Jonathan Loew, Marketing & Media at Plant Your Pencil, kindly answered a few questions to gives us more about the Plant Your Pencil’s story.
MissBlue – Where/when the idea did come from? What is Sproutʼs story?
JL – Mario Bollini, an American design and robotics student, has long wanted to make a sustainable pencil. He posted an idea on the website kickstarter.com (http://kickstarter.com/) , which is based on the concept ‘crowdfunding’, where common people can invest in uncommon ideas. Two Danish men – Michael Stausholm Christiansen and Jonathan Løw – were intrigued and developed the idea together with Bollini.
The notion of a sustainable pencil began to sprout and after about 2,000 people had invested a total of $37,000 in the idea, the first prototypes were made.
Nine months later, the first sustainable pencil – given the name ‘Sprout’ – was created.
How many people do you employ? 6 persons work at Plant Your Pencil.
Why did you choose to produce in the USA? Were there special capabilities not found in European country?
This is because of our story described above. The founder and robot students live there.
Is Sprout available in Greece
Not in retail stores but it can be bought by companies, promotional companies, event organizers etc. by visiting www.plantyourpencil.com. Also, if private customers want to order it, we will soon launch our European webshop also shipping to Greece.
What advice would you give to innovators? How did you make it a success? I would give 5 important advices
1. 90% of Success is Persistence
You’ll hear ‘No’ many, many times before you hear anyone say ‘Yes’. Take each ‘No’ as a lesson and one step closer to a ‘Yes’. Adapt and keep pushing on. The most successful people are the ones who didn’t give up.
2. Embrace Failure
You’re going to fail – a lot. Learn to love it. Appreciate that each time you fail, you’re learning a lesson. Take what you learn from that failure to improve for next time. No one is ever perfect the first time they do something.
3. Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway!
If you’re comfortable, you’re not moving forward. Challenge yourself to go out of your comfort zone daily. You can become anything you dream of if you’re just brave enough to try.
4. Build A Network
Network! Don’t just hand out business cards, make genuine connections. Become that ‘go to’ person and you’ll always be top of mind. I’ve met mentors, partners and friends networking. I’ve had speaking opportunities and been introduced to people I would have never met otherwise. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’.
5. Everyone is Your Teacher
Whether they’ve been in business for 3 months or 25 years, everyone has something to teach you. They all have a different point of view and sometimes the most unexpected person (or dog) will tell you exactly what you needed to hear to have that ‘ah-ha!’ moment.
Lastly, have fun! Being an entrepreneur is a hell of a lot of work and if you don’t truly love what you’re doing, don’t bother.
Jonathan, thank you for the precious advices, I hope the Greek innovators will follow your advices!
(Read the full biography here http://www.jonathanloew.dk/#!jonathan-loew—biography/c1cf0 )
Don’t wait and learn all about the Sprout pencil, the pencil that wants to become a plant on the official website of Plant Your Pencil www.plantyourpencil.com
- Imagine a pencil that becomes a plant (bleneraida.wordpress.com)
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