21 Entrepreneurs Series: No. 5 Lumojo

While I may be biased, as Liz is family, and her business may be in it’s infancy stage still, this is one of the most beautiful products I’ve ever laid my eyes on! Can’t wait to try it!

TITLE: Lumojo, Liz Urquhart – Director

1. ) How did your business come about? How was this idea born and what led you to do what you’re doing now? 

Having grown up on a farm, I am deeply passionate about food. I also think that in NZ, our food products are some of the best in the world. I have a cousin who is a beekeeper in the South Island. I became fascinated with the work he was doing and learned that there is a real art to beekeeping. The more I learned about bees, the more I began to see them as little artists producing this amazing product (honey) in these perfectly designed honeycombs. I thought: Why not celebrate the work these little bees do by seeing them as artists and packaging their honey beautifully. I approached Alt Group – a fabulous New Zealand design firm – who agreed to work together on this brand and they helped to develop the beautiful branding and ceramic design. ‘Lumojo’ is a mashup of two concepts: Luminous (Lu) and Energy (the Mojo). That’s what I think bees give to us through their beautiful honey. 

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2.) Tell us about your morning routine. Any specific rituals / productivity aspects etc 

We get up pretty early. My little boy is 3 and heads off to pre-school. So we motor through activities to get him ready and delivered safely and then I pretty much get into the priority tasks for the day. This really varies day to day – as a start up, only two months post launch, it is still pretty chaotic with everything demanding attention at once. So no routine just yet. We’re just scrambling to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

3.) What inspires you? 

People who’ve followed their heart and succeeded in spite of all odds. Beautifully designed things – natural or man-made. Strong leadership. 

4.) Biggest lesson you’ve learnt?

So many lessons so far… and so many more to come for us. I guess the most important one right now has been to learn about your own brand through your customers. It’s so new and we’re developing followings from individuals and groups we couldn’t have imagined at the outset. So while we have a clear vision for where it should go, we are also open to learning from the people who love it most.

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5.) Biggest failure so far?

I am not sure it’s a failure. But one of our toughest steps to overcome in the two years it’s taken to get to launch was underestimating the challenges of working with ceramics in food production. Getting all aspects of this right to ensure it is food safe, functional and also beautiful takes heaps of time. 

6.) Biggest Success so far?

Launching the brand! This was a big milestone for us to finally take our beautiful product to market and have it available for people all over the world to buy. Yay! 

7.) Your work space? Clean & Minimal or Eclectic and colourful – what would we find on your desk?

I am pretty organised and like things to be clean and ordered. But week to week stuff I haven’t done tends to mount up until I’ve had enough and then spend a day clearing the decks! My desk is surrounded by Lumojo pictures, packaging I’m interested in and my little boy’s paintings. 

Kim Gray Pics_Desk 1

8.) Top 3 entrepreneurial tips? 

1) Make sure you have a very very good understanding of your cost base and how much capital you’re going to need to cover yourself until you can start earning sufficient revenue to cover this. It always takes way longer than you think. 

2) Find and surround yourself with positive people. This is not to say ignore the risks, but you need to have (and mix with people who have) a very positive attitude in believing there is always a way to solve problems. There will be many. 

3) Have confidence in yourself and what you’re selling. If you don’t believe in it – no-one else will.

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9.) Who are you currently listening to? 

My son is a big fan of anything with a catchy beat… so we’re listening to a lot of reggae fusion and dancehall in our house right now.

10.) Your best marketing tool? 

It’s still early days. Local PR activity has been very effective for us in getting started and getting our brand out there in NZ. Social media is a close second in generating brand awareness. 

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11.) Dream Big Right? What’s next for you?

Most start up businesses that make it to launch, fail within the first year. So for us – getting past that first year hurdle and into a second year with sales growth would be a huge achievement in itself. 

For more info:

Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter 

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