For die-hard coffee drinkers Matt and Lisa Hammonds, running on caffeine had lost its appeal. They switched to drinking herbal teas, sharing their passion for “tea and conversation” with family and friends. That gave this husband-and-wife team an idea. “We thought e-commerce and tea would be a good combination,” Matt says. Neither had e-commerce experience, but that didn’t stop them. “We used Google to do our research and figure out how to build our company from scratch.” They cofounded Full Leaf Tea Company in 2014, selling herbal and organic loose-leaf teas, wellness blends, Japanese matcha and accessories from their virtual storefront. They blend, package and distribute all of their products from their Southern Oregon facility.
“Without the web, we wouldn’t be here. It allowed us to create a business and build something with literally no capital.”
Matt Hammonds, co-founder
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Marketing high-quality teas from around the world, along with “the tea experience,” proved to be a winning blend. Google business tools helped the company more than triple their sales in 2016. They use AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to attract tea lovers and former coffee fanatics.
“AdWords accounts for 40 percent of our traffic and 70 percent of sales,” Matt says. Google Analytics lets them see their customer activity in real time and measure the performance of their website, blog, social media, web ads and email marketing campaigns. And Google Webmaster Tools help them deliver a positive customer experience.
Full Leaf Tea Company has 14 employees.
Full Leaf Tea Company has launched a wholesale division and is expanding into retail locations.
“We started with $100 to our name, a $2,500 credit card and no capital to grow,” Matt says. “We’ve grown the company by investing our sales back into digital advertising.”
They give back to their local community by working with a vocational rehabilitation agency to provide job opportunities for people with special circumstances or disabilities. With 10,000 customers and a growing fan base of tea lovers, the company is poised for greater success.
“We have aggressive growth plans,” Matt says. “Google products have shaped our company from a small mom-and-pop operation into something that could be really huge.”
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