To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, we sat down with one-half of Ulu Hye (and the inspiration behind the name), Heidi Peuten, to talk about her journey so far, what it’s like to start a business with your bestie and her secret to success.
Hey Heidi! Can you tell us about your professional journey so far?
Prior to Ulu Hye, I worked in both the sustainability industry, as well as the food and agricultural space. Combined, these roles gave me enough confidence to give Ulu Hye a crack! Running Ulu Hye is hard work but incredibly rewarding. To be honest, it doesn’t even feel like work, which can also be a curse.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I actually wanted to be a makeup artist! I love the creativity behind it even though I don’t wear any. You know I’m going somewhere special when I put mascara on.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. What are two key issues that you’re passionate about when it comes to gender bias in the workplace?
Ah, where to begin… Definitely the gender pay gap. Women are just as hard-working and more often than not, are juggling the running of a household too. Also, workplace discrimination against mothers – I have seen friends try to return to work after having children, but to their shock, have had their roles made redundant or their role restructured in a way that wasn’t viable for them to return.
We’re curious to know, what’s it really like starting a business with your best friend?
It’s so good and so hard! Sometimes it’s hard to treat them like a colleague rather than a close friend, especially in times of high stress but there’s nothing better than working alongside your best mate.
What’s been your proudest moment so far?
You might be surprised by my answer, but the proudest moment so far would have been when I overheard two women discussing our product. One woman was sharing with her friend how great our Mylk Base was and explaining how to use it. It was very surreal and definitely a pinch-me moment!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt with Ulu Hye?
So many! Triple check everything, trust your gut, don’t be too proud and outsource talent to fill in the holes that aren’t your expertise.
Who’s your biggest inspiration?
I know it’s cliché but my mum is my biggest inspiration. She was a single mum to three children and we never felt like we went without, be it material possessions, time or holidays. She’s amazing and I hope I can be half the mum she is.
What’s your secret to success?
There is no secret, you get out what you put in.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start a business?
Just give it a crack!
We know you’re an avid reader, what’s on your bookshelf at the moment?
It’s true – I read one book a week! Recents reads are ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens, ‘The Alice Network’ by Kate Quinn and ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FIne’ by Gail Honeyman.
And we have to ask, what’s your go-to Ulu Hye recipe?
Easily the salted caramel slice, although I adapted it and made a base using oats and dates instead of nuts.
Okay, final question, where do you see Ulu Hye in 2022 and beyond?
This year we have big plans for Ulu Hye and hope it gains enough momentum to soon enough become a household name and a pantry staple in every kitchen in Australia.
Check out our Mylk Base Range here and help us prevent cartons and containers from entering Aussie landfills today – better for you, better for the planet.