Onyapreneur: Angela Michel, Director of Worthy
After a life-changing encounter, Angela Michel, a young Melbourne mum who is passionate about the environment and giving back to the community, created these truly Worthy drink bottles. We chat to Angela about how she is doing more to help the world around us.
Tell us about Worthy.
Worthy was born out of a desire to reduce the amount of single use plastic drink bottles. Currently 1 million bottles are purchased around the globe every minute and end up in landfill or our oceans and we want to change that. We wanted to design a bottle that is good for the planet and people, so we designed an innovative reusable drink bottle that is made in Melbourne from 100% Sugarcane. Our bottles look and feel like plastic bottles just without the nasties. Unlike traditional bottles like stainless steel and glass that use a lot of energy and resources to produce, ours rely on the sun and rain and capture carbon making them carbon negative and zero waste at manufacture.
What inspired you to start Worthy?
After working for over a decade as a Radiographer, I wanted to try something entrepreneurial. Inspired by Daniel and Justine Flynn at Thank you, I wanted to create a brand that did good for the planet and for people. I have used many drink bottles and saw a gap in the market. The glass ones kept breaking, the paint would chip off the stainless steel ones and the yucky tastes and smells of plastic was never an option! I decided to create the most sustainable bottle on the market and believe we’ve done it. Over 10 years ago we travelled to Nepal and India and saw some of the poorest slum communities. One community was living next to a rubbish dump full of plastic waste and their needs were great. I knew when we started Worthy that we would help the people in these communities and we are proud to say that we have partnered with Vision Rescue and been able to give to these communities through every bottle sale.
Tell us about your career and background.
I have worked as a Radiographer for 16 years and I decided I wanted to become a Radiographer when I was 12 and fractured my ankle and needed x-rays and specialist appointments. I’ve always been decisive and driven. I love the people focused part of that, helping and encouraging people when they are most vulnerable. I have worked at Breast screen for much of that time (from Sydney to London to Melbourne) and love hearing the ladies stories- each person fascinates me. Growing up my family has always been passionate about the planet and being eco friendly so it made sense that when I wanted to do something entrepreneurial I would go down this path.
Describe a typical work day for you.
First and foremost I am a wife and mum of 3 gorgeous kids ages 10, 7 and 3 so my day involves getting them set up for the day- school drop offs and then some quiet time- I like to journal and have moments of quiet to get inspired for the day. I love to do this in the sunshine with a homemade chai. I’ll then attack the emails, have some meetings, fulfil orders and do whatever else is top priority of the day (atm a lot of managing manufacturing and distributors/wholesale/white labelling) I’ll grab the kids from school, take them to sports, make sure I go for a walk in nature (my sanity) and sometimes finish up tasks after the kids are in bed, otherwise read a book or watch something on netflix (notably a home design show or travel inspired).
What advice do you have for those wanting to start a business?
In the words of Nike…just do it! What have you got to lose? Do your market research, make sure there is a need for the product. Spend time dreaming, planning and asking others if they would buy your product, then, make it happen!
What’s next for you, and Worthy?
The future is exciting. We are about to launch new colours and have plans to create some new ranges including reusable coffee cups, kids bottles, lunchboxes and picnic wares. We are focussing on brand awareness and expanding our stockists and would love to hit the international market. I love what we are doing with RAMS running resilience programs for at risk adolescents, so more speaking engagements and workshops are on the cards. It really fuels me- helping and inspiring others to live their best life.