If it wasn’t for the perseverance of Cheryl Stewart and Jaime Turner, Koala Karma might not be gracing the shelves of supermarkets across Australia.
The dynamic duo admits they got it wrong the first time they launched their relaxation drink into the market but that only made them more determined to get their product off the ground.
Koala Karma, founded three years ago, is a slightly carbonated beverage with two product lines; Koala Karma original and Koala Karma sugar-free.
The beverages are infused with chamomile, magnesium, passion flower, valerian and lemon balm and is said to cause a lasting effect of a calm mind and relaxed body.
The business is seeing epic success, however it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
“When we first started, we got it all wrong,” says Turner.
“We started with a 250ml slimline can and when we went to market most people thought it was an energy drink and not a relaxation drink.
“It is always very exciting putting a product out there but you just never know what sort of feedback you are going to get back. You obviously do all of your research beforehand but you never really know what to expect.”
Koala Karma was later rebranded in a 330ml glass bottle with a plastic wrap.
The drink is now stocked in a number of shops around the country including in Woolworths Metro stores and a range of IGAs.
In addition, Turner and Stewart are embracing export opportunities with a buyer in Korea looking to introduce the brand into 15,000 convenient stores.
“We attribute the success definitely to perseverance,” says Turner.
“When you know that you have a good product, you just keep trying your hardest to make it a success.”
Koala Karma also recently sent half a pallet worth of stock to the Middle East.
The Korea and Middle East deals come on the back of numerous trade missions undertaken with the City of Gold Coast.
Turner says the trade missions have been vital in the success of the brand.
“Having the opportunity to liaise with someone in Council really fast-tracks your success,” she says.
Meanwhile, Turner and Stewart are also the founders of Mavella – a brand offering a range of boosting powders for kids, each with their own functionality including immune boost, body boost and brain boost.
The business was part of the City of Gold Coast’s Food and Hotel Asia Trade Mission which saw Mavella secure a national Australian distributor which equates to 20,000 sales a month.
Mavella also recently negotiated a deal overseas which will see the Gold Coast business exporting a further 160,000 products per year.
“I think what is going to happen is these big deals will change our business from a small business to a medium-sized business overnight,” says Turner.
Mavella aims to not only encourage better and healthier eating habits in children but to add a little extra nutrition along the way.
Turner says it is the brand’s passion to create higher nutrient superfood formulas enhanced with a high nutrient intake with a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals to help supplement their diets typically saturated in processed foods and missing that extra nutrition.