In the 21st Century, a lot of people have ditched the monotonous 9 to 5 workforce and instead have decided to create their own work. There are currently about 2.4 million Australians who are self-employed, that’s just under a quarter of individuals who have independently paved their future.
Many successful people will tell you that thinking outside the box is a fundamental method of achieving prosperity. Well, that combined with doing something you love is very much the epitome of what the pursuit of happiness is all about. I caught up with Nathan Hunter, a Gen-Y rising entrepreneur, whose own idea has gained a considerable amount of followers.
Nathan makes fairy floss of all kinds and has utilised a seasoned knowledge in marketing to further endorse his franchise: Fluffë; “Unicorn Poop is the most popular flavour” he remarked in an interview. Instead of focusing on the conventional flavours of ‘Blue’ ‘Pink’ and ‘Yellow’, Fluffë sells flavours such as: ‘Chocolate Milk’ (sweet chocolate milk flavoured floss), ‘Cereal’ (crunchy American marshmallow cereal, doused in sweet milk floss), ‘Birthday Cake’ (vanilla floss infused with real cake & finished with rainbow sprinkles), ‘Honey Almond’ (subtly-burnt honey floss, speckled with crunchy slivered almonds), ‘Mojito’ (sweet lime & soft mint), and ‘Cookies & Creme’ (simple vanilla cream floss laced with rich, chocolate cookie crumbs.), as well as the aforementioned ‘Unicorn Poop’, the ingredient of the ever popular flavour remains a mystery to everyone except its maker; It’s the diversified range of products of fairy floss that differentiates Fluffë from your average “candy man”. In fact, if you visit their homepage you will see in written in upper case letters “PINK IS NOT A FLAVOUR”.
Fluffë was conceptualised around late 2013, after Nathan graduated from high school. He then developed branding and chemistry skills in 2014 at collegeRe, eventually securing a stand at the Finders Keepers Market in 2015, at the Australian Technology Park at Eveleigh’s Exhibition Hall. Nathan has also travelled interstate for work, “mostly to Melbourne. But I send fairy floss all over the world”.
I asked Nathan if he wanted to make other sweets besides fairy floss in the near future, “No. I think I would just stick to fairy floss and the different flavours, perfecting that.” he replied. Continuing to strengthen that niche is much smarter than presenting a wider range of sweets that may not be out to be as popular as his spun sugar. Focusing his energy on developing different flavours is where he wants to go.
Nathan has been a sweet tooth for most of his life, always having a deep admiration for the candy. He grew fond of the creation process, how fun and rewarding it is. From easter eggs to liquorice, ice cream to doughnuts, or even just plain-old Nutella out of the container — Nathan showcases a diverse taste for sweets.
As Nathan explains in the ‘About’ page of Fluffë’s website: ‘When I (used to) think of fairy floss, my mind immediately flicks to carnivals, with sweet, fluffy pink clouds either trapped in cellophane bags, or sticking to my fingers, face and a stick. It’s a shame that carnivals are the only place it can be enjoyed freshly made, because it’s such an amazingly unique treat, and carnivals are so rare now. This classic confection that you grew up with, the one that made you promise to clean your room so your parents would buy you a bag, is now better than ever!’;
Originally Nathan wanted to call the brand Flurries, but that domain was already taken. He then wanted to attribute the name as some form of description of fairy floss, ‘fluffy’ then eventually evolved into Fluffë, adding the ‘ë’ on the end to make it sound fancier.
For all you partiers, there’s good and bad news. The bad news is no, Fluffë doesn’t currently sell any alcohol-infused fairy floss, but the good news is he’s considering it. “I’ve looked into getting powdered vodka, but I’m pretty sure you need a license for that. It’s something I’ll have to look into in the future.”.
One thing about living in 2016 is, social media plays an undeniably pivotal role in marketing a brand, Fluffë’s Instagram now has over 66,000 followers. Nathan agrees “100%” that social media has contributed heavily to Fluffë’s exposure and marketing, with a huge following to prove it. The Instagram averages a few thousand likes per photo and makes good use of displaying different flavours of fairy floss and announcements.
Fluffë takes bookings for parties, weddings and other events. Nathan takes his Fluffë-labelled white cart to events booked by people, making fresh candy partygoers. They also take orders, a package call ‘Fluffë Box’ costs $30, comes with four surprise flavours that may be: ‘Rosewater’, Mojito, Birthday Cake, Tropico (golden pineapple, sweet mango and plump strawberries blended together), Cereal and Maple Bacon; The box also contains a ‘handwritten note that may ask you something as arbitrary as ‘how’s the weather?’ as it states on their website. It also includes a flavour card that breaks down the different flavours they provide, and of all things, confetti ‘if it’s not your birthday, we’ll do our very best to make sure you feel like it is!’ they throw a handful or two into each box that’s sent out. Each order’s shipping is free for domestic delivery, which should put a smile on any Aussie’s face.
As a businessman in the food industry, one must understand the struggles that “picky eaters” endure when selecting a flavour that they like. Nathan very much understands that, which is why he’s allowing customers to create their own flavour if they really aren’t satisfied with the line of products he has to offer. He also acknowledges feedback from people, who have ideas for a flavour, “I always remain open to new ideas and outside input.”. Listening to advice from all kinds of people, not just a select few, opens all kinds of possibilities.
Nathan Hunter has drawn a lot of positives out of this endeavour, “I think getting to be my own boss, like I can see all my friends and they like, complain a lot about going to work and having to deal with difficult people. But I also get to do a lot during the week, so I don’t have a set amount of hours or quota, but I spend a lot of time on it (Fluffë)”.
Workplace discontent is turning a lot of high school and university/college graduates away from the regular workforce — coping with heavy traffic each morning, dealing with deadlines, ordered tasks and demanding, bossy managers. Instead, a lot of people have opted to work on whatever craft or passion that might lead them to a successful and prosperous life. You don’t necessarily need to be qualified at something, the will and uncompromising passion are the most important factors in determining success as a self-employed individual. However, Nathan did find his time at college useful, networking with different people and learning the intricacies of what makes a business run.
In the old days, most people just got a decent-paying job after graduating from school, raised a family, paid taxes and saved up for a holiday at the end of the year. It’s different today, with rising interest rates and competitive markets, people are converting their ideas and initiatives into work, creating a strong and rich streamline of products that are shaping the future of the world, whether they be culinary or technological.
He has no one currently working under him, everything he does is independently conceived, ‘I’ve developed this all by myself, from the chemistry of flavouring sugars, to the design of the business card, what you see is what you get’ as it states on Fluffë’s website.
It’s through the process of consistency that Nathan Hunter has created something truly magical and above all else, tasty. Proving that one must love what they do in order to be happy, making each working day exciting and not an ordeal. If one wishes to achieve work flexibility and convenience, establishing a brand of your own may be the only possible option for the individual who wants personal gratification. It certainly helped Nathan’s cause and he’s enjoying every minute of it.