Tell us about Bunsters.
Bunsters is a Aussie company run from my house in Perth. We make hot sauces and ready to drink cocktails and ship them all over the world. We shot to global fame after making a silly hot sauce called Shit the Bed that, despite the name everyone actually loved. Turns out people really do want to shit their beds.
What inspired you to start Bunsters?
A trip to Mexico in 2011. I came back to Australia and couldn’t find any fresh tasting hot sauces with fruit and veggies in them like the ones I’d had in Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize so I had to make my own. Once my friends tasted them they were hooked. The business literally started on my kitchen table. I didn’t plan it. It was an accident. That was in 2012.
Tell us about your career and background.
I got in to the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) when I was 18 to study Broadcasting. After that I worked as a radio news reader for a bit then moved to London and became a TV news producer and journalist. I did all sorts of amazing jobs.The highlight was working on the ATP/WTA tennis tour travelling the world doing one on one interviews with legends like Rafael Nadal. Just me and him alone in a room with a camera man. Not too dissimilar to a porn shoot, except we were clothed and didn’t do sexy stuff. Just tennis questions. “I play berry good, Ima habby wit my ground strokes” hard hitting stuff like that. It was awesome.
Describe a typical work day for you.
I get woken up by a child or dog any time from 5am to 8am. I haven’t set an alarm since 2010. I’m kinda proud of that. I play with the kids and get them off to school/ daycare. I’ll then do all manner of “overseeing work” that everyone else is doing for me in the company. Designing labels, editing videos, social media stuff, sales calls, marketing copy/ads, board stuff, production and recipes. I cast my eye over everything the staff are doing. Everyone works remotely for Bunsters. We are firm believers in work life balance. We set the business up like this from the get go so when COVID happened nothing for us changed. I will work until I can’t be bothered anymore then go to the beach or out to lunch / go shopping / do errands and appointments. When school finishes I’ll go to kids activities and have a yarn with other Mums and Dads or take my laptop to get a bit more work done. My husband works from home with me. We don’t share an office though. Yuck. We’d be divorced by now if we did. I’m basically a mum who works from home from my laptop but it doesn’t feel like work. I enjoy most of it. We have outsourced all of the production and logistics so I don’t really get my hands (or arms, legs and torso) dirty anymore.
What advice do you have for those wanting to start a business?
Find something people are passionate about and will spend money on again and again and again. Or make sure you’re passionate about it. If just making money is the sole purpose then you will get sick of it in the hard times. You’ve gotta love what you do and visualise the outcome from the start. Do you really want to have to cook everything in your kitchen forever and stand in a market stall every Sunday for the rest of your life? If not, plan it out before you start. Know what the next steps are otherwise you’ll just be another failure statistic. A lot of the time I advise people to not even start a business. If you like your comfy wage and 9-5 and your guaranteed paid 4 weeks holiday a year then don’t start a business. Marriages have a higher success rate than businesses but no one talks about that! Everyone says have a go! I say, there is no shame in not having a go. Expect to lose all your money and if you don’t HOORAY! You’re the 10% who made it!
What’s next for you, and Bunsters?
We’ve started hitting the global tradeshow circuit and we’ve been blown away by the interest in Bunsters. The world loves ‘Brand Australia’ and the quality of our products. So we’re opening accounts across the world. We had a massive win getting in to Woolworths in WA this year. That was a big domino pushed over so it’s all hands on deck getting that ranging to go nationwide now. We’re now working on getting our drinks in a major too. There is nothing else on the market like Bunsters Ready to Drink Cocktails. They’re the drink you want when NOTHING else in the fridge is jumping out at you. Cosmopolitan, Mango Daiquiri, Passionfruit Martini and Grapefruit Gin with Rose Lemonade – they’re all show stoppers! But dealing with the big boys is slow going – range reviews, planograms etc but we’re very well supported by our investors so we just keep plugging away and they love us. Every day we stick to our brand mission to “Create Good Times”. That’s what we do. If we ever stop having fun I’ll just sell the company and go and work on the paint desk at Bunnings.