The Entrepreneur: Cathy Moseley, Boundless

Cathy Moseley embarked on her mission to provide healthier, gut friendly, and affordable snacks to the world back in 2017. Since then, her company Boundless has flourished and the activated snacks are sold by some of the UK’s biggest retailers.

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Company: Boundless Activated Snacking
Founder: Cathy Moseley

Boundless activated snacks were created as a gut friendly alternative to your standard bag of crisps – and the business has gone from strength to strength with the snack’s unique ability to increase bioavailability of nutrients to its consumers.

Cathy Moseley, founder and CEO of Boundless, speaks to Startups about her business achievements, the importance of a healthy gut, and the difficulties of taking on a large retail customer at the wrong time.

The Business

Describe your business model and what makes your business unique:

We make activated snacks that leave you and your gut feeling good.

We’re here to make snacking well easy! Our activated snacks taste good and do good. By activating our snacks, we do the hard part for you – soaking out the stuff that messes with digestion to leave you a snack that’s good to your gut.

We’ve all heard the “high fibre” and “plant based” spiel before when it comes to gut health, but what makes us truly unique is our USP activation. Without activating your nuts, seeds & grains, it’s kinda like there’s a barrier between us and the good stuff: by soaking out phytic acid, we’re increasing bioavailability of nutrients, and enabling better digestion of our snacks. PLUS, it makes them extra crunchy – it’s a win win, right?

What is your greatest business achievement to date?

I’d have to say it’s making gut health affordable. Healthy shouldn’t be synonymous with luxury – we wanted to bring out a line of snacks at the same price as a Mars bar or a bag of Walkers, but with added benefits, and that’s exactly what we’ve managed to do! I’m so proud of that.

How did you fund your business?

I initially funded myself, and via family and friends (I had to ask my mum for about ten years’ worth of birthday and Christmas money!), then as we grew and the world began to see our potential, we were fortunate to raise funds through angel investors.

What numbers do you look at every day in your business?

The number of bag sales is an obvious one – without sales we wouldn’t be alive as a business, so that’s a priority at the start and end of the day. Other than that, we have a 1-10 #GetActivated score for the team. Similar to the sliding emoji on Instagram! At the end of the day, we all message on our WhatsApp group on a scale of 1-10 how “activated” we’re feeling.

It’s a great way to champion each other’s successes, and also pick up anyone in the team who’s maybe not had their best day. The team is everything, so that’s always my priority!

To what extent does your business trade internationally?

I’d say around 20% of what we produce is sold internationally – Brexit has made that harder in the EU, but we have worked hard to get over those hurdles. It’s been a bit like going back to school & I feel like I could write a dictionary on acronyms now, but we’re getting there, and we’re now going full steam ahead across Europe and Asia. I’d like to see even further growth by the end of the year.

Where would you like your business to be in five years?

Boundless Activated Snacking will be the go-to high street snacking brand for gut health – I can feel it in my bones! Attaining better gut health isn’t just a trend, it’s here to stay, and we’re paving the way in the snacking world with what we do.

What software or technology has made the biggest difference to your business?

Can anyone answer anything but Zoom after the last 18 months?! Before that it would be social media – namely Instagram; it’s been the best way to build our community and be well connected with our audience.


Growth Challenges

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in business?

The pandemic is the biggest challenge most businesses have faced, and it’s definitely ours too. We were young into retail listings, and barely two years old when it hit, so it’s been tough. We’re proud to say we’ve made it through, and grown even bigger and stronger from it!

What was your biggest business mistake and what did you learn from it?

Probably taking on a larger retailer when we had no marketing spend to back it. The lesson learned? It’s okay to say no – we’re not quite there yet. You can’t do these things by halves, and in the grand scheme of things if you’ve got the right product & brand, there’ll be another window of opportunity for you. Just because it’s right now, doesn’t mean it’s the right time.

What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started on your business journey?

It’s okay to get knock backs and make mistakes – you will grow from them, adapt and overcome them. Oh, and that you will never have a day off again!

It’s okay to get knock backs and make mistakes – you will grow from them, adapt and overcome them.

How has the pandemic affected the market you operate in?

The way in which our consumers now find a route to buy us has definitely been affected by the pandemic: originally we were mainly sourced via the high street retailers and supermarkets but now it’s much more direct – either via online channels, B2B and Q-commerce. Luckily I’ve got a tech savvy team who are super on it – whereas I barely know how to turn my laptop on!

Personal growth

Did you study business or learn on the job?

No not at all – as with everything I’ve ever done, I jumped straight in at the deep end and it’s been a continual learning curve from there.

What would make you a better leader?

Truthfully, it’d be being more authoritative. Coming from a city background I wanted to create a really different way of working, ensuring that anyone that works with me is happy being here. On the flip side, that can make it difficult at times.

One business app and one personal app you can’t do without?

Business app: Linkedin – it’s a great way to stay connected to everyone in the industry.

Personal app: Spotify – I wouldn’t be me without my tunes constantly blaring and my morning dance party!

A business book or podcast that you think is great:

The book ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferriss – I refer to this every day, full of great insights and in my opinion should be a startup’s bible.

Finally, what’s the most important piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting a business?

Do your research and know what your USP is. Don’t be swayed by what others are doing – if you have an idea and you’ve done your research then just do it. The sky’s the limit!

Written by:
Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website. Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Condé Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.

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