How I’m a proud boss lady who started a sustainable business selling reusable, personalised cups and bottles

my order cup brand profile image
my order cup founder image
Jocey Davidson (founder)
Founded: October 2018
No of employees: 1
Location: Australia

Meet Jocey Davidson. She’s the founder and all-around boss lady of My Order Cup. To help reduce unnecessary waste and plastic pollution, she started her business selling reusable takeaway cups and water bottles. Each one can be personalized, allowing customers to make theirs completely unique.

Within five months of sourcing her products, she’d built her website and started selling and reaching out to customers via social media. While Covid-19 has forced people to begin using throw-away cups again, Jocey is confident that business will go back to pre-pandemic levels. Her story inspires us, so we chat with Jocey to find out more.

Who are you and what brand did you start?

My name is Jocey Davidson & I am the founder, creator & boss lady of My Order Cup.

My Order Cup offers a stylish alternative to disposable take away cups & plastic water bottles. Helping you to live a little more sustainably & do good for our planet.

We create reusable personalised cups & water bottles uniquely engraved with details such as your name & coffee order. We are here to help you join the reuse revolution, encouraging you to make an eco-conscious choice that is stylish, reduces unnecessary waste & helps our planet.

The amount of waste around the globe is astronomical. Are you aware that pretty much every piece of plastic ever produced still exists today? Take away coffee cups & plastic water bottles are a major part of the problem & I feel it is our responsibility to do something about it. If we all make small changes to our daily lives we can help to make a much needed difference. Even something as simple as replacing your take away coffee cup or single use water bottle, with a reusable alternative, can make a positive impact. The solution is simple. Imagine if everyone in Australia all did one little thing to be more sustainable in their everyday life, what a significant & positive impact that would make.

"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."

- Anne Marie Bonneau.

My Order Cup is 100% Australian owned & operated, (located in Ocean Grove on the Bellarine Peninsula, Vic) a Lady Start Up & proudly an independent small business.


BRAND IDEA - how did you come up with the idea for My Order Cup?

It all started with my unusually spelt name – Jocey.

Baristas and the like would always get my name wrong, Tracey, Stacey, Jodie, Joyce etc. As a child I was always on a quest to find something with my name on it (with the correct spelling). The combination of these two things were the catalyst for my "ah ha" moment & the simple idea of My Order Cup was born & created.

After exiting the corporate world, I took some time out and in the process visited many cafes and drank a lot of coffee. Over time I became increasingly aware of the amount of unnecessary landfill and plastic waste. This really concerned me, so I made the decision - instead of being part of the problem, I wanted to become part of the solution.

I was already experienced in the trend for personalization of products and knew of the increasing consumer awareness and desire for protecting our environment, so the marriage of the two movements seemed logical.

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BRAND LAUNCH - take us through how you launched My Order Cup.

First came the costly investment of a laser engraving machine (approximately $40k), followed by the Ah Ha moment, which enabled me to pivot from the many original ideas that I had to make money from my laser engraver.

My previous life was in fashion. I spent 25 plus years in the fields of design, manufacture, buying & retail, so the development of my idea came easily to me. It was just a matter of actioning the requirements.

In order to be price competitive, I knew I had to source my products out of China. Having dealt with Chinese manufacturing for many years, I have an understanding of the importance of face to face negotiations & building relationships. To get the ball rolling I attended the Canton Trade Fair to source suppliers, meet in person & get a feel for the availability of products etc.

After establishing my product offering & placing my first order, I moved onto to developing my website which I opted to build myself. I wanted to learn & understand the mechanics of the website & have the ability to be able to update & make changes myself.

Within 5 months my products had arrived & I was ready to launch & start selling. I opened My Order Cup website on April 1st 2019. I promoted via social media, Instagram & Facebook, which I continue to do today.


ONLINE STORE SETUP - what are your top 2 tips for successful Ecommerce store setup.

  1. Don’t invest a lot of money in your first website. Ie - don’t use a web developer. Rather use a DYI builder and learn to do it yourself so you can be in control of all aspects. As your business develops you can make changes & grow accordingly.
  2. Your site does not have to be 100% perfect for launch. If you are pretty much there then launch ASAP & start selling. You can always perfect things as you go. Don’t waste time trying to make it exactly how you want it, your requirements are likely to change once you get started & you get a read on your customers. A website should evolve with your business.


CUSTOMER RETENTION - what has worked best to attract and retain customers?

Customer service. Make sure you give the best customer service possible. Always reply to customers questions etc ASAP & action their requests with a sense of urgency, go above & beyond to make their experience a positive one. If they have a problem fix it, if they have a faulty product replace it.

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SOCIAL - what are your top 2 tips for successful use of social media to engage with customers.

  1. Share other brands' content – I have joined the Ampjar, which is a great community of curated businesses who all shout each other out which all helps to widen your audience.
  2. Planoly scheduling tool. As posting is time consuming this saves times so you can schedule a full week/month worth of posts in advance. No more forgetting to do your daily post & scrambling for some content.


BUSINESS GROWTH INSIGHTS - how has My Order Cup changed and evolved?

As My Order Cup has grown I have introduced more products – additional sizes, colours etc & also introduced water bottles.


MANAGING CHANGE - what are your tips you’d suggest others adopt to safeguard their business.

Covid19 has been a challenging time. With a ban put on reusable cups in cafes My Order Cup has taken a hit. I have taken this time to develop and launch a new website, upgrading my platform to Shopify. The business had outgrown our initial platform & was in need of further capabilities & reporting etc.


FUTURE BUSINESS PLANS - how is My Order Cup doing today and what does the future look like?

As we are beginning to see a light at the end of the Covid19 tunnel we are starting to claw back to our pre-pandemic status. The ban on reusables cups in cafes & a return to disposables was unfortunate, not only for My Order Cup but for the whole movement itself. The amount of waste & landfill has increased dramatically over the past 12 months due to the pandemic. As consumers get back to normality their desire to help the planet will return & I am confident that there will be a shift back to reusables & not disposable.


ENTREPRENEUR INSIGHTS - what has been your biggest learning experience since starting My Order Cup?

In a previous business, I had invested tens of thousands of dollars in set up costs, I have definitely learnt that you should be frugal with set up costs & then invest the money as you go.

Taking it slowly, one step at a time & making certain that you don’t bite off more than you can chew or overspend. Set up a good foundation & build, react & pivot accordingly.


ONLINE BUSINESS TOOLS - what are the business software tools you couldn't live without?

Socials – Instagram & Facebook – brand awareness, engagement & as a selling tool. A business cannot afford to not have a social presence.

Shopify – excellent platform with an endless offering of apps that you can install to increase capability & functionality. Reporting is at your fingertips & offers insights into your business providing the information you need to enhance your business.

See what tools and platforms other founders are using.


SELF DEVELOPMENT - what are the educational resources you’d recommend?

I completed the Lady Start Up (Mia Freedman) course as a refresher to how to launch a business. The network of like minded women that I have formed has been second to none. An excellent support group for anyone starting out.

Lady Startup Podcast – interviews with inspiring business women discussing their own journeys.


INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE ‘shout-out’ - who have been the most influential people for you during your brand journey?

Mia Freedman – an inspiration & amazing support to Lady Start Ups everywhere.

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FINAL WORDS OF INSPO - for other aspiring entrepreneurs.

If you have always wanted to do your own thing, then go for it!

Join a network of like minded entrepreneurs & don’t be afraid to ask questions & put your hand up for help you will be amazed how supportive people can be.


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