Luv Me Eco, the Australian owned and based, independent family business changing the planet one bamboo nappy at a time! Kendall Seddon, the CEO and Co-Founder of Luv Me Eco, has poured her heart and soul into creating an eco conscious baby product company that is affordable for families. From the rolling mountains and fresh water lake on their property, Kendall, her Mum who is also her business partner and her family, enjoy the country lifestyle. They live and breathe eco ideology and it was a pleasure to interview Kendall to hear how they have revolutionised the baby product industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am originally from Yamba, as I was born in Grafton, but now for the last 20 years have lived on the southern end of the Gold Coast on acreage at Terranora. I am a country girl, love living on the land, animals and still have a few horses. I don’t ride much anymore with being a busy mum of 3. My interests are going to the gym, running, spending time with my family and eating out. I love finding yummy but healthy places to eat at. I also love gardening and cooking. I have a very creative mind so I find gardening and cooking help for me to unwind and create beauty, plus its something fun I can do with my kids too.
Tell us about your business Luv Me Eco and what inspired you to step into the eco conscious baby product industry?
I was sick of the corporate lifestyle that was taking me away from my family too much. I wanted to find something that I would love doing, that would give me the freedom to still be a mum and also leave a legacy. I felt that I needed to leave a big impact with what I would chose to do. Something that would make my family proud of me, but more importantly to be proud of myself. I know that one day when I leave this earth, that I have done everything in my power to make it a better place. Being a mum and from a large family I want to create a baby range that was going to align with being better for our earth. With my corporate sales and marketing experience we haven’t looked back. For the first time in my life I am so excited to go to work each day and LOVE what I do with so much passion.
Tell us about your experience starting up your business as a busy Mum of three daughters. What were some learning curves you had to overcome early on?
Starting my business as a busy mum of three has definitely been the most challenging experience and definitely made my journey take longer than if I didn’t have kids! But then in saying that, my motivation for this is my kids so I might not still be doing this after 9 years now without them. They are part of my journey and everyday they are having something to do in our business and they love it too. One day it will all be theirs and this makes me so happy knowing that. Plus the added benefit of making a massive difference to our environment. There were days and times, don’t get me wrong, that I have definitely been in tears and wanting to throw it all in. Without the support of my amazing Husband, Craig, and business partner, my mum, Laurie, with their “never give up attitude,” I have kept going. It was a dream that my husband would one day work in our business and this year being the 9th Year, its become a reality. We are now both full time in the business and loving every day that we go to work together. I think the key to making it work is that we LOVE what we do and everyday we have so much FUN doing it too.
Some learning curves that I had to overcome early on is to not be too trusting. I know that sounds sad to say but we have had a lot of people come into our business who have done the wrong thing by us, so now I am much more careful with who I let into my business and also personal life. I have also learnt to say no to things that will distract and take my time away from my goals and dreams. As I have gotten older I feel that my time is so precious, so I only let certain people in my life to share it with me whether its business or personal.
You have a close knit family and your business partner is your Mum! Any tips on how you balance family life and business life?
Mmmm this is always such an interesting thing, trying to balance everything. Some weeks I have it altogether or some days and other days and/or weeks I don’t. I try and accept that it will never be perfect and take each day as it comes. Some days I end the day on a high feeling like I achieved a lot as a mum and business women and other days I feel like I didn’t achieve a lot. Days like that I definitely go home and have a big hot bath and this really helps de-stress me. As for any tips, I like to stay very organised that really helps me with being able to achieve so much each day. I also like to keep fit. I go to F45 every day and try to run 5km in the afternoon. Exercise is my go to for stress release for sure and without this I can tend to get a bit snappy haha. I think planning ahead is the key too. I will meal prep or cook things in advance and in business I like to have regular meetings with my team to help stream line our productivity. I will also block out time in the day at work that I need to have no interruptions so it might just be a few hours but I find that having no interruptions I can get so much more done. This has been working really well for helping me balance everything as a busy CEO.
Tell us about the design and manufacturing process of your bamboo products. How long does it take from beginning to end?
My kids have very sensitive skin so I was instantly drawn to bamboo as being the best fibre to use when it comes to make a baby range of nappies, wipes, breast pads etc. Some rashes that you see on little bubs skin is so sad so I definitely wanted my products to help minimize this if not make it go away altogether so that was so important to me. As I started to research more and more about bamboo, I found that not only are the fibres smooth making it less likely to irritate the skin like cotton or corn fibres. But it also doesn’t need any pesticide to grow it as no insects like to eat it! HOW AWESOME is that! It’s naturally organic! Plus it doesn’t need much water to grow either, it duplicates itself and naturally biodegrades back into the soil too. Its hands down the best ingredients by far so that made it a no brainer for me.
The design process has been a very detailed and researched phase as I wanted to make sure I had the best, softest and most absorbent eco bamboo nappy, wipes, breast pads etc. I wanted to make sure my wipes were super soft but so strong. I feel as mum’s big thick wipes are bulky and hard to use but soft silky feel wipes that are super strong is the key. So to achieve this with our wipes I knew that making them 100% bamboo would keep them silky soft but super strong even if that was more costly than a cotton or corn fibre wipe. They pull up out like tissues which when you are in a hurry to grab another wipes is a must! We also make sure they have a clip lid so they don’t dry out and with no nasty ingredients they are perfect for bubs sensitive skin. Features like this do add to my cost price but having a quality high end product that will make a mums life easier has always been my goal.
I also wanted to achieve this high quality with our nappies so to make sure I got the best sap which is sumoto sap from Japan. We also wanted to use bamboo fibre instead of cotton or corn fibres which are cheaper. I chose to have stretchy strong side tabs so that our nappies were comfortable for bub to wear but the tabs wouldn’t come off easy. I feel that after 9 years of perfecting all of the features of our nappies we now have the most absorbent and softest eco bamboo nappy and wipes that I am so proud to say is our own Australian family brand.
When is your favourite hour in the day?
I know this sounds funny but it really is when I go and get my kids from daycare and school. My kids are very passionate and get very excited about life similar to myself. So when I get them from school and daycare they come running over screaming mummy and daddy with so much joy and happiness so this is definitely my favourite part of my day. My kids are my life! I love what I do for my career but being a mum is the most important job of all and I take this very seriously. I will drop everything for my family and my kids.
Who are some women that inspire you?
I have a lot of women who inspire me and sometimes it can just be a moment in my day or something someone says that inspires me. It can be something I read or see or experience that will inspire me. Even my 5 year old, 3 year old and 18 year old daughters will say or do something that inspires me. My husband, I know you say Women but without him supporting me and helping so much with our kids I definitely wouldn’t have achieved the success I have. He is such a hands on dad which is so awesome for me to see the close relationship he has with his girls especially when I lost my dad to cancer when I was only five. I feel like that Craig is in my life for me to see this close father daughter bond that I didn’t get to have as a child so I am soooo grateful every day for this and these moments. My mum who has also been my business partner for the last 9 years definitely inspires me. Her strength to fight her terminal cancer for 3 years now has definitely been a massive inspiration for me but also the most challenging time of my life and continues to be.
Luv Me Eco is paving the way for sustainable, eco friendly baby products, what are your goals for the future? (Personally and business wise!)
Personally I want to continue to improve and work on my work life balance. Making sure I am giving myself the time on my own that I need as being a busy mum I find I do put myself last. I want to change that more and really focus on being my true authentic self. Or as my 18 year old daughter would say you do you mum and the rest doesn’t matter. In business OMG I have so many plans for the future which is so exciting and keeps me awake at night a lot. So it will be just getting the foundations right for the growth that is about to come and the new products and changes. 2019 has already broken massive sales records and I haven’t even touched the surface with the exciting new changes coming. I am growing my team which I think is important to get the right people in the right roles. I am working massively on improvement also and fine tuning every aspect of my business to be the best that it can. I will continue with this mindset and attitude and enjoy this super fun roller coaster ride with my amazing team!
Luv Me Eco have kindly offered my readers 20% off their purchases from their Little Shoppers online store. Head over to their shop to see their full range of eco conscious products for your whole family. Use the code TASH20 to redeem 20% off. Luv Me Eco would love to give you all an opportunity to try a free sample by heading over to their shop. Follow this link for your FREE sample of their range!
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