Smart Cookie: Jenna Williamson, Founder of Olive and Maggie - Ecobuy
Sustainable and eco-friendly dog bandanas
1) Could you tell us a little about yourself and what’s your business about?

My name is Jenna and I am 27yrs old from the Gold Coast and I started Olive and Maggie with my mum, Sandra. We both love being active and outdoors with our doggo’s and we both work in marketing.

Our business is an eco friendly dog accessories business created from the love and need for eco friendly dog accessories for our dog’s Olive and Maggie. We create hand block printed dog bandanas and our vision is to change the world one dog bandana at a time. We try to be as eco conscious as possible at home and for us it made sense to extend this to our pets.

2) Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?

I like to start my morning routine with a gym workout and walk with my doggo Maggie, followed by a long black coffee. Then it is onto planning for the day ahead, working out what orders need to go out, hand block printing fabric and a never ending to do list! We are a new business and we are both currently building the business with our full time jobs.

Nala- Custom Coffee Boothers Dog Bandana (1)

3) Why did you choose to go sustainable and eco-friendly?

It was a natural progression for us being eco conscious at home to ensure that our pet’s were also included in this. Being new pet owners i was conscious of the paw print my dog was leaving and wanted to make sure the products we created also helped to make a happier planet.

It was important to us that our products could have a long life span, and we encourage people to use their products as long as possible to avoid wastage and ending up in landfill. To achieve this we created our upcycling project, so that pet owners can send their dog bandanas back to use where we will repurpose them into a blanket.

4) What was the hardest part of starting your own business?

The hardest part for us was trying to find sustainable fabrics and knowing how it was created was something we found really hard. We solved this by creating our own prints. We hand block print our fabrics in small batches so that we can reduce wastage and excess landfill. We use all parts of the fabric, even our brand labels are made from fabric offcuts.

Dues Custom Eco Dog Bandana

5) One book and/or documentary everyone should read/watch? Why?

I watched a series recently which was part doco part drama called ‘Mars’ on Netflix which is centred around a futuristic manned mission from Earth to Mars in an attempt to colonize the red planet. Stick with me here, whilst it is about space exploration, it has such a strong message at it’s core around the importance of caring for the planet we live on now and at what cost will people sacrifice the earth for money.

It showed the contrast of what our planet looks like now and what it could potentially look like in the future if we don’t start to make bigger changes. If you love space and our planet, I think this is a great show to watch.

6) Best piece of advice you have ever received?

The best advice i’ve received has been passed down from my nanna, which is to back yourself, trust your instincts and give it a go! Our family has been very encouraging and we are very lucky to have such a great support network around us. When we launch a new product or new design, we try to always stick to this advice and give it our best shot!