I started nookary on the belief that we all need to come together to make the changes needed to save our planet. The challenge is hugely overwhelming, but if we start to make small changes consistently they will add up to a big impact on the environment over time.
It’s not about perfection, it’s about making a start today, in the right direction.
I want to help people make choices that are better for the planet, without any compromise on effectiveness or aesthetics. One obvious place to start is at home, and nookary is about creating a home that you’re proud of, with things that you really love that are sustainable and ethical. If you create products that work really well, that customers love to use, then they’re so much more likely to stick to those sustainable swaps.
After starting my career in tech, I decided to leave and create something that was more aligned to my values. In 2020 I began selling tried and tested eco favourites to get first-hand experience in the market and find my niche. From that, I started to develop my own proposition that was better for the planet – with people and planet considered at each step.
nookary has been mainly self-funded, but I also went through the Virgin Start Up programme and was successful in securing a £25k loan as part of the programme.
Building the business my way
I’m creating a business that focuses on products that leave as little impact on the environment as possible. A business that considers the production and manufacturing process, as well as the end of life of the product.
We are supply chain focused and understand where each of the component parts come from, enabling us to create products that are better for you, and don’t compromise on your or the planet’s health. All this, of course, without compromising effectiveness. nookary is still early on this journey, and there’s so much more we want to do.
For my inspiration, I look to people like Holly Tucker and Ella Mills, women who have founded their businesses on what they truly believe in and have not wavered on that. I also meet businesses all the time that give me inspiration, for example, I was also part of the first Vantage female founders cohort, and there were so many inspirational women there. When I hear success stories from ‘normal people’ that I meet, it gives me that push and belief that it can be done.
There have been lots of pinch-me moments
It’s important to remind myself how far we’ve come. Richard Branson sharing my Virgin start Up interview on Linked In was a pinch-me moment. Being featured in Wired with the nookary range was another, as it was a publication I’d read through my career in tech to it was great to be seen in there.
I was also a winner of the Start-Up Awards earlier this year, winning the Rising Star Award for the South East, that was a huge achievement and one that I’m proud of.
As any founder going at it alone will understand, it’s hard to start a business solo. It was particularly hard after coming from a larger corporate environment where I had teams of people to work with, to sound things off and discuss with. During the initial stages I made sure I had people around me that I could get feedback from, but it’s not always the same. But what started as team of one, became a team of 2 earlier this year – I’ve brought on a CMO joint founder. I also have a very supportive husband, who is “chief proof reader”, and is also very accommodating when the laptop comes out on the sofa most evenings!
Lessons I’ve learnt
There have been so many lessons along the way. Not letting perfectionism stand in the way of getting things done. This is tough when you’ve started a business yourself, as it’s so easy to take things personally rather than objectively! I’ve also learnt not to let vanity figures or comparisons get in the way, to figure out what’s going to make the biggest difference to YOUR business, and be brave enough to focus on that.
I’m really proud of how far it’s come
nookary is still very young as a brand, but I’m really proud of how far it’s come already. I’m proud to have built a business and a brand that I can stand behind, through what it does and what it stands for. I don’t pretend that nookary is the answer to the world’s problems, but it is my starting point to making a change for the better. Let’s see where it goes!
To find out more about Jacqueline and nookary visit nookary.com.