Meet the mentor – Hannah Staples from Peppermint Grove

Hannah Staples

We are now entering the final stages of judging for the PACK & SEND Small Business Logistics Grant. The grant had over 130 entries from small businesses across the nation – an exciting result!

38 candidates have now been shortlisted and will soon be reviewed by our talented judging panel, which includes Hannah Staples, co-founder and Marketing Manager of Australian home fragrance brand Peppermint Grove. As part of the grant package, the winner of the PACK & SEND Small Business Logistics Grant will receive a business mentorship with Hannah, tapping into her industry expertise.

We asked Hannah to share some of the insights she’s gained since starting up her successful business.

What inspired you to start Peppermint Grove?

I was 24, a few years out of university and working long hours in a full-time position in a similar industry. I wasn’t okay with the fact that I was putting my blood, sweat and tears into someone else’s dream – I wanted to work for myself and do my own thing, so I did.

We saw there was a gap in the market for a highly positioned elegant offering with an Australian feel and dimension. We wanted to develop a range that featured unique designs and added to the aesthetics of the home. We put a lot of time and effort into developing glassware that people would want to make a feature of their home, not only because of the design elements but also because of the fabulous fragrances too.

As many brands in the industry were mass market, commercially-driven or originated from overseas, we wanted to create fragrances that were inspired by our Australian culture and tastes. We knew it was important that we launched with a significant product offering to show the market that we were a serious brand. It was also important we maintained a distribution strategy that tied in with our upmarket feel and look.

What were some of the biggest challenges in the beginning?

Setting up any new business presents a myriad of challenges – especially when growing so quickly. For Peppermint Grove, it was important that all areas of the business were closely monitored; manufacturing, stock control, distribution channels, financial management and of course, managing the brand’s expectations. It’s easy to look back and be critical of some of the decisions that were made, but the reality is that those decisions or mistakes were part of the learning process and contributed to where we are today – and for that, I have no regrets.

What has been the biggest thing you have learnt since running your own business?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you aren’t sure of something, reach out and ask for advice or get a second opinion. Don’t forget to engage directly with your consumers to further understand your market. Always stay focused on your brand, your vision and your product.

There is nothing wrong with competition. It forces us all to be more innovative, more creative and on the ball! Don’t look at what others are doing, lead the way and set the standard. Above all, conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.

What advice can you pass on to other aspiring small business owners?

The harsh reality is that business is tough! There’s hard work, long hours, obstacles and steep learning curves. The glamorous moments are rare, the spotlight is only temporary. Take risks, push the boundaries but always ensure you follow your gut instincts along the way. Lastly, love the excitement, love the challenge and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

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