A sustainable stationery brand? We're all for it! Radhika Mayani tells us how her eco-conscious journey got its start.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Radhika Mayani, the founder of Left-handesign, gets it done like a boss.
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
My journey towards sustainability began when I worked in the hospitality industry in Singapore and witnessed the significant wastage happening in hotels. This experience triggered my determination to find a solution to the waste problem and promote sustainability.
Founded in 2017, Left-handesign is the result of my passion for nature and stationery. It’s a balance between these two interests. I launched the ‘BĪJ’ collections, which include a range of stationery products such as pens, pencils, notebooks, and more. They’re embedded with seeds, offering users a unique experience when the stationery reaches the end of its life. This innovative approach aligns with my commitment to sustainability and reducing waste.
Creating awareness about such products is a crucial step in addressing the waste problem and making them a global alternative to single-use stationery. I envision my products replacing traditional single-use stationery items in various settings, including offices, schools, universities, government organisations, hotels, and beyond.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
One of the challenges is finding reliable suppliers of sustainable materials. Overcoming this involves research to identify suppliers who meet the required ethical and environmental standards. Building strong relationships with these suppliers and ensuring a consistent supply chain helps as well.
Promoting sustainable products and creating awareness about their benefits is another significant hurdle. We need to develop a comprehensive marketing and communication strategy to manage it. Finally, convincing consumers to switch from traditional single-use products to sustainable alternatives is challenging. So we focus on showcasing the quality and functionality of our products alongside their sustainability benefits. Providing compelling reasons for consumers to make the switch can help change consumer behaviour.
How do you stay motivated and energised?
Having clear and achievable goals gives me a sense of purpose and direction. I break down larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks to create a sense of accomplishment. Understanding the deeper reasons behind what I’m doing also provides intrinsic motivation. Connecting my work to my values and passions helps me stay focused and energized.
I acknowledge and celebrate achievements, no matter how small. This positive reinforcement can boost morale and motivation to keep going. Also, I cultivate a positive attitude by focusing on solutions rather than problems. I practice gratitude and mindfulness to keep stress at bay and maintain a balanced outlook.
Physical well-being is closely linked to mental and emotional well-being. So I eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to ensure my body and mind are functioning optimally. Finally, social support is crucial for maintaining motivation. I engage with like-minded individuals – whether through networking events, online communities, or mentorship.
How do you deal with self-doubt or criticism?
I recognise when self-doubt arises and acknowledge my feelings without judgment because it’s a common human experience. When self-doubt creeps in, I question the validity of my negative thoughts. Next, I remind myself of my accomplishments and strengths, and reflect on past successes. I treat myself with the same kindness and understanding that I’d offer a friend to avoid being overly critical.
Criticism can be valuable if it’s offered in a constructive manner, so I differentiate between feedback that’s intended to improve and feedback that’s purely negative. I approach criticism with an open mind, considering if there is any truth to it and whether there are areas where I can genuinely improve.
Viewing criticism as an opportunity for growth rather than as a personal attack helps me embrace the chance to learn and develop. If I encounter overly harsh or unfounded criticism, I know it’s okay to set boundaries and prioritise my emotional well-being. Not all criticism needs to be internalised.
Favourite places to work?
Home, and now my studio in Alexandria, Sydney.
Can you share a work mantra that you use?
“Embrace the Journey”: this reminds me to appreciate the process of growth and development rather than solely fixating on the end result. It encourages mindfulness and finding joy in the day-to-day journey toward my goals.
“Stay true to yourself”: it’s a powerful and timeless mantra that encourages authenticity, self-awareness, and integrity. It’s a reminder to remain aligned with my values, beliefs, and principles – even when faced with challenges, external pressures, or the opinions of others.
One thing you can keep talking about for hours?
Entrepreneurship and the journey to get here!
Your go-to self-care activity?
Yoga, being in nature, coastal beach walks, farmer’s markets, and the spa.
One piece of advice to your younger self?
Embrace growth and uncertainty. Life is a journey filled with change. Embrace the opportunities to learn and evolve, even when they come with challenges. This means being open to new experiences, taking risks, and stepping out of your comfort zone.
It’s okay not to have all the answers or a clear path ahead – uncertainty can lead to some of the most rewarding and transformative moments in life. Trust in your abilities, be resilient in the face of challenges, and approach each new experience as a chance to learn, adapt, and become a better version of yourself.
Get in touch with Radhika Mayani online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!