Interview with Micaela Lindsay, founder of That Counts

That Counts is an impactful gifting company based in South East London. Inspired by founder Micaela Lindsay’s love language of gifting and do-good, give-back mentality, That Counts believes in giving gifts that make a difference. 

They specialise in thoughtfully curated gift boxes, filled with products that support people and causes. By prioritising working with other small businesses, or businesses that support incredible causes, they are aiming to make it even easier to give back whilst you gift.

Micaela shares her entrepreneurial story with us, and tells us what inspired her to start That Counts.

What’s your career background?

It all started when I was about seven years old and created an aptly named ‘Box for Selling’ in which I drew pictures of my family members and sold them back to them. Safe to say the business model was a little flawed but that didn’t stop me! 

I ran various businesses back in South Africa, before moving to London around five years ago. This included Oh, Risotto!, which I started with my husband – we sold a selection of traditional Italian arancini at local markets in Durban, South Africa. We sold the business four months after starting it, just before we moved to London. 

In the UK, I started working at Cancer Research UK as an Innovation Manager within a multi-disciplinary team that designed user-led solutions surrounding the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer.

I then joined the Fundraising and Marketing team to work as an Innovation Specialist; leading user research, gathering insight and ideation. We tested and built products and services that aimed to create impact and drive new revenue streams.

And here we are today – I’m now a creative entrepreneur running That Counts, an impactful gifting business, as well as working as a wedding photographer and online educator!

What’s your USP?

That Counts isn’t just about giving thoughtfully curated gifts; we want to make sure that the gifts you send make a difference. We pride ourselves on working primarily with small, local and purpose-led businesses. That way, you know your purchases are supporting people and causes – because ultimately, it’s more than just the thought that counts.

We know that sometimes it’s overwhelming to try and do good in everything you do, all year round, so we’re making it easier to make a difference when and where you can. In a way, we’re championing small changes that really do have a big impact. 

Also, we’re really into non-traditional gifting! On our website you’ll find a whole host of gift boxes perfect for those ‘just because’ occasions. We don’t think gift giving should be limited to birthdays and new jobs!

Who inspires you?

Tina Roth Eisenberg, otherwise known as SwissMiss. A creative entrepreneur who runs her businesses with empathy, fun and heart. And Marcia Kilgore – she is the most incredible serial entrepreneur that has built Bliss, Soap and Glory, Beauty Pie AND Fit Flop. 

Who’s your target audience?

I’d have to say that our target audience is mainly made up of socially and ethically conscious people who love gifting. It’s primarily down to earth millennials with a little bit of a design-eye and a fun side. 

That being said, we also want to make sure that giving beautiful, meaningful gifts is accessible and affordable for everyone!

How did you move from idea to actual business? 

I always start with four things; a vision mood board, a logo design, a name and a spreadsheet. Once those things are in place it’s hard not to get excited about making something come to life.

Beyond that – pick the scariest most public thing on your list, and do that first. Every business I’ve ever built starts with me overcommitting to a very big idea, and then having to follow through with all the other bits. So whether it’s a website, a market stall or a public social media post… once it’s out in the world with a launch date, you’ll find yourself doing everything you need to meet that deadline and make it happen. 

What’s your proudest moment so far?

Three years ago, I was made redundant and realised I wanted to become a full time entrepreneur. 

The transition wasn’t easy, and challenged me and my bank account more than I thought it would. When I was having a tough day, I’d go for a walk to my local coffee shop, which happens to be on the ground floor of a workplace full of studios.

When I moved into my very own studio in that very building, with three businesses, mid-pandemic, only three years later – I was unbelievably proud. 

What are your top three pieces of advice for entrepreneurs?

  1. Always say yes to scary opportunities and figure out the details later. 
  2. Be multi-skilled and multi-passionate. Those skills will always come in handy when you’re running a business. 
  3. Do the one thing that scares you the most. Odds are it scares everyone else too, and you’ll be ahead of the curve when you do it.

Find out more about That Counts.