We chat to Niamh McGill and Joe Finnegan from bambooth about sustainability, entrepreneurship and social media
Did you know most of us could use 300 plastic toothbrushes during our lifetime? Not any more thanks to bambooth, the biodegradable toothbrush that’s panda friendly. bambooth is a sustainable alternative to a manual plastic toothbrush designed by Irish duo Niamh McGill and Joe Finnegan.
What’s the hardest thing about running your own business?
Niamh: “It’s amazing fun but I think the hardest thing has to be the fact that it always feels like I’m behind and should be doing more! When you’re doing something you love and are passionate about, you easily gather momentum and you just want to keep pushing forward with it all the time. It often feels like there aren’t enough hours in a day to tick everything off “the list”!”
Joe: “Maintaining balance to my life as I find myself wanting to give every minute I can find to our baby business.”
Where do you find your inspiration?
Niamh: “I’m easily inspired. I find inspiration in meeting new people, travelling and the stunning beauty of our natural world. I also get inspired by being outdoors, helping others, trying new things, striving to improve, good conversation and musical theatre… I could go on!”
Joe: “I’m inspired by the thought of being able to give back to those who have given me so much. Niamh created an idea of being ‘lucky 10 layers deep’ and it’s so true. We’re lucky on so many levels which we owe to our amazing families and so I would love to be able to give them back as much as they have given us.”
Do you think social media is a help or a hindrance?
Niamh: “I think anything that builds a community and brings a group of people with similar interests or concerns together for discussion is always a great thing.”
Joe: “Definitely a help – it is a fantastic platform to engage in direct conversation with our amazing community of people who want to make a change.”
Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Niamh: “No actually I’ve never thought of being an entrepreneur. On the other hand, I’ve always wanted to connect with people and contribute towards change for the good. I cannot think of a greater cause than giving the ‘booth’ to plastic.”
Joe: “Yes. I’ve always been inspired from a very early age to create something that would make a difference. When Niamh pitched the idea for bambooth it was a no-brainer. As an outdoor enthusiast, I knew straight away that bambooth aligned to our values and beliefs.”
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Niamh: “Be a good friend to yourself is the best advice I have ever heard.”
Joe: “If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time! Our time is precious and so if you’re going to dedicate time to something then make it count and give it your all. You may fail miserably the first time but you’ll have learned so much in the process.”
What have you learned over the years?
Niamh: “I’ve learnt so much! In no particular order. That connecting with people is one of my favourite things ever. Travelling is always a good idea. That gratitude is key and that positive thinking always works. That “being realistic” is overrated and that dogs and cats make excellent patients. Oh and that I can’t budget.”
Joe: “You can do anything you put your mind to. You may not be able to do it right away or ever be able to do it perfectly, but if you try and keep on trying you can achieve anything you want. Never give up.”
If could go back and do it all again would you change anything?
Niamh: “Not a single thing.”
Joe: “We would have thought of this years ago and switched away from plastic much sooner. It’s taken time but I’m so delighted with the product we’ve created and hopefully, people will see the effort we put in up front to make bambooth the very best it can be.”
What’s your plans for the future?
Niamh: “I’m excited to finish my masters in conservation medicine and pursue a career in contributing to positive change. One toothbrush at a time.I’d also love to go and spend some time with the conservation charities we’re supporting through the sale of bambooths
Joe: “Watch this space.”
Why is sustainability important to you?
Niamh: “Sustainability is important to me because the natural world is incredible, yet vulnerable, and urgently needs our help.”
Joe: “We have inherited a beautiful planet and we owe it to future generations to keep it that way!”
What would you love to see happen with sustainability in the future?
Niamh: “I’d love to see ecosystem health as a subject in schools, I think it’s so important that kids appreciate from a young age that Ecosystem, human and animal health are all crucially interconnected
Joe: “I would love for sustainability to not have to be a ‘thing’, for it to be an automatic way of life where we implicitly consider it as part of all the things we do and create as a people.”