Today we're luck enough to have been able to sit down with Clare Blair from the Refill Cycle. We spoke about all things Women, business & Refill Cycle, we hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed doing it!
We love showing our customers the faces behind the businesses, tell us more about yourself!
Hi I'm Clare and I'm fascinated by trying to live both a plastic-free life and generally trying to produce less waste, as a household. I would say I myself am only at the beginning of my journey in trying to do this and I've got so many things to learn but I feel so strongly and always have about how much we actually consume and waste in our lifetimes. This prompted me to come up with an idea many years ago about reusing plastic bottles left on a beach to refill shampoo and conditioner for people who were travelling. Unfortunately at the time this idea didn't materialise but years later it's become more relevant than ever and after finding a notebook I made when I was travelling I decided it was time to give this idea a go here in the UK.
Tell us about your business
It's a lot like the old fashioned milk man delivery or the lemonade man (if you can remember him). I deliver your self care and household products in glass bottles to your door. Once you have used them all up, you order a refill and leave your empties out for me to collect in exchange for a full bottle. This saves on single use plastic that would have been thrown away before.
Did you always think that one day you would be running your own business?
Yes I think I did, I was always coming up with ideas and running them past my Dad when I was younger and he was always very encouraging as he himself like to invent things so I think he loved hearing my ideas (or at least he pretended to quite well).
If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business?
As of yet I haven't faced any challenges from the refill cycle, but I also DJ for parties and weddings and I think sometimes people can be a bit put off that the wedding DJ is female and not your typical male wedding DJ. I have found quite a reverse reaction to that too though when couples actually request a female DJ so it's what you'd call swings and roundabouts really.
What advice would you give to other women starting out in business?
Don't overthink it, do your research and follow your instinct no matter what others may say.
Where do you see your business going next?
Oooh I really don't know the answer to that one, I'd love for people to want to join us against single use plastic and I think as I continue my journey in learning I can hopefully share this with my customers too. There's lots of products I'm interested in that you don't even think about as a single use plastic item, it's a massive can of worms but then worms help with composting so I think I'll have to open it.