Jordana Edwards is the CEO of Clean Tea; a range of organic, delicious, and therapeutic teas, free from chemicals, preservatives, or “added flavors”. She’s also recently launched The Breastfeeding Tea Co, which specializes in teas for breastfeeding mothers. This is something of a personal project, as Jordana wants to help mothers from all over the world by supporting them with their breastfeeding journey.
Clean Tea has had huge success so far. After the launch of its flagship sample box, the brand saw an increase in sales of 2,000% overnight. They have now doubled their sales year on year for 5 years, generating around $150,000 a month. Clean Tea is currently for sale, so we want to find out from Jordana what makes it so unique.
Who are you and what brand did you start?
Clean Tea is a tea brand specializing in organic, delicious, and therapeutic teas, free from chemicals, preservatives, or “added flavors”. Just simply clean teas that are delicious and good for you. We also specialize in “tea boxes” with gifts for any occasion from birthdays, baby showers, Mother’s Day, or bestie presents.
Our new brand, The Breastfeeding Tea Co, is a specialized tea brand with two organic teas for breastfeeding mothers – Colic Tea for colic or windy babies, and Lactation Tea to support milk supply.
Both brands are located and manufactured at our factory in sunny Byron Bay, Australia. Our target audience for Clean Tea is women aged 20 - 65+. But let’s face it, everyone loves tea! The Breastfeeding Tea co is a smaller niche market for breastfeeding mothers only.
We launched Clean Tea in 2013 as a small market stall in Byron Bay, with only 3 teas. We rebranded and became an “online store” in 2015. We had a Facebook “viral” moment when our sales increased by 2000% overnight. This was really when our brand began to establish itself in the tea and gift market. We have doubled our sales year on year now for 5 years.
In 2017, I was assigned an account manager by Facebook to help with our growth. We had a weekly 30-minute strategy meeting which was invaluable. I felt really fortunate to receive this free training and service and built a great rapport with my New Zealand-based trainer as we tried our various new concepts to grow the brand.
In 2018, I was chosen to be on the Facebook Small Business Council; a group of 20 small businesses chosen by Facebook to represent small businesses in Australia. We meet regularly at the Facebook HQ in Sydney and learn more about the changes to the platform, and how Facebook and Instagram are helping small businesses.
It was this opportunity that saw me chosen for the first Facebook Christmas Gift Guide, as well as the filming of my brand story for the Facebook Australia website on how to make a successful boosted post. Filming that piece was a wonderful learning experience. I was honored to also speak as a panelist at a Facebook and Business Chicks collaboration event. I also met the Facebook VP of Global Sales, Carolyn Everson.
I was also chosen this year as an official Facebook Leader for my role in forming a local Women in Business group, titled the ‘Tweed to byron Women in Business’. This was set up to support women in business in our regional area. To date, we have over 800 members involved from several local small coastal towns.
My third child suffered from terrible colic and silent reflux and refused to sleep. This is what motivated me to create my ‘Mother’s Love’ tea, or what the media dubbed the “miracle tea”. It has been an honor to be able to help so many breastfeeding mothers with our Mothers Love tea, that we decided to launch our new brand The Breastfeeding Tea Co in April 2020, with a plan to help and support as many women through their breastfeeding journey as possible around the world.
A short-term customer base but high reward, The Breastfeeding Tea Co is truly my passion project and has given me the greatest reward knowing everyday we make a difference in the lives of mothers and their babies. The creation of The Breastfeeding Tea Co feels like my greatest milestone and accomplishment over the 6 years of our brand journey.
How did you come up with the idea, brand name and logo for Clean Tea?
I created Clean Tea after the birth of my second child and needed to return to work to support my small family. Not wanting to return to book-keeping as a career, I could see “skinny teas” making an impact on social media. Having lost a lot of weight after the birth of my baby and seeing these brands advertising products that weren’t necessarily good for your health or your body image, made me want to create another brand in the market that focused on the health benefits of tea. My mum Amanda is a medical herbalist and naturopath, and we wrote the first three recipes together on her kitchen bench.
“Clean Tea” was inspired by my clean eating journey; sourcing natural foods that were organic and free from preservatives or additives – just natural products. “Clean” describes our product perfectly; 100% natural products made by mother nature.
The first logo we had was a lotus but the leaves were filled with images of herbs. There wasn’t a lot of thought about it at the time. But when we rebranded in 2015, we wanted to keep something of the original logo so the lotus and simple CLEAN TEA black and white logo was born. The lotus for me is a symbol of strength and courage. There is a saying: “Just like the lotus, you too can rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world”
The Breastfeeding Tea Co says it all in the name. It’s important to me that customers know who we are and what we do. The logo, which is a black and white, hand-written logo, is simple, elegant, and beautiful. Our brand colors are all different shades of skin tone.
Describe the process of launching Clean Tea?
Launching Clean Tea, which was a hobby to bring in some extra cash versus the brand and product development of The Breastfeeding Tea Co, was very different.
Clean Tea was manufactured in small batches on my kitchen bench and made by me, sold on weekends at local markets. The early hurdles usually involved the weather! Also, having my third child meant I didn't want to spend weekends away at markets. I started working on a plan to rebrand and be a purely online store. The rebrand was a small investment, using a graphic designer and professional photographer to give the brand a new identity. We promoted the business via Facebook-boosted posts and Instagram posts.
It was the launch of our concept “sample box” in 2015 that caused the 2000% increase in sales. We timed the launch in October ready for Christmas purchases. Customers loved the boxes which included 5 organic tea samples and a tea infuser for just $19.90. I remember the night we launched the product I decided to put a $20/ day boosted Facebook post behind it. Then when I woke up the next day I thought the website was broken. We had hundreds of orders and it never really stopped since then!
Planning The Breastfeeding Tea Co was very different. We knew we had two products that worked, that customers needed and that they were happy to refer to friends. But we wanted to develop a brand that made them feel supported, comforted, and, most of all, confident in our products. We wanted to create a brand that spoke to women globally, all sharing the same concerns and struggles with breastfeeding. A place free from guilt, shame, or unwarranted advice, but a place where they could trust in our 100% natural solutions.
We hired a brand strategist and created a brand DNA document as part of the brand creation. From there, the graphic designer created 4 different logos and color concepts. We eventually combined the concepts to one look and this is where our packaging was created from. We used the same product photographer for Clean Tea but with a different color palette.
We also choose a Shopify site over WordPress for its simplicity (being only 6 products in total) and its consumer-friendliness. There are a lot of great apps available through Shopify for customer support and consumer journey. Overall from start to finish, the brand only took 8 weeks in development and we are so happy with the result. It certainly was a great idea to invest in a brand strategist and project manager.
Since launch, what has worked best to attract and retain customers?
Our on-going strategies for marketing are through Facebook ads, IG, Google Ads, and Shopping, as well as email marketing and occasional influencer marketing. We have tried it all though PR, print media, etc.
We now have a 6-month marketing plan for Clean Tea, focusing on all of the above but also short term promotions, upsells, discounts, or free product promos.
One of the ways we have built our email list has been our “free tea just pay shipping campaign”. At first, I was worried customers would take their free tea, just pay for shipping and vanish; however, more often than not, they add more products to cart than just their free product and then return weeks later, and have formed part of our regular customer base.
This promotion is set up as a landing page to collect emails from customers so they can access their free choice of $20 tea, it also builds our funnel on Facebook.
With regards to business growth, how have things changed from a digital, revenue, customer and sales perspective?
Below shows our 3 years of sales growth. And if you are wondering what the spike was in Nov 2017, that was our very first 30% off Black Friday sale that also crashed our website and sold out our stock 5x over. A lot of lessons learned from that sale.
We are also proud that despite launching our two strongest products in our new brand in April 2020 during the evolving Covid19 environment, we were able to maintain our normal sales at Clean Tea.
How is the business doing today and what does the future look like?
Whilst the effects of Covid-19 have been devastating to many businesses and employment, we have been fortunate enough to thrive during this time. We had to do some pivoting in our marketing, reaching out to new customers looking to support their health and wellness, as well as our “spreading joy” campaign, offering gift box delivery to your recipient's door with a hand-written message. This has seen us increase our gift box sales by over 30% and reach 240,000 new customers with that Facebook campaign.
I think it is hard for anyone to predict the future right now or make 2021 projections. There is so much uncertainty in the financial climate – not to mention restrictions on product availability from delivery delays. So we continue to buy in bulk what we can source locally, and learn to be patient as we deal with delivery delays. But the customers are understanding and supportive of any delays and understand everyone is doing their best in the current situation.
As soon as international transit times improve and international flights resume, we are ready to take The Breastfeeding Tea Co global. I would love to follow my passion and purpose with The Breastfeeding Tea Co, and Clean Tea is currently on the market. I put my heart, soul, and 6 years of development into Clean Tea. It is a turn-key business for the right person wanting to own a successful e-commerce store
What’s been the biggest learning experience since starting your own brand?
1. HAVE A PLAN. Do your research and costings, and work out your break-even point. Also, it’s important to know how long you can work unpaid before you hit break-even and can start taking a wage.
2. IT'S A CHALLENGE. It’s not as easy as it looks. Behind every success story is years of passion, hours of personal time, money, reinvestment of funds, tears, exhaustion, and frustration. No one in business is “lucky”, but it is an amazing journey and it is worth it.
What are your top 3 tips on how to setup an Ecom store for success?
1. Don't have too many products. We had to cull 400 SKUs down to 200. Too much choice for the customers isn't the best option. It can be confusing and eat your profits.
2. Outsource! When I hit burn-out in 2018, I realized I didn't know it all. I just needed to work with people who knew more than me. Hiring a digital manager, an SEO manager, and business manager saved my mental health and scaled our business to the next level
3. Network. Surround yourself with like-minded business people. A lot of business success comes from failure or lessons. Learning from others’ mistakes can save you a lot of money if you invest in the time to network, listen, and learn.
What are some of your favorite online business tools you use to run Clean Tea?
By far, Facebook has been instrumental in our scale and growth. To date, we have received $1.7M in sales from Facebook ads. It is an incredibly smart tool that hunts out your customer with the intention of driving traffic and sales to your store, versus Google where customers are looking for you. Facebook finds your customers and presents your advert to them. They may never have known they needed your product until Facebook put it in their hands.
|Platform||Woocommerce (Clean Tea), Shopify (TBTC)|
|Email Marketing||Mailchimp, Klaviyo|
|Reviews||Facebook Reviews, Google, Growave|
|Payments||Paypal, Stripe, Shopify|
|Social Media Tools||Plann|
What have been the most influential books, podcasts or other educational resources?
My accountant gave me a great book to read about Zappos shoes, “Delivering Happiness”. It’s a great read for anyone in e-commerce explaining how to impress the customers you never meet.
Who have been the most influential people for you during this business journey?
I was inspired by the owners of The Beach People. I met them at a networking event in 2015 and still have their postcard from the goodie bag next to my computer that says “We hope all your social media dreams come true”.
Also, my Facebook account manager Lucie was instrumental in making me do my best, pushing me beyond my comfort zone to reach new customers.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now or open to new investors?
We are open to buyers for Clean Tea. it is a beautiful turn-key business that would suit anyone wanting to make a sea change to Byron Bay or move the business and create the next part of the brand story.