Many moons ago, I worked at Adore Beauty; back then (around 2007, I think?) it was a small online business with a cute storefront on Nicholson Street in Carlton North. I would work out the back of the shop in the office, with a curtain separating the spaces, and when the a customer came into the shop a bell would tinkle and out I would come to help.
One day a gorgeous, tall woman in a big hat entered the shop, and I was immediately taken by her presence. We got chatting, and this American beauty was called Erin. She was buying Invisible Zinc sunscreen due to a serious sun sensitivity - hence the hat.
Over the years Erin and I became quite friendly, and 11 years on we are still Facebook friends! As a side note, Erin makes THE MOST AMAZING letterbox creations to amuse her neighbourhood. She also founded Bright Sparks, a one-stop-shop to service broken old electrical appliances, or purchase refurbished ones.
About a year ago, Erin was coming to Geelong for a work meeting, and she got in touch to see if I would be around for a catchup. It turned out I was (the joys of working from home!) and it was so nice to see Erin and hear about her latest projects and goals.
While we were chatting, Erin asked me questions about our plastic-free rangeof products (which was very small) and told me more about the zero waste movement, bloggers to follow and which type of products she would love to be able to access that didn't have any plastic in the packaging.
It really got me thinking - this was well before ABC's War on Waste, when crazy numbers started flying around about the volume of takeaway coffee cups going to landfill every year - and planted the seed for the now ever-growing collection of plastic free products at Natural Supply Co. In fact, this is now our main focus and where we are finding new customers regularly, who want to find ways to minimise the impact we all have on this beautiful planet of ours.
I was reflecting on this organic change in our business, and the fact that it came from some gentle prompting from Erin, when I saw her Masterchef letterbox installation pop up on my Facebook feed this morning. I literally laughed out loud and wanted to pen this little ode, as I think it really does show how the smallest piece of a conversation can have lasting effects.
As a result of that conversation, Erin has helped lots of people to use less plastic and that is really something.
Thank you Erin - I hope we can catch up again soon.
PS I know you want to see some pics of Erin's letterbox installations, so here is a little taster of the fab Masterchef inspired one; featuring George Calombaris! Pic from Erin's Facebook page.