Plant-powered, pro-planet, and 24-hour protection. Not something you'd typically associate with deodorant, but that's what Matt Kennedy at Fussy has created.Join us this Thursday as Matt shares the secrets behind creating effective PR campaigns to lower CAC to turning supply chain issues into business opportunities.
Adam Kitchen 0:01
cool okay, we're live. Today I'm joined by Matt Kennedy who's the CEO of Fussy, which is a sustainable natural deodorant brand. Happy to have you here Matt. Give us a quick background, how you started the brands and what your story is to date.
Matt Kennedy 0:16
Hi, Adam. Great. Great to be here. And Leah. And so yeah, thanks for having me. Firstly, I guess. Yeah, backgrounds, a bit of a weird one, my route to being a founder was kind of a bit zigzaggy. But all is good in the end. So I guess I've always been really passionate about the world around us and sustainability. I was actually a building surveyor before I was a founder. So I qualified as a surveyor. And we're really focused on designing and renovating commercial properties to make them more sustainable. So focused on that for working in the city for four or five years. And then from the kind of building buildings, I moved into building brands. So I moved into advertising, where I was a creative for four or five years. And there I was creating ad campaigns effectively, I was like, you know, but mainly above the line, TV and press campaigns for, I guess, some of the worst polluters in the world if I'm honest, that was working for some of them, the companies we're trying to take on now. So I was selling the stuff that we're all-consuming and is destroying the planet and kind of witnessing it firsthand. So I was like, What am I doing? What am I doing, I'm selling my soul to the devil in a way. But I guess I'm becoming increasingly frustrated that we're working on all these briefs at the advertising agency for the likes of Gillette or Pantin, who have the ability to address the problems we face but don't. And for whatever reason that may be you know, it takes you've gotten big legacy supply chains that take a long time to change. So that kind of really ignited the passion in me. And I guess I kind of used my creative skills to basically start Fussi. And for you know, we can do better ourselves. And I guess at the same time, it's like a perfect storm. And my wife and my co-founder wife, Eddie, we're both pregnant, and they were struggling to find a natural deodorant that works. So it was this kind of, yeah, the situation of you know, at work, witnessing it firsthand and at home. That kind of really ignited the passion to kind of have a look for how we can make a difference. And we identified the bathroom as being one of the main polluters, you know, in the kitchen, I think around 80% of plastic is recycled in the bathroom, it's much much less than that. So so that's where we really honed in on and Fussy exists, to banish single-use plastic from the bathroom as a whole just so happens that deodorants are the first products that is our mission is to rid the bathroom of plastic, and because ultimately if we don't change, people aren't going to like stop buying products. That's just not, you know, ideally, that's what we do. And that would solve all the issues. So it's about how we move that consumption to be more sustainable. And that's what we're trying to do and promote.
Adam Kitchen 3:17
Yeah, we were speaking to James a fairly and Ireland's last week actually, and he said sustainable retailer, and he was saying exactly the same thing, at the end of the day, that consuming isn't going to go away or we have to all sort of play a small part and obviously that hopefully will accumulate and algal Just a quick one your career seem filled well in a bit of a 360. So what type of skills from your previous initial career have you carried over and you found helped you as a founder?
Matt Kennedy 3:47
Yeah, do you know what I can't, I kind of like to say career is a bit of a dirty word because it kind of implies that you get a job and you do one thing and you stick at it, which is one career right but mine has not been like that. And I think actually a career can be multiple jobs taking take out skills, and then eventually they will come together and they have fortunately for me, all come together in like, in like a really weird way. So when I was a surveyor, it was I was consulting or basically, you know, working for clients, building decks, you know, analysing numbers, and running large construction projects, which is all about, you know, project management and margins and tendering work out and, you know, so I guess kind of financial management and all of that came into that. And then when I was working in advertising, it was like, none of that at all. It's just, purely creative, which is why I left Spain. And now it's kind of both of those things merged together. So it's kind of I'm kind of now at the intersection of creativity and business and sustainability, which was present in In all of my careers, so like I said in as a surveyor, I focused on climate change and addressing that for building design. And as a creative, I did loads of stuff, I tried to tackle food waste, I had a small startup where we took leftover rice from Japanese restaurants. And we turned that into Japanese rice wine. And we sold that to a European restaurant chain that now they do that with all their waste, rice gets converted into alcohol, which they then sell. So there's always been that element. So it's really been just like, a combination of factors. And it's something actually that I'm quite passionate about outside of sustainability is like, speak, going to schools and speaking to kids and saying, like, don't feel the pressure to like, choose what you do too early, but that's probably a whole nother podcast.
Adam Kitchen 5:52
Absolutely, no, I love that. And I resonate with it. I used to be a kindergarten teacher. Yeah, the parallels there. Now, I'm able to use these skills to look after Leah (Laughs)
okay, yeah, let's let Leah take over from here. And we'll start to get into things like how you actually built the brand once you have the idea?
Leah Magee 6:19
Yeah. So I'm away from this, let's talk about sustainability for a second. What was foresees, go to market and strategy when you started?
Matt Kennedy 6:31
Yeah, sure. I mean, obviously, it's completely evolved. And I think when Eddie and I first started, firstly, we were doing as a side project, like before work every morning, every evening, get up at six, go to a local cafe. And so, you know, I think back then we were like googling what go to market strategy was in some way. But now our strategy was very simple, prove that we've, we've got an idea here before we kind of go hell for leather, and it was all about proving that idea on Kickstarter. So we launched as a Kickstarter, for those that don't know, because, amazingly, so many people speak to me, they're like, “What is a Kickstarter?” and it is a way of basically pre-selling a product in order to bring it to market. So people can pre-order it, and then you can take that money and make it happen. That's the plan anyway. So doing that is a good way of getting some capital, improving the demand for the product, which is the refillable Jojen. And really, then the plan was to build a community around that and then grow the business off the back of that community. And, and that worked really well. So you know, we've got around 3000 customers, organically from Kickstarter in a month. And then off the back of that, we were then able to raise a small initial pre-seed round investment, because we could go to investors and say, look, we've proven it, people want it, and we haven't got the product yet. And then, here we are. And now it's on to the next strategy, I guess.
Leah Magee 8:02
Yeah. How did you
Adam Kitchen 8:04
create the actual ink? Like, where did the research come into it for the ingredients that went into the product? Because I know there's a bit of debate as well in the dieldrin space, sort of natural ingredients vs. Synthetic, like, how did you go about researching and coming up with the formulation?
Matt Kennedy 8:22
Yeah, I mean, that's probably the hardest part, right? Like, we were like, how the hell do we make a deodorant? What everyone did in like, go to Google. And like, you're going through like 10 pages of Google trying to find people and I think, yeah, and then it was LinkedIn, I think, cosmetic scientists cosmetic chemist. And this was after. Initially, we found a homemade deodorant recipe and tried making it ourselves, which ended in a complete disaster. Like I literally burned through a saucepan like there's no way to put that on your armpit. So we knew we needed a professional. And we actually call a doctor sweat, I can't reveal their real name. That's actually no joke. She won't allow me to but so Dr Sweat formulated for us. And we spent a good 12 months, over 40 different variations, testing on friends and family and never, never animals, obviously. To develop this, to develop this formula. Yeah. Yeah,
Leah Magee 9:24
I think like when we were speaking to James last week, sustainability and Going Green is such a huge topic at the moment. Anyway, so I think what you said with the, with those communities getting in there when you've got a good product site, that when people are really focused on being ethical, making sure that everything is ethically sourced, if you product scores, it's gonna sell itself it's gonna do well.
Matt Kennedy 9:53
Exactly, yeah, the product is so important. Like, don't get me like our whole company is built around. Sustainability and vanishing single-use plastic, okay and, and looking at our supply chain as well, which I'm sure we'll come on to. But if the product doesn't stack up and the product doesn't work, people aren't interested like us, so we surveyed our customers. Before we launched the product, we did loads of research and the reasons people wanted to buy a reputable natural deodorant, the most important thing was that it worked. And you actually also said that it was desirable, and looked nice. And if it saved the can, it was kind of a bonus. Yeah. And I think obviously, there's like the hardcore people that already use natural deodorant already very sustainable, that, that that order might change. But if we want to create mass impact, we have to hit the mass market. And the only way to do that is to make sure the product works.
Adam Kitchen 10:47
And so qualia Sorry, I was just
Leah Magee 10:50
gonna say, being in that community, the first thing is to be aware of what you're doing, what part of consuming is going to have an impact on the thing. So as soon as people are super aware of things, the corner No, when you give them something, they'll go, that's not gonna work, or this is gonna work or you're robbing me on I'm not buying this again. And you can't, you just can't get one over on the hippies now.
Matt Kennedy 11:20
Exactly, exactly. Yeah, we actually use a really unique formula, we use a probiotic, more commonly found in yoga, and that literally targets the bad bacteria in your armpit. And, because it's wet it doesn't smell when it reacts with the bacteria in your armpit or any other place it may be. So we target that bacteria, and then when your sweat hits it, it doesn't smell.
Leah Magee 11:45
Yeah. No, I'm just I just wanted to ask, and if it's a probiotic, is it technically? Is it still vegan? Yeah. Because I know it was advertised as vegan.
Matt Kennedy 11:57
Yes, pretty vegan and cruelty-free? Yep.
Leah Magee 12:00
Ordering 10 for Chris
Matt Kennedy 12:04
20% off at the moment as a
Leah Magee 12:07
Oh, perfect. I'll get Adam one as well.
Adam Kitchen 12:11
I don't smell like you. I have to say, this is very interesting. As you said, like sustainability. I know this. Also, brands that we work with are a big part of the positioning. But ultimately, I think when you do that qualitative research, and we've sorted for a lot of brands as well over email, ultimately, the most important thing is that consumers want a product that works. And then it's interesting how I think a lot of brands lead in with sustainability. And I'm not trying to downplay the importance of it, because I think it is a crucial message, and it probably will become more important. But ultimately, as you said, if it doesn't work the product and no one's going to just buy it as you know, after sympathy.
Matt Kennedy 12:55
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. And the unique position we've got as a startup is that, unlike companies that are now, backpedalling and trying to be more sustainable, they've got to undo huge systems, and we've got the benefit of being small and growing. And we can put those systems, we can put a stake in the ground now.
Leah Magee 13:16
It's good, especially with things like the odour. And like, that you mentioned before, you've got huge companies like Pantin, and things like that. You can, you can market it however you want. But when you look into the ethics of things, if things are sold in China, they have to be tested on animals. It's like, so how are you going to market that to be sustainable? You can tell me it's less plastic in it. It's got this that and the other, you can send it out in a cardboard box surrounded by little things like them dissolve the packaging, peanut things, more? Your ethics, they like, where do you go with that? And it's I think it's a little bit difficult, especially when things are kind of what we mentioned last week, Adam about greenwashing, and things like that, just because you put some flowers on your poster doesn't mean we know that Yeah, exactly. Things I love.
Adam Kitchen 14:18
And I'm not sure if this is because it's come up on LinkedIn for some reason. It's not showing me but I think I know who this is. It's like all souls. And it's about being nimble. Please say your name for the LinkedIn user so we can identify him. Okay, cool. So PR has always been like a big part of your strategy growing the brands and you said to me like impassibility had some hits and misses, which ones have been most effective for you. And how do you create a PR strategy? Because as you said, it's sort of you taking the big chance, right, like how much effort you put into this and how do you start to develop basics of strategy for PR?
Matt Kennedy 14:58
Yeah, sure. I mean, no I'm not, I'm not gonna lie, it is a little bit hit and miss. And I don't think we actually have a strategy. I think actually it comes down to us, it has been baked into the values of the company that we installed and instil. So, for example, one of our values is that everything is an opportunity. And that was what led to our standard Unilever. You know, when we got a letter telling us to take down some adverts we would put online, comparing our products to theirs. You know, we saw that as an opportunity, and that that came down. Yeah, to the values of the company, as opposed to right as part of our promotional strategy, you know, I mean, so I think, if you can bake, seeing, seeing things as opportunities and creativity into your company, then hopefully those like, opportunities for PR, hopefully will naturally arise, then the strategy, I guess, comes in, like, how would you amplify that PR? How would you get the word out there that you can work on? And but yeah, like, I'm not saying there isn't a way to do it. But it's not like we've mapped out our PR strategy as such, in terms of like classical PR, like getting in getting good reviews and in the press and stuff like that we've got and we worked in amazing PPR exactly, he's Yeah, like, shit hot with that. In terms of this in terms of the stunts, it's, it's a bit hit and miss, you know, everyone's to try and do the Dollar Shave Club advert that went viral years back. But you know, it's hard. And the fact is that I think his name's Adam is I can't remember. But, you know, he was your stand up comic, you know what I mean? So the owner of the business, so, again, it was baked into the company. So that's, that's kind of our belief, I think.
Adam Kitchen 16:47
Yeah, I think by its nature, a lot of appeals just comes down to chance. And you can't really plan chances sometimes, can you you've just got to be opportunistic and try and exploit things. But as you said, it's just hit and miss, what other way you said, you got some media exposure. How have you done? I imagine there's a bit more of a plan behind that.
Matt Kennedy 17:09
Yeah, totally, totally. So I mean, we've got like a key, I guess, media targets that under different verticals, be that TV or press, and then it's just about nurturing those relationships early on, you know, making sure that those approaches aren't just another kind of cold email landing in the inbox, you know, how can you send the products? And can you make them open it in an interesting way? Or can you make them laugh or smile or get to know them? And so, I mean, that's kind of like our approach and like, kind of, in more traditional PR terms. So yeah.
Adam Kitchen 17:44
The brand, the branding itself is beautiful, how, who created the packaging, I think ahead on a podcast that you guys, and has a lot of importance of this yourself in the beginning.
Matt Kennedy 17:55
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Because, um, you know, both from the kind of advertising background and yeah, so we're particularly kind of fussy over like, pixels and design and stuff like that. At the very beginning, certainly Kickstarter, it was all kind of, done by us and then a few runs raised our funding round, we've got an agency to help us and that we still very much hands-on with that, that side of the business and, you know, it's really important to us because ultimately, you know, we're trying to build a brand and that is what is brands that last and survive. And especially in DC they do really well in the States, isn't it? Like you know, the branding of the DTC brands over there. So yeah, we're big believers in the brand.
Adam Kitchen 18:41
Yeah, we've got to sell clicks as well and it's very hard to do branding.
Matt Kennedy 18:47
Exactly. Yeah, exactly.
Leah Magee 18:49
And just on the PR topic, I think we should do a flash mob by the way
Adam Kitchen 18:58
No, you're not gonna get me on Tiktok in a dressing gown I'm gonna go post that on LinkedIn instead.
Matt Kennedy 19:08
guys are gonna have to do this live I've got my charger live
Matt Kennedy 19:19
I can walk and talk to startup life guys.
Leah Magee 19:23
I feel like we should do it
Adam Kitchen 19:30
I'm quite excited by what's going on. I know. I feel like Christmas tree
Leah Magee 19:37
is lovely by the way
Matt Kennedy 19:38
not my house not my home
Adam Kitchen 19:43
looks like a really rich house you live in you all for the signal. Oh,
Leah Magee 19:53
I think the flash mobs are a really good idea.
Adam Kitchen 19:56
Yeah, yeah. Yes.
Matt Kennedy 20:03
Switching it up to a new environment.
Leah Magee 20:09
And so getting serious again now, and which marketing strategies have been most effective for growing to date, whether that be from the beginning and there was like a big jump, or maybe the longest go in kind of strategy that you've had from the beginning until now? Or, as well any flops that you've had? Like, have you put some fun out there, and you've gone? Actually, maybe that didn't work as well as we thought it might?
Matt Kennedy 20:41
Totally Yeah, I guess, I guess the first thing is like, and I've seen you guys talk about it a bit in your posts and stuff is that it's like an ecosystem, isn't it, nothing's got to feed everything, you know, you've got to feed the beast, like, you're paid media feed your email list, you know, and, and you and your brand, you know, people recognise your brand, and you've got good reviews, you know, your cost per acquisition comes down, and all of that. So, you know, your operations, if you deliver on time, you get better reviews, and so everything links together, so. So, that ecosystem is 30 really important. And we focus, because our launch was actually delayed, we focused on making sure we had a lot of that ecosystem set up for our launch. So all our email flows, you know, we really focus on those from the beginning. And when we launch, they're ready to go. You know, our paid media approach and the launch of our branding, you know, and so I think I think it's just making sure across all of those touchpoints. Firstly, you're not, you know, people use the phrase leaky bucket, don't they like, especially with paid media, you know, if you've got a site that's not converting don't put loads of money behind paid media. So we first made sure that those kinds of DC fundamentals were established, or that we were set to grow when we turned on marketing. And then initially, it was very heavily paid media and still is, but supported, like I say, heavily by Pr, and creating a product that you know, we call it deodorant for the Instagram generation. So marketing is almost baked into the, into our product and the design of it, like, people want to touch it, and feed it and take photos of it and write about it because it looks and is designed how it is so so I guess it's kind of, you know, it's yeah, it's using the products backed up by a good ecosystem. And, and, and then paid media. But yeah, and then going back to the PR approach, I guess what we've done is we've, we've, when we've got those pieces have to be in the stance or, or even press is we then amplified them through paid media, as well to get the most out of them.
Adam Kitchen 22:58
How much additional traffic? If you don't mind me asking, for example, that you may leave us on site, how much did that bring to the website? And did those additional people who came to the website and convert it? Or was it just like, oh, what's going on here? And then, you know, didn't really move the needle much?
Matt Kennedy 23:15
Yeah. Do you know, the Unilever stun? It didn't really move the needle in terms of conversion, I wouldn't say but what it did is a brand job that normally started at our stage doesn't get to invest in brand marketing, it's all direct response. So it was an opportunity to demonstrate some of our core values. And it gets introduced to people. So I think because the apology letter to Unilever was posted on LinkedIn to the CEO of Unilever, who then responded on LinkedIn. It was LinkedIn where we're getting most of the traffic. But that was good for us in terms of speaking to investors, potential future investors, I'm still in talks with now. So it did a bit of a b2b job more than the consumer piece. The one that really helped us in terms of, you know, acquisition costs from traffic to the site. Yeah. What really helped was when we were on this morning on ITV. So Holly will be with the product and then we amplified that through social media and that pretty much half the acquisition cost overnight. So, so Yeah, I might have to speak totally again.
Adam Kitchen 24:42
Interesting, I think if you look at the plights of Facebook and the well I don't wanna say it's on the device. It's definitely nice. I think it's just become a lot more difficult because of multiple circumstances, but some of the traditional advertising mediums like TV and the newspaper. Some of our clients are experimenting with it at the moment. And like you said, using that, like amplifying it through pages having really good results. And I think it goes back to your point of looking at things holistically as part of an ecosystem. Rather than saying TV versus Facebook ads, which is stupid or email versus SMS, you need to look at how to bring them all together in a way that lowers your acquisition costs, and obviously is conducive to improving the lifetime value. Exactly.
Matt Kennedy 25:27
Exactly. And for us. Yeah, I mean, and then there's all sorts of stuff about who's actually the most valuable customer, right, like, I'm from Denmark and sources. But for us, the other two really key things that I think we're going to see a lot of brands do turning back to the real world now, I've already seen pop-ups or trade shows and events. And then moving into retail, not just to drive sales, but to drive people online. And to get exposure. I think that's going to be really key.
Adam Kitchen 25:57
Let's, let's go on to that then because it's that it's the next question. Also, I was speaking to, I left a comment for over on the CEO of a company on LinkedIn this morning, who was basically saying they use retail, to compliment the detail primarily to say they use retail to complement that experience for I think people got into the habit of looking at DTC in a box, which is just really naive because you're going to hit the ceiling price, right? Because Facebook ads are scaling forever, and people that say people got bored by competitors. Ultimately, people still like to shop offline, regardless of the hype that you see. It Is very important to meet consumers where it is most convenient for them. With that being said, you know, you're primarily DDC you said, Then about how we move against retail, what the strategy is going to be when you do that?
Matt Kennedy 26:59
Yeah, totally. So our strategy is, is, is to kind of find a few really key partners that we can grow with, and that we can kind of help each other as opposed to spreading ourselves across like 100 different stores? Because, actually, you know, it turns into more work, I think, four, possibly less reward. So that's kind of the focus for us. And then you're right, it's, it's about feeding our DTC offering as well. So I think Ali pop in the US is actually a DTC dress brand, was saying that they get, like 50%, or 60%, their traffic comes from retail on the website, and how they mentioned that I don't quite know, but like, that's amazing. And yeah, we're seeing it really like a brand awareness piece as well. Because you'd be amazed at the startup, what would you think about companies turning over like 10 million a year, right? You think you're fairly well known, but outside of the startup world, you know, you guys, you know, you asked the cab driver if they heard it, and they probably haven't. You know, so it's, it's about brand awareness for us as well. And there's a lot of people out there that aren't looking at Facebook ads, and whatnot. And then the other bit on retail, I guess, for us is that doing it at the right time. So you've got to be super confident in your product, super confident in your supply chain, make sure you know, that's all watertight before you try to go to retail because you can easily get caught out.
Adam Kitchen 28:42
You know, a lot of brands that we've worked with have gone retail first and then into D2C second. And obviously, that D2C size is really tied into what they're allowed to do based on you know, their retail relationships. Do you think there are any benefits of being met digitally native first, and then going into retail? Does it give you any leverage in these relationships? Do you think
Matt Kennedy 29:06
100% Yeah, without doubt, without doubt, first, it allows us to have a direct relationship with our customers, tweak and improve our products. Before we then go to a retailer, you're going to like to pull the product apart. So we can build community. And then secondly, it's customer data, right? What retailers one certainly is like is, is our customer data if we can go and go, look, we've got 100,000 customers, we know what they want, you know, they want this they will not work together with you. We can help bring that to them. And way more valuable. And also for exit and if anyone you know is running a startup and has that on their mind. Customer Data is going to be really really important for that as well.
Adam Kitchen 29:52
Yep, absolutely. Great points. Okay, yeah, let's move on From the marketing talk. I'll let Leah get on with her hippie questions.
Leah Magee 30:03
And so which aspects of the business are the hardest to be sustainable? So that can be in production shipping, or it can be on the back end. You know, being a cake, like being a Kickstarter is pretty sustainable, but like, funding and things like that, well, what is the hardest part about being sustainable?
Matt Kennedy 30:32
So I guess that is a couple of points, I guess, the hardest part of the business to keep sustainable is probably the supply chain. And by that, I mean external partners. Because unless you like, unless you fully own your supply chain, like like Harry's razors, and done now they bought their own factories and stuff like that, you can't, you can't control it entirely. Like we use suppliers that use green energy on the roof and, and whatnot. But I can't control how much paper their staff are using or recycling, but I can't control it. And they can tell me stuff and show me certifications. But unless you own that supply chain, pretty, I guess you can never be 100% Sure. So I guess I think that's a challenge. Definitely. And, and then I guess the second challenge is balancing, you know, purpose and profit, and we believe strongly is why would be called ending that we can really do. But it does mean that sometimes, you know, you might not make as much money and some companies might find that harder and might have tight margins that don't afford it. So. So I guess those are a couple of challenges. And yeah, I guess going back to the supply chain, challenge, you know, the hardest to control, but it's also the greatest opportunity. Because if we can turn that supply chain green if we can like I say consume responsibly, but also manufacture responsibly. And you know, the manufacturing industry produces something like 60-70% of emissions. If all those factories turn to clean green energy, you know, we're in a much better position. So I think companies have a responsibility to provide consumers with better products, but they also have to make sure that those products are manufactured and delivered more or more sustainably as well.
Leah Magee 32:24
Yeah, I think what you mentioned before about the deodorant for the Instagram generation, how do you ever find it quite difficult. So you know, even with maybe PR packages or sending things out, obviously, Instagram generation, everything's about statics, everything's got to look good. Everything, like down to receipts being sent via email, or things do you find ascetically? Keeping that sustainable packaging and things like that? Is that quite difficult to do? Sometimes? I think we, I mean, I'm 22 Our generation love getting things in the polls, taking pictures of it and putting it on Instagram. Things that are sustainable aren't always the prettiest. So, do you think that is quite a hard thing to come over?
Matt Kennedy 33:23
Yeah, I mean, I think it's definitely the harder route, right? It's definitely doable. So we're really fussy about the cardboard that we use. And, you know, again, it comes down to creativity, I think and looking at how much cardboard we use, can we make the packaging as small as it needs to be like, all of those decisions and but also provide a great experience for the customer. And ultimately, sometimes it does cost a bit more money upfront in the design process or in the manufacturing process, but I don't think we've actually to be completely honest. I mean, I struggled that much to make it look that good. A box is quite plain, and we're actually bringing out a new box, which is a bit more colourful. So we have I guess struggled there, mate. Well, we did away purposely making it like this bright, colourful box and focused on the product. And so yeah, it's hard but it's definitely doable.
Adam Kitchen 34:24
Yeah. Good stuff. A couple of comments. I think this is fun. Guys own brands, we aren't all our supply chain also. It's possibly the best move. Classic brands. Yeah, that's an interesting one. So do you think obviously these big corporations because they're just a small fish in a massive pond and obviously they must have to shoulder a lot of their responsibility do you think you need to see change happen from the top and have these big organisations sort of taking a more holistic approach? rather than just prioritise and profits for it to change, because it's going to be really difficult for you to, to move the needle unless you have the growth of their size, and then you can't let them serve on your own supply chain, and then you can make the changes that you want.
Matt Kennedy 35:14
Totally. Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, actually Unilever, to their credit, is doing some really great stuff, like, in terms of sustainability, they really are. So hats off to them for that. But I think consumers are pretty switched on. And, you know, I'm not sure it is, like, us, like wanting to be the size of the union even necessarily, but, you know, I think there will always be room for consumers to want a brand that really stands by their values. And, you know, they can tell that we were called Fussy because we're fussy about everything, our supply chain our ingredients, you know, our impact on the planet, and we want you to v2. So I think there's, I think there's still an appetite from consumers to, to find those, those smaller brands that the values really shine through. And consumers are switched on. And they, you know, they recognise them. Yeah.
Leah Magee 36:12
Just recently, I mean, I think about it, either today or yesterday, Lush, have said they are coming away from social media, because it's not seen as a safe space, and they want their stores and they want their business and company to be seen as a safe space. So to be taken that much caught into profit from not being on social media, not even on Tik Tok, or anything. And I know, their target audience must all be on Instagram or TikTok or something. I mean, they have got to size now where they can probably afford to do that. But I think a lot that I've got so much praise from doing it because everybody knows them. So a lot of customers are going to see this as ‘Yeah, this is amazing. Oh, my God. Yeah, you are doing it for me?’
Matt Kennedy 37:07
Yeah, that, that I saw that before that was really cool. And they really do stand by their values. I think. And, you know, yes, they are profitable, I think like 20 million a year or something. So they can definitely afford to do that. But there's a lot of businesses that even if they could afford to do that, like they still got shareholders, like people, I'm sure there's still pressure to hit targets, you wanna mean so hats off to them, and hopefully fast, you can one day shut down, shut down shut we did. We did close Black Friday last year, to be fair, but we weren't, we didn't have as much traffic, as this year. So you see, it's a bit harder to do. But so this year, we've focused on how we promote, you know, buying something that you're going to keep and be more conscious with that.
Leah Magee 37:55
Use it as a time to really kind of, if you're going to get extra traffic, that's more people being aware, and you're able to inform.
Adam Kitchen 38:10
stop bullying all these brands, they are leaving bad reviews, they will not have any need for safe spaces. Just to finish off, what would your advice be to new founders in the space because they are very competitive? I think in many ways, it's easier than ever to stall to brown. But it's also harder than ever to actually build up a bronze. In the space,
Matt Kennedy 38:42
I've got so much to tell, about things I've learned and pieces of advice. And I think you're right, right, we're in a different era of DC now from five, 510 years ago, where you could just put a shop online like you do have to build a brand. Now I think and focus on that. But my first bit of advice would be kind of away from the business because as your company, everything is really emotional, really personal. And like it's really hard, especially if it's your first time to separate yourself from the business. Sometimes, and by that, I mean that if your business fails, you haven't failed. And so my advice would be to zoom out. So sometimes we can have really bad days, and it literally feels like a business is bound to collapse. And then But then what you have to do is like, look, you're looking as if your whole business is that day, and it's not. It's like last year so when you are having a bad day, bad week, even a bad month you like to zoom out and see what the graph will look like. And I bet you'd still be going up, but it'll just be like this, you know? So that's definitely like something I used to kind of stay resilient as I was just a bad day, but it's out of our freedom 65 And then I guess the other thing would be don't worry about the feeling that everyone's better than you or you're making it up or anything like that. Like everyone's making it hard. I mean maybe not everyone, but I reckon the majority of the learning is on the fly. And as long as you're hungry and like really educating yourself, then you've got nothing to worry about.
Adam Kitchen 40:12
Completely agree and resonate with that a lot. Last week was a busy couple of days. You know, it's hard to create that separation, isn't it? Because as you're scaling up, it's not just a job, it is like your baby, you have to stop thinking about it in many ways. But I think, as you said, to feel like a failure when you do go through those tough times, because, you know, the good times are good, as long as you're on the right path. And like you said, you've got the appetite and curiosity to innovate and learn more than the good times.
Matt Kennedy 40:41
Totally. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Exactly. And try and enjoy the ride. I've read, so many interviews of founders when they've said the first few years were the best. And I am so confused, are they serious?
Adam Kitchen 40:55
Most people enjoy having no sleep and no life. Cool. Maths. It's been a pleasure. How can people find out more about your seat? Do you want to give a little plug about the Black Friday sale at the moment?
Matt Kennedy 41:08
Yeah, definitely go to get fussy.com. And yeah, it's getting tricky because fast. e.com costs 50 grand. So we haven't got there yet. So get firstly.com 20% off no voucher codes needed. And yeah, help us create a better smelling candidate for everybody, basically.
Adam Kitchen 41:29
Thank you very much for your time. If anyone's got any questions from us, feel free to drop them in the comments. I can see a few of them just came through. So please feel free to do it. And I'll take you on LinkedIn or we're going to leave it here. Thank you once again for your time.
Matt Kennedy 41:43
Awesome. Thanks, Adam. Thanks, Leah. And thanks, everyone for watching.
Leah Magee 41:48
Thanks very much. Cheers. Bye
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