Customer Stories
Customer Story: Clara
Tim
|
January 15, 2022

Clara makes beautiful teas, infused with Yerba Mate. Here's the story of how it came to be. Shop the range here and follow them on IG here.

Hey Giles! So when did you decide to turn
Clara into a real business? 

Clara is a business that my wife Sofia Sierra and I started working on at the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020 in Sydney, Australia. We launched in December 2021. We saw an opportunity to really use that time productively and turn an idea we had been tinkering with for a couple of years into a business.


What was the first step?

Sofia is from Argentina, and has had a life-long connection to our core product Yerba Mate which is grown in the north of Argentina where her family has a 5th generation yerba mate plantation. So at the start, we felt very strongly that we needed to connect with the country and understand how we’d source the plants sustainably. We were really concerned about some of the malpractices that are prevalent in tea and coffee industries around unsustainable agricultural practices and labor exploitation. So the first step was to visit the plantations and set in place some really good relationships with local organic suppliers, which we did in early 2020.


Once you had the plants - what came next? 

We initially spent a lot of time on product development, working with food and beverage experts to develop our flavours and our use of functional ingredients such as adaptogens. We developed various samples that we tested, through which we got some really good feedback that enabled us to improve the recipes and formulations. This process made it clear to us that it is vital to put customers first and to genuinely listen to their feedback (and act on it!).

Our product development could have happened quicker, but we started with a conviction that Clara as a brand needs to be as sustainable as possible. This meant we took the time to find alternatives to plastic for our product and shipping packaging. We have certified home compostable product packaging, recyclable miron glass jars and all of our shipping packaging is compostable as well. We had to work really hard to achieve this at a cost effective price while also focusing on sourcing locally made Australian materials, but we are so glad we did.

In terms of developing the Clara brand, we knew we wanted to create a visual brand identity and tone of voice for Clara that was bright and fun, and stood out from tea and coffee brands, as well as functional products in the health and wellness space. Clara is one of Sofia’s family names, but it also means ‘clear’ and ‘bright’ in Spanish (Sofia’s mother tongue) which is how we hope people feel when they enjoy Clara. We think of Clara as a moment of clarity in virtual reality (our overstimulated, ever-online world), helping people feel balanced and inspired so they can be more productive and creative. 

We worked with freelance copywriter Carly Brand to develop the core messaging and brand voice, and with Jo Cutri Studio to come up with the brand identity and packaging design, including the strong color palette, which actually mirrors the colors of the tea when brewed. One is pink, one is green, and one is yellow. We acted as project managers between our creative team initially to limit costs, but found this personal involvement really helped us to better understand the complex process of creating a brand. Plus, we developed great relationships with our creative team - we feel they are part of Clara as much as we are!

The Clara Lineup


And how did you come across Storetasker? 

We're both non-technical founders. So the creation of the website was something that we knew we needed to leave to the experts. But in Australia, finding an expert was difficult. We either found freelancers who we felt didn’t have the attention to detail or the eye for design we sought, or we were presented with agencies which were beyond our budget. 

So we went further afield and we started looking overseas first for freelancers and that’s how we came across Storetasker. I remember the day we found it, and thinking that we’ve hit the jackpot. The way the information on the site was laid out, the transparent pricing parameters, the developer profiles, etc. It gave us real confidence that we were in good hands. 

I remember the day we found [Storetasker], and thinking that we’ve hit the jackpot.

We started working initially with one expert, and it wasn’t the right fit for us - but we got matched with another within a few hours: Rosa Romero. When we came to her, we had nothing but a spreadsheet with some content, and copy and images. We didn’t even have a wireframe. But Rosa has executed above and beyond what we could have hoped for. We're really happy with the website. She's as professional as anyone we've ever worked with, and it's just been fantastic to see the website come to life and actually process orders seamlessly! 


It makes the team so happy to hear such great reviews. Have you started thinking about retention and subscription at all? 

It's something we gave a lot of thought to before we even launched. In fact, it feeds into the SKUs which we sell in both jars and pouches. So for instance, our jar is a beautiful decorative piece, made from miron glass, which has very beneficial properties to protect herbs. Through this jar, we intend to send a clear message on limiting waste and promoting reuse via the pouches, encouraging customers to refill their jars with our pouches. Subscription is something that we definitely want to launch, but it’s one of those bells & whistles that isn’t crucial to launch with. Better for us to launch with single purchase and understand purchase behavior in this setting first, before venturing into subscription. 


I like the lean approach. Something increasingly rare in D2C. Let's end on some advice for younger founders. What have you learned along the way since launching Clara? 

Good systems go a long way. Especially when you’re bootstrapping a business alongside full-time jobs. Saving crucial time searching for basic things in your organization helps immensely.  That can be as simple as setting up really clear folder systems inside Google Drive, or having a process to quickly bookmark ideas & links. Those systems will form the backbone of the business and really help as you process more content, data, and information.

One good example is with content and social media. It’s important for us to be able to batch lots of content together and find efficiencies there, vs. spending time on each post to consider a story behind it. That can get you stuck working in the business, as opposed to working on the business. 

On another note, it has been really important for us to clearly understand our ‘why’ for starting Clara. This may seem simple, but there will be many times when you will be putting so much effort into the business without much immediate return (perhaps after your day job), and knowing your ‘why’ will really help to keep you motivated. For Sofia and I, we are married and have always looked for ways to connect our two countries (Australia and Argentina) and cultures together to create a shared life experience. For us, Clara provides us with that connection which motivates us to continue to work hard on growing Clara into the future.


Giles! Thank you so much for sharing your insights. So proud to have you as a Storetasker customer. Keep going! Wishing you the very best. 

7,93
15,86
23,8
31,73
39,66
47,6
55,53
63,46
71,4

Clara makes beautiful teas, infused with Yerba Mate. Here's the story of how it came to be. Shop the range here and follow them on IG here.

Hey Giles! So when did you decide to turn
Clara into a real business? 

Clara is a business that my wife Sofia Sierra and I started working on at the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020 in Sydney, Australia. We launched in December 2021. We saw an opportunity to really use that time productively and turn an idea we had been tinkering with for a couple of years into a business.


What was the first step?

Sofia is from Argentina, and has had a life-long connection to our core product Yerba Mate which is grown in the north of Argentina where her family has a 5th generation yerba mate plantation. So at the start, we felt very strongly that we needed to connect with the country and understand how we’d source the plants sustainably. We were really concerned about some of the malpractices that are prevalent in tea and coffee industries around unsustainable agricultural practices and labor exploitation. So the first step was to visit the plantations and set in place some really good relationships with local organic suppliers, which we did in early 2020.


Once you had the plants - what came next? 

We initially spent a lot of time on product development, working with food and beverage experts to develop our flavours and our use of functional ingredients such as adaptogens. We developed various samples that we tested, through which we got some really good feedback that enabled us to improve the recipes and formulations. This process made it clear to us that it is vital to put customers first and to genuinely listen to their feedback (and act on it!).

Our product development could have happened quicker, but we started with a conviction that Clara as a brand needs to be as sustainable as possible. This meant we took the time to find alternatives to plastic for our product and shipping packaging. We have certified home compostable product packaging, recyclable miron glass jars and all of our shipping packaging is compostable as well. We had to work really hard to achieve this at a cost effective price while also focusing on sourcing locally made Australian materials, but we are so glad we did.

In terms of developing the Clara brand, we knew we wanted to create a visual brand identity and tone of voice for Clara that was bright and fun, and stood out from tea and coffee brands, as well as functional products in the health and wellness space. Clara is one of Sofia’s family names, but it also means ‘clear’ and ‘bright’ in Spanish (Sofia’s mother tongue) which is how we hope people feel when they enjoy Clara. We think of Clara as a moment of clarity in virtual reality (our overstimulated, ever-online world), helping people feel balanced and inspired so they can be more productive and creative. 

We worked with freelance copywriter Carly Brand to develop the core messaging and brand voice, and with Jo Cutri Studio to come up with the brand identity and packaging design, including the strong color palette, which actually mirrors the colors of the tea when brewed. One is pink, one is green, and one is yellow. We acted as project managers between our creative team initially to limit costs, but found this personal involvement really helped us to better understand the complex process of creating a brand. Plus, we developed great relationships with our creative team - we feel they are part of Clara as much as we are!

The Clara Lineup


And how did you come across Storetasker? 

We're both non-technical founders. So the creation of the website was something that we knew we needed to leave to the experts. But in Australia, finding an expert was difficult. We either found freelancers who we felt didn’t have the attention to detail or the eye for design we sought, or we were presented with agencies which were beyond our budget. 

So we went further afield and we started looking overseas first for freelancers and that’s how we came across Storetasker. I remember the day we found it, and thinking that we’ve hit the jackpot. The way the information on the site was laid out, the transparent pricing parameters, the developer profiles, etc. It gave us real confidence that we were in good hands. 

I remember the day we found [Storetasker], and thinking that we’ve hit the jackpot.

We started working initially with one expert, and it wasn’t the right fit for us - but we got matched with another within a few hours: Rosa Romero. When we came to her, we had nothing but a spreadsheet with some content, and copy and images. We didn’t even have a wireframe. But Rosa has executed above and beyond what we could have hoped for. We're really happy with the website. She's as professional as anyone we've ever worked with, and it's just been fantastic to see the website come to life and actually process orders seamlessly! 


It makes the team so happy to hear such great reviews. Have you started thinking about retention and subscription at all? 

It's something we gave a lot of thought to before we even launched. In fact, it feeds into the SKUs which we sell in both jars and pouches. So for instance, our jar is a beautiful decorative piece, made from miron glass, which has very beneficial properties to protect herbs. Through this jar, we intend to send a clear message on limiting waste and promoting reuse via the pouches, encouraging customers to refill their jars with our pouches. Subscription is something that we definitely want to launch, but it’s one of those bells & whistles that isn’t crucial to launch with. Better for us to launch with single purchase and understand purchase behavior in this setting first, before venturing into subscription. 


I like the lean approach. Something increasingly rare in D2C. Let's end on some advice for younger founders. What have you learned along the way since launching Clara? 

Good systems go a long way. Especially when you’re bootstrapping a business alongside full-time jobs. Saving crucial time searching for basic things in your organization helps immensely.  That can be as simple as setting up really clear folder systems inside Google Drive, or having a process to quickly bookmark ideas & links. Those systems will form the backbone of the business and really help as you process more content, data, and information.

One good example is with content and social media. It’s important for us to be able to batch lots of content together and find efficiencies there, vs. spending time on each post to consider a story behind it. That can get you stuck working in the business, as opposed to working on the business. 

On another note, it has been really important for us to clearly understand our ‘why’ for starting Clara. This may seem simple, but there will be many times when you will be putting so much effort into the business without much immediate return (perhaps after your day job), and knowing your ‘why’ will really help to keep you motivated. For Sofia and I, we are married and have always looked for ways to connect our two countries (Australia and Argentina) and cultures together to create a shared life experience. For us, Clara provides us with that connection which motivates us to continue to work hard on growing Clara into the future.


Giles! Thank you so much for sharing your insights. So proud to have you as a Storetasker customer. Keep going! Wishing you the very best. 

Talk to an expert
Discuss the project for free
with a Storetasker Expert
From an Expert
Rosa Romero
7,93
15,86
23,8
31,73
39,66
47,6
55,53
63,46
71,4