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Re-Post, Reusable envelopes and packaging
by Startacus Admin
We all love convenience; being able to carry out mundane everyday tasks quickly and easily is something that we can’t get enough of.
This resonates even more with those who own their own business. For example, if you send off a plethora of envelopes of letters every week, you’ll know just how tedious it can be.
We were rather pleased to recently discover Re-post, an innovative creator of reusable envelopes and packaging, which is currently being showcased in our collaboration space!
Usually once an envelope is opened, it’s binned immediately or tossed aside as it can’t be used again, but the folks behind Re-Post want to change this by introducing the new innovative product that will be able to help businesses everywhere make the most of their envelopes and packaging.
We have taken the chance to have a chat with Startacus member Joanne Hipplewith, who is the brains behind this intriguing new business.
So Joanne - give us your pitch - what is Re-Post all about?
My startup started seven years ago with a lightbulb moment whilst writing a letter. I was looking for an envelope, but could not find one. I had some old used envelopes, but not a reusable one that would look like it had not been used. I thought why don’t we have reusable envelopes? To me it was an obvious thought and I assumed someone must have thought of this before. I couldn’t find anything online, so I sent my idea to a company to do some further research for me. The rest is not quite history yet, but I hope it will be one day.
What’s your own career background?
My career background is in Social Work. I have held various roles in different organisations. I have studied to post grad level in this field and now work as an independent social worker as a team / locality manager. It is totally alien to the business world in most respects, but it is about managing budgets, people, risk whilst delivering a high quality service.
Why are you on this journey?
I had no intention of becoming an inventor and it took me some years to accept that was an identity I held. I am a quiet person, keen to help others whilst staying in the background. Accepting that I am an inventor challenged this in me and I found it very difficult. The tipping point was that Re-Post is a great invention that has real community and societal value in terms of health, education and economically. These are the reasons I am on this journey and the reasons why I have stuck with it.
What problem is it / are you trying to solve?
Re-Post helps educate communities about reusing packaging, making us all more sustainable by default. It supports our transition to digital technology because so much of our lives are online and more so that is where we are purchasing items. All of this means there is an increased demand on natural resources - packaging. Packaging that is traditionally used once and then thrown away.
What is its unique selling point?
That Re-Post packaging is a reusable packaging range. It can be used a minimum of twice and looks as good as it was the first time it is posted.
What’s been the toughest part of the journey so far?
That’s hard. It has all been tough; from learning about business, making contacts, getting meetings, honing my elevator pitch, the open and then closed doors, growing my business, financing it. However, because I believe in its benefits to our world, I have kept going.
What mistake did you learn the most from?
I do not think I have made any mistakes, it is just a tough learning curve. I have learnt as I have gone along. Being an inventor and bringing a product to market is different and not fully understood by business.
Any accolades / awards we should all know about? What stage are you at in developing and launching your startup?
Re-Post is patent granted in Europe and patent pending in India. This was huge as along the way there are challenges and everyone said the patent would not be granted.
What one piece of advice would you pass on to other Startacus members?
Believe in your business. Be honest with yourself, your team and your family. Know when to stop to regroup, rethink or wind up. Listen to advice good and bad, do your own research. Most importantly remember it is a journey. I believe Re-Post will succeed and whereas at the beginning it was about the money, it still is, but the value and Re-Post’s contribution to our planet is priceless. Oh yes! I learnt this acronym on a course - DDWT - Don’t Deal With Tossers, I have found this comforting thus far.
What kind of marketing have you been doing? Any interesting Campaigns?
I have travelled with UKTI to China, Chile, Manila and Indonesia to promote Re-Post tagging on to the publicity and leads that goes with these trips. I have also attended trade shows in Canada.
What would you like to happen thanks to becoming a Startacus Collaborator?
For the Re-Post brand to become recognized and to inspire other inventors and entrepreneurs to start their journey.
This seems like a fantastic idea. Anything that makes life that little bit easier for business folk gets the thumbs up from us!
Thanks Joanne, we wish you and Re-post all the best of luck for the future!
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.