At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
My business partner, Jodie Fergusson-Batte and I met when we worked together at a medical devices company.
Prior to that we were both nurses and has also worked in other medical/pharmaceutical companies.
We had both hit the point of starting to plan for families, and had become very disillusioned with the corporate sales world.
Over a few glasses (ok..bottles) of wine, we decided that we both loved tea but couldn't find what we loved.
We wanted to run a business we were passionate about and that would fill a void in the market and She-Tea was born!
We came up with the various titles for the teas - something for all the occasions we go through.
We also wanted them to be organic and fair-trade.
Jodie matched her artworks to product and I matched the tea blends, so they all work in harmony with each other.
It has been a huge rollercoaster ride, and now with 3 children under 4 between us - Jodie has the lovely Jasper, and I with my girls Addison and Holly it is somewhat chaotic, but very rewarding!
We have constantly been a work in progress and we are open to changing as we see the market wants.
We've introduced new titles and images, brought in the biodegradeable pyramid bags for us time poor folk who still want the joy of loose leaf, and have had good success with our customised products.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Working with some bigger companies for customised products and seeing our tea on the shelves of some very cool places!
It's such a buzz when you can pick something up and know the work that has gone into getting it from an idea into physical reality!
Also having people who ask what I do, and when I tell them they say "oh She-Tea! I love that!'
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
For me, it has been working with some of our international suppliers who tend to operate on 'island time'. Can be very frustrating when we have deadlines to meet and the urgency isn't there, but their tea is just so good!!
Also finding 'the balance' is hard.
Being your own business it is very hard to switch off as there is always 20 things going through my head and juggling it all around two very busy children can be rather challenging.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Market research is key!
What we thought was hilarious and witty (with some of our early teas, such as Scorned and Virginal Quest), some of the more upmarket places didn't find so appealing. Hence we changed and now have a much happier range!
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
Facebook - it's so great for linking into groups of like minded people and being able to put messages out to bigger numbers, and research into ideas etc.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
Maggie Beer - she is just warmth and positivity and all good things wrapped up into an amazing cook!
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Be unique. There are soooo many teas out there! Don't expect a large wage for a few years...
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
We went to our accountant meeting last week and he was extremely pleased with our progress and plans!
We walked out of there (and onto lunch with bubbly) with lighter shoulders that finally it is all looking to start being worth the many many hours and stresses!