Lauren and Elena are two young entrepreneurs with a rapidly growing small business, Those Girls. Both of those girls share a passion for teaming unique flavour combinations to create delicious and refreshing iced teas and ciders which they sell at festivals and markets across Victoria. Using a range of green and black teas from around the world, including provinces in China, India, Sri Lanka and also some grown locally in Victoria, where we caught up with the girls over a cuppa to talk about top tips, iced tea and hot apple cider.
Why Iced Tea?
It all started with chai lattes. We’ve always loved tea, but one winter we got totally hooked on chai lattes. When summer came around we refused to stop drinking chai, so we started making iced chai lattes. Our obsession moved to iced teas and our recipes kept growing and developing into the 10+ flavours we have now. We have also just launched our own Hot Apple Cider for winter. It’s a New York-inspired, non-alcoholic drink that’s incredibly delicious and tastes like apple pie in a cup!
What’s been your favourite event that you’ve traded at?
We absolutely love being at the night markets around Melbourne. Our two favourites are the Queen Victoria Night Market and South Melbourne Night Market. Being at the night markets is a great way to connect and communicate with our customers and get valuable feedback on our products. There are always so many great local products and performers that it’s impossible not to have a good time.
You’ve used social media as a key channel to grow a loyal fan base. How has this helped grow your business?
Social Media is a great way to communicate with our followers about what events we will be at and the new products we are launching. It makes us really happy when people try our iced teas and hot apple cider and love it enough to post photos or blog about it. Plus it’s a fun way to spread the word about great products, as people generally only post about positive experiences. We have just started using Periscope too, so keep an eye out for us!
Your business model is incredibly hands-on - how do you both manage the workload?
We won’t lie, it is challenging. But what makes it possible is that we really love what we do and we are ridiculously passionate about it. Plus, we have learnt to get by with very little sleep.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone who is about to set up their own small business?
Prepare to work hard - really hard. There’ll be a lot of laughter and a lot of tears along the way, so don’t forget to keep smiling or you will miss out on making a lot of priceless memories.
Prior to using Square Point of Sale you weren’t using a point of sale system. Why did you make the decision to start using a POS?
We weren’t using a POS system but were actively looking for one when we came across Square. We deal with a lot of cash and needed a way to keep track of sales and then report on sales figures. We also wanted a system that would import our sales straight into Xero for us to streamline our bookkeeping.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered since starting Those Girls?
What we’ve discovered about ourselves. We would never have predicted how passionate we’d become about our business or how we could grow into the role of business leaders. We’re surprised that we’ve become those people who say ‘we wake up excited to go to work’, which is a little awkward because before this, we had always thought those people were lying! But it turns out it can be true.