18 Aug 2021

Striving for the greatest good with Seed & Sprout

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Sophie Kovic is the founder and owner of Seed & Sprout, an award winning eco lifestyle brand with a mission to help everyday people stop using plastic. 

With an authentic goal to build a more sustainable future for us and our planet the brand has grown rapidly from their initial kick starter campaign to an online global retailer with a large community behind it. 

The mother and Byron Bay local chatted with us about how important a supportive team is, staying humble and and that it's cool to be kind. 

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Q1: Hi Sophie, welcome to the Woman Of Series! Can you tell us what it is you create?
Hi Abby & Lucy, thanks for having me!

My brand was created to help everyday people stop using plastic. So we make products that make kicking the plastic habit feel easy and look good.

We create all manner of products; from stainless steel lunch boxes to organic cotton market bags to the best shampoo bars that all make the plastic-free switch simple.

Q2: How did you break into the industry? And how do you continue to create a point of difference?
It all happened pretty organically.

Back in 2016 my son, Archie, was starting school and I was struggling to find a plastic-free lunchbox to pack his lunch into. After trying a number of different products (none of which hit the mark) I decided to create my own!

The ‘Stacker’ lunchbox was the first Seed & Sprout product - which I crowd funded on Kickstarter for. The campaign was fully funded within 48 hours and I ended up raising 696% of the funding goal which was incredible!

One of the main things that sets us apart is our amazing community. We were the first mass-followed eco brand in Australia and a lot of the time the products and solutions we released came directly from listening to our community on Instagram.

I’ve always given a candid behind the scenes look into my journey, and the business process, so that paired with great timing and hard work is what I believe was the key to our success.

Plus we are based in my hometown, sunny Byron Bay, and Byron is a natural incubator for great things!

Q3: Can you give us a snapshot of your creative process?
The process comes really naturally as our range is an extension of my own personal journey. As I began looking at the plastic I was using in my life, and solutions to reduce this, I’d take ideas to the team to see how we could develop a product. From there it’s a very collaborative journey with the product team to get the product to its final stage.

My Head of Product Laura Perry has a great eye and really knows how to bring an idea to life.

Plus the whole team is so on board with the mission. It’s really a pleasure to work with such positive, motivated individuals who know what they are doing is truly making a difference.

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Q4: What single tool or strategy have you found invaluable to your business so far?
Social media and our community on Instagram has been invaluable for us.

Yes we create eco-products but our main goal is to lessen our impact on the planet.

A goal that goes beyond products and we’re always in awe of how many people have joined us on this journey.

Q5: What has been the biggest lesson in your journey so far?
The business is nothing without the people. Sure, you have to start on your own, and that bit is hard, but it takes a village.

Hire people who have the right mindset, motivation and experience and you will get more than just a team. You will create a family! And an amazing business is the byproduct.

Work is such a big part of our lives. We need to enjoy it, be challenged by it (in a good, growth-kinda-way), and feel appreciated. I hope every person on our team feels that way about working at Seed & Sprout.

Q6: What have you found is important in life and business to you? Have your priorities shifted over time?
I’ve done a lot of work on this, particularly in the past year to find my equilibrium.

I’ve redefined my concept of success, I have more interests outside of work and I created a daily checklist that helps me stay on track.
Essentially, I created more pillars in my life so my emotions aren’t solely hinging on the ups and downs of business.

I do things like make sure I don’t check my phone before 9am, meditate and write a daily gratitude list. All pretty simple things but they help to put priorities into perspective.

I used to think when I “made it” I would want to buy an expensive house and whatnot, things I imagined would make me feel happy.

My perspective has completely changed. Community, family, connection and being in touch with nature and good health are my highest values.

So instead of striving for the big house on the hill, we’ve recently bought a humble share of a Permaculture farm out in the sticks for a very moderate sum; sustainable and affordable community housing is such a passion of mine and I hope that what we build out there will be a real example of what can be done!

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Q7: With this in mind, what is your big hope and dream for your work?
I truly hope that we do the greatest good possible. It’s simple but that is my hope.

Q8: What are your top 3 superpowers?
Overthinking questions like this
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Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
Honestly, I am in a bit of an inspiration drought - my values have shifted so much in the last 4 years, so people who used to motivate me now I’m moving away from naturally.

I guess at the moment I do have a bit of a girl-crush on @JameelaJamilOfficial and my mentor Alex Durkin is a constant inspiration to me.

Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
Be kind. In business and in life. Work towards qualities of optimism, compassion and empathy. It’s cool to be kind and the world needs more of it.

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