Woman Entrepreneur - Interview with Olivia Gadient, Co-founder of Strawganic

Inspire & Get Inspired

Interviwe with Olivia Gadient, Co-founder of STRAWGANIC

I met Olli in early 2015 on Koh Phangan, Thailand. She was in her mid twenties, clearly a very adventurous soul... sharp minded, and very enthusiastic about life. I knew it would not take long for Olli to find her own path, the one that fulfils the parts of herself, that the corporate job at one of the biggest Pharma companies in the world does not.

Watching Olli put her dream together almost effortlessly was empowering and inspiring at the same time. She did not only make a new business, but she made a new business that may create a new world. A more aware and accountable one!

Starting from scratch, the Swiss start up company can now be found in the best retail and department stores in Switzerland, such as Manor, Brack and Globus. The Swiss market is well known for its demand for high quality, ethical and transparent standards, and it's definitely not an easy audience to impress. How did Strawganic do it? Here is a little interview with the Co-founder, Olivia Gadient if you would like to know more.




Why do you think your company did so well in Switzerland, so fast?

I think one key factor was that we were early in the market, when sustainability just started coming up in 2017. There is a rising consciousness and accountability movement happening. People are busy working, and living their lives... but they do care. Once we provide them with a good solution to their problems, they know it, they see it, and they want it. Nobody likes to pollute the world, sometimes we do it because of lack of awareness, sometimes we do it because of lack of alternative. Strawganic was created in 2017 not to judge and complain, but to to bring the solutions. If you see the problem, and you see that you create a problem each time you consume single use plastic, you are a potential client. It's nice to notice that people start seeing it, and that Strawganic has been a driving force behind plastic-free beverage culture in Switzerland - straw by straw.


Why straws?

Because the nature of a traditional straw is that it is used only once, and there is nothing sadder than knowing that to have a nice drink, you are disposing plastic waste that takes forever to disappear from the earth. So basically, you are creating eternal garbage! We could try to eliminate the straw completely, but the truth is that some drinks do require a straw, like a fresh coconut for example. And other drinks are just so much nicer with a straw, like milkshakes, smoothies, mojitos, ice-coffee, and the list goes on. The truth is there is no reason for people to stop using straws, there is a reason for people to increase awareness and improve the quality of the straws they use. Strawganic's straws are suitable for cold and hot drinks, dishwasher safe and hygienic. It's like the most high quality items you have in your kitchen. 


What's your dream? And how can it be achieved?

A world completely without trash - that would be nice.

To turn this vision into reality, we all need to pitch in. Single-use plastic products account for 40% of the plastic produced each year. Strawganic's goal is to create reusable products from typical disposable everyday items. We pick up where a rethink is needed, and offer a solution through our products. In addition to straws, we have also drinking bottles and reusable bamboo cutlery. 


What's the differential between Strawganic and other brands?

We have quite a big variety of colours, shapes and materials, our products are very design oriented. But I believe the biggest differential lays in our intention of making a difference. My business partner and I manage this company, questioning ourselves what we can do better, and how we can make a difference. One of the outcomes of this management style is that all straws are packaged at the Thorberg Penitentiary in Switzerland. That's the way we found to give back to the community, since orders from the productive sector are essential for prisoners of such institutions, to reintegrate into society and to build up future work and life perspectives. By supporting this initiative, we are actively making a positive contribution to sustainable developments for the common good, not only with our products. 


Is there any other "key" for your success?

A dissimilar dream team! Apart from the shared dream of owning our own company, my business partner and I couldn't be more different. Adrian is the expert in strategic company building, leadership and finance. For his former employer, he and his team launched 25 new operating companies in less than 4 years. Me, on the other hand, I'm the creative mind, responsible for marketing, photography, social media and product design. We both do what we like, and what we are best at, and that's exactly what makes us a dream team!