October 27, 2020

Megan Williams - Blackacre Icons

Our first interview for the Blackacre Icon's series is with Megan Williams, founder of Hunu. The Victoria Secret model turned entrepreneur, proudly discussed her new venture with us, her mission to reduce single use plastics and how she manages such a busy work schedule.

    What inspired you to create HUNU?

    The idea for HUNU came about when we started to make personal changes in our life to reduce the amount of waste we produced each day- especially single use plastics. We live in NYC and became aware of just how many coffee cups a day we could go through from a quick cup on the go, to meeting friends, to multiple cups on set at work. So we went looking for a reusable cup that would fit easily into our lives in a busy city. We couldn’t find anything compact enough to fit into a pocket, so we decided to create our own.

    Where did the name come from?

    Funnily enough we actually started the company under another name but ended having to change it. HUNU came from many hours of brainstorming and going down some crazy paths with multiple different ideas from friends and family. But I'm very happy that this process happened and led us to HUNU-The name is a play on the words ‘Who Knew’ as in “who knew a coffee cup could be so small”.

    Hunu is designed to cut down on single use coffee cups, do you have any tips on how to cut down waste in other aspects of life?

    Three simple changes I have made that really make a huge difference is leaving the house with a water bottle, a canvas bag and of course a coffee cup. I read a crazy stat about how many water bottles end up in the ocean daily so I tried to make a commitment not use one. Always having a reusable bottle on me is such an easy solution. It's especially useful when I’m flying as there are always water refill stations in airports now, which also saves you some cash when buying water at those crazy airport prices. A canvas bag is perfect for anything you may need to pick up in place of a plastic bag. Since having my HUNU cup on me it's eliminated the need for any single use cups whether for coffee or anything else.

    How did your friends react to you starting a company? Have you received any negativity towards it?

    I have received nothing but support from my friends since the launch of our company. I think when people see you stepping outside of your comfort zone and exploring something new they want to see it work out. I am very lucky to be surrounded by a group of very supportive, like minded friends.

    What one piece of advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about starting their own company?

    Be brave and really believe in what you are doing. It can be a bit daunting going from just an idea to then spending money to start the process to make it a reality, to then putting it out there to the public. At times you can backtrack and think is this really what I should be spending my time and money on? Will people really want this? Those thoughts of course pop up but if you really believe in what you are doing and the reason why you are doing it you can push past these little doubting voices and create something great.

    Do you have a business partner? What’s it like working with someone and how do you solve issues?

    Yes my boyfriend Vince and I started the company together. It’s been amazing working together, in terms of a relationship it has bought a whole new dimension to it. From the start we have had each other to bounce ideas off and decide on all the details together. We both bring a different side to the business which created a perfect partnership.

    Is this your first entrepreneurial venture?

    Yes this is my first venture, I am really loving having a business that I can call mine. Modeling can feel very out of your control with no order to things. So this is a great feeling for me having something I can have more say and control in and see direct results from our hard work.

    How do you balance a startup, modelling career and life?

    Having Vince as my business partner is how I manage to balance it all. With him also being in the fashion industry we both understand the last minute nature of modeling and the unknown timetable of it. Sometimes I can be off traveling and non stop working for 2 weeks and sometimes I will be home for a full week so it’s just about making the time when you have it and having great communication in our partnership.

    You’ve supported us from the very start, but what does jewellery mean to you? Do you have a piece that’s your favourite or that you wear the most?

    Jewellery to me is very symbolic as all the pieces that are special to me I have received as a present so they represent a special moment in my life. For example everyday I wear a ring I was given for my 21st birthday and a ring my mum had made specifically for me by melting down old pieces of gold she had. I have supported Blackacre from the beginning, I love its journey and especially the ethos behind the company by using sustainable practices to make each piece.

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