Neige and Pippa Blair are building Routine on their own terms. In this episode of the SheEO.World podcast, hear how they grew from arts markets to international distribution, how bootstrapping their business led to building a sustainable business and the big move they were able to take thanks to the radical generosity of SheEO Activators.
“Don’t be afraid to be a little bit of a rebel.”
In this episode:
- How Neige and Pippa made the decision to grow from arts markets to retail, “faking it” until they made it
- Why Neige and Pippa believe you don’t have to know or understand business in order to run a business
- Balancing running a business with family
- The “waste-not” mentality from bootstrapping the business that naturally led to building a sustainable business
- How SheEO Activators made Routine’s new 8,000 square foot manufacturing facility and community hub a reality
- Pippa and Neige’s advice for entrepreneurs wondering if they are “doing it right”
- Making sustainable choices with your business to make it easier for individuals to make those choices
- Following the energy
Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the SheEO.World Podcast.
Pippa: Our products come in a glass jar. So we make the choice and instead of buying a 100,000 plastic containers, we’re buying a 100,000 glass containers that can actually be refills, not just recycled, but used over and over and over, and they’ll actually last a lifetime. Through this vehicle, again, you can make significant change. It’s businesses, that by making these changes and demanding these alternative ways of doing things, it’s going to open it up more for more options, for individuals to make easier choices and more environmental impact.
Vicki: Welcome to SheEO.world, a podcast about redesigning the world. I’m your host, Vicki Saunders. In each episode, you’ll hear from SheEO venture founders, women who are working on the world’s to-do list. These innovative business leaders are solving some of the major challenges of our times. Sit back and prepare to be inspired.
Vicki: Hi, welcome Pippa and Neige. I’m so psyched to have you here. Today we have the cofounders of Routine with us.
Pippa: I’m Pippa. Routine is a line of natural deodorants, about eight years ago. We are now in the process of expanding into other product lines, of products that make you smell how you want to smell. So, we are best known for our natural deodorants. We have 18 scents in the marketplace, and they are, let’s say, the most effective natural deodorant that you’re going to find out there.
Vicki: That’s so amazing. How did this whole idea come about, Neige?
Neige: When I was younger, I was a little bit of a hippie living in Nelson and I would wild press things and learn how to make products. As time went by, I kind of honed my skills at doing that. I think by the time I had had kids, and I was looking to restart up a career, I was like, “What am I going to do?” And [inaudible 00:01:50] was like, “Why don’t you take your deodorants in the market?” I didn’t think that was that sexy. “Ooh a deodorant.” But, I took everything I love, I took music, I took art, I took design, I put it all into one product with all my love and my best scents and I made four to start out with. I was going to do an art market and I had a little bit of problem printing the labels.
Neige: Pippa and I had just begun a newfound friendship. She was dating my husband’s brother for a couple of years, and we just kind of started connecting. She shows up and she starts helping me. She comes to the art market the next day, she hangs out. By the end of the art market I was like, “You know, we’ve actually sold out and I think this might be something. Do you want to join forces?” She said, “Okay”, and then the rest is history.
Vicki: That’s amazing. I love stories that are just like you weren’t really trying to start a business. You were like, “Oh, I’ve got this thing I’ve created.” Were you making these deodorants for friends before you went to market, for a long time, or how did that emerge?
Neige: I did do a lot of things. I’d been making people natural cleaners and natural, all sorts of products. But everyone was like, “Oh, this deodorant is just changing my life.” Yeah, so I’d been making it for a long time. I had a lot of support because I think people just were like, “There’s nothing like this out there.”
Pippa: Just to jump in, I was one of those users. So before she had the idea of actually taking it to the world, I was using it. I was only 23 at the time, I was fresh out of university. I actually wasn’t into natural products at the time. And, here I was suddenly using this natural deodorant as the first natural product, whereas usually natural deodorants are one of the hardest to convert over. And, here I was suddenly using this deodorant, having the confidence to wear this product 24/7 and never stink. I was one of those people that was like “Neige, you have to share this with the world. It’s just an incredible formula.”
Vicki: It is amazing, because we found you through one of our activators. The activators are women in the SheEO network who fund these ventures and she’s a smelly one, as you guys call it. So, she’s like, “Oh my God, this stuff is amazing. Have you tried it?”, and I said, “No.” Then I tried it and I’m like, “Oh my God, this works so well.” So I, by the way just have my SUPERSTAR on at the moment, put it on just before our interview. Let’s step back a little bit. So I love this thing about, people start with an idea and then you take it to a market. It’s almost like market testing in a way. So you’re at the market, and how did you decide to go from market to the next level with the business?
Neige: Well, we’d been sitting there, like a market for I think it was… We did two markets and we’d been sitting there on the last day, and we’re like, “I don’t think this is sustainable. I think that we could probably get someone else selling the product.” So we packed it up, went to three local stores and two of them picked it up and that’s… It was right timing. There was a hole in the marketplace, and then it just snowballed from there.
Vicki: So that’s kind of interesting because two, not two years of markets, but two.
Neige: Two markets.
Vicki: So, this is what I completely love. May I guess that you’re a little bit impatient with things. Is that possible?
Vicki: It’s funny, this is something that I think about a lot, which is people who are kind of like patient with, “Oh this is great, we’re sold out and we sold out again.” And you’re like, “Two markets, this isn’t sustainable, next.” To like, “What’s the next level?” How did you figure out how to do this? How did you figure out how to create a business?
Pippa: We rolled with the flow, to be honest. It was one step at a time. Every time we would encounter something new, we would just figure out how to do it. We went into it with confidence that we can do this and we will figure it out. But, there were many things that we just… We were faking it until we made it, to be honest. We had a lot of amazing learning curves, like we signed with our distributor and they’re like, “Okay, can you please send us your certificate of insurance?” And we were like, “Yes ma’am.” So then we’re scrambling in that moment to get our insurance because we didn’t realize [inaudible 00:05:41] that you needed to do. But honestly you can do anything. You just have to have the confidence that you can do it, and you present yourself well, and roll with the flow is how we’ve done it.
Vicki: That is just awesome. I mean, that just in time is like “Insurance, of course we have insurance. Brenda, who do I know who sells insurance? Oh my gosh.”
Neige: I mean, yeah it’s so interesting too and there’s so much business jargon that we’ve learned is so unnecessary, but I don’t know if it just makes people feel better. Of course we speak the language now, but we didn’t for the first five years, we’re like, “We don’t know what MSRP”, or whatever it is. That one’s a little more valuable, but it’s been really interesting taking a step back and getting some perspective as to why people do things the way they do. It’s been so many hundreds of years, of people just maybe trying to make themselves feel good, because they speak the weird language that is business. Now we’re just speaking it in layman’s terms and that’s what has kept us in the game because we’re just like, “Okay, we just want to enjoy this and make this normal and make this part of our lives.”
Vicki: Yeah, this is-
Pippa: I find that I’m not embarrassed to stop someone, and say “I’m sorry, what did you just say?” [inaudible 00:06:49] because it happens on a daily basis, even though we’re eight years in, there’s still these terms that get thrown out all the time. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Neige: If you’ve got common sense, you can do business.
Vicki: It is so interesting that you say that too, because that’s exactly how I feel about SheEO, which is why we have this very simple application form and we’re getting rid of the jargon. Because, it’s all this made up thing to make you sound like you know more than you do and then it can fool people, right? If you can’t make it simple and say it simply. And so, I have to share this funny thing that I heard about you two from your development guide, Dorothy. I saw her in Halifax recently and I said, “How’s it going with Pippa and Neige, and how’s their business?” She said, “Actually they said that they don’t really work in the summer. Is that okay?” And I just started laughing. It made me laugh because you’re both totally making up your own rules, which I love. It’s totally on your terms. So you both have kids. Tell us a little bit of how you manage all this stuff together.
Neige: Oh man, that “We don’t usually work in the summer”, is a little bit of a stretch. I don’t think I’ve ever worked more, but-
Pippa: Yeah, I agree.
Neige: … but it’s just like the different times. I’ll be at this office till 2:00 sometimes, just because we’re building it up and doing a reno as well. Or, I know Pippa will be typing on her laptop till 2:00. And then, last night I had to go for dinner with a girlfriend in between the office and I just took a nap on the couch.
Pippa: [inaudible 00:00:08:12].
Neige: You’ve made it kind of homey, so that really helps. And then my daughter’s at summer camp away. I mean you have to kind of do what you can and-
Pippa: Well we did experiment this summer a little bit too. We went on a camping trip and we were like, “Okay, we are going on this camping trip with our kids.” Neige’s daughter Milo is 11, so we’re like, “She’s going to babysit our kids and we’re going to get so much work done.” And then once we were there we realized we might’ve been a little idealistic that [inaudible 00:08:43]. We’re going to work while you’re camping. We got some key discussions and a lot of… It was kind of a little bit of a cofounders brainstorming session that there was some really good conversations that we had. But maybe thinking that we’re going to work eight hour days while camping, is not so realistic. Like Neige says, we’re creative with our time. It’s not conventional.
Pippa: I know for me, in terms of answering questions about balance, for me… because my kids are little, I’m in a totally different stage than Neige, my kids are two and four. I carve out a six hour time block where I can work as hard as I can in that timeframe, so that in the morning and in the late afternoon, I’ve got the time to spend with them. And then the thing is, like Neige alluded to, I’m back on my laptop at night. Because, it’s a time that I can work and have that balance by having creative hours essentially.
Vicki: So, tell us a little bit about getting a distributor to get your product out to market. How did that happen?
Neige: Oh, I feel like we’ve been so, I don’t want to say lucky, I don’t want to say blessed. These things just kind of happen organically. So we went to this, I guess it’s a trade show that CHFA, Canadian Health and Food Association and we did a trade show and we didn’t even know… To be honest I should go back to that. We did not even really know we needed a distributor to get into those bigger health food stores, because basically what happens is they don’t want to deal with a whole bunch of different vendors. They’d rather work with a couple of distributors and condense it. So we were there and a distributor approached us, Purity Health Products. They were like, “Oh have you considered a distributor?” It was such a big decision for us looking back, we did not know if we wanted to give a percentage of our income or anything. But, they helped us grow double the year that we signed up and it gave us access to so many more stores. So, I think it was a great decision. It was a great partnership.
Pippa: Yeah. Just to fill in a little bit more on that, we went to CHFA and Neige, she’s just a beautiful curator, has a natural gift for all things creative, whether it’s home decor, product, packaging, everything. So, she basically designed this amazing booth, that was incredible and at the show we ended up winning the best small booth award. That really got us the attention of the distributor. I think that’s how we landed in their laps, by investing in that booth we really scored that relationship.
Neige: We brought my whole living room. I was like, “What are these pop up banners people have? We have wood and [inaudible 00:11:15] .
Vicki: Actually, part of the thing… I’m a multi-time entrepreneur and I would pay so much more to get back to the fresh eyes approach, right, of not knowing how something’s done. That’s the most amazing thing to have as an entrepreneur when you just don’t know “how it’s done”, right? Because then you can really be fresh and differentiated.
Neige: Totally, and making do also was a huge part of our success. I think that we made do with what we had. I designed the first label on Pages. It just really kept it simple and genuine. So, I love making do. I used to, before we started the business, I would take thrift store clothes and make new clothes out of them. It just would really spark creativity. And then you come up with something so much better than if you could just buy it.
Pippa: It just leads you into leading a sustainable business, right? Because let’s say you don’t use some packaging or something. Instead of just saying, “Oh here we go. Throw it into this recycling system.” That mentality is so strong that you just use things up. You’re going to find a purpose for everything, even if it’s decorating an entire wall with old boxes.
Neige: Or we would take our little cut outs from our labels and then we would use the little bird from the inside of the cups to put on our tiny tester jars. We would hand label those, so waste nothing.
Vicki: That’s fantastic. So, were are you doing this out of your house or you had an office? Tell us a little bit about the staging of that.
Neige: Well, we’ve moved so many times. We started in my kitchen.
Pippa: Then, we moved to my kitchen.
Neige: Then, we moved to your kitchen. And then, we started doing it at an approved community kitchen and we’d have to haul our stuff in, bring it up this service elevator. We couldn’t leave our stuff there. We hired out of this nursing student friends, because she was in nursing school at the time as well. And then we used my dad’s basement and we would make it there.
Neige: And then, finally at same time as we got a distributor, we got approached by a manufacturer in the city and we were like, “No, no, we can’t give it up. It has to have a perfect swirl on the top.” But, Pippa was on mat leave and I’d been typing 50,000 jars. It was time to let go, just let go a little bit, and that was really, really hard on any levels. But, it worked out so well. They’re still making our product, and it gave us the opportunity… And then we moved to our last warehouse before this one. We’d moved out of the basement, and we’d moved there for two years, it was a great little place. But now… We were like, “Okay, here’s an opportunity, we need to move again.” The lease was up, so we just signed on the 8,000 square foot facility we’re in right now.
Neige: Our plan is to manufacture all new products in this facility here and let our manufacturer continue to do the deodorants, because we don’t want to take business away from them. We’ve created a really great relationship with them and they’ve got their method dialed. Yeah, everything’s moving forward. I mean it’s like full circle. I’m just ready to get back into that R&D room and make new exciting things.
Pippa: This is where SheEO has really come into play for us, because it’s allowed us to just dive in headfirst and say “We are doing this. We are doing manufacturing. We are opening citizens”, which we’ll probably talk to later. And just dive in headfirst, because we’ve got that backing and confidence, and just knowing that people believe in us, and to sort of start really pursuing our next stage of dreams.
Vicki: So what is the vision? Tell me a little bit about where you’re going.
Neige: We’ve got [inaudible 00:14:27], I guess we could call them. We’ve got our front offices that everyone’s working in. There’s a lounge and then there’s a tree top, there’s going to be desks up there. The first stage is done and then behind that there’s warehousing. We are also renting the bay next door. So, we busted the walls in between the two bays and then put manufacturing in the back end of one bay and then in the front end, the second bay beside the offices is what we’re calling Citizens Club.
Neige: So, it’s a venue, it’s gorgeous. It’s kind of like a club speakeasy sort of feel. But we were talking, actually it was Dorothy and she really opened our eyes to this whole citizens over consumers thing. And we were like, “Yes, that’s what we want. That’s what we’ve always wanted.”
Neige: So we’re just opening up the space to people that are doing really cool things. SheEO is going to have an event there. We teamed up recently with Reuben and the Dark. He’s a Canadian musician that’s just taking off. We had a meeting with him yesterday. We’re doing his album release party there. It’s going to be kind of a secret, because you end up in this industrial area and you’re like “What is this place?”, and you walk into this beautiful speakeasy. So it should be a really great time.
Neige: We’re going to keep that part of business analog, kind of word of mouth. Just like how we started and just see what happens with that.
Pippa: Yeah, then-
Neige: Also the manufacturing space, we’re going to be calling the Co-Lab and we’re going to extend it to certain people within the community that are kind of struggling to find a space to make their products. Just how we had a problem kind of finding a space. When we’re on our off days and we’re not making too many products, we will be renting that out to people as well.
Pippa: In terms of our vision for our existing products as well, and I guess the manufacturing, we went through a big exploratory thing about two months ago, when we were talking with Dorothy again our mentor and she was really, really pushing us to explain what differentiates us. “What makes you different from other people?” And the reason we were having this conversation is because we had recently launched some face oils and we had launched them under a new scent name, sort of new products entirely. So, we were just exploring the product launch with her and discussing how we can make our next product launch as successful, if not more successful. What we discovered is that our differentiating factor, is not just that we make clean products, that we make effective products, it’s actually that we have 18 unique scents, that we provide people with an option to smell how they want to smell. They’re just incredible.
Pippa: People can’t believe that they come from a blend of essential oils. These are all formulated by Neige. She just has a gift of a nose. So, we basically discovered that every single product that we launched moving forward in terms of priority, is going to be around this vision of smelling how you want to. So we’re going to have natural perfumes, we’re going to have natural soaps, candles, and our vision is really just to take that smell how you want to, to the next level and know that people have options. They don’t need to have fragrances and harmful chemicals in order to smell good. That’s just what we’re going to hone in on in our manufacturing lab.
Neige: Also with the marketing, we’re doing a big cinematic version of this. We’re taking people that we find very inspiring, like one of our friends who’s a beekeeper and someone who’s the rock star, all these different people that are doing what they want and not even really telling what they’re doing, just showing what they’re doing, in these sort of cinematic little films. That’s our new campaign. So, the scope is a lot bigger than it’s ever been in terms of focus of the direction we’re going in. Actually thank God for Dorothy, she really helped us focus in on that.
Vicki: That’s really good. For those of you who are wondering who is this special Dorothy, at SheEO, the ventures who are selected are matched up with a development guide. It’s someone who is sort of part advisor, mentor, therapist, coach. Pretty much no matter what’s going on in your life, there’s sort of help with that. I do actually want to sort of step back a little bit around, there’s so many special things about what you’re doing.
Vicki: There’s one thing when I think about the two of you. I really think you just are the essence of doing things on your own terms and just trusting your gut and making it up as you go. This sort of confidence and trust to do that. I mean if you were giving advice to people that are out there wondering if they’re doing it right, which is the number one question I get all the time, what would you say to people that have a dream and an idea?
Neige: Well, I would say, are you having fun? Because if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right. That’s basically what it comes down to. Your business and your work, I mean, it’s your life. So you need to enjoy your life, and if you’re making a little bit of money to support yourself and you’re having a good time, there’s no question that you’re doing it right.
Pippa: Yeah, and don’t be afraid to be a little bit of a rebel. If you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to do something. Never feel pressured that you need to. A lot of time also gets wasted in going to this meeting, going to this networking session, going to this event. There’s so many things that people want you to come to. But if something doesn’t feel right and you need to actually be working on your business, then don’t be afraid to say no to certain things.
Neige: It’s really, really hard to say no though. It becomes something you… You learn a skill to say no.
Vicki: I feel like you two really have that as a super power. Because, there’s all kinds of things out there, like you have to raise money and there’s a funding grant over here and there’s a thing over there or there’s a competition here where you can win a prize of cash, which I see a lot of people get distracted by and they’re funding their cashflow by that. Neither of you do any of that, right?
Neige: We started out with an investment of $250 apiece and we didn’t get any outside money, for how many years Pippa? Until we really needed it.
Pippa: Four, five years, yeah.
Neige: Four or five years, yeah.
Vicki: Totally bootstrapped on 250 bucks each. Awesome. Then, how did you decide that you needed more money?
Pippa: Because we outsourced our manufacturing and suddenly our cashflow gap just became this… We couldn’t understand why we had no money in our bank account, because our sales had never been stronger. In that moment, we realized what cashflow is and that we were having to upfront pay six weeks in advance for manufacturing, a full month in advance for our glass jars. And then everyone would pay us by industry standards, three months after they receive the product. So, suddenly we just had this huge gap and we were basically forced to seek outside funding.
Pippa: And then, we went through a huge exploratory phase. We were actually working out of District Ventures, which is Arlene Dickinson’s from the Dragons’ Den, it’s her accelerator program. We were the first cohort there. So, we were connected to a lot of different opportunities of what we could do for capital and we really considered going down the investment train. We were talking to all sorts of different investors. There was a lot of interest expressed. But at the same time we were also connected to ATB Financial, which is a local Alberta bank and made a relationship there.
Pippa: After almost going the investment route, our guts just told us that it was not the right time. That was largely in part because we were seeking for funds to fund inventory, not to fund market expansion and marketing and distribution and things like that. So what we learned is that if you’re funding inventory, one of the smartest moves is to try to get that bank financing, because once you get through that hurdle, you’re still going to have control. Even if you want to invest later down the road, you can use that money for the market expansion and things like that. We made a great relationship with the bank and we are so thankful for our decision to go debt financing.
Vicki: Yeah, brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I would say this over and over, is if you can afford not to raise money and capital from outside, it’s the best, right? Maintaining control to do it your way is just awesome. When did you go online or were you online from the very beginning?
Pippa: Day one and we had another learning curve is that you should always apply for trademarks pretty much as soon as [inaudible 00:22:12] and we had not applied for a U.S. trademark for Routine. We had been, I think about five years in, we’re like, “Okay, the U.S. is picking up, we really need to get our trademark.”
Pippa: Turns out three months prior, another company based in the UK had filed for Routine and they had listed a deodorant. We had to fight on that, but what saved us is that because we had opened up online sales, we had documented history from day one of our business that we were selling our products to the U.S. Market. And, because we also had proof of consistent branding where the Routine logo that Neige developed, it has never changed since day one. All of these factors allowed us to get that control of the trademark even though they had applied first, because we could prove prior use. So-
Vicki: Yeah that’s beautiful.
Pippa: It was a really challenging process financially and it’s a lot of work, but that was just sort of a good thing about putting up online sales.
Vicki: Is online sales really significant for you?
Pippa: You know what, it’s actually about 10 to 15% of our business. We’ve taken a different approach where we really are focused on getting the space in the store shelves, because it’s a noisy world out there online and people are in stores… Actually Neige, maybe you could even speak to that research that you had heard about the next generation coming in and how they really want to go to stores.
Neige: Oh, yeah. I went to this seminar in Vegas. I went just to see what was up and coming. It was really great. It was about Gen Z and they were just saying how they’re feeling a real disconnect with people in general, because they’re always on their devices. So this generation actually really loves the experience of going into a store, picking something up, smelling it, looking at it, feeling it, and then they’ll go and buy it online, sometimes. Retail’s been really our bread and butter. It’s kind of gives us a little bit of a validity, I think, to people because you can buy anything online, anything. But you have to go through a process to be on a store shelf. So I think that’s given us some credibility.
Neige: But yeah, it is really interesting what’s happening. Even if they’re going to be going away from storefronts and it’s more of a warehousing thing, a lot of bigger stores are going to be still having these store fronts without all the stock there. So, basically you go and you try on a dress and then you go with your phone and buy it online. But people still want to try and touch and smell. So it’s kind of an interesting place to be at right now.
Vicki: Interesting. So ,if you’re sort of stepping back and thinking about your life at this stage and where you are, what does business mean for you? What is the choice that you made to get into business? Tell us about that.
Neige: For me, it’s like this is just like breathing, it’s part of life. This whole thing, that’s routine is on the forefront of my mind. I think it’s on the forefront of Pippa’s mind. But we work with family, it’s all kind of connecting. That’s what business is to me, and it’s just a way to live.
Pippa: Yeah, I completely agree. Yeah, it’s a way to sort of showcase your passion and just instead of being at home and scrolling on Instagram or Facebook or something, your mind is always thinking on a business and how you can improve it. So, like she says, it’s sort of just a way of living. And then, the other side is the flexibility. That’s just what I love about the entrepreneurial life is being able to… I’ve kind of struggled, like we alluded to earlier about having so many meetings.
Pippa: One of the things that we’re looking at implementing, is having some of these meetings that we’re maybe a little resistant to have, having them out in a park where we actually go for a walk. We take in our walk and at the same time we are talking to whoever it is on the phone. So then, we’re balancing that self-care, making sure we’re getting exercise outdoors. We can do that, because of the flexibility of doing things how you want to do them essentially.
Neige: That’s actually a really interesting question. I haven’t thought about business for the way you just asked. But for me, business, this routine thing is like one giant project, and I love projects, with a whole bunch of mini projects in between that you can finish and feel really accomplished by. It’s a project.
Vicki: That’s cool. Yeah, I mean it’s really feeling very, very similar to me. This is a way of manifesting what I’m great at in the world, what I love to do, my passion. I mean it’s a total dream to work with changemakers who are out there living the dream their way. It’s tough of course to be an entrepreneur, but the flexibility is just a massive, massive opportunity.
Vicki: I do like the fact that you say, “It’s just like breathing.” It’s cool. We’re kind of going to this world where, hopefully anyway, you get a chance to really express, why are you here? Entrepreneurship to me feels like a vehicle to allow you to take all of the amazing things that you’re good at and mash them together into a project with lots of little projects. It’s cool.
Neige: So it’s a vehicle and with our big new campaign that we want to do, the beekeeper came here yesterday. She looks around and she’s like, “Neige, don’t take this the wrong way, but this morning I woke up and I was like, “It’s just fucking bees, but look where it’s got me.” Then she’s like, “And then, I come here and I look around”, she goes, I swear, sorry, she’s like, “It’s just fucking deodorant [inaudible 00:27:15].”” It’s a vehicle, and [inaudible 00:27:20]. Okay, the deodorant bust the venue. It’s so funny.
Vicki: Just keep growing, right? Keep following it.
Pippa: Businesses have the power to change. That’s different. It’s really hard when you’re… I’m just looking at the environmental impact in reducing plastic and all those sorts of things. As an individual, you do your recycling, you do your part, but it can be really frustrating as a whole when there’s not much you can do because all of the strawberries come packaged in plastic or whatever, that it just feels limited.
Pippa: But, when you were buying hundreds of thousands of packaging materials at a time, you could make the choice. Our products come in a glass jar, so we make the choice and instead of buying 100,000 plastic containers, we are buying 100,000 glass containers that can actually be refills, not just recycled but use over and over and over and they’ll actually last a lifetime. Through this vehicle, again you can make significant change and it’s businesses that by making these changes and demanding these alternative ways doing things, it’s going to open it up more for more options for individuals to make easier choices and more environmental impact.
Vicki: That’s so good. Okay, I feel like I just want to end it here, but I do have one other little thing around world domination. The question, unlike this sort of scope of what you want to be doing in the world, are you wanting to export to countries all over the world? We have people listening from all over. So, you’re both based in Canada, you’re doing business in U.S., but is your goal to be all over?
Neige: Yeah, we actually have a distributor in the UAE, and then one out in Denmark right now. So yeah, I mean it’s crazy how popular it is in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. My girlfriend just moved back from Abu Dhabi and she’s like, “I would just go do yoga on Routine.” It’s so funny.
Vicki: Really? That’s cool. How did that happen, do you know?
Neige: They approached us, [inaudible 00:29:09] works closely with that distributor. I mean, we kind of feel like things that are easy, if they happen easily, and it was meant to be. Some things when they take too long or it’s just hard and it’s that gut feeling, move along. So we don’t push too hard for people. It’s really hard to say, “Hey, this is great deodorant. We promise it works.” It’s more like when someone else’s tried it and it’s the word of mouth. They’re like, “This is so great, and now I’ve tried, I love it. She’s my life.” Then they’re very passionate about it and the work is done. So that’s kind of like the promise of artists. You don’t push it and you kind of let it happen.
Vicki: That’s beautiful, because that’s what we say too, which is follow the energy.
Vicki: So when things come at easily, I mean we go to different countries with SheEO based on people in those communities reaching out and saying, “We really want this.” Right, and that’s how you do it. But if you had to actually push this out, like the old business model, they’ll set up an office and push all this stuff at people and it’s hard and it costs a lot of money to do that. But the bottom up stuff is so much more fun.
Neige: Yeah. It’s a real thing. It’s a true thing, the energy. It’s just as real as the jar of deodorant.
Pippa: If we were to throw any energy out there, the next sort of market that we see would be really beneficial for us and it actually aligns with SheEO, is that Australian, New Zealand market. It’s hot, our deodorant can stand up to those temperatures, so we’re sort of throwing some energy out there of… Just energy to see if something comes back in terms of world domination, let’s say.
Vicki: It’s all right. There you go. Ladies in Australia, New Zealand, you guys, anyone who’s listening to this, reach out to Routine. How can they reach you guys?
Pippa: Easiest routinecream.com. Go to our website and we all have access to the general email on there.
Vicki: Thank you so much for your time. Thank you very much for sharing your story with others. I’m sure it will inspire many.
Neige: We’re so grateful for you having us. Thank you so much Vicky. You’re doing amazing things. We’re just in awe of you.
Vicki: Thank you ladies. Take care.
Vicki: Thank you for listening to the SheEO.world podcast. If this conversation resonated with you, please share it with a friend and subscribe on your favorite podcast player. If you’d like more information about SheEO, please visit us at SheEO.world. That’s S-H-E-E-O.world.