How it all started | The story of SPICETUB

How it all started | The story of SPICETUB

How it all started... It's funny that I am sitting here now not even knowing where to start this story. 
I will save the detailed background story of myself as the founder of SPICETUB for another blog post but it probably is still important to mention now that I have always been quite entrepreneurial, always thinking of new ideas to bring to the market. 

Porridge Master Old
Image of old packaging, the very early days of SPICETUB

After having run three businesses on my own over the years, in early 2017 I decided to leave the startup and entrepreneurial world to be an employee. We had just moved to Australia and I needed social connections and it honestly was a very important and great decision for that time and for my mental health!
Late 2018, I fell pregnant with our first baby boy Finn. Leaving my job to go on maternity leave made me so sad and I did feel like I was definitely coming back to my job after the maternity leave. 
My entrepreneurial heart did start pounding a teeny tiny bit again though and I started seeing the opportunity to change things over again, diving back into that exciting startup world. I am from Germany and whenever I am home, my husband and I have always loved exploring the German market and gaps in the Australian market simultaneously. There was a long exciting list that I was wanting to investigate. 
During my pregnancy, we moved houses and basically cleaned out our old kitchen to start fresh with a new pantry, including spices and herbs.
This is probably the first time I very consciously discovered the spice niche market in Australia to be a pain point for me. I did not enjoy the spice aisles in the supermarket, found them quite bland to look at and un-exciting when I expected that part of the supermarket to be bright, exciting, bold and fun. Isn't that what spices do? Make our food exciting and fun?

Old packaging
Image of our old packaging at SPICETUB

Checking my business idea list from Germany, I indeed discovered that "SPICE MIXES" was on there and boom, my brain started exploding with ideas! 
Ironically, I was still holding onto my old life pre-pregnancy (I found adjusting to my new life and the newborn phase very challenging) and did catch up with my old boss to discuss coming back. THE NEXT DAY, we went into the first lockdown in Melbourne due to COVID-19 and this is probably my biggest push that I have ever received: Let's make SPICETUB happen! 
That same week, I registered the business name and made this idea blossom very quickly.
Funny side note: The business name was MYSPICE in the beginning, I then discovered that it leads to a porn page. I thought it was a better idea to change the name at that point in time haha.
I have learnt a lot through experience over the years and have also read a lot regarding starting a business and was very much going to approach this business with a "Let's just do it" attitude and a very lean approach which means that you test the market first to see if your audience even wants your product. 

Old product photography
Image of our first product photography for the website

I wanted something that was aesthetic for the pantry and also very user-friendly. The stackability of our tubs will never be compromised. I wanted the opening of the tubs big enough, so you can use a spoon or even your fingers to cook. No more shaking and never getting the right amount out of the container.

Initially I ordered very simple clear plastic tubs that had a screw lid. I designed a super basic logo and chose my colours. I gave SPICETUB a personality by writing down all the characteristics that SPICETUB would hold if it was a person - Characteristics of my new best friend. From here, a lot of things fell into place. Fonts, colours, brand voice etc.
While the packaging, design and overall look has definitely evolved since we started, the colours have always been the pink, orange and purple that they are now. This is something I am very proud of and hope will remain our main colours for a long time.

Old Packaging

Image of our first sticker designs

I started putting together a few mixes that I had been using myself already in cooking without knowing at the time that they will become a product. I calculated the correct measurements and saved them as official recipes. We started using those mixes at home, always questioning and experimenting with the ingredients and ratios until they were perfect in our eyes. Simply put, if we could not talk through taste testing because we were 'Hmmm'-ing so much, that was a success! They needed to be perfect and that is still my approach. I would never ever compromise on the quality of my products just to force a certain flavour. Even now, I have packaging already sitting here for new flavours but I still haven't nailed the correct recipe, so it simply won't hit our shop. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work or needs to be changed accordingly and sometimes that takes time.
Okay, back to the lean approach. I ordered round stickers to go on the top of the tubs and printed the "Ingredient list" and "Direction of use" on little sticker strips. Soooo amateur, but I needed to test the interest in the market first.
I built a website with very basic product photos. Luckily, I have some experience in food photography with one of my businesses from the past, so I did it all myself.
Old product photos

Image of our first photoshoot with our Egg Master

The initial Instagram page was sooo basic. We went live, we got orders, we got amazing feedback and even thinking about this now makes me tear up. I validated my idea so quickly and am still over the moon that my customers WANT SPICETUB in their lives! 

Asian Salmon Old
Image of one of the first Asian Salmon photoshoots

When we discovered that this whole thing was going to be a thing, one big step then was to change the packaging. I started working with a graphic designer (she is a wizard!) and we came up with our current designs including our mailing tubes. My photography has since improved a little more and from here on and every single day, we keep on learning and evolving. Here is our new packaging design as a comparison: 

New packaging
Image of our current packaging

This was the very start. We launched our new and proper packaging in December 2020 and I honestly love working on this small business so so much and even more so, I love our SPICETUB community so much and am very grateful for what has already been created in such a short time.

Does the blog post stop here? I guess it will. I still feel like all this is just the beginning and I am so excited to explore what the future holds for SPICETUB. 
If you have made it to here reading this mammoth first story time, thank you and please leave any questions, feedback or comments below. 

xx Svenja (Founder of SPICETUB)
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I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!! Such an incredible story, I absolutely loved reading this! You have come so far already, I can’t wait to watch SpiceTub grow more!! xx


Love this and love SPICETUB!! 🌶


I am sooooo bloody proud of you Moosey!!
I do miss you but LOVE seeing you thrive as a mamapenuir!!


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