What does International Women's Day mean to you?
On a macro level, it's an opportunity to focus on how it feels to be a woman in today’s world. There’s still so much struggle and inequity—in all areas of life—for half the global population. Yet women are also uniting to push back at these injustices, and they do it for the betterment of everyone, not just themselves. Each year, however, the stakes just seem to be getting higher. Movements like International Women’s Day are becoming increasingly important, I feel, in drawing the world’s attention to the incredible courage, resilience, and determination of women; and to the distance still to go in achieving better and safer lives for all of us.
On a personal level, my thoughts go to the inspiring women in my own family, who have had such a profoundly positive impact on my life: my grandmother, my mother, my stepmother, and my twin Adrienne (who oversees Koala Eco operations in the States). And it’s an opportunity also to celebrate the other talented women, both at Koala Eco including our commercial director Claire as well as our advisor Catrin, and team members Carol, Khyla, and Matilda, and those in other businesses we work closely with. Most of them are in the online business space, and all of them invest such intelligence and commitment into their work with us. One of the most meaningful things we share is our ability to support and encourage one another. This ability is based on deep mutual respect, and a genuine desire to see every one of us succeed.
I experience it everywhere: this groundswell movement of women backing women. I’m so inspired by the kindness of my female friends, and of other female-led businesses, encouraging each other and forming a community. I am also continuously inspired by our customers whenever I have the opportunity to meet and talk about what matters most in their daily lives.
Is there are woman who has inspired you the most?
I mentioned my grandmother, who was a huge influence for my sister and me. She would take us on long hikes through the forests around her New England home, pointing out the flora and fauna along the way. I think that’s when my love and respect for nature truly took hold, and led to Adrienne and I setting up a floral business when we were just out of university. Years later, when Paul (my husband and Koala Eco co-founder) and I were unable to find safe, non-toxic products for home and body care, and started to talk about making our own, I thought so much about what I had learned during those hikes. It made complete sense to look to the powerful properties of native plants and botanicals as a completely effective alternative to what was available on the household cleaning market at the time. Nature is such a powerful healer for body and mind, and so if Koala Eco can help everyone bring a bit of nature into their daily lives, and feel better for it, it’s the perfect inspiration and impetus we need to keep doing what we do.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
It wasn’t given to me personally, but passed down. It was from Eleanor Roosevelt, who said a great many wise things, including this one: ‘do one thing every day that scares you.’ I have tried to use this wisdom throughout my life to try my best to face my fears, and force myself to do things outside of my comfort zone. Following this advice has been incredibly useful in my career and life.