Feeling overwhelmed with how inaccessible and time consuming it could be to make an informed choice on product and brand alternatives, twin sisters Helen and Clare set out to make it easier. They created Prized Life to help everyday people easily find and choose brands that are better for people and the planet. Prized Life is a comprehensive online directory, providing ethical and sustainable brands in one place.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
In the last few years, we both started individual journeys towards living a more value driven life. One of the main areas this came down to was how we lived every day – what does sustainable and ethical living really look like when budget, time and lifestyle are important factors?
Through many hours of online searching, we realised that there are so many incredible brands out there supporting people and the planet in different ways. However, it was even more apparent how inaccessible and time consuming it was to find these brands and then make an informed choice on product alternatives.
We wished there was a faster and easier way to find a value driven brand for our next pair of shoes, a fresh nail polish colour, a hat for our husband, a gift for a friend’s new baby, the list goes on. So we developed a solution. Prized Life is a resource for anyone and everyone – it is a way for us to live out our values and to support others to do the same: by encouraging the everyday person in their everyday life to simply be a more conscious consumer.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Clare had been dreaming up and building Prized Life for a year before we teamed up together. We often discussed going into business together but it never seemed like the right time. Last year, our mum was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. We both were living in Australia and decided to head back to New Zealand for a solid amount of time to be with Mum and support her through her treatment. Five weeks together in New Zealand was the longest we have spent in the same place for nearly 6 years. This was what it took to dream bigger, make a plan and invest our hearts in Prized Life.
It was terrifying but we focused on putting out our minimal viable product (MVP) to test the market and see if people actually wanted to pick up what we were putting down.
We work early mornings and nights on Prized Life around our full-time jobs (Helen is an Adventure Therapist and Clare is a full-time mum – the ultimate occupation). We decided to launch on 20th March 2020 – the International Day of Happiness. We had a basic website, a very small Instagram following and a whole lot of positive vibes. We built our community slowly, investing in quality engagement with our brands and community as we have always wanted to be seen as real, everyday people. We celebrated when we got our first 10 brands listed and now we have 247 and growing!
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
8 weeks after launch we had 240+ brands listed on our platform; we couldn’t believe the interest we were having. Our MVP was definitely proven! This is when we decided to invest in paying a website developer to build us our dream website which we have just launched. We also felt more confidence in approaching bigger brands, contacting magazines and sharing the positive vibes with a wider audience.