Oct 21, 2020
In this episode, I interview
Julie Mathers, the ethical Founder, and CEO of BCorp
Certified Flora & Fauna, the world’s largest self-funded vegan and
cruelty-free product website. She launched the business in late
2014, aged 38. Flora & Fauna has done more than 8,000 SKUs and
they have a warehouse and small retail shop located in inland
Sydney. Julie is very driven when it comes to our planet, animals,
and making a difference.
Describing their business as a
platform for purpose to do good, one of their initiatives has saved
more than 30 tonnes of plastic after their move to minimal
packaging. Adding a personal touch by handwriting each order, they
have now done it more than half a million times. The business grew
from $60,000 in sales in their first year to now $20 Million per
annum, growing almost 700% in the last three years, and more
recently, 30% per annum. They mainly sell in Australia but a little
to New Zealand, the UK, and the US.
Julie and her husband started as
the two full-time employees and they now have over 40 full-time
employees. They got their funding from their initial savings and
have sustained their growth from profits. Julie is very passionate
about disability employment. She felt she had succeeded when she
realized they were making a difference and when they employed the
first people, bought a warehouse, and won the national Telstra
Flora & Fauna was awarded
the Top Sustainable Retailer in 2020, Best Small Retailer and Best
Online Retailer 2018, and was shortlisted as a finalist for
Responsible Retailer of the Year at the World Retail Awards 2017.
Julie highlights that the hardest thing about growing a small
business is keeping going and says that the one thing she would
tell herself on day one of starting out in business is, Don’t give
up, and stress less” If you’re an existing or aspiring small
business owner, get ready to be inspired!
This Cast Covers:
global impact phenomenon that is Flora and Fauna.
a small entity in November 2014 to the huge platform for purpose
that they are now.
their reach, engagement, and profits to make a
measurable results of how they save the environment with minimal
- Starting out as a bakery worker at age 16 and
how her immense love for retail-led her to where she is
- Growing 699% over the last three years and
sustaining a 30% growth over the last very challenging
- Shipping all their products from Australia to
the US, UK, and New Zealand by focusing more on the speed of
- Expected turnover of over $20 Million in 2020,
6 years after their first year turnover of $60,000.
immense growth in terms of team members brought about by a
continuous increase in the number of orders.
the shed outside their house inspired her to start the
surprise and emotion of winning in the national Telstra
- Seeing success in all the little moments of
achievement in one's small business.
passion for disability employment and making a difference through
importance of working out what you want to achieve with marketing
before you invest in a marketing channel.
- Owning 100% of the business from starting with
her own money and growing it solely from cash flow.
challenges in the skincare industry and the advice she has for
anyone who wants to get into it.
- Successfully managing their cash to achieve
their business goals despite the stresses they had to
- Growing the business by running her own race
and focusing primarily on her plans.
experience of moving from corporate to a small
importance of a small business owner being relentless.
- Lessons from their previous hiring blunders
that enabled them to win at building a team that fits into their
- Learning to let go as an owner and founder to
give team members the opportunity to do what they’re best
- Working tirelessly hard to build Flora and
Fauna, and focusing more on the flexibility that the business
affords her rather than on the idea of work-life
difficulties she experiences when she tries to shut her mind off
when she’s not working.
- Investing in a lot of professional development
and the impact it’s had on her as a small business
benefits of having a great network you can pull on rather than
having a specific mentor.
Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Cold Funk" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC