I began planning the launch of this business mid-2021, although the seed of this business was planted in my mind a long time before this.
Before The Brand
Prior, I studied marketing and management at Victoria university of Wellington. Afterwards, I worked in the sales industry managing various sales teams for two different companies, one being in the insurance industry, the other selling insulation. Throughout this time, I also experimented with different ecommerce businesses models and learnt how to build websites and advertise through social media. This experience highlighted my innate ability to effectively sell products, both in person and online. I did well in these roles, I had money consistently flowing into my account and built solid goodwill with both clients and employers, yet I did not feel satisfied.
After some reflection I realised I was chasing the wrong goal, my only objective was to make as much money as possible, I had no grater motive or purpose. I needed a break, a moment to step back, breath and figure out what I really wanted to achieve in my life. At this point I had some money saved up. I quit my job, bought a campervan, and began traveling New Zealand solo. I spent months in the South Island, surfing untouched waves, meeting colourful characters and immersing myself in some much-needed solitude, deep in nature. It was in this solitude where my goals for my future began to cement. I knew I wanted to create something that was of net positive benefit for both humans and this earth, something that utilised my skills in sales and online marketing and did not cost an arm and a kidney to start. Further, I still had the travel bug in me, I wanted this something to allow me to continue my travels around New Zealand, I did not want to be tied to any place or area (of course I eventually had to let this need for travel go).
I drafted a plan for Juice on the Move – the idea was to buy a small juicer and travel New Zealand selling juice at various markets around the country. I would live in my campervan to keep my overheads low and grant the freedom to travel to different areas and sell my juice. At the beginning this was a mess, but I loved it. I assure you making juice in a rather small campervan is no easy task and having no stable place to sleep made this job that much more difficult. I remember bartering with different camp sites, and the horror on their face when I asked if I could use the camps kitchen to make some juice for the market the next morning. I would get up in the wee hours around 2am and use their kitchen before anyone had a clue what was happening. Eventually I met a few lovely campsite owners that liked what I was doing and let me use their kitchen with their blessing.
It became obvious that my idea of living mobile and selling juice in different places was not viable, the headache of constantly finding different suppliers for ingredients and campsites that would allow me to run my operation, quickly became too much. So, I settled. I set up shop in Taupo New Zealand, as it had a Sunday market that proved to be extremely successful (90% of the time I would sell out – only dependent on the weather). I knew I could not keep burdening campsites with my operation, so I found a small commercial space, negotiated a reasonable price with a lovely landlord and finally had a stable space to make my juice. Of course, I could not afford to pay two rents, so I continued living in my campervan, I slept, showered, and lived by the lake. I would make my juice in this new space, and then travel to areas around Taupo throughout the week. Thursday nights was Rotorua night market, Saturdays and Sundays were markets in Taupo, and occasionally Sundays I would travel to Napier market. I quickly realised the lunacy of my original idea to travel and sell juice, as soon as I planted roots, I was able to create a system and the business began to take off.
A New Direction
After a few months of living in Taupo my dreams of building this business to new heights began to overtake my dream of continued travel. I could see there was a massive demand for my product, the only limiting factor was the amount of people I could reach. Further, I realised there was a trend emerging among direct to customer delivery services – sparked by COVID and the lockdowns. I realised the best way to scale this business and meet customer wants and needs was to create an online delivery service for my juice – Further, I knew this would allow me to utilise my previous experience of building ecommerce websites and services. Due to the perishable nature of my product, I would need a reliable same day delivery service and lots of people living in a condensed area. Naturally, Auckland the place I was born and raised became the most obvious answer. After this realisation I pulled a complete 360 and returned to Auckland - the place I originally ran away from. I sold my campervan and rented a room to live, and a space to make juice. This is the moment I began planting the roots of what this business is today.
This story continues with many more fiascos including a brief, but what felt like, very long stint running stalls at Auckland night markets, which attracted completely the wrong customer. I survived through sheer hustle.
To be continued…