Our entrepreneur profile is of a Lead To Win company, Nui Esser from Bee Glorious. Here is her story.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m the founder of Bee Glorious. We are an importer and wholesaler of natural and eco-friendly products, which come mainly from small artisan villages in Thailand. I am originally from there and have travelled extensively throughout the country. I’ve met many creative villagers and learnt that life is so hard in many remote areas. So, I had a dream to help them out whenever I had a chance. That is why Bee Glorious exists. We want to give these small producers a better life by bringing their products to the world while introducing a new way of green living to North America at the same time.
We chose the bee as our symbol, because we all can learn from the bees how to work together to create a wonderful world, just like bee queen, workers and drones together create their amazing beehive societies. Yes, I wanna be that bee queen!
On the personal side, I live as green as possible. I use only food grade skincare on my body, which I can sometimes grab from the kitchen. I read the labels before buying any single thing to make sure that it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. I avoid processed food, and eat mainly organic fresh fruit and vegetable. I also grow my own food. I love to travel, camp, hike, cook, bake, read and eat! I’m also a passionate scuba diver, hobby photographer and crazy about puzzles of all kinds.
What is the most fun aspect about your business?
I would say, it is traveling to find new products from small villages in remote areas. We have had a few interesting journeys to these villages. Once, when we visited a village where they make products from banana leaves, we ended up staying overnight and sleeping on one of the villager’s floor, because they were too remote to get away to our originally planned accommodation. Part of the fun is when you don’t know what is going to happen next. Everywhere we go, we learn so much from the villagers about their way of living and how they come up with such beautiful yet eco-friendly products.
What is the easiest aspect about your business?
Dreaming! I have a dream to give a better life to small communities. I’m dreaming of growing my company to a well-known, eco-friendly lifestyle brand for everyone. It is easy to dream of this and that, but reality is different. Once it comes to the execution, many more aspects show up that you couldn’t dream of in advance. Sometimes they make your life difficult, sometimes they make you al most giving up. However, something keeps us going. I’ll do my best to make my dreams come true and I keep dreaming.
What are some of the challenges you encountered?
Being new to the country, I’ve found loads of challenges and continue to find more along the way. Starting from getting to know Canadian ways of doing things, so I have a basic understanding how to reach customers best. I need to know when and how to say things the Canadian way. It isn’t easy for somebody as direct as I am, to communicate well with polite and subtle Canadians! There were times when I didn’t know whether feedback was “positive” or “negative”, as it was wrapped up in fancy words.
What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
First of all it was joining Lead to Win program! It helps me a lot as a new business owner, and another most important thing is the networking!
What systems have you used to automate your business to give you more time for business planning and development?
As a startup company we need to survive and be able to keep going without spending so much money. We are still bootstrapping, but one cannot just do everything oneself. I hire people on the internet, e.g. a virtual assistant helps me with correspondence, a handful of graphic designers help me with my brochures and business cards. Since we promote our company and give away green living tips through social media, Facebook and Twitter sometimes have taken too much of our time. We use tools to schedule broadcasts.
Do you have tips on how you stay organized for your business? Do you have tips on how you stay organized at home?
One way to stay organized either at home or business is to live paperless. I know it isn’t easy living with bureaucracy, but once you have that goal, you will see that you can save time and space, and also reduce waste! It is also a lot easier to manage whatever you deal with. For example, in a world of networking, we receive lots of business cards. We can scan them using mobile phone apps (there are many of them out there). People don’t have to waste cards, and we just have all the contacts handy and searchable. No more forgetting where you put it, no storage space is needed, etc. The same way with receipts and invoices. We are not yet 100% paperless but we are working on it.