FluidGrowers founder Emir Lopez on connecting children with nature.
With many children preferring to spend time indoors playing electronic games, teachers and parents face the challenge of coming up with exciting ways to capture imaginations and encourage engagement with the outdoors.
FluidGrowers seeks to address that imbalance by combining innovation and disruption to spark childrens' curiosity about the food production cycle and assisting them to connect naturally with ecological systems.
Founder and managing director, Emir Lopez, departed an international corporate career to launch the business two years ago, relying upon his extensive sales and digital marketing experience with multinational and blue-chip companies.
"I left corporate life to start the company and pursue something that I really believe in. We are really passionate about educating kids in respect to food and where it comes from, and that's how everything got started," Lopez told the Australian Gift & Homewares Association (AGHA).
"It’s exciting to connect more families and teachers to organic food, and I’ve been given a surprisingly warm welcome. We are now looking to expand with many new natural and playful ideas coming soon."
Initially pitched to toy retailers as an educational tool, the FluidGrowers range is now stocked by a growing network of online retail partners, organic health food shops and gift stores around Australia and New Zealand.
The signature products, Organic Mushroom Farm and Water Garden 2.0, allow children of any age bracket to easily grow oyster mushrooms right out of the box or establish a self-sustaining fish tank, crowned with herbs and sprouts.
"Our preferred stockist is someone who believes in what we do, is prepared to learn, and likes to wow their customer with innovation," Lopez explained.
"While the revamped Water Garden 2.0 is only a few months old, the original version is already in more than 3,000 schools around the country.
"The fish tank is designed for indoor spaces so it fits great on a kitchen-top, classroom desk or any little corner of your home. It features stylish curved edges, double the growing space, optimal water circulation and viable seeds to create an even easier growing experience."
Lopez has cleverly marketed FluidGrowers as a fun and enjoyable range with an immersive focus on fostering curiosity and young childrens' connection to science and nature. To build a stronger brand presence throughout the Asian-Pacific region, he has populated the company's social media strategy with original content, homegrown recipes, giveaways, and competitions across Instagram and Facebook.
Reflecting on the benefits AGHA Membership extends to FluidGrowers, Lopez detailed how exhibiting at AGHA Gift Fairs has allowed him unfettered access to national buyers and retail chains.
"If you want to explore an efficient small business channel and at the same time give yourself exposure to big buyers in Australian retail, then AGHA Gift Fairs are a wonderful place to start," he said.
"One of the most significant Gift Fair outcomes is to nurture budding business relationships, and to network with other exhibitors who are happy to help and share their advice on running a successful business."