Inspirational Woman: Lois Mills | Co-Founder & Head of Brand and Community, Homethings

Lois Mills

Before joining Homethings, and the weird and wonderful world of household cleaning, I was working at a branding & packaging design agency.

I’ve always been a super creative person and been passionate about helping brands tell their story. It was always the purpose-driven brands that resonated most with me because I’ve never been one to shy away from shedding light on challenging or complex issues, or putting dishonest, greenwashing businesses on blast. So it only makes sense that I’ve found myself at an innovative and disruptive brand like Homethings.

As the Head of Brand and Community at Homethings, I get to unleash my creativity over at Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and my latest obsession, Tiktok. I’m on a mission to engage and entertain our audiences whilst simultaneously challenging our bonkers consumption of single-use plastic. I’m hoping that I can show people that it’s definitely possible to raise important topics like climate change, plastic pollution and corporate responsibility, whilst keeping your sense of humour at the same time! On other days, you can catch me over at the Homethings blog, and as the host of Homethings’ podcast (RE)ACTION, picking the brains of inspirational people working hard to protect our planet.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Yes and no – I’ve always been ambitious and motivated by making a real difference to the planet, and believe this has informed a lot of the career choices I’ve made. At the same time, hailing from a creative background has meant that I’ve been lucky to continually explore new ideas and work with a range of different people doing really exciting things.

I feel incredibly lucky to have joined the Homethings family at such a crucial time for the planet. Challenging single-use plastic is just the start, and despite the uncertainty that surrounds our future,  I’m excited by the prospect of what’s yet to come.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Definitely! Breathing life and personality into a stereotypically ‘sterile’ industry has been a huge challenge and has required a lot of creative thinking in order to change people’s perceptions and mindsets. Cleaning might not be the first thing you think of when you’re trying to make eco-friendly choices, but it’s exactly these small, meaningful changes that can have a cumulative and tangible impact on the planet. Having the freedom to express our individuality and tell it like it is has definitely played a big role in unlocking the brand’s voice and engaging people in our mission.

Secondly, overcoming my own imposter-syndrome! Learning to recognise and celebrate your own achievements is always a process, but I’m definitely getting a lot better at it.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Launching the brand in a pandemic! After hours of hard work and dedication, a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, countless design prototypes, and over 100 cleaning formulas tested, Homethings was officially launched in September this year. It’s been a crazy journey, but I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

Having the drive to step outside my comfort zone, and without being afraid of not having experience. The path to success is rarely linear, so I’m always looking for ways to challenge my own thinking and carve out a role for myself. It all starts with believing that you can.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I’ve been lucky to have been mentored by a range of inspirational people throughout my life – from my family and friends to former colleagues and educators. Without these mentors, I doubt that I would have had the confidence or drive to pursue an out-of-the-box career, and achieve what I have at such a young age. I’m also very lucky to be part of such a close-knit team that values my voice and individuality, and encourages me to keep learning every day.

At the moment, I’m delighted to be mentoring a young creative who has been supporting me with a range of Homethings projects. It’s really exciting and engaging to work with someone who has so much potential and bags of energy! Watching her confidence grow in her skills and talents has been incredibly rewarding and I can’t wait to see what she’ll go on to achieve next.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

If I could eradicate gender stereotypes from people’s brains, Men in Black style, I would. Women take on a crazy amount of unpaid labour everyday and it largely goes unchallenged. At Homethings, we like to remind people that cleaning is everyone’s job.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Stay curious and never stop questioning the world around you.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

My next challenge is scaling up the Homethings brand, and encouraging widespread adoption of planet-friendly practices. Neither will be easy, but I want to make it a priority to show people (and other businesses) how simple things could be if we rethought our everyday practices with the environment (and common sense!) in mind. I’m hoping that I can encourage a greater understanding of how bonkers our single-use plastic habits have gotten, and put enough pressure on irresponsible businesses to break up with plastic and join our mission.

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