Business Owner: Lindsey Huber
Business Name: Nature Supply Co
Main Products/Services: Apparel, Goods, and Education
Location: E-Commerce / Online
Short description of your business:
Nature Supply Co is an eco-friendly lifestyle brand that offers apparel, goods, and education for those who love nature. All our items are responsibly produced, ethically sourced, and made to order to prevent waste. For every item sold, we restore one square foot of degraded soil through our partnership with The Carbon Underground. We are a member of 1% for the Planet, an organization that certifies businesses who commit to donating at least 1% of their total sales to an environmental nonprofit. In 2020, Nature Supply Co zeroed out our entire carbon footprint by becoming Climate Neutral Certified. You can purchase our items online via our website, on our Etsy store, or in one of 300 brick and mortar stores nationwide who carry our brand.
What motivated you to start your business?
I founded Nature Supply Co in 2016 after realizing the impact our current food system had on not only my own health, but also on the health of the planet. My research and personal health journey led me to become a nature-lover, local food enthusiast, and environmentalist. However, it did not stop there – I wanted to spread the word about what I discovered, and in turn, make the world a better place. Thus, Nature Supply Co was ‘born.’
What drives you each day?
My main goal is to use the business I created to make a difference in the world. The more people who support the business, the bigger the impact I can ultimately make. Seeing my business continue to grow is a huge motivator. Through partnerships with nonprofits, Nature Supply Co has planted over 30 acres of pollinator-friendly wildflowers and has restored over 24,000 square feet of degraded soil. The hope is that this is just the beginning!
What’s unique about your business?
Even though we mainly sell apparel and goods, we place a large emphasis on educating people about the importance of nature as well as building a community of like-minded people. Our designs are often message-based: Go Outside, A Little Dirt Never Hurt, Support Your Local Farmer and Save the Bees to name a few. By educating people on the ‘why’ behind our designs, we end up building a community and our customers can then help us spread the word.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as you’ve grown your business?
Since the idea for Nature Supply Co came to fruition four years ago, the company has grown leaps and bounds. When scaling quickly, tasks such as hiring a team, managing inventory, and balancing cash flow can become a challenge. I had to learn the ins and outs of being a good boss, which was one of the biggest challenges since I was used to working as a solo entrepreneur. I now have local employees as well as virtual employees located in North Carolina and Wisconsin. They assist with a wide variety of job duties including customer service, social media, paid advertising, email campaigns, and inventory management.
What has been your greatest reward?
One of my greatest rewards is being able to take my personal interests and passions and turn them into a full-time career. I feel incredibly blessed that there are people all over the world that continue to purchase from Nature Supply Co.
What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when starting your business?
Don’t think you have to do it all or be the expert in every aspect of running your business. Surround yourself with people that can help you, especially if you want to continue to grow. Hiring out job duties, even if I wasn’t quite sure I was ready financially, has made a big difference for me. I was able to keep scaling Nature Supply Co while preventing myself from getting too overwhelmed or burnt out.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?
Do your research but ultimately, don’t be afraid to just dive in! I have learned so many things along the way and continue to build my entrepreneurship and leadership skills every day. Mistakes will be made, but they are often some of the best learning experiences. Finding a mentor, coach and/or other people that are in the same type of business you are in can also help tremendously. They keep you motivated, and it can become a place to ask questions, advice, or simply a place just to vent.
What are some future goals for your company?
Our immediate goal is to find a bigger space in the Sioux City area for fulfillment and to hire a fulfillment manager (my basement is no longer cutting it!). Our long-term goals include: continuing to scale our online sales through paid advertising, email campaigns and social media; optimizing our website for conversions; and increasing the number of wholesale accounts that carry our products in their stores.
Iowa’s West Coast Initiative promotes western Iowa as the place where entrepreneurs thrive. Includes Woodbury, Plymouth & Monona Counties.