Next-up in my Inspire Series is the amazing founder of One Earth Organics; creators of the most delicious and nutritious smoothie and latte blends (and most recently, their divine jackfruit, mango & pineapple crisps). The story behind this amazing business is so inspiring and I caught-up with Susan to discuss the creative process behind getting a new product on the shelves, juggling work and motherhood and her vision for the future of One Earth Organics.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and One Earth Organics.
I’m Susan, I’m 38 and started One Earth Organics when I was 35 and pregnant with my 2nd child. I had to leave my field of work with my 1st child as it involved too much travelling. So I had lots of time to research and develop the idea behind One Earth and have worked at home with my kids ever since.
We are based in Willen Village, on the outskirts of Willen Lake, in Milton Keynes which is great for kids and also close enough to get to London on short notice!
What was your first inspiration for creating beautiful, health-boosting smoothie & latte blends?
I had 2 inspirations for creating the blends- First was my son Thomas who suffered from milk and egg allergies when he was young. I worked with a dietician to incorporate more nutrients into his diet and ended up making him lots of smoothies. I started using superfood blends but was never very trustworthy of the people who made them or the quality of the ingredients. So I started to make my own and soon the whole family was using them!
Then secondly, was my old work. I worked with farmer organisations to bring products to market and to create more diverse and stable livelihoods for some of the poorest communities in the world. I wanted to ensure the products I used were genuinely helping farming communities, so I contacted some wonderful organisations and began sourcing my own ingredients such as moringa and baobab.
What’s the creative process like from initial idea to seeing your blends in their gorgeous packaging?
It was really simple. I wanted the provenance of our blends to really stand out. My main supplier was a Zimbabwean organisation and so my designer, Mo Kalache, and I set out to really make African patterns stand out.
Now we are considering moving format of packaging, from plastic recyclable pouches to home compostable ones or to tins. And of course, the design will have to change slightly….it’s a never ending process!
All of your flavours are totally dreamy, how do you come up with such an array of beautifully-balanced superfoods?
I didn’t come up with them all by myself that’s for sure. There was a whole team behind it with decades worth of experience. They’ve worked with some amazing brands I really admire such as Pukka Herbs and Neil’s Yard Remedies and their master herbalist is amazing and so knowledgeable!
It took around a year to develop the 6 superfood smoothie and latte blends. I wanted some suitable for children, like the ones I used to make for Thomas. So we made sure the vanilla and chocolate smoothie blends were high in important vitamins and minerals for children such as calcium and Omega 3.
Then the other 4 blends were more geared towards adults- Coco Gogo which is matcha green tea with raw cacao, beetroot and baobab which is brilliant for focus and energy with a lovely chocolate taste.
Rejuvenate Your Soul which is made from maca, baobab, goji berries and acerola cherries which packs all of your vitamin C needs into just 1 teaspoon and is great for hormonal balance.
Shine Bright which is 26% acai berries, baobab, moringa and green tea. It is super high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants which are great for skin health.
Then Green Goodness which is our most nutrient dense blend and is a great all rounder providing dozens of vitamins and minerals and is 41% protein (completely from the ingredients like spirulina, seagreens and chia seeds not from protein powder!)
What does a typical day at One Earth Organics HQ look like?
Hahaha my HQ is an office from home, currently full of fruit crisps and kids toys! I like to multi-task!
My kids wake up around 5am and play until around 6.30 when I make breakfast. Then it’s the school/nursery rush which is over by 8.30am. I then *try to go to the gym (which sometimes just turns into a quick shower at the gym!) and be home for 10am to start work.
Most of my work is done on the computer emailing shops and trying to work out online sales. Each day has a different purpose- Mondays I am in sell mode. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I am in operations mode, making sure I have enough stock and packing boxes if I need to. Then on Fridays I try to make into an accounting/admin day. It doesn’t usually work as neatly as that but I do try!
At 3.30 I pick the kids up from school/nursey and then the evening reading/dinner/bath routine kicks in and I’m usually passed out before the kids by 8pm haha. I sometimes work in the evenings, but I‘ve been really strict with myself to be more present so have made sure I switch my computer off in the evenings.
It must feel amazing to see your products being used by people to enhance their health, how do you stay driven if you hit a bump in the road?
It’s a never ending road trip of highs and lows. But yes, seeing people use our blends is something I always love and it pushes me through the hard times. I have so much learning to do, and I still have so much I want to do with my partner organisations. I’m extremely driven to sell as much product as I can because I know that makes a difference to someone’s life in India or Zimbabwe and I want to do so much more in the future when I have a more stable income.
What’s your favourite thing to do to unwind after a hectic day?
A movie with the kids.
You juggle motherhood with running your own business, what advice would you give anyone who is thinking about venturing-out to pursue their dream whilst bringing-up a family?
It totally depends on your area of work and how flexible it can be. But for me it’s been a lifesaver. I’ve been able to take time off, work part time if I needed to. And my kids love One Earth and love going to shops and seeing our products on the shelves. Thomas even help me date stamp some of the products, he’s so proud of it. So I think it’s also made them understand what jobs are and has helped them understand what grown ups do all day.
My only advice is- flexibility is key. Family comes first and try to be as present as possible for them. It’s so easy to get swept away with work, especially if you work from home.
What’s your vision for the future of One Earth Organics?
I’d love for our new fruit crisps to do well. Then we can start organising farmer to farmer training on things like climate change and animal welfare. I’d also like to become a B-Corp and give people more of an idea of what we do everyday and the charities we support. I’m terrible at social media and don’t post any behind the scenes stuff! So I’d love to be able to become well known for our ethical philosophy.
What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at the beginning of this journey?
It’s going to take a lot more time and a lot more money than you expect Susan!
I always ask this – what’s your favourite smoothie blend?
I have 2! Rejuvenate Your Soul for energy and Shine Bright when I feel my skin needs a pick me up!
Thanks so much Susan for being a part of my Inspire Series. You are a true inspiration and I am so happy to share your story.
You can find more info about One Earth Organics here and you can stay up-to-date over on their Instagram. Be sure to check-out the joint competition post we’re currently running (you can win some gorgeous wellness products!)
See you next time for another dose of inspiration!
With my love and encouragement.
Holly HWK xxx