Meet Jordyn Evans, the founder of Mingle Seasoning. As she prepares to work with leading entrepreneurs in the Melbourne University Accelerator Program, she shares her top pieces of advice for start-ups and SME’s looking to get ahead in the e-commerce space.
Evans first founded Mingle Seasoning in 2016 when she discovered that a lot of the products she used to flavour her food were made with a host of preservatives, oils and artificial colours. Confident there was a better alternative to using generic off-the-shelf brands, she started experimenting. From here, her all-natural seasonings brand was born.
“I have created a range of seasonings that have no nasties and make cooking tasty, convenient, healthy and inspiring,” she says.
Now, Evans is operating an online store selling a combination of single spice jars and value packs, with initiatives like free shipping on orders over AUD$35, and partnerships with payment gateways such a PayPal, Apple Pay, and Afterpay.
Despite her company’s success over the past two-years, she has remained thankful for the things she has learned, and the people who have helped her along the way.
“At the end of the day I am just Jordyn,” she says.
According to Evans, some of the most important things she’s discovered along the way is that if you “don’t ask, you don’t get”.
“When I started to ask questions and showed my vulnerabilities to people, people were receptive and wanted to help me. I have been absolutely chuffed by the level of people’s generosity.”
She also says she’s in a constant state of evolution, as everyone is a teacher that you can learn from.
“Whether I’m mingling with the barista making my coffee, my bookkeeper, my Uber driver or my next door neighbour, I can learn something from everybody. All it takes is removing that ego, seeing people as humans and being open. You will be surprised by some of the golden nuggets that you learn from mingling with strangers. That’s what makes life so flavoursome.”
Some of her other pearls of wisdom include not making your business your whole life and that feedback and rejection shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing.
“My attitude to feedback has certainly changed since running a business. The high achiever in me used to hate criticism, now I seek it out. It’s honestly the only way to learn quickly and constantly improve,” Evans says.
“I now have the attitude of “what’s the worst that could happen?”The reality is, maybe the worst thing is somebody will say “NO”. But No doesn’t always mean No. You have to remain persistent, agile and not be affected by people’s hesitations; they are valid and it’s your job to change their perception.”
To provide the right sort of customer experience, and to leave a positive impression when dealing with suppliers and in-house staff, Evan says a sense of empathy is essential.
“Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is key in business. Nobody thinks like you do and everyone has their own stories and opinions. The best way to get them on board is to try and think like they do and then tailor your story or pitch to them, not for you.
“This has been a game changer for me in business, both with managing staff, suppliers and customers. You have to know what makes people tick.”
But, all of these points aside, Evans says that persistence, as well as knowing when to take a break are two factors that will improve your ROI.
“I’ve learned this the hard way, burning out a few times. We need sleep, we need rest, we need downtime, we sometimes even need Netflix. It’s okay for downtime to fill up that cup. By having downtime you’re not lazy, you’re not self-indulgent, we’re all human,” she says.