INSIGHTS: Q&A with Business Leaders on how to achieve high growth
Gain insights on business growth in our series of bite size chats with Business Leaders, brought to you by The FD Consultant.
We interview high achieving individuals who we believe everyone can learn from, and who bring insight into the many aspects of successfully growing a business.
Today we welcome Lucy Jeffrey, Founder of Bare Kind. Lucy set up Bare Kind, which sells bamboo socks to save endangered animals, in 2018 and has achieved stellar growth in the past few years.
We hope you find the Q&A interesting and insightful!
Hi Lucy, please tell us about your business.
I’m Lucy, the founder of Bare Kind. We sell bamboo socks that save endangered animals!
10% of the profits from every pair of socks is donated to help save the species on the sock. For example for every 4 pairs of Orangutan socks sold, we can protect one acre of tropical forest for a whole year through The Orangutan Foundation’s protection programme.
What are the key factors which have driven your growth to date?
There are a few things that have unlocked growth for Bare Kind:
1. When I quit my day job to work on the business full time, the amount of time and energy I was able to put into the business helped fuel it’s 10x growth in 2021
2. Making my first couple of key hires were also a great unlock for the business, as we were all able to focus on key priorities to get to the next level, such as improved stock imagery, increasing our wholesale reach and putting in place a consistent email campaign
3. Increasing the range of socks we have available for customers has also factored into our growth. Every time we bring out new designs it becomes our best revenue day!
What makes you so passionate about what you do?
I look at all the wonderful animals we have on this planet, with many critically endangered because of our impact as humans - climate change, poaching, deforestation. Our actions are causing the decline of completely innocent animals that are part of the eco system of this planet, we cannot turn a blind eye anymore. I have always wanted to work with animals, so this is my own way of giving back.
I am taking my entrepreneurial spirit and pouring it into channelling more funds into animal conservation, as well as increasing awareness for the species that need our help most. We can save these animals one pair of socks at a time!
What do you view as your greatest achievement in this role to date?
In September 2021, I pitched to an investment panel and they agreed to invest in Bare Kind. This was a huge moment for the business. I had spent months preparing a business plan and pitch deck, every day of hard work I had put into the business was validated in that very moment.
This money has helped us to go leaps and bounds over our expectations - we had a huge Christmas season fuelled by stock that the investment paid for. I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given.
What are the biggest challenges your business faces?
Managing delays in the supply chain. It can take months after ordering to get bamboo fibre sourced and made into socks, and we want to move quickly with brining new designs to our customers.
Naturally the delays caused by Covid and Brexit were completely out of my hands, but it means I have had to improve communication with the suppliers, try to forecast stock levels whilst taking into account long lead times, and all whilst doing this as a newbie – I have learned a lot!
What one piece of advice would you give to those who want to achieve or sustain high growth in their businesses?
Pull together the main pillars of your strategy into a deck every month, present it to people you know in sectors that will help. The more you talk about your growth challenges the more you will be able to find solutions. Bring people on board with your vision and your priorities.
Understand what your focusses are in the week ahead. Challenge every week whether what you are working on is truly pulling the levers to get you to your main objective. As founders, we don’t have time to waste.