Starting From Scratch Is Hard


This is a check-in on the Firebelly Tea Brand. I wrote about their launch of Firebelly Tea back in November. David Segal (formerly of DavidsTea) and Harley Finkelstein (President of Shopify) teamed up to create this brand. 

David grew DavidsTea to over $100M in yearly revenue and took the company public in 2015. This time David is starting from scratch and trying to grow his direct-to-consumer tea brand. 

Sales went live in November 2021. Since then, they have received just under 700 orders. Their average order value is about $50. Meaning they have generated about $34,000 since they launched.

Monthly Sales:

November (164 Sales) – $8,200

December (88 Sales) – $4,400

January (130 Sales) – $6,500

February (170 Sales) – $8,500

March (128 Sales) – $6,400

It then occurred to me that they may have a separate website for Canadian sales (both David and Harley live in Canada). Sure enough, exists and processes orders separately from

I have not been tracking monthly, but I can tell they have received just under 1,000 orders on that site since they launched.

Between the two sites, they have received just under 1,700 orders (on average of about 10-12 orders per day) for total revenue since November of about $83,000 (approximately $17K per month).

I am slightly surprised to see a relatively low number of sales from Firebelly Tea. I would have thought that David and Harley would have been able to jump-start sales faster than this. I think this proves that no matter who you are, starting from scratch can be hard.

Here Is How Have They Tried To Grow The Brand

Back in November, David was a guest on many podcasts and was interviewed for many articles.


Perfectly Mentored with Jason Portnoy – EP158: David Segal: Starting From Scratch

The Modern Retail Podcast – ‘It starts with the product’: Firebelly Tea’s David Segal on building a modern tea empire

Monocle – Monocle 24: The Entreprenuers

The CJN Daily – David’s new tea: This entrepreneur is betting against supermarkets for his next venture

The CEO Series with McGill’s Karl Moore – entrepreneur David Segal & Deborah Flint, CEO of the GTAA


The Hustle – Interview: David Segal on the future of tea

Entrepreneur – This Founder Just Launched a Company That’s Giving Tea a Much-Needed Makeover for the 21st Century: ‘Tea Is for Entrepreneurs. Coffee Is Corporate America’s Drink.’

Strategy Online – David Segal takes another swing at tea

This press did help get their name out their to start. November has higher sales than December and January. Also search volume for their brand name peaked in November.

Search Volume

The initial PR and buzz resulted in the term “Firebelly Tea” being searched 1,600 times in November. However, the buzz has died down a little bit, and they are seeing about 700 searches a month for their brand name. 

Facebook Ads

Firebelly Tea has 57 total ads currently running on Facebook (but only 9 different types of creative). 

31 ads are running in the United States market and 26 ads are running in the Canadian market.

See their Facebook Ads

Paid Search Strategy

Firebelly Tea is only targeting 6 keywords right now:

  1. Firebelly Tea
  2. fire bellys
  3. firebelly
  4. fire belly tea
  5. david segal tea
  6. chinese tea

As you can see their top 4 paid search terms are all versions on their brand name. And number 5 is their founders name. Their only non-branded keyword is “Chinese Tea” and this term only see about 12,000 – 14,000 searches per month.


Firebelly Tea appears to be putting more effort into their email marketing strategy in March. I did not receive any emails from the In February, and I received 1 email from them in January. In March I received 4:

March 1st 7:07PM – Take a trip with tea around the world.

March 6th 8:04AM – What’s all the hype about Teaware?

March 14th 7:05AM – Natural Sleep Tea Remedies.

March 20th 3:15PM – Introducing 320: A new kind of self care

All I can say is, SEND MORE EMAILS. Get an email out at least once a week but even more frequently if you can!

Social Media

@firebellytea on Instagram has 2,279 followers

@firebelly.tea on Facebook 113 followers

@firebellytea on TikTok has 316 followers

Firebelly has been active on both Instagram and Tiktok. They are running a “320 Tea” campaign. Encouraging take a tea break at 3:20 in the afternoon. They are also running a sample pack giveaway: Givingaway 20 sample packs, 1 per day.

Audience Demographics

Slow Start To Healthy Growth?

It appears Firebelly is off to a relatively slow start. However, this may set them up for healthy, sustainable growth. They are taking all the proper steps to build an audience and engage with them. They are building a solid foundation that they should be able to grow off of. I will check back in with Firebelly Tea to see their progress in a couple of months.



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