, so much of my life is spent near the ocean. With the help of my team, my mission is to help Miami form into an environmentally responsible hub for the U.S. and Latin America.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
2020 was a challenging moment for us since most clients were not open for business. Happy to say that we were able to make it through and grew our revenue by 100% in 2021.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me it is focusing on high impact/low effort projects before any other. The problem with multitasking is it destroys my ability to give undivided attention. It's challenging when you don't have a big team, so I continue to employ new strategies for myself.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Focus on your team. Our product/idea means very little without the right people to execute it with.
- If you build the solution for yourself first, you will always have a product-market fit.
- Be hyper-aware of your mental well-being, spend time in nature, surf, bike, do stillness. You need to be the best leader for the people who follow your vision.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.