As you may have read in my “What To Pack” post, there are lots of necessary things you need to bring to festivals in order to have a good time. Sturdy, waterproof tent, all weather clothing, good shoes, torch… then there’s also a list of essential toiletries and little things. Preparing for a festival means going out and finding/buying all these bits individually which is really time consuming and expensive, and even then, you’re only going for a weekend so do you really need a full size bottle of shower gel taking up space in your bag? Have you thought about the environment when you bought your essentials? No? Enter Pic ‘N’ Mix Festival Kit!
PNM was created by Jodie, an avid festival goer who wanted to make it easy and affordable to get everything you need for a festival in one place. This year, they’ve stopped using single use plastic and created their Eco Festival Kit, filled with all the sustainable goodies you need: biodegradable poncho, eco friendly baby wipes, stainless steel straw, bamboo toothbrush, and lots more!
I caught up with Jodie at Camp Bestival and asked her some questions about PNM and how it all got started! Take a look:
Hi Jodie! Thanks so much for speaking to me today! So let’s start from the beginning; what made you start Pic ‘N’ Mix Festival Kit?
As a keen festivalgoer myself, I used to find it frustrating not being able to easily buy all the festival essentials I needed. Several years ago, whilst waiting for the train at Waterloo on my way to Bestival with my boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband and other half of Pic ’n’ Mix Festival Kit), I remember having a mad panic and rushing into Boots trying to find the travel-sized items I needed and coming out with only a few things. It was at that point that I had a lightbulb moment and thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if you could get all or most of your festival essentials in one place’. I’m normally a very organised person but there are so many things you need to take when going to a festival and if it’s your first time, it can be difficult to know exactly what to bring. People lead busy lives and don’t have the time to shop around at multiple stores. Plus it can get expensive if you have to pay for delivery when ordering from several websites.
I set up Pic ’n’ Mix Festival Kit because I wanted to be involved in an industry that I’m passionate about and music and festivals were the key drivers for me. I have a degree in music, I’ve performed in bands, and started my career in the recording industry so I knew that music would be a big part of what I do. What we’ve created is a one-stop solution where festivalgoers can pick and choose what they need in their ideal festival kit or they can choose one of our ready-made pre-packed festival kits.
And how has the business grown so far?
We’re in our second year of trading so we’re still a very young business but even in that short time, the business has changed so much. Quite quickly, we realised we needed to move our business in a more sustainable direction by introducing more eco-friendly products.
Our aim is to give customers sustainable alternatives that help cut single-use plastics, and reduce clean up costs and efforts at festivals and other events. We’re working with some forward-thinking companies to supply them and their customers with festival essentials. Our glamping kits have been particularly popular and we’ve had a great response to our recently launched Eco Festival Kit.
The other change we’ve made is that we’re working with more British suppliers that manufacture their products using all-natural and organic ingredients in the UK. We want to move away from buying products that are shipped from China as we realise that this has a negative environmental impact and we love that we’re supporting British companies who are in turn supporting various environmental charities whenever we buy from them.
I’ve seen brands try and sell pre-packed festival kits before and I’ve never been impressed, until now! You can tell you’re actually a regular festival attendee and know what’s needed. When did you start attending festivals?
I went to my first ’proper’ festival, V Festival, when I was 18. Back then, I went just for the day but loved it. It reminded me of being at a concert except I could choose to see all these other artists and learn about ones I’d never heard of before. My first weekend festival was Bestival in 2006 and I loved it so much, I went back every year for the next 3 years. Things have changed a lot for festivals since then. It’s a much nicer experience these days and festivals are wowing audiences in new ways all the time. The toilets in particular have gone from pretty awful to actually bearable, and the food…well, I just got back from Wilderness and the food and banquets there were incredible!
Do you still go to lots now?
Running a festival kit business in festival season is pretty challenging (especially when you add two young kids into the mix) but I will always find the time to go to at least a few every year, partly because I absolutely love festivals and partly because I need to stay ahead of the curve for the business. We do at least one festival with the kids and one without, as they are always very different experiences!
We’ve done Victorious, Camp Bestival and Wilderness over the last few years and so I fancy a change next year. I have a very diverse taste in music so the options can be overwhelming but I’d love to take the kids to Bluedot and I really want to go to Black Deer, Green Man, The Long Road, Download, Womad…honestly, there’s a list as long as my arm!
I feel you there! There aren’t enough weekends in a summer! So What’s your favourite festival?
It would have to be a toss between Bestival 2007 (The Chemical Brothers made it for me) and Wilderness 2018 (it was my first true glamping experience and it was amazing).
Back to Pic N Mix! How do you go about choosing what products you sell on your site?
We listen to our customers and we talk to people. Quality and price are important as is choosing the right supplier. We aim to supply high-end products that are ethically sourced and the products and packaging themselves need to be as sustainable as possible. The eco product market is constantly changing and we need to be agile enough to adapt with it so our customers should expect that we’ll be introducing new products all the time.
What’s your best selling single item (not prepacked kit?)
Without a doubt, it’s our bio-glitter. We introduced bio-glitter earlier this year to replace our PET plastic glitter we previously sold and it’s proven extremely popular with our customers. Bio-glitter is a plant-based glitter that is fully biodegradable and because ours is packaged in biodegradable pouches with biodegradable resealable labels, we think this is the ultimate eco-friendly glitter solution.
I’m honestly so impressed with my Eco Festival Kit. The stainless steel straw, eco wipes, pit putty deodorant, and the biodegradable glitter with aloe vera gel you mentioned have in particular been well used by me. What inspired you to start selling eco-friendly items? Was it a vision you had from the start?
We’re so pleased you love your Eco Festival Kit! When we first started out, we honestly didn’t give plastic pollution a thought. Now, however, becoming plastic-free is core to our strategy and it also plays a big part in our personal lives as we constantly try to reduce waste. The whole idea of zero waste and becoming plastic-free is huge right now, partly thanks to high profile celebrities like David Attenborough who really exposed the huge, global problem of plastic pollution through the ‘Blue Planet’ series.
Are there any new products in the pipeline that you’re excited about?
Yes, lots, but we don’t want to ruin the surprise so you’ll just have to wait and see!
What are your plans for the future?
Keep growing our business. We want to be regarded as a key player in the market for sustainable products for festivals and events. And of course, we plan to keep going to festivals. We’re not exactly sure where we’ll be this time next year but we know where we’re heading and I’m sure we’ll have fun getting there!
And finally two questions I ask everyone… What’s your funniest/sillyest festival story?
People that know me well know that I’m a bit clumsy. One time at Bestival, I was standing on a large podium in a tent with loads of other people dancing to some amazing house music. I can’t remember the DJ but I can remember getting a bit too serious on the dance floor and having had a few drinks (combined with my clumsiness), I fell off the podium, at the same time taking out about 20 people like a stack of dominoes tumbling down. I now try to keep my feet firmly on the ground at festivals!
And is there a band/artist on the festival scene that we might not have heard of that you think we should check out?
I recently saw ‘Oh My God! It’s The Church’ at Wilderness and I have to say they were amazing! This band really know how to get the crowd going and I think the only disappointment was when they didn’t come back on after finishing their set despite the whole crowd chanting for more! So if you’re looking for a good dance, great music and comedy, and something a bit different, I would recommend going to see them!
You know how much I love Oh My God, It’s The Church! So glad you went to see them too and loved them!
Thanks so much for speaking to me! As I said I’ve used my Eco Kit loads and it’s been a real lifesaver this season! I have used a few things so much I’ll have to buy replacements for next year! It was lovely to meet you at Camp Bestival too!
There are 6 different pre-packed kits to choose from, and lots of single items you can choose to build your own kit with if you prefer!