Above: Jordana Edwards, Founder, Clean Tea
Jordana Edwards Founder of Clean Tea has grown her business to international scale from the stunning surrounds of Byron Bay. Clean Tea is 100% organic, sustainably sourced and hand blended in Byron Bay. Jordana started the business in 2013 from her garage, with 3 tea blends she sold at the local markets. Now with over 40 tea blends, gift boxes and tea wares, Clean Tea ships nationally and internationally.
How have you grown Clean Tea internationally to the UK and Asia?
Our business model had been mainly focused on the online market in Australia, but I was approached by an investor in 2018 after she saw me speak at an International Womens Day event. Inspired by the way our teas have been able to help a range of women in different ways, as well the brand story, she asked to start a UK Franchise.
This was a learning experience for me navigating a licensing agreement and franchise model, but well worth it. Clean Tea UK is now serving thousands of customers and growing rapidly. We were then able to use the same licensing structure in the Asia franchise. I am part owner of the Clean Tea Asia franchise, as I saw the huge potential in the region.
Both franchises are a smaller offering to the large retail range Clean Tea currently offers, tailored to suit their market. Having franchises in these countries has helped being able to ship direct. This removed lengthy international shipping delays and pricing as we “real time” customer service.
We currently serve the rest of the world through our Australian site, with New Zealand and USA quickly becoming new markets that are loving the Clean Tea experience. We hope to expand Clean Tea in the USA with a 3PL shipping option and a small range available on Amazon USA.
What part has Facebook advertising played in your growth strategy?
Facebook has been instrumental in the growth of our brand. In 2015 we started paid advertising on Facebook which saw a 2231% increase in sales for that financial year, from Facebook advertising alone. These results, my community group, and passion for training other small business on how to use Facebook, are the reasons I was elected for the Facebook Small and Medium Business Council.
I am currently on the Facebook Australia website, training other small business how to create a successful boosted post. You can view the video here.
Although we were a social media built brand to begin with, we now have a marketing strategy that includes Google Ads, SEO, email marketing, Pinterest and more. Facebook and Instagram have certainly given us the opportunity to target a very specific customer with amazing returns.
Tell us how you have built a local community empowering and connecting other women owned businesses?
I found my own journey as an entrepreneur thrived when I was surrounded by like minded business women. The opportunity to network, learn, collaborate, share struggles, find solutions, find friends and share the load. I found larger online groups for women in business were great, but lacked a local connection, so we started Tweed to Byron Women in Business on Facebook so we could connect with women in the local community.
I was astounded there were so many women in business in our small towns, some in my very street! The group is now 660 members. We host local meet ups, charity events and our annual International Womens Day has been a sell out event for 150 women for the last 2 years, empowering local women and raising funds for UN Women foundation. We really have the most amazing community of talented business women.
Share what you learned through Clean Tea’s evolution from operating from your garage to now major infrastructure.
From “garage to global” in 5 years has been a rollercoaster. I have certainly learned resilience, but most of all the journey has bought me incredible joy. Constantly scaling for 5 years has its challenges. On a personal level, I had to learn to make time for my health and for my family. 2018 was a tough year for me as the business was scaling rapidly and I was suffering from emotional and physical burnt out. Now I make it a priority to “fill my own cup”
Scaling also has an affect on cash flow, manufacturing processes, staff infrastructure and more. I have learned so much about business that I had no idea I would need to know when we started. My break -through “ah ha” moment came when I realised I didn’t have to wear every hat, and that I didn’t need to know how to do everything. Once I learned to outsource and work with professionals who specialised in certain areas, this gave me more time to work on what I needed to in the business, and has been a huge part of us scaling again this year.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of our Mother’s Love product, a herbal tea that helps breastfeeding mothers with colic or windy babies. It brings me incredible joy reading the thousands of success stories from mothers who have been able to find relief from our tea. It really has helped to change the lives of tens of thousands of new mums and babies. Nothing makes me prouder than having a business that can help the community.