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CREATIVE LONDON: Ashleigh Hinde

This week we caught up with Ashleigh Hinde, founder of Waldo. Delivering high quality contact lenses without the hefty price tag.

1   WHY DID YOU CREATE WALDO?
Before Waldo launched in the UK, contact lenses were always supplied via a very complex journey from manufacturer to consumer. With Waldo, we have streamlined this. We prioritised quality, affordability and expert customer service to create an entirely new experience. Our monthly subscription service is much more affordable than others of the same quality.

2   WHAT DIFFERENTIATES WALDO FROM OTHER SUPPLIERS?
The contact lens market is dominated by four big pharmaceutical companies which manufacture them. They sell through a complex host of distribution channels before ending up in the hands of the customer. This means the customer pays more than they should for top quality lenses and prices are inconsistent. Waldo delivers the same quality for less by selling directly to the customer online. We also have an in-house optometrist who is available online to answer questions and give personalised service directly to our customers.

3   WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACE COMPETING WITH MAJOR MULTI-NATIONALS?
It’s always going to be difficult to disrupt a market dominated by big, established players. Our biggest challenge has been getting our customers away from brands they’ve used for years. We are so confident in the quality of our product though we offer a free trial which is a simple way for people to try our product, risk free. We also compete on service offering the customer piece of mind through our customer service.

4   WHEN WE ARE ALL TRYING TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF WATSE WE PRODUCE, IN PARTICULAR PLASTICS, ARE DISPOSABLE DAILY CONTACT LENSES SUSTAINABLE AND WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE THEIR SUSTAINABILITY?
We have kept our corporate social responsibility a top priority. Our boxes are recyclable as is the plastic blister. Only the foil on the top of the contact lens which seals it, is not but we have kept the surface area of this as low as possible so our lenses and packaging are as sleek as possible.

5   HAVING LIVED IN DIFFERENT PLACES AROUND THE WORLD, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE LONDON TO START WALDO?
I have lived in London for many years and I love the city. The diversity and energy is London is so unique. It’s a great city to start a business because of that. Our focus is here for now but ultimately we want to continue to expand and allow customers from all corners of the globe to see happiness.

6   IF YOU GET ANY TIME AWAY FROM THE OFFICE AS A STARTUP FOUNDER, WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO ENJOY LONDON?

I live in East London, so I love supporting small local businesses. There are a lot of lovely little shops around Shoreditch that offer something different to the hustle and bustle of central London. Wondering around Columbia Road flower market is also a lovely way to spend a Sunday!

Website: www.hiwaldo.com

 

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