Names: Lauren Davie & Elena Andoniou
Jobs: Founders of Those Girls, a boutique Australian beverage company that specialises in iced tea and hot apple cider.
Pets: Lulu, the Saint Bernard & Gina the Staffy
Hobbies: Drinking any kind of tea, tennis, dogs, traveling, design and food.
Our story: We are life long friends that turned our passion for tea into a business. We founded Those Girls in December 2013 with just the 2 of us and since then we have expanded into a winter range, launched interstate, established a head office, landed an investor from Shark Tank and now have a beautiful team of 11 staff.
You can find us at:
Facebook: Those Girls
- What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned or your hardest moment as an entrepreneur?
There are many hard moments and tough lessons to learn with any entrepreneurial journey, no matter what you chose to do. We wouldn’t say any particular moments have been harder than the others as they have all have their own difficulties. However the most important lesson we learnt early on was that if we want to succeed, we must be problem solvers every day for the rest of our entrepreneurial lives.
Entrepreneurs are often thought of as the people who think of an idea, sometimes great ideas, sometimes crazy ideas. However, to create those amazing products, services, technologies and brands behind those ideas, they first need to solve an incredibly large amount of problems to make their idea come to life. Most of the time, they are problems they didn’t even know would exist until they reached a certain point in their journey.
For us, we have learnt to embrace the problem solving as that is the only way we can grow. Every problem we solve gets us one step closer to our goal.
- What have you had to sacrifice to become your own boss?
Sacrifice is a strong word, it implies that we are forced to give up or miss out on things. While we have (and still do) give up a lot of things to grow, develop and evolve Those Girls, our main sacrifices have been our social lives and regular sleeping patterns. The other side of that story is that we have gained so many priceless experiences that make our journey worthwhile.
It is every individual’s choice to make the decision whether the returns outweigh the sacrifices, and in our case we have been lucky enough to come out on top with more wins than losses. We would, however, just like to make the disclaimer that this is an overall average of our experience. Believe us, there have been many times when we have felt the other way and our tears have outweighed the positives. But we just keep pushing through until we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Name one app or program that you use for business that you cannot live without?
Being in the hospitality industry, point of sale software is really important to us as it has a direct effect on how smoothly our business can operate. Square Register has been a huge asset to us in this respect. It allows us to track all of our sales, identify peak sales times & popular flavours. It alerts us when our stock levels are getting low and generates sales reports for us. On top of that, it is easy for our staff to use and is always leading the market with new services. Plus it is free, which is always a bonus!
- When did you realize you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
We’re not too sure if the idea of becoming an entrepreneur is something that you dream of your whole life or if it is more a characteristic you have hidden inside you waiting for the right time to burst out. In our case, we have always been really driven and wanted to do something grand, we just never knew what it was. But we did always know that anything is possible if we just set our mind to it.
Our entrepreneurial seed officially sprouted in 2013 when we were drinking our delicious home brewed chai lattes and thought ‘why aren’t we selling these?’ At the time, it was the middle of summer so hot teas didn’t seem like the right product. But we could see the potential for an iced cold tea that would be in high demand on a hot summer’s day. That is when our iced tea range was born and we first realized we had become entrepreneurs.
- Did you have a support network when starting out? How important was this to you?
We started out with a very small support network that consisted of our immediate family. They would help us brew our tea, come along to every event and help us set up and they would be there in times when we just needed to talk.
As we grew, so did our network. We now have an amazing support network of incredible people that spans across 3 states. To us, this support network has been a critical part to our journey. There comes a point when you realize you can’t do everything yourselves (and you don’t have all the answers!) and you need other people around you to help and offer guidance.
Always make sure your support network know how much you love them, as their support can be the difference that helps you succeed <3
- Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself back when you were just starting out?
Be prepared to work hard, really hard. There is no other way to prepare yourself for the journey that lies ahead than to understand that nothing happens overnight. It all takes time, effort, trial and error and a lot of hard work.
- Have there been any times where you have felt that you’ve been treated differently or not taken seriously as a young woman in business? If so, can you describe one of those moments?
Yes, there have been plenty. It’s a shame that things like this still happen in 2016. But like Gandhi said, you must ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ and that is why we are here doing what we are do. To show the world that anyone, no matter age, gender or race can achieve their dreams. When someone tells you ‘no’ or doesn’t believe in you, take it as a challenge to prove them wrong.
- You’re very successful in a saturated market – what do you think sets you apart from the rest?
That is a hard question to answer because you can never fully know what your competitors are up to. We try not to put too much attention on anyone else in our industry because the second you do that you loose focus of your own goals.
All we can say here is that we are incredibly passionate about everything we do. And we just hope that our customers can see that passion when they see our brand or buy our products.
- There are so many social media platforms now – which has been the most beneficial to your business and can you please share a tip to help those just starting out?
We love Instagram. It is such a visual platform, which means we can be creative. It is also a great way for people to share the Those Girls love. It makes us so happy when people love our product enough to share it with their family and friends.
- What exciting things can we expect to see from you or your business in the near future that you would like to share with us?
We are planning on making 2016 a big year for Those Girls. We can’t say too much at the moment as most things are still in the works. But if all goes well you will be seeing us around a lot more!