Grow A Seed helps people take charge of their health and learn about their food by growing it indoors themselves. Their first product is an introduction to growing with an organic microgreen garden kit and optional seed subscription. It’s a great fit for the expanding green lifestyle market. They sell their products online at growaseed.garden, at local fairs and markets and through group workshops at schools and corporate events.
We spoke with Grow A Seed Co-Founder, Marjonneke Grech, about her experience launching the company and her team’s plans for the future. Check out what she had to say:
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COMPANY?
We discovered how easy and fun it was to grow microgreens and we wanted to share what we’d learned. We packaged everything needed to grow these wonderful superfood veggies into a simple kit and made it a shareable, enriching experience.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? THE MOST CHALLENGING?
It’s been rewarding to see how our team’s combined skills has helped bring our vision to fruition. Now we need to combine the myriad of great ideas we have into an ongoing actionable plan for growth.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP – HOW HAS IT DEFIED (OR LIVED UP TO) YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
Having a cause as part of our business is a great inspiration for us. Providing people with a hands-on experience with their health and teaching them about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle gives us a sense of satisfaction that goes far beyond making money.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH INNOVATION FACTORY?
When we started our business, we needed advice and connections to the business community. A business colleague suggested we contact Innovation Factory, which has proven to be excellent advice. We’ve benefited enormously from the resources they offer and the relationships we’ve made through Innovation Factory’s network.
WHAT HAVE YOU VALUED MOST ABOUT INNOVATION FACTORY’S SERVICES/SUPPORT?
We think of Innovation Factory somewhat like our own resource team – ready to help us when we need it. We regularly check in with our Client Services Analyst, who works with us to set goals and track our progress.
We’ve also had consultations with industry experts who helped us address specific issues we were struggling with. Everyone we’ve worked with has been extremely generous with their time and expertise. Innovation Factory has been an invaluable resource.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
We’re in business to create a solid and sustainable enterprise. We measure that in garden kits sold – but seeing our impact in schools, businesses and the community is the indicator we really like to celebrate!
We have a number of programs and fundraising opportunities for schools and non-profits in the Hamilton area. We’re booking dates for Spring 2017 right now and look forward to having our education team help kids and teachers learn how to grow, setting up student-led growing clubs and helping make good nutrition a fun learning experience.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES YOU FROM YOUR COMPETITION?
Unlike other garden kits on the market that are expensive and high tech, Grow a Seed provides simple, accessible solutions that focus on the art of growing. We believe growing is magical, even transformative. We’re not just selling a product. Growing is an experience, and when you get hooked, it becomes a lifestyle with our seed subscription.
We’re also not just selling kits and sending people on their way. Providing ongoing support and building relationships and community are an integral part of who we are.
WHAT IS THE BEST RECOGNITION YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Winning Innovation Factory’s ELEV8 pitch competition was a thrill. We made connections with a number of guests at the event who expressed interested in the business. We’re grateful for the recognition and look forward to more opportunities to share our story.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND?
We’re actively developing our second product, a garden wall that takes indoor growing to the next level. This growing system with built-in lights and fans will make it easy to grow an array of organic greens and vegetables right in your home.
WHAT SUPPORT WILL YOU LOOK TO INNOVATION FACTORY FOR IN THE COMING MONTHS?
Now, with some of the foundational business pieces in place, our focus will be on marketing and achieving the best ROI possible.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS WHO MAY JUST HAVE AN IDEA?
Ask for help when you need it, practice makes perfect, and remember to enjoy the journey!
WHY IS HAMILTON THE HOME FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Hamilton has a great vibe and we love being part of the culture and business renaissance. There’s a lot of enthusiasm for what we’re doing and we’re excited about making a difference in our local community.
HOW CAN WE CONNECT WITH YOU (website, social media, etc)?