Starting a business in the sustainable space with Indi

October 11, 2021

Mikeila Scheckenbach

We love chatting with inspiring business owners, risk-takers and change-makers about the journeys, successes and challenges that have paved their paths.

Caitlyn and Dave, the duo behind Indi share the story about how Indi came about, how they consciously limit their impact on the environment in day-to-day business and the ups and downs of starting a product-based business. Pour yourself a brew and enjoy!

Let’s start off slow, how do you like your coffee?

We both drink almond FW’s. We are lucky to live down the road from a pretty epic coffee shop that makes their own almond milk!

Tell us about yourselves and what lead you to start a business together?

Dave is a Home Designer, and I am a Registered Nurse. We live along the coast in Perth with our two sausage dogs Indi & Ernie. We have always wanted to get into the product design space and in October 2019 (with a vino in hand) we were talking about how we’d never found a reusable coffee cup we loved. From that convo, we decided to design something that was luxurious and functional, and Indi was born.

Tell us about Indi and what made you want to start a business in the sustainable space.

Indi is a lifestyle. We want to inspire people to do better when it comes to the planet. What initially fired us up is reading that in Australia alone, 50,000 takeaway coffee cups end up in landfill every 30 minutes! We knew that we could be part of the solution. We are currently evolving on the daily! We initially had the idea to bring a Reusable Cup and Water Bottle to the market and now we are heading into the Luxe Beach and Homewares space. With everything we do, we want to create beautiful products that are long-lasting and of course, good for the planet.

What do you do day-to-day in your business to limit your impact on the environment?

Great question! We make every decision with the environment in mind. For example, everything from our swing tags to box packaging and mailing cartons are made from recycled card stock. All of our materials are printed locally by a printing company that runs on solar and uses vegetable-based inks. We offer sustainable packaging (box free) to our customers and we use our Instagram to educate and empower people about doing better for the planet.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting Indi?

So many things! I would say though, receiving our first Cup shipment (after many delays) and getting over 800 Cups packaged and sent out in 3 days, has to be up there in the highlights reel! Seeing everyone in the days after this (and every day) using their Cups was pretty special.

And the most challenging? Have there been any major screw-ups or lessons learned?

So many! Our initial Cup shipment was delayed a few times after we had taken orders during our Pre-Order phase. That was pretty stressful. We have since learned that business life is full of setbacks! That and, we won’t be doing Pre-Orders until we know our products are well on their way!

We have absolutely loved working with Indi, why was it important for you to find a design studio to partner with?

Thanks, guys, right back at you! We can’t imagine doing this without you! We knew that investing in Indi from the beginning in the form of branding was really important. Having the foundations set, such as a beautiful logo and other brand assets including brand colours, is what has really set us up for success. We get SO many compliments about our branding and Instagram and we really believe it’s our design team (you guys!) who set us up for success here. Our branding is the best investment we have made in our business.

What’s next for Indi? Are there any exciting new projects underway you can share?

We wish we could share more, but for now, we’re keeping it under wraps! What we will say is this – think Luxe Beach and Homewares. We have some pretty cool things coming!

Where can people find you and Indi products?

You can find us on Insta or head over to our website to check us out – You’ll also find our Stockists there.