Brianne West, founder and CEO of Ethique, is a social entrepreneur and environmentalist that has made it her mission to protect and restore the environment while proving that it is possible to run a profitable business. From developing the first ever solid shampoo bar in her kitchen 8 years ago, she has grown Ethique into a business that is sold in over 22 countries in more than 8000 stores while saving 20 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfill.
Named the NZ EY ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2019
Background in chemistry enabling her to personally develop the Ethique products
Runs the Ethique Foundation, funding and mentoring 5 women that run NGOs tackling environmental and social issues
What is the podcast?
We started the Solve KYC: Know Your Customers podcast to give a behind the scenes look at how some of the best consumer focused entrepreneurs succeed. We’re not just focused on inspiring stories, we want to help share insights and tips of how they’ve built their businesses and ultimately succeed.
Highlights from the episode
1. Be creative with your funding sources
Brianne is an advocate of equity crowdfunding. It enables entrepreneurs to raise capital from regular people who are passionate about a business idea instead of having to rely on banks or venture capital firms.
“Equity crowdfunding allows any individual passionate about your idea to invest – not just wealthy people”
2. Customer education can go a long way if you have a brilliant idea
For over a century we have been taught that our shampoo should be a liquid in a plastic bottle. Brianne explains how new ideas – even when they make so much sense to you – often require customer education.
“Liquid shampoo may be slightly more convenient, but that convenience comes at a cost to the planet”
3. Use your unique skillset to your advantage
Brianne explains that her unique background in chemistry gives her intimate knowledge of every Ethique product and significantly shortens the R&D timelines – clear wins for both consumers and the Ethique brand.
“I know exactly why and how the chemicals in the products function”
Interested in learning what your customers love so you can focus on your business mission? Please get in touch with us for a chat here.