Recently we took time out from creating brilliant brands to chat with one of our favorite former clients Eugénie Rutherford.
Eugénie took the jump from client side marketer to entrepreneur a couple of years back, a leap many of our marketing clients contemplate but don’t necessarily make. We caught up with Eugénie to see how the change had gone and how the life of an entrepreneur was treating her. Her answers were insightful, interesting and an inspiring call to action for all of us with a dream to share.
Since working with you at Jenny Craig you’ve transitioned from busy marketer to busy entrepreneur, what was it that led you to take this change in direction?
I wanted to create a life that I loved. To me, that meant to have a business that would positively influence the way we feed our families, to live a quieter, more simple life close to nature, and where I could spend my kid’s early years not in a perennial rush (which I am accustomed to doing). But I couldn’t get pregnant. I spent a few years cleaning up my lifestyle and researching the impact of health and nutrition on fertility (using both Western and Eastern philosophies). Then I was diagnosed with a stress-related fertility issue and decided that if I really wanted to have kids, I probably needed to prioritise; reducing the stress in my life for a period of time.
I remember one time working at one of Australia’s largest media organisations racing to fit in an acupuncture appointment during my lunch break, taking a national conference call on my way there and immediately taking another on the way back in to the office. I was doing that for my weekly acupuncture sessions for about 6 months and wondered why I didn’t see results. It was a tough decision to take a step back because at the time I thought I must be weak if I couldn’t have both a highly successful career and a pregnancy at the same time. My ultra-supportive husband suggested I take some time away from my corporate work to do the post-grad in Nutrition that I had always wanted. So I did. And now here I am, with a precious baby girl, following my dream and all.
What’s your philosophy/thinking/passion that drives Wholesome Inc.?
I started Wholesome Inc. as a way to provide science-backed nutrition and lifestyle support to help chicks like me improve their fertility, enjoy a glowing pregnancy and to use whole foods to grow beautiful, healthy kids. The state of health in Australia (and around the globe) really troubles me. Even before I was maternal, I was shocked by the ‘food’ our kids grow up on. No foods are off limits for me, but our reliance on processed foods is alarming. The better we eat, the better we feel, the better we feel the better we treat ourselves, and those around us.
During my study, I learned that the most important time in determining a person’s long-term health is the nine months before they are born – and the 3 months before a mother is pregnant is even more significant! All parents want the best for their families. By focusing on the mother as the centre of a family, we can create ripples of change.
What’s your big, audacious vision for Wholesome Inc.?
My ‘big’ vision is really quite simple, to provide ‘wholesome’ alternatives to everyday products and lifestyle choices. I want the chemical-free ‘alternatives’ to be the first choice of families available in supermarkets to people of all socio-economic backgrounds… but that doesn’t seem audacious so I’ll add to get a big, fuck-off boat, which I’d call Wholesome Float and sail the world spreading the message. Not really.
What’s been the biggest challenge to overcome in the change from Marketer to Entrepreneur?
Self doubt. There is no team WIP when you’re starting out on your own. No one to check-in with or critique your work. Negative thoughts can creep in. You lose momentum when the house comes down with a bug and you start to think, ‘Who am I to give advice to other women on how to get pregnant and raise their family?!’ But then I think, I am blessed to be born a female in a country where I can have a voice at a time in history where opportunities abound. I have personal experience in fertility struggles and a university education in Human Nutrition, I am wildly passionate about the importance of diet and lifestyle to our overall health and wellbeing and I’m already the go-to person amongst my friends and family. Who am I not to put in my two cents and have a crack?! Right???? haha!
What advantages has your marketing background given you in your transition to business owner?
The ability to plan and an understanding of the platforms available to deliver products to my consumer. I’ve been fortunate to work in both online and offline environments and have a fairly good grasp on the logistical parameters of both.
What advice would you give to anyone reading this and inspired by your business journey?
We are each responsible for creating a life that we love and will look back and be proud of. Everyone has different priorities – none being more or less valid than the next persons. I would say to just be aware of what your personal priorities are and to make sure that the life you are creating meets them. Don’t let the years pass you in a state of unconscious submission.
What is your greatest life learning on the journey that has led you to Wholesome Inc.?
I can never say no to a chip. Never. But when you are tuned in to your own body and you know what to feed it to make it hum (nutritionally, physically, spiritually), you will naturally gravitate to that way of life without force or effort. I’d just like to help you tune in.
Big ups to Eugénie for taking the leap and creating this awesome brand. If the Wholesome Inc. message is tickling your fancy, you can find out more on the web site: www.wholesome-inc.com and sign up for the Ultimate Weekend Cleanse. You can also follow her beautiful feed on Instagram.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more at…
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Pics courtesy of Eugénie Rutherford, Wholesome Inc.