Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their buying choices. Project Blu offers innovative, sustainable designs for pet products which are built to last. The firm aims to make plastic (and other polluting materials) so valuable it is recycled instead of thrown away.
Here, Project Blu founder Geryn Evans tells the company story and offers advice to others embarking on a business growth journey.
Tell us about Project Blu.
The business started following a chance conversation I had with a close friend. It was based on a personal mission to reduce the dumping of single-use plastics into the world’s oceans by finding a positive use for the material.
Our headquarters is in the Vale of Glamorgan, and our production facilities are in Tuscany in Italy. We source our recycled materials from some of the world's poorest nations. It is our mission to turn plastic waste into a valuable commodity. Not only will this help clean the environment, but it will also help reduce poverty.
Our products are made from 100% recycled materials that were otherwise destined to pollute our environment. We transform ocean-bound plastic and used clothes to create 100% recycled fabric and fillings.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
I’ve been accepted to the LEAP Ventures Studio in Los Angeles starting in February 2020 and will receive $200,000. This is a really exciting opportunity for me as a business leader and for the company.
The purpose of the accelerator program is to build us up to a big pitch event to the top 400 MARS & RGA delegates (including the MARS family) in May in New York. From this event, the minimum investment is $2m.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
Go for expansion and growth more quickly by being more confident and less hesitant. Maybe I would follow the US attitude more – if you give it your best and fail, you still learn and develop. That’s certainly something we’re looking to do as we go forward as a company.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
AGP coaching support with strategic planning and raising finance has been invaluable in helping us grow. We are now on an exciting journey as a business, it’s relatively early days for us, but we are excited about the potential for the future and how much we can expand and grow. With the support of Business Wales AGP, we feel we can get there.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting today?
● Follow your instincts.
● Involve your contacts and friends where they can help.
● Look for and use feedback from everyone who’ll give it to you.