Entrepreneurship is often born of a desire to fix something that’s broken. That’s the story behind Blushing Bluebird Essentials (aka Bluebird Pads), which soft-launched in November 2016 and went on to win the PitchFest2 grand prize in September 2017.
Blushing Bluebird Essentials produces organic cloth feminine pads and accessories. It is a family enterprise led by Danielle Farrant. The team includes husband Bern, her parents Leah and David Hope, sister Amie Webster, and Amie’s husband Jeff. Products can be purchased locally at Edible Island, Kradles Baby Boutique or online at www.bluebirdpads.com.
LIFT: What inspired this new product?
Danielle (DF): Allergies. Realizing that there are toxic materials in industrially-produced feminine products. Most women don’t know about healthier alternatives. We saw an opportunity.
LIFT: What was your “ask” at your BizOnDeck workshop?
DF: I had three asks. One, how can we successfully productize our business while maintaining our core values? Two, what are some ways we can help overcome the stigma associated with the use of cloth products? Three, We have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback on our business – how do we turn positive talk into sales?
LIFT: What were the three biggest takeaways from your BizOnDeck?
DF: One, “locally handmade” can mean made in BC, wherever it is most efficient to do so. Two, the face of the business/personal connection is what will grow the business at this stage. Three, have fun with the advertising, whenever possible!
LIFT: How useful has Slack (an online team platform for LIFT members) been to keep the “growth” discussion going?
DF: Probably the most important use of Slack for us has been the channel created by Julian Rendell of Make it Zone exclusively for discussion about textile manufacturing. This has been very helpful. Brooke at Wags Doggy Bags and Julian – and others I hadn’t even thought of as resources for our business! – have been very helpful.
LIFT: Has putting your business “on deck” helped grow your business?
DF: Yes! Thanks to the BizOnDeck and the connections we made there, we were featured in a local magazine. We were also invited to pitch – and win! – at PitchFest2.
I would encourage anyone with a new business idea to pitch at a BizOnDeck. But I would also encourage them to prepare. You’ve got a room full of entrepreneurs who want to help you grow your business. Don’t waste their time. When you prepare your pitch you add value and takeaways for everyone involved. It’s a super experience!
DF: Exposure and regional connections are exactly what any business needs – LIFT provides these. We’re looking forward to pitching at a BizOnDeck in Nanaimo in 2018!
I did a short interview with Danielle several weeks after winning PitchFest2. We did this very short FB live teaser to let people know what we’re doing.
FMI about LIFT & BizOnDeck
LIFT helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and non-profits grow their businesses. To put your business or project “on deck” in the Comox Valley or Nanaimo please fill the blanks here. Or call HPM at 250-792-1408.
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