Gretha Oost

Half A Teaspoon | Email | Website

Where and what did you study and what year did you graduate?
Bachelor of Arts (Communication Management), 1997, University of The Hague, The Netherlands.

Where did you head after graduating?
I worked in a range of marketing and communications positions in the airline and publishing industry. In 2003, I left The Netherlands to ride 11,000 kilometres by bike though South America with my husband Willem. This was a self-initiated sponsored bicycle tour to raise funds and awareness for Oxfam International and their dedicated projects in South America.

What motivated you to start your own business?
Cycling in South America made me a different person. When I arrived in Australia I was in a save the world mindset and hearing all this talk about saving water. I had an idea to create my own environmentally focused company. Then it took some time to come up with a way to engage people without pointing the finger or using the words – ‘save water’.

How would you describe your business to someone who didn’t know you?
Half A Teaspoon aims to create awareness about the world’s limited water resources and stimulate conscious use of water by developing stylish eco-designed products.

How would you describe the products you design to someone who hadn’t seen them?
The ShowerWatch is a pre-programmed four minute water resistant timer for the shower. The soft, water-formed shape is both familiar and intuitive. The form invites touch and feels natural even within the artificial environment of a bathroom.

What are the most challenging parts of being a designer running a small business?
There is just so much to do. There are so many opportunities and being all by yourself, sometimes it is all a bit overwhelming. You are always asking ‘Where do I start?’

What are the next steps for you?
We are now developing a second product with the same focus, to stimulate conscious use of water. The ultimate goal is that the sales of products will generate enough funds to set up a foundation to support water projects locally and around the world.

Published 15 July 2008.

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