Updated: Feb 2
A year ago, Kitleys hadn’t even been thought of and now we are selling oat milk making kits all over the country! Here is a little bit about our journey and how we were able to make our wildest dreams an actual reality.
One November morning, I was stood on the tube in London on my way into work. It
was rush hour and the tube carriage was packed; I was crammed up against several people (remember those days before Coronavirus hit?), I had my winter coat and scarf on and was sweating, and everyone else in the carriage seemed particularly angsty that morning. I was heading into work for a job that I hated doing, in an environment where I didn’t feel valued or respected. I took a picture of the crowded tube carriage and later sent it to Lucy to have a good moan. She texted back saying that she felt the same way about her job and we talked about how great it would be to start a business together. We spent lunch hours talking together about ideas, just enjoying the escapism of it - the chance to be creative and to live in another world for a while where you were working on something that aligned with your values. After a few weeks of this, we decided that we would actually put our money where our mouths were and
try to come up with a viable business idea.
This part took a long time. We had lots of ideas of different kinds of businesses we could try, we wanted something that prompted sustainability and green living but that could be done remotely. But which idea is the one? Where do you begin to start a business? We had been friends for most of our lives, but we also had to work out how to talk about business together. We created a WhatsApp with a profile picture of two women in suits shaking hands as if they had just made a badass business deal and chatted daily on this chat - but how much chat was too much? How do you give feedback in a respectful way? How is best to approach finances? We learnt a lot about each other and we are very lucky to have a very honest, open and trusting relationship, but we had to have a few frank conversations at the start and learn very quickly about each others boundaries.
A few months went by where we had weekly chats about ideas and research that we’d done. We got close to a couple of options. We also both had months where we had to step back because of family troubles and personal issues. Eventually we decided to focus on our skillsets, Lucy is a product designer and so we decided to use those skills to our advantage. I had been making homemade oat milk a lot and raised my annoyance at how expensive it was to buy in the shops. We talked about creating an oat milk making kit in order to be able to make it easy and cheap for people to have access to oat milk and decided to run with the idea.
We did a lot of oat milk making, recipe testing, designing what would be in the kit and speaking to manufacturers. We came up with a company name and brand, created a website and Instagram. We used Skillshare to learn about marketing and promoting your business. We had weekly meetings and would create to do lists for each other. Lucy created the sexiest ‘timing plan’ I’d ever seen to make sure we kept on schedule (we both love a bit of organisation and admin). Slowly and surely, things started taking shape.
Now, here we are. The kit has launched and people everywhere can buy our oat milk making kit. We are incredibly proud of it, it ticks all of our boxes of what we wanted our business to be - it promotes sustainable living, is plastic free, will make things cheaper for those who use it and cuts out those huge companies who are making vast amounts of money from us normal folk choosing a dairy free, delicious milk alternative.
We are so, so proud of how far we’ve come and are so excited for what the future will hold. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Kitleys and our first product. If you have a little niggling feeling buried somewhere deep that you would love to create your own business, then get in touch! We’d love to talk to you more, share any insight that we can and encourage you on your journey.
Have a wonderful day, keep smiling x
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