Small + Wild co-founders tells us how they started a kids tea business

Antonia writes;

I was so excited when I met Becky Coletto and heard all about the business both herself and Kate Towers have founded. Small + Wild is a brand of sugar-free and great tasting kids herbal teas. I immediately knew these were going to be popular. Of course I quickly asked for some to taste (cheeky of me I know!) and went home and brewed two cups so that my daughter and I could taste-test it together. We tried the Jolly Croc tea which is made with banana, strawberry and apple. It was so nice to have a little activity we could do together (she is nearly 4 years old). We both loved the flavour especially as other herbal teas have been a bit bitter for her. Lumen was thrilled that she was allowed to join me for my afternoon cuppa. It was really lovely and also stopped her snacking on other less healthy alternatives. Immediately I wrote to Becky and said that she had to write and tell me all about how she came up with the business idea so that I could share it with you all;

Becky writes;

What is your business and what does is stand for?

Small & Wild is a range of herbal teas created especially for children. The tea is caffeine-free and 100% natural with no added sugar or nasties. It is a brilliantly healthy way for children to stay hydrated.

We spent months working with a tea blender to devise some really delicious and enticing recipes. The four blends we eventually landed with contain some really special and exciting ingredients like banana, blue pea flowers and mango.  The packaging has been beautifully designed by Falmouth-based agency, Kingdom & Sparrow, who hand drew all the lovely characters on the boxes.

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Why and when did you start your business

Small & Wild officially launched in November 2017 but the idea was hatched about two years prior. Kate & I met at a pregnancy yoga classes and then again at a refresher antenatal class whilst expecting our second kids. We both knew that we wanted to start our own businesses and that returning to our previous jobs with 2 littlies wasn’t on the agenda.

We are both big tea drinkers – from fancy herbal blends to a good old builder’s brew – and one day the penny just dropped. Our older two, now 4, were always stealing sips of our tea. They loved the idea of joining in and having a tea but were often disappointed with the bitterness of many herbal and fruit teas on the market. So we set about finding a way to share our love of tea with our small people and after some (much!) procrastination, we decided to create a range of tea designed especially for children.

 


How did you come up with the name?

We went through various iterations and brainstorming sessions before arriving at Small & Wild. On a very literal level our tea is designed for small people and inspired by the wild. We also wanted to keep the name open enough to allow us to develop other products in the future – we have some ideas up our sleeves!

Our ethos as a brand is all about encouraging getting kids to get closer to nature, through doing wholesome activities outdoors, as well as developing a love for natural and ‘wild’ ingredients. We think family moments are really important and sitting down for a cup of tea all together is a great way of taking stock for 5 minutes – and we hope that Small & Wild will really capture children’s imaginations and encourage them to do this.

Small & Wild - Children's Tea Branding Packaging 5
What have been the biggest challenges and successes

Neither Kate nor I had started our own business before but I think we were lucky that as a team we had a good set of skills and experience to get the project off the ground. Having a business partner is something you can’t underestimate – we have always been able to bounce ideas off of each other and give a little confidence boost when one is needed.

There have been lots of challenges – from getting our heads around how we would even go about getting our tea produced to applying for trademarks and the logistics of setting up a company.

In terms of successes, the day we secured our first stockist was pretty special!

Small & Wild - Range - Children's Tea Branding Packaging copy
What have you learnt on your journey

That it is very rewarding to give things a shot. Both of us have hugely enjoyed the journey so far – it’s really exciting to create something of your very own that you feel so passionate about.

We’ve also spoken to lots of people on route – from people who have started their own small businesses to dietitians and accountants and more. Everyone has their own story and there is some hugely valuable advice out there. There are also new friendships and connections to be made. But, at the end of the day, this is your business and sometimes you just need to go with your gut.


What would be your biggest bit of advice about starting up a business you
’d like to pass on

If it’s an idea that you’ve really thought through and something you feel passionate about then just go for it! I’ve spent too much of my life afraid to take risks and now feel so happy that I have.


How do you balance work and family.

Ah, this is such an important one to us. Our tea is all about family moments – and we hope that with this ethos at the centre, we’ll never lose sight of the importance of retaining a good work-family balance. Obviously there will always be crunch times when it is harder to switch off and engage with the kids but as your own boss it’s great to have the flexibility to be able to do school and nursery drop offs and pick-ups.

We also love our weekends and try to plan nice family activities then – whether it’s a good old run around in a local park or a more adventurous weekend away with friends.


What does success mean to you?

Oo, happiness and a product people love?! The thought of introducing lots of little people to our tea makes us very excited.


Where can people find your product?

We sell our tea online via our website and also through a number of independent stockists.


What can we (the readers) do to help you?

If you like the sound of Small & Wild tea then please do find and follow us on Instagram @small_and_wild_company and facebook @smallandwild.

We would also love to hear if there are any places you would like to see Small & Wild tea near you! Please drop us a line on hello@smallandwild.com

Small & Wild – happy herbal tea for kids was founded in 2017 by Kate Towers & Becky Coletto.

 

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