Today, I’m the proud owner of my marketing and business design business, creator of two multi-million dollar brands and “starting up” my next business. But, let’s go back to the start….
As a fresh marketing grad, 13 years ago, I was thrown in at the deep end. The task was to create an established business sub-brand, tapping into a new target audience. I spent my first year out of uni working solo. Figuring out where the market gap was, learning how to research, conceptualise, and launch a new idea.
Small start-up to big cheese
Firstly, I identified an emerging “know what’s in your food” trend and spent time understanding customer desires. Then, I learned about the supply chain and ‘fool-proof’ methods (just add milk!) for cheese enthusiasts seeking to easily make a variety of cheese at home. Next, I got my hands dirty. Literally. Learning the cheesemaking art and inviting anyone remotely interested to my latest “workshop”. Here, I’d test my latest kit, ask for feedback, noted questions, reactions and anything else that might help me better sell my product. The first year was hard, fun (and filled with newbie mistakes!).
By now, I had single-handedly created my own business unit, brand and product range destined for international expansion. I branded it - Mad Millie: DIY Cheese Kits.
My Mad Millie Millions
Fast forward to Mad Millie’s launch and my passion and research paid off: In week one, our first 200 products sold out. In our first year, we generated $1 million in revenue. We were featured in local and international media, and the following year launched in Australia and the US….All without a cent spent on advertising!
That’s when I realised: Marketing spend doesn’t determine business success. A solid business model, market trends analysis, customer insights, timing, quality product design, and a bit of creativity, does.
I’ve used the same philosophy to build two multi-million dollar international brands. And, I’m busy building my third as FTN Motion, CoFounder. All whilst successfully managing dozens of other new products, and guiding aspiring entrepreneurs to actualise their dreams - this is where my passion lies!
Along the way, I gained a first-class honors degree in Marketing & International business and trained in design sprint facilitation, business model innovation, and value proposition design through top institutes and training bodies including IDEO, Google Ventures, and Strategyzer.
One of the most personally valuable learnings was training in design thinking: a proven methodology for a successful business, and translatable to your everyday life….I actually created a life I love from it.
In my spare time, you’ll find me enjoying that exact life - wandering the beautiful streets of Amsterdam, road-tripping around my home country New Zealand with my husband and dog, or reading a business or self-development book.
Brand isn’t just a logo. Marketing is more than advertising. Business needs more than a good product.
I bring it all together.
For a no-obligation discussion about your business challenge, contact Saskia for a 15-minute chat.
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