When it comes to a sustainable future, it is a responsibility of everyone to make sure that we leave the earth greener than we came to know about it, when we were made aware of its beauty. Our younger generation deserves to be inherited with a nourishable environment enriched with fresh air and cleaner roads to walk on. All of this now might seem like a pipedream, but our efforts can surely make a difference if we dedicatedly work towards attaining a sense of responsibility. A responsibility that can help safeguard the future of mankind.
Ellenor McIntosh, Director of Operations for Twipes, is on a mission to make our planet safer, greener, and sustainable with a set of revolutionary wipes that are biodegradable, flushable, and disposable. In just three hours, Twipes gets dissolved in the water leaving no trace of residual paper. The ease in its use and customizable options make Twipes more interesting and fun. You can also gift Twipes to your loved ones on different occasions. Just read through the Interview below to gain more insights on how Ellenor is leading Twipes dynamically:
TBB Team: Describe your professional journey as a business leader.
Ellenor: My adventures in entrepreneurship started when I was just an ambitious 9 years old, running a lemonade stand in Jamaica in with lemons from my grandfather’s garden. That entrepreneurial spirit developed in real life when we started Twipes. I never thought I would be pursuing a degree in science to create my own product, but I saw an opportunity to enter a space that was greatly lacking in female representation. Since starting this business, I have attended networking events where I was one of just two women in the room. It is unfortunate, since women bring such a valuable perspective to business that deserves to be tapped into.
At the same time, I have seen people try to amend this gap with good intentions, including women just for the sake of diversity. Panels are often asking women to speak just to include that feminine perspective, but on topics that are not their expertise. It is important not to just include women for diversity’s sake, to give the most we can to an audience and give respect to the women out there with knowledge to bring to the discussion.
Team TBB: Who inspires you to wake up every day and keep making a difference in the biodegradable napkin business?
Ellenor: My greatest inspiration comes from my mother – she is one of the most resilient people I know. As a single parent, she has worked hard to raise 3 inspiring women by herself. She is part of why I have grown a motivation to help create a thriving environment for my sisters, and to leave a cleaner world for future generations.
Team TBB: As the Director of Operations for Twipes, what challenges have you faced while establishing and running the business?
Ellenor: As a small business operating in the middle of this international mayhem of a virus, the struggles have been far different from what I expected starting out! I’ve learned to be adaptable, sometimes it feels like you’re building from the ground up with every new day in this pandemic, but it’s been a great test of how well I can think on my feet and keep our team connected.
Team TBB: Brief us about the operations of Twipes, its mission, vision, and core values.
Ellenor: We are a small, close-knit team that is working towards the common mission of making sustainable wet wipes accessible and affordable. Our current vision is to expand upon our technology and create other singleuse biodegradable items in the future, venturing into the realm of feminine hygiene and nappies.
Team TBB: How exactly the subscription model of Twipes work? What are you doing differently in acquiring and sustaining customers for Twipes?
Ellenor: It is simple – after signing up, we send you the chosen number of wipes monthly straight to your doorstep.
As for sustaining our customer base, we realized early on that Covid-19 was going to put a kink in our production. To try to keep our subscription customers informed on the developing situation with the pandemic, we sent out care packages with updates on the matter – with PPE and Twipes of course, to show our concern for their safety during these times.
Team TBB: How has the current pandemic affected the business of Twipes and what steps have you taken to safeguard your employees while catering to Twipes’ customers?
Ellenor: While being in the wet wipes business in a pandemic sounds ideal, we have had some tough struggles with our supply chain being disrupted by lockdowns. Without manufacturers able to produce, we were headed upstream without a paddle, but we did our best to work from home and keep our staff out of the office while we worked to reestablish production.
As the pandemic took hold of our production, we made the decision to bring manufacturing back home to where our customer base is to limit interruptions in the future. We are onshoring as a measure of good faith for our customers, and to support local businesses and minimize our carbon footprint as well.
Team TBB: What creative ways have you employed to make the work environment of Twipes vibrant?
Ellenor: We have always utilized WeWork and other communal coworking spaces as they seem to foster the most creative environment. Free drinks and networking events, cooking classes, we took advantage of it all before Covid-19 put an end to that. Once we were able to come out of lockdown and meet up in person, we had staff lunches at restaurants and our WeWork office every chance we got. We all missed that human connection deeply over the summer.
Team TBB: According to you, what are the essentials of being an innovative businesswoman?
Ellenor: In a world that is going to tell you why you cannot do something, or why they think you should not even attempt something, a sense of self is highly important. If you can believe in your own abilities and purpose, it is a lot harder to knock you down.
Ultimately, do not be afraid of failure. Trust the process, let yourself experience the failures, learn from them, then dust yourself off and keep going.
Team TBB: What would you like to share with the young generation of entrepreneurs who are looking to step foot in a leadership role in their respective businesses?
Ellenor: I would say that it is important for entrepreneurs just starting out to remember that no man (or woman) is an island. It is easy to take the weight of the world on your shoulders when you are growing and leading your own business, but it’s only sustainable if you create a strong support network – and use it!
Team TBB: In terms of future growth, where do you see yourself and Twipes?
Ellenor: My hope is that we can utilize the technology I have developed for the wet wipes in other diverse ways. So many other single-use sanitary products are doing similar harm to the environment as traditional wet wipes.