In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Kat Hanzalek and Nicola Ommundson. Intent on disrupting a male-dominated space, the besties founded Get Down, selling sustainable, super stylish condoms and promoting women’s sexual wellness….…not an oily chest in sight! In this chat, the duo share their formula for writing spot on brand copy, how they navigate running a business and being best friends and the unbelievable story of how Eddie McGuire ended up funding their condom start up.
“We had no money, so the most logical thing to do was enter us all on a game show“Kat Hanzalek
Game show funding
(Kat) “When the pandemic hit, my partner was an airline pilot and I was on maternity leave. And we were like, “Oh, fuck. We have no money.” So the most logical thing to do, of course, was enter us all on a game show.
Because it was the middle of COVID, we were living in this apartment in the Docklands and we’re like, “If you live in Melbourne, go and sign up to Who Wants to be a Millionaire. People are chasing all these investors. You dummies, what are you doing? If you want a technical way to make money, you’ve got a one in six chance of winning Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Have you not watched the show?” I just put the whole family on there. Tom, my partner, was the only one who won anything.
The last question was, which country was King Kamehameha from? The choices are Samoa, Japan, Hawaii, or some other random Pacific island. He almost went with Samoa, but luckily, he went back to Hawaii and then he won the $100,000.”
(Nicola) “That really surprised us as, specific to Australia, 41% are women purchasing condoms. And there are maybe two or 3% of the condom brands out there on the whole global market that actually target women. Women are just craving a simple premium experience that isn’t overwhelming.
So I guess what made us really passionate when we were drinking that fifth glass of Prosecco was that we were talking about how as teenagers, I remember being 17 years old and thinking I’m going to go and buy condoms, protect my own sexual health as women should totally feel entitled and the need will to do. And you’d go and you’d be like, “How quickly can I try and read all the information on the back of the condoms to know which one to buy without anyone seeing me.” And there’s so much stuff on there that it’s just about nothing to do with what works for women. And then you put it in your basket and then quickly cover it up with shampoo and a loafer and some makeup so people can’t see that you’re buying condoms because, God forbid.
It was like everything makes it harder for women to buy condoms, whether it’s the packaging, the retail experience or the actual opening experience themselves. And we just got more and more angry about it, basically about how it’s so much easier for men to protect themselves but women have to go to much more extreme lengths.”
Blogs for blogs sake
(Kat) Going on to Upwork and trying to get content written for us in a cheap way.. if we had that done, we found that we would just have to rewrite it all ourselves, because it was just so off or wasn’t authentic. It just felt like if you were punching out blog posts just to punch out blog posts, then you’re missing the mark. You may as well just write one a month rather than one a week if it’s just going to be complete crap or not resonate with your audience.
(Nicola) A lot of the writers that we would find would be like, “Okay, what SEO keywords are we targeting?” And they would really focus it around that. And we would end up with this fairly boring and bland article that technically would rank well on SEO, but no one actually enjoys reading it. And we thought, “Why? What’s the point of putting up? It’s just fluff to try and get traffic.”
And again, as part of that authenticity, we’re trying to avoid that. Obviously, you need to lean into SEO a little bit, but I think definitely, eCom is moving away from that being the main thing and it needs to be a lot more wanted content, which we were able to answer what’s wanted, what are people interested in just using social media. It’s all over social media if you actually look for it, the questions people are asking and what people are engaging with. So we tried to lean into that bit a little bit more.”
Questions answered in this episode include…
- How did you come up with the idea For Get Down?
- How has your experience with brands like Patagonia, Shopify and Frank helped with developing Get Down?
- How will you know when Get Down is no longer a “side project”?
Links from the episode:
- Get Down
- Shhh Silk
- Frank Body
- Shopify Plus and Mustard Made (sponsored)
- Packleo (sponsored)
This episode was brought to you by…