Episode 134
November 29, 2022

Growth and Gardening

with Vanessa Dawson, Founder and CEO of Arber

About this episode

Coming to share their story today is Vanessa Dawson, Founder and CEO of Arber. Vanessa talks about her childhood growing up as the oldest of three in Vancouver, Canada, her first job working at a bed and breakfast cafe, how she came up with the idea for Arber, and how she secured Walmart as her first big box retail partner shortly after launching the company on Earth Day in April 2021.

This episode is sponsored by

Exclusive Deals from Our Sponsors:

  • Give the gift of the world’s most beautiful spice rack and get 15% off by using the promo code STAIRWAY15 at www.evermill.com
  • Get 20% off luxury fitness equipment that you won’t want to hide in your closet by using the promo code STAIRWAY20 at www.equiptmovement.com

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • (3:40) More about Arber, a plant wellness company providing gardeners with the safest and most effective products for their indoor and outdoor green spaces
  • (4:30) What it was like growing up in Vancouver, Canada as the oldest of three, always growing up in nature, and how that brought her full circle to Arber
  • (7:30) One of her very first jobs working at a bed and breakfast working under a small business, and how working in this environment gave her the idea of entrepreneurship
  • (11:09) How she was working in private equity when she got the motivation and passion to support female entrepreneurs and launched a digital accelerator to help bring together a community of female founders and investors
  • (15:45) How the idea for Arber came about, how she was looking for a brand in the nontoxic garden space and it made her realize the need for something new
  • (20:16) How she validated the concept of Arber, and began looking at it globally 
  • (23:00) How she began fundraising early on so she could get to launch and build the brand with a small team to grow distribution, and how they worked to tackle retail sales
  • (29:40) She talks about the products, the four different types, the manufacturing process, and why branding was so important
  • (35:00) The challenges she faced in building a seasonal business and building a team
  • (44:00) How she keeps stress down and gets excited to stay motivated to keep building
  • (49:00) What’s next for Arber with new launches in store and new product lines
  • (51:00) The final advice she has for other entrepreneurs 

To Find Out More:



“I feel like my personality has always been very much wanting to own and control my own destiny in an entrepreneurial way.”

“The energy of creating your own thing and controlling your own destiny and seeing the passion that the entrepreneurs had around their products and their projects was a huge inspiration for me.”

“When you build something, they will come.”

“I couldn't find anything as a consumer that I really identified with”

“As a smaller brand, you really don't wanna be too top-heavy from a resource planning cost-wise.”

“If you do take on capital really focus on the core assets that you need out of that, or the core skill sets you need to leverage it in a big way.”

“Setting those longer-term goals and then setting the path towards it and making sure that you check out and reset every once in a while is key.”

“I think surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs is honestly the best thing that you can do. Getting yourself involved in those communities is such a fabulous way to continue to test your ideas and bounce ideas off people.”

“Surround yourself with a good community.”

Read the transcript

More Episodes

Episode 194

Widening the Wealth Circle for Women

with Allegra Moet Brantley, Founder and CEO of Factora
Episode 193

Turnarounds, Transformations, and Taking Charge

with Mary van Praag, Global CEO at Milani Cosmetics
Episode 192

Connection, Community and Conversation

with Julie Rice, Co-Founder and CEO of Peoplehood