Meet this year’s Coralus Ventures in Canada, the US, and the UK and learn about their work on the World’s To-Do List.

Eliminating a Trillion Wet Wipes with Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha of BDÉT

“So many times we sit there not actually knowing how to Ask. And so that’s what SheEO teaches. If you Ask, there’s just so much love, and care and kindness in this community.”

— Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha, founder of BDÉT

In this episode

Meet new SheEO Venture BDÉT! Founder Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha joins Vicki Saunders to talk about her mission to eliminate a trillion wet wipes.

They also discuss:

  • How BDÉT came to be, and Billie Jo’s journey from journalist to entrepreneur
  • What the SheEO community experience has been like so far
  • Learning and practicing Ask/Give
  • How being selected as a SheEO Venture has given a boost to her business and sales

We invite you to join us as an Activator at SheEO.World.

Take action and engage with BDÉT:

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Podcast Transcript:

The podcast is being transcribed by Otter.ai. (there may be errors, run-on sentences and misspellings).

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 0:00
So many times we sit there not actually knowing how to Ask. And so that’s what SheEO teaches. If you Ask, there’s just so much love, and care and kindness in this community.

Vicki Saunders 0:17
Welcome to SheEO.World podcast, where you’ll meet women and non-binary folks who are transforming the world to be more equitable and sustainable. I’m your host, Vicki Saunders. Hello, Billie Jo, good to see you today.

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 0:37
You too, Vicki, it’s so amazing to see you. It always is a pleasure.

Vicki Saunders 0:42
So tell me about you. Who are you? And what are you up to in the world?

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 0:46
So, my name is Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha. And I am a mum to two beautiful tamariki two beautiful kids and two nephews that we also look after. I have been mostly a journalist all my life, but got into business when I decided to do my MBA. And that really was the catalyst for me leaping into this such an exciting, scary, risky will that is entrepreneurship.

Vicki Saunders 1:22
Right. And so tell us about your business, and why you’re doing it.

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 1:28
Yes, so I am the founder and CEO of BDÉT, b-det.com. And we are an innovative personal hygiene range made in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Our hero product is called the BDÉT foam wash. And it is a natural foam formula that you pump onto toilet paper and turns it into a cleansing flushable wipe.

Vicki Saunders 1:59
Unbelievable. And how did you come up with this idea? And why?

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 2:04
I was a university students back in the late 90s. And it really was around the fact that toilet paper was dry, you know, and at times it can be quite abrasive. So I thought, why don’t I put something on it. And so since then I put something on toilet paper to make it more effective. And, you don’t wipe down a dirty table with just a dry cloth. Right? You don’t mop the floors with a dry mop. So it was really based on that thinking. How I launched it was getting that knowledge, gap that business knowledge gap through the MBA, launching our first product, which was the QE lifter, the hygienic toilet seat lifter, which was my dad’s invention, and then moving into solving more problems in the bathroom space, hence, launching BDÉT.

Vicki Saunders 3:08
Awesome. And so you have a big, huge, wild goal of what you’d like to do with this. Tell us about it?

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 3:14
Yes, we do. We have a big, hairy, audacious goal, and that is to eliminate a trillion wet wipes globally, by 2025.

Vicki Saunders 3:24
Amazing. That’s so great. We’re thrilled that New Zealand Activators have selected you and brought you into this community. Thank you, you’re already an Activator, which is awesome. What has your experience been so far in the community? And what can we do to help you?

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 3:39
So I became an Activator this year. And it was really at the launch of the New Zealand conference. And that’s when you broadcasted into the conference. And just the vibe, you know what I mean? Like just such an amazing, welcoming community, and I felt the love. And so you had Activators coming up really interested in my products, because you gave us the chance to — for anyone to stand up and ask if you needed help. I mean, who even does that? So, for me, that was really the catalyst to go wow, I’ve never really been asked if I can, stand up and ask the crowd, I need help for this or, or you can give and that’s so powerful. Because so many times we sit there not actually knowing how to ask. And so that’s what SheEO teaches. It teaches you to voice those things that are, that you’ve got on your mind that are hurdles in your life, or that you want to give. Because there’s so much. There are so many women that have had success in the life that they just want to give too. And that’s what I see. If you ask there’s just so much love, and care and kindness in this community.

Vicki Saunders 5:18
Yeah, it’s been a really kind of revelatory in a sort of strange way, right? It’s literally the simplest thing. People on the planet have lots of gifts to give. We are not designed for people to give them, redesign things so that we can distribute our gifts so that everyone can get what they need. We can all feel like we’re part of each other’s success is like, yay. So on that note, we’ve loved supporting you so far in the first, what, three and a half days? How has it been for you?

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 5:46
It has been amazing. Our website and sales have gone through the roof. And that’s just really, thanks to the, you know, I know, we talk about brands and all that. But really, it is the reputation that SheEO has. And so for me, I can see that it’s given people confidence in what I’m creating, validation of what we’re creating. And while they used to just come to our website, now they’re buying. And that is huge. Because what we’ve seen over our time of really trying to build up momentum, being bootstrapped is really now at a tipping point. And SheEO has, I believe, tipped that — tipped the recognition, I think.

Vicki Saunders 6:46
yeah, that’s great. Well, congratulations, and good luck with everything. And do you have an ask for people who are listening?

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 6:52
Oh, I just ask that. If you’re a wet wipes user, just try us. Try. Because I really am on a mission to eliminate wet wipes and if we can get people using our products, and if other products come on, on the market as well, use it, because it truly is about cleaning up our environment, our infrastructure, our pipes that they damage, and all our marine life. So yeah, just try us. www.b-det.com.

Vicki Saunders 7:27
Thank you so much, Billie Jo. Good luck with everything that you’re working on. And we will be in touch soon.

Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha 7:33
Ngā mihi.

Vicki Saunders 7:37
Thank you for listening to the SheEO.World podcast. Like, comment, subscribe, and share this podcast with your friends. We invite you to join a global community of radically generous women and non binary folks at SheEO.World.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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