Okay, admittedly, this was a click-bait headline, but let’s be honest: 2018 has already been a year full of surprises.
First, Australian author boss lady Sarah Wilson announced she is set to close her business empire I Quit Sugar, seven years after its launch. On top of that, entrepreneur and best-selling author Ella Mills is closing two out of three of her London delis.
This was not such unexpected news from Ella Mills, also known as blogger Deliciously Ella. The growth of her brand has not gone unnoticed.
News of her plans came first from her own Instagram account: “Tomorrow we’re going to be saying goodbye to our deli at Seymour Place and Herne Hill. Seymour was Matt and my first venture together and we learned more opening that site than we ever thought possible. It’s been a huge piece of our journey, and it’s filled with many great memories.”
Now, media has been having mixed reactions to the piece of news – just like Sarah’s Wilson decision about quitting her side of the business.I think both instances show us though that despite being very public, personal and public-facing, their personalities are still part of a business.
And if a side of a business is not working, or is not the main core of the focus, it’s time to rethink the strategy.
In fact, last year Ella Mills told Welltodo about her renewed focus: “We’re focusing on deepening our distribution, so we’ve got some really exciting partnerships coming up with partners like Boots. And then we’re starting to look at NPD and expanding internationally, which is so exciting.”
Shall we then be surprised at the choice to streamline and focus the business on what is shown as growth?
“(…) we managed to nearly triple the size of our business in the last twelve months and we now have our energy balls, oat bars, granola and muesli in 5,500 stores. As this part of the business took off we realised we only needed one deli to be our home, making it the absolute best it can be, as well as making sure we have the time to give you more of what you want: food ranges, recipes, videos, ideas and inspiration.” (caption taken from the picture above)
On a very similar note, the rather long letter published by Sarah Wilson reads a farewell to iQuitSugar.
“As many of you know, the IQS journey started at a time in my life that had given me cause to re-evaluate what mattered in life. From this place, I decided to (re)build my life according to certain values. These values went on to steer the IQS message as well as the business.”
Personally, reading between the lines, I see a business that made its time – the way we approach food is more balanced, uniquely tailored to our selves (and yes, that also applies to sugar).
Sarah Wilson realises the enormous weight to have your name being a core part of your brand:
“For a business that has the founder’s name and noggin all over it, my stance didn’t gel in the market. I suspect many also had a hard time understanding why a founder would want to walk from a successful business.”
She saw a gap in the market, a direction more in line with where the industry is going and she is clearly taking it: “I believe I have a lot more to create and a lot more education campaigns to ignite. The anxiety discussion, the food-waste movement…this is where I need to be.”
I think this can be a very good lesson for fellow bosses and influencers, as well as business owners, to own your decisions, as well as being transparent, honest and firm with your choices – because those can make or break where the future of your own brand is going.