CrowdInk had a chance to sit down (virtually) with Leanne Roberts, the mind behind The Nourish Movement, a company geared at empowering women to lead healthy, fulfilling lives by providing them with nutritionally sound and ethical breakfast boxes to start the day right. She talks about entrepreneurship, her spark for The Nourish Movement, sustainability, and how to best maintain both scale and sanity in the business world.
CrowdInk: Tell us about The Nourish Movement. How did you get started? What’s your inspiration?
Leanne Roberts: The Nourish Movement was developed as a result of working over a decade within a fast-paced commercial television network, where I had allowed myself to be completely depleted and ran myself into the ground.
I realized women so often put others’ needs before their own. I often watched as they would try and run meetings after multiple coffees and regularly skipping meals, myself included. Daily spiraling energy levels, looking for the next caffeine or sugar hit in order to perform the next task on time, not to mention the internal battle of wanting to be healthy, but just physically not having the time or energy to make it a priority.
I was involved in a lot of retouching of photos and national marketing campaigns and felt like there must be a more realistic ideal for women to aspire to. I often heard young women and also mothers comparing themselves to images they saw in magazines or on billboards, without realizing that the images had often spent many weeks in the hands of retouches, smoothing skin, shrinking waistlines, and increasing busts.
After my own health and close relationships deteriorated, I took a much needed break to the jungles of Borneo to volunteer and reconnect with what I felt like was the purpose of life.
After months of eating the most basic of foods, and living the simple life, I had never felt better. My health, my energy, and my happiness had returned.
The seed was then planted deep within me to try and infuse this relaxed and empowered feeling back into the modern day Australian woman who is trying to juggle it all. I came back to Australia talking to as many women as I could to really find out where they were struggling or how I could help remove their stresses in the mornings.
My inspiration and driving force is when I can see women happy, stable and balanced throughout their day and giving it everything they have to achieve their goals. Whether it be a career, their own business, family life, or a combination. I love that I have been able to create a brand that can remove the stress from having to read food labels or trying to choose the correct breakfast in the mornings.
There is so much confusion out there and so many businesses competing in marketing as a ‘health food.’ Why can’t we have a brand that truly cares, really puts women’s needs first and understands that food is more than just a meal? It’s the fuel your body and mind needs to run at its best.
The Nourish Movement seed was planted back in 2012 and in May 2016 and the first Breakfast Box subscription was launched to the Australian market.
CI: What are the sorts of breakfasts you’re preparing? Why is this healthy?
LR: The Nourish Movement’s Breakfast Box contains five convenient pre-made breakfast sachets. They are all naturally gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, and individually portioned to ensure you don’t have any stress in the mornings.
Each breakfast is unique and has been developed for long-lasting, slow release energy. Each ingredient has been chosen for its benefits and is seasonally selected and with the addition of superfoods in order to support your immune system appropriately throughout the seasons.
A couple of the many benefits listed below we have carefully researched and selected in order to create breakfast that really does work for women during the cooler months.
The use of Ceylon Cinnamon is the only cinnamon variety with medicinal benefits, shown to reduce and stabilize blood sugar levels, and also shown to reduce the signs of bloating and symptoms associated with IBS.
Coconut Sugar has been selected for it’s added nutrients, sustainability and much lower GI levels than other sugars.
Our mission is to set women up for the mornings, without the need to hunt for coffee or have the mid morning energy crash, we don’t mind what women choose for lunch or dinner because we know we’ve set them up in the best frame of mind to make the correct choices for the rest of their day.
CI: What work are you doing in the community?
LR: I’ve spent many months volunteering in children’s charities and working with rehabilitating baby orangutans in Borneo, and since returning I have volunteered teaching healthy raw cooking to women around Sydney.
I will be integrating three charities into The Nourish Movement’s adoption program where women will have the opportunity to select a charity they would like us to support upon ordering their Breakfast Box. At the end of each year, the funds will be donated to the charity and our Nourish community will see first hand the global ripple effect of our donations. We want to not only nourish those in Australia, but support women, children, and environmental projects around the world.
We’ve also designed all our packaging from completely recyclable materials. Everything within the box is designed to be able to be re-gifted, re-used or completely recycled.
From the shipping box, with removable labels for re-gifting purposes, the reusable glass jar, through to the individual sachets being some of the most biodegradable food-safe sachets on the Australian market.
Our cloth wrap, which is muslin cloth paired with cotton twine, can easily be turned into a nut bag, if you ever find yourself with a quiet day at home and feel like making a fresh batch of nut mylk for the week ahead, you’ve got everything you need!
CI: What’s your big tip for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?
LR: My biggest tip is to listen. Talk and really listen. So many entrepreneurs I meet have an idea to develop a product and take it to the market, without really finding out what your market want or need.
My advice is to jump before you are ready. Being a perfectionist, I could have easily held the business back for another two years while I prepared the perfect-looking breakfast box, but its really not until you put your idea out there and talk to your clients that you find out exactly what they’re looking for. You don’t want to spend two years perfecting an idea, only to find that your clients don’t want it, or need it.
Focus on helping others and if you truly want to help solve their problems, you can’t go wrong!
CI: How do you relax?
LR: Sometimes I find it hard to give myself permission to relax and I’m sure a lot of entrepreneurs can relate. Often it can be a sense of guilt when you always have so much more to get done, but I now schedule my relaxation time as importantly as I schedule a business meeting.
I will often schedule one or two yoga classes per week and a gym session or two. I find the best way to relax is to head out for an evening walk with my partner around where we live. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful part of Sydney with plenty of bush land and waterfalls.
As an entrepreneur, I think it’s extremely important to create a ‘hobby’ list that you stick to. Pick fun things like painting, sports, or catching up with friends, reading, dancing or anything that you really can lose yourself in, and a passion which isn’t connected to the business in any way. I find it the best way to disconnect, recharge and refocus after a long day.
Check out The Nourish Movement here.