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Gretta Rose van Riel

‘Start as small as you can. When I started SkinnyMe Tea, I had $24 in the bank, and I was entirely self-funded. If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product; you’ve launched too late’

Back to the idea of a Minimum Viable Product. Australian entrepreneur Gretta Rose van Riel started her first globally successful start-up SkinnyMe Tea (SMT) at the age of 22 with just $24 in the bank. In search of the perfect detox tea for herself, van Riel started creating blends at home and soon found a loyal customer base among her office co-workers. Inspired, she put up a simple Shopify site and started selling her teas.

Within five years, the weight-loss-inducing tea brand had sold over 11 million cups of tea worldwide and helped its customers lose a whopping 1.5m kgs in weight.

On that achievement alone, Gretta Rose van Riel won Shopify’s Build-a-Business Competition, beating out tens of thousands of other e-commerce businesses from around the globe. 

Van Riel went on to co-create The 5th Watches, which achieved a million dollars’ worth of sales in a single day.

Her most recent venture is an influencer marketing platform called Hey Influencers, which helps to link and grow relationships between brands and social media influencers.

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...

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