Welcome to Meet the Burner, a series by Fishburners, where we chat to passionate, ambitious entrepreneurs solving problems and making their mark in the world. In this series, we’ll be hearing all about their journeys, fears, valuable lessons and practical advice on the art of creating meaningful solutions from the ground up.
This edition brings you a conversation with Rebecca, Founder of Minitrove, and a member of Fishburners’ Circular Hub.
You’re on a mission to make parenting both sustainable and affordable through Minitrove. Could you share the story behind this mission and how it led to the creation of Minitrove?
Absolutely! My journey towards founding Minitrove began with a personal revelation. When my first child came into the world, it didn’t take long for me to realise how much stuff we were accumulating. Between gifts and essential purchases, it was becoming not only expensive but also incredibly wasteful. My daughter was rapidly outgrowing her furniture, clothes, and toys, leaving me pondering on how I could responsibly offload these items.
At first, I attempted to share these items with friends and family and even tried listing a few on platforms like Facebook and Gumtree. However, the results were underwhelming. As I delved deeper into the issue, I couldn’t help but notice the broader sustainability problem underlying it. I was determined to find a scalable solution to what seemed like a needless cycle of consumption and disposal.
And so, the idea for Minitrove was born. I envisioned an online community where parents could seamlessly donate, buy, and sell preloved children’s items, thus reducing waste and promoting a sustainable, affordable parenting experience. It’s about ensuring that these items find new homes and purposes, benefitting both the environment and parents’ wallets.
How are you designing for parents? How does Minitrove stand out from other brands and companies that target parents?
Minitrove is designed with parents in mind, aiming to empower them in making thoughtful, sustainable, and financially savvy choices. We stand out from other brands and companies targeting parents through our unique approach, combining several essential elements.
First and foremost, Minitrove encourages parents to make informed decisions that align with sustainability and mindful consumption. By opting for preloved items, families not only save money but also ensure that their little ones enjoy high-quality products. This financial relief allows parents to redirect their resources towards other critical aspects of parenting, contributing to their family’s overall well-being.
But we go beyond just being an e-commerce platform. Minitrove nurtures a sense of social responsibility and interconnectedness among our users. By participating in the circular economy, parents actively engage in building a better world for future generations. This shared commitment to sustainability creates a positive and supportive environment that fosters a collective spirit of making a difference.
Ultimately, Minitrove is more than a business; it’s a movement. With each purchase and sale, parents become agents of positive change, leaving a lasting impact on the world. Our platform is a celebration of responsible parenting, where families can embrace sustainability without compromising on their needs or values.
We offer parents several avenues to contribute and benefit from the platform: Donate, where we partner with local charity organisations to directly assist those in need, Buy, a favourite section for parents featuring excellent gently used products, and Sell, providing a straightforward and efficient way to sell secondhand items.
You founded and sold another startup in the parenting space a few years ago. Did this play any part in leading you to build Minitrove? How has your experience as a founder impacted your decision-making with Minitrove?
Indeed, my previous entrepreneurial experience in the parenting space played a significant role in shaping my path towards creating Minitrove. It provided me with valuable insights into the intricacies of this industry and the unique challenges that parents face.
The transition from being a founder to becoming a parent provided me with crucial context and considerations when building the Minitrove platform. I gained a deeper understanding of the day-to-day struggles and aspirations of parents, which has proven invaluable in tailoring our services to their needs.
The lessons I’ve learned as a founder, such as the importance of consistency, resilience, and motivation, have been instrumental in driving Minitrove’s growth. These principles have guided our approach to building a sustainable, community-driven platform for parents, and they continue to be central to our decision-making processes.
You bring a range of experiences, including your role as Head of Customer Success at Aussie unicorn, Employment Hero, to various Marketing and Media roles at AMP and Adobe. How have these experiences shaped you as a founder?
My professional experiences have been instrumental in shaping my entrepreneurial journey. My role as Head of Customer Success at Employment Hero provided a deep understanding of customer-centricity, which is foundational to Minitrove’s success. The insights gained from project, marketing and media roles at AMP and Adobe have equipped me with valuable skills in brand building and reaching our target audience effectively.
These experiences have honed my ability to create a platform that not only addresses the practical needs of parents but also resonates with them on a personal level. They’ve taught me the importance of maintaining a strong brand identity and providing exceptional customer experiences. As a founder, I’ve strived to apply these lessons to Minitrove, ensuring that our platform is not only functional but also engaging and emotionally meaningful for our users.
What’s a milestone you’re most proud of in your work with Minitrove?
One of the most thrilling milestones in my journey with Minitrove was achieving our first sale. Witnessing someone list an item they wanted to sell and successfully completing that transaction was an incredibly gratifying moment. It validated the vision behind Minitrove and reinforced the idea that we’re making a tangible impact on parents’ lives by offering them a sustainable and cost-effective solution.
This milestone not only marked a significant step in the growth of our platform but also served as a testament to the positive change we are bringing to the parenting community. It was a really proud moment.
You’ve been part of the Circular Hub over the past 6 weeks. What have you found most valuable? How has this impacted Minitrove?
My experience within the Circular Hub over the past six weeks has been incredibly valuable on multiple fronts. Firstly, the network of people I’ve connected with in the accelerator program has been a tremendous resource. The support and guidance from mentors has been invaluable, and the opportunity to engage with the Fishburners community has offered us a wealth of insights and connections.
Moreover, the content provided during the program has been highly relevant to Minitrove’s mission, helping us refine our approach and strategies. The Circular Hub has acted as a catalyst for our growth, providing both the knowledge and network necessary to drive Minitrove’s success.
What are you working on at the moment? What’s your ask from readers?
Currently, I’m immersed in the challenging but necessary process of replatforming Minitrove. This endeavour is critical for our future growth and efficiency. I invite readers and the ecosystem to follow us on our social media channels, @minitrove.au, to stay updated on our progress and journey.
Additionally, I’m seeking assistance and expertise in various areas, such as a technical cofounder, grant application writing mentors, and access to support related to funding grants. These resources will expedite our plans and facilitate the hiring of a full-time developer, essential for our continued growth.
Looking ahead, what are your most exciting and ambitious plans for Minitrove’s future?
The future of Minitrove holds several exciting and ambitious plans. In 2024, we aim to launch a dedicated app to accelerate our mission of repurposing 1,000,000 items by 2025. This app will provide parents with a more streamlined and convenient way to engage with our platform.
We are also exploring a reseller option, where local individuals will collect and sell items on behalf of parents, simplifying the process for those with limited time. Additionally, we are in discussions with a local charity organisation to create bundles of items for women and children who have left domestic violence situations, offering them essential support and assistance.
These initiatives represent our commitment to driving sustainable, affordable, and socially impactful change within the parenting community and beyond. We’re excited to see the positive difference Minitrove can continue to make in the lives of parents and the environment.
Catch Rebecca at the Circular Hub Demo Day on Friday 10th November 2023. Grab your ticket here.
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