What I learnt from Jo Fairley
Yesterday I had the chance to listen to Jo Fairley, creator of the Green and Blacks brand of Chocolate. I always try to find inspirational people to listen to as it really motivates me to do the best in my business and strive for excellence. There is always a lot in common with successful people, the way they think and do things and the more you surround yourself with the right kind of people the better you tend to do.
She told her story of her struggles and successes, having come from a journalist background she was able to influence the media which helped her to skyrocket her brand.
At the time of their launch dark chocolates where not very common and they where one of the first to develop an organic and fairtrade bar of chocolate and still to this day remain one of the most well known brands in this sector.
Having a great idea for social change really helped spread the mission and helped to drive sales, she retold the story of how vicars across the country where calling up their local Tesco’s demanding they stocked the product and how giving out lots of samples really helped to spread the brand as after Lady Sainsburies tried the product at a friend’s dinner party, asked her husband to launch the products in his store.
She also spoke of her sale to Caburys, which seemed like a good fit at the time, but soon after got brought out by kraft which was a struggle to try to get them to see things from an ethical point of view, but she does feel she has been able to influence the brands from within, it is always sad to see ethical brands being bought out by these large companies, but she spoke about how as they often move so slowly they often look to acquire these smaller brands to learn some of their agility.
One of the things that caught my attention was her ability to always separate business with pleasure and being involved in the business with her husband she spoke about making sure they had time for them and time for the business. I think this is so important to be able to separate yourself from your business, allowing your business to consume you is a recipe for disaster, so make sure you can separate out time for yourself.