Amelia Harvey, co-founder of The Collective, has told how she applied learnings from her early career at Kellogg’s and L’Oréal when launching her gourmet yoghurt brand.
‘Even though they’re huge businesses, they were very entrepreneurial in terms of the way they gave you the responsibility to carve out your own role,’ says Harvey in the latest podcast from Piper’s ‘How I Grew My Brand’ interviews with leading entrepreneurs. ‘I had millions of pounds of business to manage and that was all from the age of 24. The culture was sink or swim but we had the most amazing training that set me up for everything that I’ve done since.’
Harvey channelled her experiences into The Collective, which she and co-founder Mike Hodgson launched in 2011, after forming a joint venture with Ofer Shenhav and Angus Allan, two food entrepreneurs from New Zealand. Today, its highly innovative range of dairy products is stocked in more than 5,000 supermarkets and the company generates retail sales of £40m.
In the interview with broadcaster Mary Nightingale, Harvey also talks movingly about how she and her team coped with the devastating loss of Mike Hodgson, who died in 2015 after suffering a cardiac arrest while cycling in the Lake District.
‘It was an incredible shock, I just had to put one foot in front of the other,’ says Harvey. ‘I had his family to think about, I had the team to think about, I had his voice in my head about how I just needed to keep going.’
Harvey’s interview is the sixth episode in Season 2 of Piper’s How I Grew My Brand podcast series. Other interviewees in this series include Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella, Aron Gelbard of Bloom & Wild, Charlie Bigham of Charlie Bigham, Jasper Cuppaidge of Camden Town Brewery, and Richard Hilton of Gymbox.
All the Piper podcasts, along with the latest featuring Amelia Harvey, can be downloaded on iTunes or SoundCloud.