#80: Beautiful Wooden Products that Do Good with Hazel Russell
Play • 37 min

“Every time you spend money, you cast a vote for the kind of world you want” – Anna Lappe

Hazel Russell (@thewoodlifeproject)  is a mother of 2 and co-founder of The Wood Life Project: a beautiful collection of eco-friendly products manufactured in the UK from sustainably grown and harvested trees.

Hazel and her husband got the idea for crafting plastic-free bowls, pet bowls and plates after realising just how much plastic went into everyday products around their home. They incorporated in January 2019 and following their first visit to Top Drawer in August 2019, they were onboarded by 25 retailers!

Their products are now stocked in a mix of 50 traditional and online retailers, such as Not On The High Street, and The Wood Life Project has been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes, The Times and The Independent.

If you’re working in a small business and looking for practical advice on how to grow it, this episode is for you! In our wide-ranging conversation, we discuss practical tips around signing NDAs and manufacturing agreements; moving towards online selling post-pandemic; protecting your IP; margin squeezes with wholesalers; and so much more!

You can find Hazel at the following:

Key Points:

First steps for The Wood Life Project  (4:36)

Effects of plastic (7:04)

Practical tips around signing NDAs and manufacturing agreements (7:41)

Dragon’s Den pitch (8:47)

Protecting your IP (9:27)

Creativity and some doubts (12:10)

Dividing responsibilities (17:28)

Moving towards online selling post-pandemic (18:41)

Plans on expanding the team (22:03)

Margin squeezes with wholesalers (23:27)

Handling bad manufacturers (26:42)

Mistakes to avoid and some practical tips (30:18)

Consider the provenance of your product (35:00)

 


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