Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Morgan-Lea Fogg, Co-Founder and CEO of Nautical Farms, located in Machias, ME, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Nautical Farms is a regenerative ocean farm in Maine supporting the health and wellness of people and the planet through organic seaweeds as superfoods and skincare. We serve direct-to-consumer customers who love to incorporate our healthful seaweeds into their everyday recipes or smoothies. We also serve restaurants putting seaweed on the menu all over the country.
Tell us about yourself
I have a background in building community and event production. I grew up in Maine, but our seaweed story actually starts thousands of miles from the sea. While living in Colorado, we began learning about the power of seaweed which has brought Jake, my partner, and me back to our roots and led to the start of Nautical Farms. We believe seaweed to be a foundational pillar for a healthy planet, a superfood for humans and animals, and a key ingredient in natural skincare. I love waking up every day knowing that our product is as healthy for the planet as it is for the people who use and consume it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We’ve grown a lot since we started. Initially, we were just a farm offloading our crop to another processor that used it for a multitude of things. Since then, and really, due to the onset of COVID, we’ve grown our farm to be over 5 acres large, started our own line of products that we offer direct-to-consumer on our website, and expanded the restaurants we work with.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
We’ve never been a business focused on growth for the sake of growth. Every decision has been weighted heavily to consider if it is sustainable for us, our community, our customers, and the planet. That will never go away, but it does pose a unique set of challenges. Finding packaging that fits our vision but is plastic-free, compostable, or reusable has been a huge undertaking. I’m proud of where we have ended up with our packaging so far, but it hasn’t been easy, and sometimes we’ve had to adjust our vision in order to stay sustainable. We’ve also had to figure out how to strategically scale our operations without compromising our values.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Stop being a perfectionist, just get started, and don’t worry about having it all figured out in the beginning. Grow and iterate as you go. Change direction if you have to. Be flexible. The next move will show itself if you keep showing up to do the work.
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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