Saxon Wright of Huskee & Shopify store Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee Roasters (episode 440)

Saxon Wright is Chairman and co-founder of two B Corps – Pablo & Rusty’s Coffee Roasters – supplying mainly wholesale, but also DTC and subscription via their Shopify store. AND Huskee creators, designers, sellers of beautiful and practical products made from waste. We explore the upsides and downsides of running a BCorp, and what everyone needs to bear in mind.

Saxon Wright Huskee on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Learning From His First Business

Saxon’s first business, Pablo and Rusty’s Coffee Roasters, gave him a lot of insights and allowed him to make mistakes and learn about eCommerce.

This worked well with Huskee because it enabled them to scale quickly with all the trial and error they went through.

Customer Sustainable Behavior Education

Saxon shares that customer education is really important. Together with this, they also try to inspire behavior change.

Huskee helps customers understand the different benefits of the cup over time: owning one, taking it to a café as a reusable, and also being able to participate in the swap system they’ve created.

They’re making the end user understand that the product is more than just a cup and that it’s a part of something bigger.

Employing Different Business Models

While their coffee business is still only in Australia, Huskee cups are now in about 80 countries. Their core markets are the UK, US, and Australia, and then they work with distributors and partners in all other countries.

Asked whether they’d have gone the international route or done D2C wholesale, Saxon shares that they’re two very different business models that require different people with different skill sets.

While they’re now able to do and manage both successfully, there were challenges along the way, and they continue to face challenges today. Still, things can only get better for Huskee.

Looking to the Future

Saxon says they’re continuing to get into new areas and look at new opportunities. One example is Tmall, where Huskee is launching a direct eCommerce play in China through the platform. Climbing up the page rankings takes a lot of hard work and focus, and they’re currently on that journey of increasing their sales.

Aside from their distribution model, they’re also focusing their attention on product development and product stewardship.

Creating Circular Products

At Huskee, everything begins and ends with materiality. This includes thinking of what products can be made out of waste materials as well as taking responsibility for all the materials at their end-of-life.

Because of this, they came up with Huskee Loop, a program where old Huskee cups are returned and turned into new products. They just released the Huskee dog bowl, which is made purely from end-of-life cups.

It’s truly a circular process for them: from material design to end user, then back to the next life of whatever new product they can create.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

Tool Top Tip

  • Wrike project management software

Growth Top Tip

  • To reduce their carbon footprint, Huskee is working on returnable packaging. They’re collaborating with a couple of companies to facilitate Huskee products being shipped in recycled packaging that eventually gets returned to the warehouse for more effective elimination.

Interview Links

Thanks to Giles Smith from Sustainable eCom podcast for the intro to Saxon — you can hear his chat with Saxon here

Related episodes

  • Reusing 5.5 million Plastic Drink Bottles with Hayley Clarke, co-owner and MD at Onya (episode 431)
  • Exponential growth driven by a commitment to sustainability with Dan Dicker from Circular & Co (episode 310)
  • Subscription eCommerce – Jon Butt runs a 7-figure eCommerce business, and launched a seperate subscription site in 2017 (episode 137)

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