Meet the founder mixing things up
Fri 13 July 2018 - 2:32 pmAdvice | Entrepreneur | Featured | Professional Development
Skinnymixers was recently announced as a finalist in the Australia Post Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAS) People’s Choice category for Small Retailer. Skinnymixers was also one of eight winners (and the only Australian winner) from Shopify’s Build a Bigger Business competition in 2017.
Skinnymixers was born out of founder Nikalene Riddle’s desire for healthy Thermomix recipes and an environment to talk about healthy recipes. Within 24 hours of starting a Facebook group, it had more than 1,000 members.
Dynamic Business had a chat with Nikalene Riddle about Skinnymixers and being nominated for ORIAS.
How did Skinnymixers start?
Skinnymixers started in 2013, as I was struggling to lose weight and found that there weren’t many healthy weight loss recipes being shared within the community for Thermomix. I created the Skinnymixers Facebook Group, which took off instantly, and from there we published a website, and subsequently released 6 best-selling cookbooks over the course of 2 years.
What do you think lead to your Shopify Build a Bigger Business competition win?
Listening to our community with what content they wanted published, and meeting a demand within the Thermomix community is what led to Skinnymixers winning the largest growth percentage category of the Shopify Build a Bigger Business competition.
Was this your first business venture? What inspired you to establish your own business?
Skinnymixers was my first business venture, and you could definitely say that I am an accidental entrepreneur – I had no intentions of turning Skinnymixers in to a business but my community encouraged me towards that direction.
How did you raise the initial funds needed to launch this business venture?
It essentially worked in my favour that I spent three years publishing content on our website for free, before undertaking the process of publishing our first cookbook. By the time we started our first pre-sale, our community were so keen to fund my efforts that we sold out of our initial print run within 24 hours.
How did you first get interested in thermomixes? Do you have a partnership with thermomix?
I was gifted my Thermomix for Mother’s Day from my husband and mum in 2013, and from there the passion for developing recipes grew. I have no official partnership with Thermomix.
How did you get interested in healthy recipe cookbooks? What background do you have in this?
My interest in healthy recipe development grew from a lack of content out within the community to help me lose weight. While I have no formal background in working with food, I understand flavours and my confidence in recipe developing for the Thermomix flourished.
What advice do you have for those who have a business idea but don’t know where to start?
Following your intuition is essential when starting a new business, as well as ensuring you surround yourself with a solid support network and seek mentorship to move from an idea towards a successful business.
What are the three most important lessons you have learnt so far?
While receiving mentorship from Tony Robbins, he reaffirmed that it is critical to build a raving fan base if you want a sustainable business. This has been an important lesson for me, to continue focusing on our community and to ensure they are raving about Skinnymixers for years to come.
I have also learnt that it is important to establish your business with solid foundations in financial and legal before it grows too big – having to go back and do the groundwork on these things later on causes a lot of unnecessary stress.
The third lesson I have learnt is that successful businesses rarely get built overnight, and businesses need to be dynamic. Maintaining connection to your community so that your business continues to grow with them is critical.
How do you feel about being nominated for the ORIAS’ People’s Choice Award? What will it mean to you if you win?
This is our second year being nominated for an ORIAS, and winning would celebrate the success Skinnymixers has had in the online retail space. I’d love to also share this win with our Skinnymixers community to show how grateful we are for all of their support over the last 5 years.
Any exciting plans?
We are about to launch our 7thcookbook – The Healthy Mix III – in early August, a family friendly collection of recipes that will help you with breakfast through to dessert. We are also looking to diversify with new product development and hopefully keep giving our community what they want.