Courteney is a young, healthly-living lover, yoga and fitness fanatic who has turned her daily juicing rituals into a business that’s taking New Zealand on a cleanse. Inspired by the values and healthy lifestyle from her mother growing up, Courteney is helping to bring heath and wellness to others. Name: Courteney Johnston
Occupation: Founder of The Design Juicery What’s your career/story to date:
I grew up in a small town with a super active family of six. Health and fitness became an early passion, as I spent many hours consuming my mother’s healthy cooking between all the different sports we were involved in. In the summer of ’09 I packed my bags and headed off to Canterbury University to study science and business, and in 2012 completed my Masters of Engineering in Management. I had been very involved with the Research & Innovation department as well as the University’s entrepreneurial competition, and upon graduation accepted a job with a tech transfer company creating spin out businesses from scientific research. I left this job in February of this year to pursue my dream of owning my own business and bringing health to the lives of others.
Tell us a bit about you and what motivated you to get into juicing?
I grew up in a very healthy family, and juicing was a morning ritual for us. It wasn’t until I was flatting that I started to realise that the health principles I had been raised with were not universal, and the concept of creating healthy food & beverages could be quite daunting to others. I began making juices for my friends, and after being inspired by some of the incredible cleanse companies overseas I decided I would love to bring the concept to New Zealand. There is a real demand here for pure, raw beverages, dairy milk alternatives and what I refer to as “healthy fast-food”. People are conscious of what they are putting in their bodies, and I wanted to create a business that both reflected what I believe in and made it easy for people to access goods that they can be confident are beneficial to their health. What are the main health benefits of cold press juicing?
The benefits of juicing are phenomenal as the body receives a high level of active nutrients that are rapidly absorbed by the cells. Cleansing helps to break down toxic buildup, and can heal and reset overworked organs, allowing for better absorption of nutrients. Restoring organ function while also delivering a high level of sustained nutrients throughout a cleanse leads to improved functioning of the body both inside and out. Juicing is essentially liquid nutrition, that delivers targeted, active, highly beneficial nutrients to the body.
What goes into designing a juice that will appear on your menu?
All juices created by The Design Juicery are completely natural, raw and healthy. Nothing additional is used to alter our juices (no preservatives, sweeteners or artificial additives) and therefore it is also important that the way the ingredients blend together reflect what we are trying to achieve. Every ingredient in our juices is there to achieve a purpose, and each and every one of our juice has been packed with nutrients to ensure this purpose is achieved. Was there a defining moment when you knew you wanted to start a business?
I have always known I wanted to run my own business, I just never thought I would be doing it at this early stage in life. When I decided on the concept for The Design Juicery however I knew it was a now or never type opportunity, so went for it! I love the entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to be innovative and creative while also thinking strategically and logically. I wanted to create a product that I could be proud of, and with limited truly healthy options on the market I also wanted something that people could trust. I have loved starting this business and am continually inspired to make it grow.
What’s it like running your own business?
Creating The Design Juicery has been a dream come true, and I am extremely lucky to have an amazing support network who have encouraged and inspired me to do what I am passionate about. There have been challenges, but they keep me inspired and motivated to learn, create and do more with every day! Hearing from people that they feel incredible, healthy and have even felt they have healed their bodies is the most amazing feeling, as being able to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle has been my motivation from the beginning. I love what I do, and love inspiring others to be healthy! Have there been any set backs? What did you learn from them?
I have learnt the value of competition, and understand now the differences between healthy and unhealthy. There will always be people who will try to stop you from following through with something you are passionate about, but this is has taught me not let it get me down, but rather be inspired to work harder. Roadblocks will pop up, and there will always be challenges, but if it were easy everyone would do it! The most important thing is to communicate, be honest with people and remain positive. Attitude goes a long way, and can either inspire continued growth or inhibit your potential.
How do you market your business? Is it mainly just social media channels like FB and Instagram?
The power of social media has astounded me. Being able to access my target market through Facebook and Instagram has been incredibly helpful. I have found social media as a beneficial platform for liaising with people in similar fields all over the world, no matter whether they are. I also find real value in attending events that fit well with TDJ’s core values. Lululemon Queenstown have been incredible for hosting events where I have been fortunate enough to be involved, and these days have been incredible for meeting my direct market while having a huge amount of fun promoting a product I love. What’s in store for TDJ in 2015?
2015 will be focused on growth so that people all throughout the country can enjoy the benefits of cold pressed juice, nut milks, and cleanses. I want to inspire people to live a healthier lifestyle, and by making TDJ more accessible more people will have the opportunity to do this. I would love to see TDJ become a household name in the health and wellness market, and for more and more people to feel the benefits of cold-pressed juice! I am also about to launch a bridal cleanse for the upcoming wedding season, and have an amazing collection of collaborations in store for this. I would love to see TDJ inspire a community of wellness, fitness, health and happiness, as more people realise how good their bodies are designed to feel. [line] You can find out more at thedesignjuicery.co.nz! [line]