indigo & iris - my new role as ceo
In May this year, Bonnie Howland made a choice, read about it here. That choice was happiness and to bring on a CEO, to help her launch her beautiful brand, indigo & iris to the world.
That CEO was me!
What is indigo & iris?
We’ve made a choice to create a beauty brand whose existence is against the grain - and to create a business that sets the tone for how we believe businesses should operate. 50% of our profits will support our impact partners: levitate is the first product and we have big dreams for the future.
Bonnie left University at the end of 2014 to pursue making indigo & iris a reality which started as completing the Live the Dream program and moving to Wellington. The three years leading up to our Kickstarter launch was a combination of creating levitate through finding and working with different manufacturers around the world and creating the brand and company.
We think it’s beautiful that you can look in the mirror, apply levitate and know that you are playing a small part in helping restore someone's sight. The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ is working in the Pacific Islands, where four out of five people who are blind don’t need to be. For our first product, we have chosen to donate to The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ because when someone has their sight restored it is not just their vision they regain, but their independence and freedom. We love their work.
The Bigger the Business the Bigger the Impact
I want to create a makeup brand that is a global, industry-leading makeup brand. BUT I want the way we operate to be different from the rest. I want to ensure that we are thinking about the impact our actions as a business have on the world. I want to be driven by impact, creating solutions not problems and not being driven by the bottom line. I believe that big business in this world has created most of the issues we are now trying to fix. So I want to see big businesses fix and solve these problems not create more of them. We are going to be driven by creating a sustainable business that leaves the world better than we found it.
We plan to ensure that the process of creating our makeup are ethical and sustainable. We will link each of our products up with different impact projects in the Pacific Region. First mascara linked with ending avoidable blindness. In the future maybe we link lipstick with creating access to education for those that don’t have it. We could create an eyeshadow palette where the profits go to restoring the coral reef!
Women in leadership
One thing I learnt is that as women leaders we HAVE to be kind to each other, we have to support and help each other more than ever before. It’s not meant to be easy but it’s even harder when you don’t have support from other leaders. I think it is great to see women breaking through this glass ceiling everyone is talking about, but I think we have a responsibility to help others up with us, not close it back up behind us.
I do love being a founder/CE team because we know we will inspire other young females; reminding them that it is absolutely possible for them to start a company or be in leadership positions if it what they choose to do. Bringing a female perspective and energy into these spaces is so important. It’s an awesome time to be a woman founder; every reasonable person is aware of the importance of gender equality and the historical bias towards women is not just the start-up/entrepreneurial space but in every workplace - and things are so much better but I still think there is a long way to go.
What is our plan now?
Success to Bonnie and I is all about impact. The bigger the business the bigger the impact. We want to grow our makeup brand to being a global brand which will mean we can have more of a positive impact in the Pacific Region.
SO excited that we can now offer this life-changing mascara to the world! We need to reach our goal of 75k so that we can purchase our amazing supplier's minimum order requirement and then we are ALL GO. Proper online sales launch at New York Fashion Week in Feb 2018 and help get our brand global!