#19: Eco-Entrepreneurship ft. Miss Ulrike Schulz
“We are seeing the birth of a new perspective of the world, where ecology and economics are two sides of the same coin.” – Leif Johansson
Entrepreneurship is a big word because of the many things we can do to make paramount difference in the world. Eco-entrepreneurship on the other hand, bind people together in the communities we create through what we do, our values and how we translate our beliefs into a manifestation of bold ideas.
We jump-start this year with Miss Ulrike Schulz ( @foundsomepaper ), founder of Secrets of Green, an eco-startup based in London. Ulrike’s passion is infectious. Always full of exciting ideas and plans, it is no surprise that her career has led her to starting her own adventure! We speak to her about her ideals, dreams and thoughts about being her own #girlboss.
How did you evolve from being a full-time employee to a freelancer and now Secrets of Green? Do tell us a little about what your light bulb moment was in your journey. I think it all started with a thought 10 years ago. I always wanted to be my own boss. But I had no experience and no one I knew “was an entrepreneur”. I didn’t even know WHAT it actually meant to be your own boss. So it was natural for me to seek out employment and I’m glad I did it because I still learned a lot. It gave me more clarity about what I really wanted and this thought I had became stronger.
Because I was very experienced in social media, I made the logical move to being a freelance social media consultant. It was definitely a different world to full-time employment already. But then I met a lot of start-ups and entrepreneurs and I was fascinated by their journeys. It didn’t always seem easy but I loved their passion and determination. I got infected. That’s when I started to think about the next step: being an entrepreneur.
How do you think Branding + Digital are crucial components to what you are doing? It’s SOOOO important. Without branding, I can’t imagine a brand being successful, especially in the early stages. Branding communicates what a company stands for, internally and externally. Furthermore, branding + digital should be the norm but a lot of brands still don’t get it right. Most of the world communicates digitally. If a brand is not prepared to go digital, again I don’t think it will succeed.
What does Secrets of Green represent? And, what can we expect next? Secrets of Green is a platform where nature-loving urbanists can come together, express their passion for nature and discover new brands and products. This community will also live on social media. We want to be the number one destination for all things green. Well, the launch of the website will be next. Then world domination hahaha Okay, one step after another. We have some collaborations with other brands planned out, too.
Who and what inspires you on a daily basis? The entrepreneurs I meet almost weekly inspire me a lot. Their ambition is extremely contagious.
What are the ingredients to success? Will you do anything differently? That’s a very good question. I recently went to a talk and someone said you need to be anticipatory, i.e. imagine all the things which can go wrong. Of course, you might not be able to anticipate everything but it keeps you grounded. Think strategically, start small but think big. Last but not least, think of your customers as a community you want to interact with. I do want to do things differently. Just look at our Instagram account, @secretsofgreen – it’s growing massively *wink*