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Jordana Edwards has lived in Pottsville in regional New South Wales for the last 15 years. The town of just 6000 people is where Jordana launched her now $3 million a year company Clean Tea and The Breastfeeding Tea Co.
But Jordana is passionate about more than just building her own business. She has identified the need for support and advice to be given to female business founders in regional towns, and has committed to help grow the community.
“I remember when I was first starting out, the owners of The Beach People gave me advice about branding that changed my life,” she said. “It’s that sort of community, of small business owners helping one another, that I want to foster and grow.”
As a member of the Facebook Small Business Council, Jordana has started a Facebook group called “Tweed to Byron Women in Business” which helps its 900 members to network and build community.
“Prior to COVID we were hosting physical meetings, but it’s now so much more than that,” Jordana says. “It’s grown into a community of women offering each other advice and building one another up in their business ventures.”
“Community like this is so important when you’re in a small town trying to launch a business, so that’s why I am so glad it has taken off in the way it has.”
Jordana describes herself as a “conduit” between the Council and regional businesswomen, as she shares advice from the Council to her Facebook group, and needs from the community to the Council.
“This really excited me to bring the training as what I have already, but also more training directly from Facebook to our communities,” she said. “So many of our little businesses have gone on to do amazing things because of the advice that is passed around in that group.”
One of these businesses is Healing Light Co, a candle business started by founder Julie Willis under Jordana’s guidance.
Originally working in the film industry, Julie was made redundant in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My husband encouraged me to give Jordana a call to see if we could buy her business from her,” Julie said. “So I rang her and she said, ‘Oh no, don’t buy my business. Just start a candle business.’ That’s when Healing Light Co started.”
“Jordana told me that she had tested the market, and candles were where I needed to be. She told me that people go mad for that stuff.
“Before I knew it, she had sent me over her business plan, and I followed it word for word. I didn’t try and reinvent it, I just did what it said. She walked me through Facebook ads and all things digital and all of a sudden I was the owner of a business I really never thought I would own.
“I have since made $16,000 since launching in June, and we are very steadily growing.”
Jordana runs on what she calls an “open door policy.”
“If any of the girls want to come to our factory, they are more than welcome to come and we will go in-depth how we run our e-commerce store. When businesses are first starting out, there are so many questions: ‘How do I dispatch the order? How do I get them out as fast as you do? What boxes do I put them in? What’s the cheapest option for me?’
“Fortunately, I made all those really expensive mistakes myself, so am now able to pass what I have learnt on to other new business owners around me.”