A young mother who took a simple idea hatched by the untidy state of the family car and turned into a business run from their garage is now looking at annual turnover topping $1 million.
Sandra-Lea Murray, from Queensland, and her husband Andy, both aged 32, are avid coffee drinkers and became fed up with having a car full of disposable cardboard cups.
The pair – who are parents to four-year-old daughter Honor and son Haven, aged two – decided to create glass reusable cups after they saw an opening in the market.
Having started the business from nothing, the Australian founders of LUXEY Cup are expected to turn over more than a million dollars by the end of June 2020.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, the mother revealed their stylish range of coffee and smoothie cups, retailed from $34.95 to $44.95, sold out within 13 days after they launched in July this year.
Sandra-Lea Murray (pictured) has spoken out about how she transformed a simple idea from her family’s garage into a booming business selling reusable cups
The mother with her four-year-old daughter Honor and son Haven, aged two decided to create the ultimate glass cups with her husband after they saw an opening in the market
But their journey to success didn’t come too easy.
‘We were working until 3am every night for this dream to come alive,’ Sandra-Lea told Daily Mail Australia.
The couple were juggling their then-three-year-old daughter Honor and newborn son Haven while trying to lift the business off the ground.
‘I was parenting the kids during the day, while Andy was working in sweltering heat from 6am as a civil contractor and he’d be home around 3 or 4pm in the afternoon.
‘By 6pm, we would put the kids to bed, and then we’d go to our office to work on our business after having dinner every night. We were definitely working five to six days a week, until 12am, 1am or even 3am.’
The idea to launch their own business selling environmentally friendly cups first came to mind after they struggled to find a product they liked to use.
‘We drank a lot of coffee and our car was embarrassingly filled with these stupid paper cups,’ Sandra-Lea said.
Sandra-Lea and her husband Andy, both aged 32, are avid coffee drinkers so they were fed up with having to throw away the disposable paper cups after every purchase
The idea to launch their own business selling environmentally friendly cups first came to mind after they struggled to find a product they liked to use
Fast forward, the Australian founders of LUXEY Cup are expected to turn over more than a million dollars by the end of June 2020
What is LUXEY Cup?
Luxey Cups feature a collection of beautiful, stylish and reusable cups designed with sustainability in mind.
Each of the cylindrical capsules come in a collection of pastel shades including element blue, coral red, charcoal, black, bright white, peachy, pink and minty.
Made from borosilicate glass, the cups are lighter and stronger than ordinary glass, are non-slip – so are super comfortable to carry – and promises no more burning fingers.
Luxey Cup is an Australian company – perfect for those who are waste- conscious and suitable for those of us who purchase takeaway beverages on the regular.
The couple had already owned every reusable coffee cup they found on the market, but they noticed each one had a flaw.
‘We hated them… the lids either fell off, was too hot to hold, they were ugly or had a weird smell. So we decided to make a cup we actually want to use,’ she said.
‘We took everything we didn’t like with the other cups, and designed our own to make it better… We wanted to make something that actually does what it says on the packaging… So that’s where the idea came from.’
Sandra-Lea said they were able to lift their humble brand off the ground after they managed to raise more than $40,000 through a crowdfund in December 2018.
‘It was all or nothing,’ she said.
‘In less than 12 hours, we raised just over the $40,000 mark. It was a miracle but we put a lot of hard work into the campaign to kickstart our brand.’
The community rallied behind the parents, as kind family, friends and even strangers donated to help the launch of their business.
‘We didn’t even have the products in our hands yet but we already had raging fans supporting us. People just wanted us to hit the ground running.’
Sandra-Lea said they were able to lift their humble brand off the ground after they managed to raise more than $40,000 through a crowdfund in December 2018
Through their love of design and innovation, the LUXEY Cup was born
And so, through their love of design and innovation, the LUXEY Cup was born.
‘We landed our very first shipment in Australia but we sold out within 13 days. Our second shipment sold out within eight days. All up we sold 10,000 units,’ she said.
The couple are still working and packing their products in their family’s garage.
‘If you know Andy and I, we are the hardest, dedicated, and committed couple you’ll ever meet,’ Sandra-Lea said.
‘We are currently looking for an office in an industrial area but we’re still in the garage. Our priority isn’t a fancy warehouse, our main priority is getting more stock.
‘It can sometimes get annoying having work in the same space as the kids so it’s hard to disconnect but we’re very resilient people so it’s actually not bad working in the garage.’
For anyone who’s keen to start a business, Sandra-Lea said: ‘My biggest advice, which goes against everything we’re trained, is trust your gut’
Through their love of design and innovation, the LUXEY Cup was born
Like any start-up business Sandra-Lea said there were many challenges they faced.
‘At the moment, we can’t get keep up with stock level, we can’t seem to make the products fast enough,’ she said.
‘Another challenge is our business grew so quickly, so fast, so we weren’t prepared for the customer emails – we went from two to 60 in one day.
‘Dealing with a rapid growth and cash flows are other challenges too. But we’re doing the best as we can do.
‘There were times where we thought we were going to age 10 years in the space of two years but it does feel awesome that everything has finally paid off.
‘There were times when our reality wasn’t looking like how we visualised it but for it to actually happen, it does feel surreal.
‘I feel powerful in my own work. I feel grateful and proud of what we’ve done and achieved. I feel all our hard work manifesting.
‘To all our beautiful customers, tribe and girl gang, I’m just incredibly grateful and we couldn’t have done it without you.’
She also praised her husband Andy who was right by her side from the start.
‘I couldn’t have done this without him,’ Sandra-Lea said.
‘He’s so freaking talented in what he does, he’s smart and he never gave up. He’s the kindest man I’ve ever met. He’s patient, generous and has put a lot of team effort to being LUXEY Cup here.’
For anyone who’s keen to start a business, Sandra-Lea said: ‘My biggest advice, which goes against everything we’re trained, is trust your gut.
‘Go with your decisions, make something you actually feel good about. The reason LUXEY Cup has become so successful is because Andy and I made sure everything felt good and right,’ she said.
‘We made sure every decision was right and good. If it doesn’t feel right, then we’d move on instead of hassling, grinding and struggling.
‘Go with your gut because that’s where all the magic happens.’