Tag Archives: web site launch

The Dangers of Being a Tea Proprietor – Part II

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The yearning is a strong one….. For those of you who share my love of All Things Tea, you will understand the natural desire that comes from the pure enjoyment of Tea. Although I began my tea journey in my teen years, I did not grant myself freedom to consider becoming a Tea Proprietor a possible twilight profession until about 5 years ago. But, being practical, and having enjoyed several professional careers over the years, I did not feel quite ready to launch a Tea business. I decided to return to school while I built my plan, my brand, and my skills. After all, my tea experiences to that point had mostly revolved around grocery store brands and ‘common’ tea varieties and blends.

Having completed the major goals in education with a Behavioral Science Degree and a Doctorate in Metaphysical Studies, I thought I would proceed into the work of counselor or life coach. I took 2 months to unwind. I spent time in self-reflection and review. I traveled and took the time to reconnect with friends I had sadly neglected during my school studies. Most asked me, “So, what is next now that school is done?” To which I would reply, “I’m not really sure?’ I think I will just mediate on it and put it out to the universe for guidance and see where it leads me. (And, yes I really do this frequently. It has served me well through the years.)

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And so the tug-of-war began. My mind began searching for – the logical and practical path for this last career venture. But my heart, my heart began the tug to the tea business. Having launched the e-commerce site a couple of years ago, school prevented my full dedication to running the site. sure, I listed items and I sold some of my most collectables. I also built a dedicate fan base for many of my teas. But, I never could go full throttle. My business plan projected several future paths.

I think for all of us bitten by the tea bug, one goal is to open a true Tea House. A community place for friends and neighbors to gather, talk, and share the wonderful teas we make available. I was bitten by this bug very early on but had to bury it because my educational goals and running a Tea House were in direct conflict. I am capable of multi-tasking, but not quite to that extent. I had several places I have been interested in that I thought would make a great shop but they were owned by other people at the time. But I always kept my eye on them, hoping and wondering what the universe will bring. Then – Bam! I was made aware that one of the places just – suddenly, became for sale! Imagine that!

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I proceeded through the due diligence. Yes, yes – this place would be a great store-front for my tea business! I was so excited – my vision was forming before my eyes! But I was not receiving the message to JUMP! Just do it! It is time! Why was that, I asked myself. Being one to reflect, I decided to step back. I needed to think about it . Explore my gut feelings. “I think I will make some tea and contemplate.”

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In the end, I decided it was just not the right time. My current life is pulling me in many directions right now and I am not sure where these paths will lead. After all, tea culture is one of relaxation, sharing with friends and family, and enjoying the grand tea experience. For those that have been bitten by the Tea bug – you can understand fully the draw and the pull to having your own Tea House. For me, at this time, my e-commerce store fits my lifestyle better than planting myself and putting down roots in one community. There are other towns, cities, and states to explore before making that commitment.

 

But – stay tuned! The universe may redirect me at any time! How exciting that is! Life is such an adventure and one can only hold on for the ride.

In the meantime – brew a cup of tea and relax. All things in good time…..

Judith A. Ames

9 Lives Tea House

The Great State of Texas

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Web Site Launch Dates – How much stress can one body endure?

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Has anyone else felt this way? I have been working on this storefront since February 2012 and I STILL feel the pain of deadlines, listing stress, – shooting for that ‘perfect’ web presence that will make my page shine in the vast sea of web stores, blogs, career building sites and trying to develop that ever important ‘branding’ that we are told is an absolute must if we expect to achieve, succeed, and WIN at that new age marketing skills that confronts us ‘want-to-be’ entrepreneurs.

Me, being me, decided in the middle of all that was going on, I need another educational degree. Well, why not? After all I am only in my 50’s now; we are empty nesters and definitely not ready to retire – yet. And, you know that Behavioral Science degree will really be a great asset to the other ones on the wall. Yes – I shall take this task on also, but wait – I am really ‘liking’ this program but I just haven’t quite found my niche yet. So, on I trudge in college academia …..

Then, this last Spring, I found it! I enrolled in a class called Negotiation/Collaboration at UNT. I loved, loved, and loved this class. Disappointed to learn that UNT does not offer a Bachelor’s Degree in this discipline, I chose to tack on a Minor to my Behavioral Science program – why not, right? It only adds another 10 classes to my program and another year to my graduation date. But – (deep breath) – it’s all good, at least I think so at this point. I will know more when I start this next semester.

In the middle of all of this, I have been frantically buying inventory for the new Tea House; tea pots, tea cups, tea makers, tea travel mugs, infusers, scoops, and dozens and dozens of antique tea ‘things’ that I have brilliantly decided to include in my store to enhance that ever important – ‘BRANDING’. Oh and let’s not forget the tea! All successful Tea House’s need only the best teas – right? There are white teas and green teas, black teas and oolongs, Darjeeling’s, Pu-erh’s, Formosa’s. Teas from China, teas from Taiwan, teas from India and Nepal – OH MY! How in the heck does anyone keep them all straight? Some steep for 3 minutes others for 6 minutes, and if you don’t do it right, you suffer the curse of the ‘bitter tea brew’! In the midst of all of this activity, about 2 months ago I realized – ‘Dang! I have not paid any attention to my packaging!’ SHOOT! And another project is born…..

We need boxes; big boxes, boxes that fit inside boxes, tissue paper, shrinking paper, crinkle paper, and peanuts – lots and lots of peanuts! And, not just any peanuts, we must have biodegradable peanuts because here at 9 Lives Tea House we are ‘GREEN’, as green as we can be anyway and as we all know – it ain’t easy being green! (There’s that ‘Branding’ again)

We are now exactly 7 days to launch and I see before me about 80 more hours of shooting ad photos, creating shipping labels, re-locating all of the tea things I bought and hid so my husband doesn’t see I have more ‘stuff’ laying around the house! Then I get to research the antiques; write up the descriptions; settle on pricing; and enter all of that information into the e-commerce platform remembering to click ‘save’ at every level so the just entered information does not disappear which requires that I start over from the beginning – again.

Seriously, I do not know how my head has not exploded by now! So, I ask – ‘Does anyone else feel this way about launching a new web site?’ And how do you handle it? Really…… Well, now that the end is approaching, I am resolved to doing as much as I can in the time allotted without TOTALLY losing my sanity. It will all be good (my fingers crossed). I am sure there will be bugs to work out and glitches here and there, but, ‘GOSH DARN IT! At least I have not forgotten the BRANDING!’

We hope you will join us on July 1st for our debut of our new store – 9 Lives Tea House.

In the meantime: “Find Your Zen and Do the Brew” Tilt those tea cups everybody!

Judith A. Ames-Hardman
9 Lives Tea House
The Great State of Texas