In Conversation with Della Leapman of Nestl
Describe your business in a few words?
Providing health-centered, inclusive design.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Becoming a mother at an early stage in a predominately male crafted career (architecture).
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Architecture & Design
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I never imagined I would become an entrepreneur! One day I got tired of pumping on folding chairs and in random corners, I knew there was a simple solution. I am social-media shy and originally avoided publicizing my idea.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
The pandemic coincided with our official launch, so we had to rethink and reimagine everything!
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
I’ve learned to never get too comfortable. For example, I am always rethinking how our designs can be better designed, engineered to optimize supply chain, and most importantly meet the actual (but not imagined) everyday needs of humans.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Generating a patent-pending product from the seed of an imagined concept.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We launched during COVID, and because of that we pivoted simultaneously, bringing on a second product (hand-washing stations) while coming into being.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
The pipe dream is to continue to bring access and beauty to design built for health and inclusivity.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
To keep moving forward, even on hard days.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Listen and talk to as many people and customers as possible.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Having long phone conversations with the dearest of friends.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Yes! So important and so hard to achieve. Good childcare and relationships with colleagues, managers and partners that are based on trust and mutual respect for time and family.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m learning accounting! It’s hard. RESPECT to accountants.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
1. Don’t go on social media 2. Notice the thing that you least want to do on your list, and try to do that thing right after successfully completing something you really enjoyed or didn’t mind doing. 3. Don’t spend too much time focusing on the things you didn’t get done, use that brain space to make a plan, or just to acknowledge and accept the thing that didn’t or isn’t happening.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
I’m so grateful to the women that came before me, to those that set a precedent for taking risks to build dreams and ideas!