In 2017, after 13 years working in operation and distribution roles for Fortune 500s, Georgia Lawson decided to take a risk and dive into the world of business ownership, co-founding The Clean Collective with her friend and business partner, Charlie Thompson.
Taking the leap from a comfortable, 9-5 job into the exciting, yet challenging world of start-up land is a well-trodden route for many Aussies, but not so many do it while their first child is just six months old.
What motivated Georgia to make the leap from corporate cog to conscious consumption advocate?
Georgia was studying a BA in Health Science to learn more about human health after experiencing health issues herself. However, it was the birth of her son that signalled a huge turning point in Georgia’s life.
“I was overwhelmed by the amount of information, both honest and misleading, that was out there surrounding and on products that advertised themselves as ‘safe for your family’,” Georgia says.
“It didn’t seem right that the products I was supposed to use on my baby had lists of ingredients a mile long, each containing an alphabet soup of complicated, medical-sounding words. I didn’t want to spend all my time reading labels – that was time I wanted to be spending with my son.”
Georgia was also concerned about the rapidly increasing negative changes in the environment and what that meant for her child, as he grew up.
Through her research, Georgia discovered some truly scary facts, such as:
- The toxic chemicals we consume and use in our everyday products and food are responsible for 1 in 4 health issues.
- These same chemicals are responsible for our babies being born pre-polluted with an average of 200 chemicals in their umbilical cords.
- Due to our excessive need for convenience, our waste is growing at double the rate of our population and by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
An overwhelming sense of responsibility
Armed with this new knowledge, Georgia felt an overwhelming responsibility to help other mums navigate their way through the greenwashing that is abundant in mainstream products and brands.
“I thought, there must be an easier way. I wanted to take the confusion out of making safer and more sustainable choices for ourselves and our families,” she says.
Balancing the roles of ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘mum’
And so, The Clean Collective was born. An online authority that mums could truly rely on to read and analyse product labels, so they could spend more time reading stories to their little ones.
As Chief Operations Officer, Co-founder and Director at The Clean Collective, Georgia is responsible for managing the company’s retail operations and operations team, new product development, supplier partnerships and relations, and maintaining the company’s five-star customer service. Like every start-up, each Director at The Clean Collective has to wear many hats, working a role that would usually take a small team to execute. But Georgia wouldn’t change it for the world – an analogy that for the team at The Clean Collective, could actually be taken quite literally.
“After being a corporate cog in large corporations for so long, I love that I feel like I’m making a difference every day. I’ve never worked so hard, but it’s by far the most rewarding role I’ve ever had,” says Georgia.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some truly inspiring people, who I’m sure are going to change the world, such as Natalie Isaacs; and take part in important events, such as the 1 Million Women 10th Birthday ‘Love Earth’ festival this year.”
Despite every spare minute needing to be dedicated to The Clean Collective’s success, working for her own business has given Georgia the flexibility to plan her work around family priorities.
“I get to work from my home, or our office in the same suburb, which is a dream come true,” she says.
“Co-founding The Clean Collective was about so much more than starting a business. It was about doing something every day to create a better future for my son.
“Having a child is a big enough responsibility, but when you throw in climate disaster, plastic pollution, our throwaway culture, health epidemics and toxin-filled products in the mix as well, it can be absolutely overwhelming. I know, I was overwhelmed too!
“I have risked a lot to build this business to what it is today alongside Charlie, but I can’t help thinking… how much more would be at risk if we hadn’t?”
"How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew what was happening to the world and did nothing" - David Attenborough
Proudly presented by AusMumpreneur and The Women’s Business School, the AusMumpreneur Awards recognise the best and brightest in the Australian mumpreneur industry, acknowledging success in business, product development & innovation and customer service at a glamorous awards event held in Melbourne.
Georgia is a nominee in category 7. E-Commerce Store Award. Vote for 1. Georgia Lawson – The Clean Collective by clicking here.