Founder and CEO of Extreme, Alistair Gosling interviews TINCTURE Founder, Angelika Davenport on all things crowdfunding and the future of TINCTURE.
Tell us about TINCTURE and how you started this journey.
It started out of passion. I saw the correlation between my children’s illnesses and the indoor environment I was creating. One of my children had a lot of allergies and bad asthma. I was desperately trying to protect this child, to the point where we were running air filters in the house day and night. Then I realised, oh gosh…he’s reacting whilst we’re cleaning. So, I started looking at cleaning products and came across this body of research that showed that the air in your home is up to five times more polluted than directly outside and that the main culprit is actually chemically based cleaning products. I was so shocked!
I went out and I bought every cleaning brand under the sun, all the eco brands, all the green brands and I still found a lot of so-called hidden ‘nasties’ in them. After that I just decided to create something which is not only 100% safe for the planet but something that is safe for the lungs, brain development and the health of the kids.
What sets TINCTURE apart from other natural cleaning options?
I think what sets us apart is that number one, we are truly 100% natural, number two, the core of all the formulations is based around minimising negative health effects and negative implications on our oceans and soils.
What makes TINCTURE formulations superior in safety?
The journey was far more complicated than I expected it to be. It took us years of research to come up with these formulations, where every ingredient was chosen based on its safety for the environment, our health, and our indoor spaces. They are not only superior in performance to other cleaning brands but they are also 100% natural. I think what a lot of people don’t understand is that 100% natural does not equate to 100% safe. Imagine pouring one litre of oil into a small pond, the fish will die instantly.
Do you see non-toxic products being relevant now?
The last 20 years has been all about the organic food revolution with a real focus on what we are putting into our bodies and how that interacts with our overall health. The next phase has been to question what we are putting onto our bodies, since the skin is a very important organ. But, all this is pointless if the environment we live in is toxic.
So I think the next phase is going to be all about the environment we surround ourselves with. How do we prepare our food? Where do we sleep? Are chemicals damaging our mental stability?
When we started this several years ago and I started talking about indoor air pollution, people were looking at me like I had gone bananas! You can’t see these chemicals so what we are trying to make people understand is that if you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. That’s why this is such a complicated topic.
Touching on the business, tell us about your strategy. Why are you crowdfunding?
Obviously, the lockdown and COVID has been extremely difficult for all companies and all start-ups in terms of suppliers and factories locking down, it’s been super stressful. But for us what’s been interesting is that people have realised that their home environment is important. We’re suddenly forced to stay at home and although I kept telling people that we actually spend over 93% of our time indoors, it really hit people in the pandemic. People now view their indoor space as important and something that they wanted to protect.
We launched our Direct To Consumer (DTC) model so that people could receive our products at home, delivered straight to their doors and we saw a fantastic increase in sales. We grew by over 500%! In order to support this rapid growth and for us to become more effective we need better distribution systems, greater funds for marketing and sales, more team members, better software, a faster website and you need funds to do that.
I think the timing for crowdfunding is right. So far, the company has been funded by very passionate individuals who got our concept straight away. Now we are at the point where we really want to invite our customers and anyone who knows TINCTURE to join the journey because we feel that our customers are advocates. We want them to be a part of this next growth phase.
In the end, we are on a mission and it is really about highlighting the importance of addressing indoor air pollution, which no one talks about. The feedback and support we have received has been so fantastic. Every time I think ‘How am I going to do this?’, it’s our customers who have been writing in who keep me going so it’s important to give them this opportunity.
10x CONCENTRATED FORMULA
Every company who crowdfunds wants to hire a marketing team, increase employment and achieve overall expansion, but there’s one very important milestone here at TINCTURE and that is our 10x concentrated formula. We have worked hard to formulate our 10x concentrated range, which is going to be launched hopefully with the help of this funding, in September to October 2021.
Our whole philosophy is zero waste as much as we can, circular economy, meaning recycling and refilling, and reducing our carbon footprint. We questioned whether it made sense to produce and deliver our heavy glass refill bottles and the resounding conclusion was no it didn’t. They smash, they’re heavy and they use a lot of energy to produce.
I really wanted to make the most efficient distribution system possible and that is 10x concentrated. Instead of shipping water with our formulations, you will be getting a wonderful small 50ml bottle which you then pour into our white antimicrobial bottles which are forever bacteria-free and that’s it. Simple.
I think the whole industry is changing and there’s a lot of shaking up. What we are trying to do is shake it up faster than anyone else. Other companies have also started producing concentrate products, but the question when you produce concentrated cleaning products are: Can you keep the efficiency? Can it stay 100% natural? What are the preservatives needed? How do you find the right balance of concentrate when you mix it with water? It’s quite complicated! It’s a whole new formulation process that has taken us over a year.
CUSTOMISED SUBSCRIPTION MODEL
Obviously, we are always going to give consumers a choice. If a consumer wants to buy the single bottles that’s fine. We have already started a subscription model that is going very well but we are now customising it further. Everyone cleans in a different way, so we don’t want to overload people with too much product or too little product. You have to consider whether a customer has a studio flat or a five-bedroom house, do they have pets, do they have kids, the cleaning requirements are very different. We are launching this customised subscription model in the next ten days which is very exciting!
Who are you looking to bring onboard the TINCTURE family?
I always had a vision about TINCTURE being a brand for everyone. This was a huge reason behind my decision to crowdfund. I would really love anyone who is passionate about our mission to come on board and help us to drive positive change. I think we can so often feel overwhelmed by the size of the climate crisis but I’m so happy that we offer an easy everyday solution – one small switch to non-toxic cleaning products really can have a significant impact.
We’ve just launched our pre-registration phase and have had fantastic response and support, which has been absolutely brilliant. Hopefully these people will convert their pledges because it’s one thing showing interest but actually pressing the button is another step.
Our crowdfunding campaign will open to the public soon. Seedrs have been brilliant, it’s great working with them. This is the first time TINCTURE has crowdfunded and in a way, this is an opportunity to see if what we are doing is right. Do people actually like us? Do people believe in us? So it’s a massive boost in confidence to know that people really appreciate what we are doing.
We would love for you to join us on this journey. To pre-register your interest, simply follow this link and we will notify you once our Seedrs page is live: https://lnkd.in/dC3KCRxK