Little Urchin are about to celebrate their 3rd year leading the natural sunscreen market. We spoke to Chris - the captain of the L.U. ship about the journey so far.
Chris, what was it like putting something you’ve spent months working on, finally out into the world?
“I think there was a great sense of relief, that I was actually realising this goal that I'd been working towards for so long. Of course, a lot of excitement mixed with uncertainty and self doubt, as to whether it would work as well as we hoped it would!
“Putting it into action, we went back to basics and did the grassroots thing. We walked the streets and beaches of Sydney, talking to people and shop-owners, getting the word out there as best we could. This effort was not for naught, as we finished that effort with 23 stockists!
"That first summer in 2016 we launched Little Urchin, it was meant to be a test to see how it was received… By the end of the summer, we had 150 stockists!”
Did your gut feeling tell you this was something good?
“Yes, I knew there was a trend coming for natural sunscreen from researching it, yet most people didn't even know about it. I saw the impact conventional sunscreen was having on the reef before we had even launched Little Urchin. It was important we were educating people on why they should choose natural sunscreen, we want to be apart of the conversation, and have a balanced basis for communication. We also felt we were launching something that was beautiful in design, and beautiful for our customers to look at.”
What’s been a big learning curve for you over the last 3 years?
"One thing that allowed the business to get where it is today is creating and sustaining momentum in the business. Up until only a few months ago, I was only working on Little Urchin part-time, so it was easy to become stagnant. I made a consistent effort to keep the momentum building across all aspects of the business, the whole philosophy of the ‘snowball effect’, to keep the business moving forward. My team wear so many hats, but that’s what keeps it moving.
"You're constantly faced with quite big moments in a business when it is really scary. Especially when you're taking risks, there’s lots of well-meaning people asking, “are you sure?” at those pivotal times- including myself.
“Sometimes the self-doubt is non-stop. “Do I take this leap of faith?” Those moments when you just have to pause and take on the gravitas… but there’s still excitement.”
What’s been a super, massive highlight?
“I think the ability to make an impact as a business has a more profound reach, in my experience. There are lots of opportunities to support different causes, work with a range of talented people, supporting/sponsoring a surf grom in New Zealand for example! It makes you feel great.
Some big highlights have been unexpected. I’ve been fortunate to have wonderful people and businesses reach out and get in contact I’ve been meeting people that are creating awesome things with us. I’m just constantly surprised, and delighted by that.”