Business management

A day in the life of S’wheat co-founder Amee Ritchie

Back in April, we launched the Go Beyond competition for female entrepreneurs, in partnership with Meta. Amee Ritchie, co-founder of S’wheat, was one of the winners. Here, she shares her business story and the biggest lessons she’s learned so far.

Describe your business in 100 words or less

“We create reusable water bottles from plant-based materials. We’re also a social enterprise, which means that for every S’wheat bottle we sell, we plant a trackable, native tree in the customer’s name. We sell direct to the consumer on our website, and through corporate branding programmes to other businesses.”

Why did you decide to do this?

“My co-founder and partner, Jake Elliott-Hook, and I started S’wheat when we were studying. We saw the amount of single-use plastic bottles that were being used by students and knew there had to be another solution. We saw a gap in the market for a sustainable, reusable bottle that was really well designed, worked in the circular economy and would give back to the environment too.”

What’s the first thing you do on a working day?

“I usually check the calendar so that I know all the meetings coming up that day. Then I try to make a list of tasks for everyone to get through, including myself. There’s a technique called the Pomodoro Technique, where you list your priorities then work for 25 minutes straight, without distractions. Then you take a five-minute break. You continue to do that until all the tasks are done. It’s something I’ve used since I was at college, and I think it’s really useful.”

What does a typical day look like?

“In the morning, I'll have a quick meeting over coffee with Jake where we’ll chat about what we want to prioritise that day. We always try to go to the gym at the beginning of the day too. We’ll be in the office before the rest of our colleagues come in, then we work together on different tasks. My job is to oversee the team, which I love because I get to do a little bit of everything. When we finish up at the end of the day we just try to relax and get ready for the next day.” 

What is your Monday motivation?

“It’s normally very busy for us on Mondays and for me it’s more interesting when there’s more to do, so that stops any Monday blues setting in. Also, I view Monday as being about getting prepared for the rest of the week and taking extra time to just make sure everyone knows what their goals are.”

Consistency is key, and nothing happens overnight. You have to stay on track with your vision, and keep working on it every day until success comes 

Amee Ritchie
Co-founder, S’wheat

Tell us about your Go Beyond competition experience

You were one of the winners of our Go Beyond competition partnership with Meta. Part of the prize included access to a Digital Boost Small Business Boot Camp. 

“I learned to make time to work on the business, rather than actually being in the business. It’s a fine line, but when you take a step back to review what strategies you’ve been employing and the state of your financials, you can definitely see the difference. Having people inspire me to do jobs that I’d otherwise probably put off has been really useful.”

What’s your biggest lesson in business so far?

“Consistency is key, and nothing happens overnight. Social media can sometimes portray everyone as getting lucky and achieving things overnight. I definitely struggled with thinking that things should come quicker and easier. But now I’ve realised that’s just not the case and you have to stay on track with your vision, and keep working on it every day until success comes.”

Looking to the future, what are you most excited about?

“I’m looking forward to what else we’ll learn on the boot camp. I’m also really excited to launch our Facebook Ads campaign, with the help of Meta and NatWest. We’ve actually been out of stock for a while due to the popularity of our bottles, and our restock lines up perfectly with the new ad campaign. We’re really excited to let more people know about the product and increase our social impact.” 

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

scroll to top