I had always dreamed of starting something with tea. But I never knew what. A blog? A tea store? Many questions arose for me when trying to figure it out. Should I try and make my own tea blends? Would anyone be interested in what I say or do if I started a blog? Needless to say, I started a blog, but I have quite a big dream for the future. Here is my story.
I drank tea a bit in high school, but my love of tea seeded in my senior year. As I entered college, I brought some teas and water boiler with me but forgot to bring sugar. It was then that my love for the different flavors of tea started to grow, I was able to drink tea and actually taste the flavor, not the mostly sugar/barely tea ratio I was used to. In high school, I had hated black tea because I oversteeped it and it was always bitter in taste. But I eventually learned that it can taste amazing and smooth when properly brewed. My love for entrepreneurship grew with my love for tea and I started going into hyperdrive thinking of all the ways I could incorporate tea into a business.
As a young hopeful entrepreneur, I am always hungry for business opportunities and ideas. But somewhere in my education, I hit a metaphorical wall. Many business ideas have been done and exhausted, the tea market is saturated with different tea companies. How could I make my mark on the business and tea industry? At first, I wasn’t sure that I could. But eventually, I came up with my solution: Tea&Me. I want to build up my platform and help this saturated tea market by helping small tea vendors. That would be a high-level overview of my plan. It started out as an idea and a dream for a very long time, not a reality. It was something I would tell people, “Yeah, I want to own a company called Tea&Me” but never really pursue. I did not know where to start, how to build a following or how to grow my idea.
It wasn’t until I had to do a business plan in college that the idea of Tea&Me really started to grow and develop. I had my mom design a logo for me, and I had a basic website designed on Wix. I knew it was going to be a blog, eventually an online store, and potentially a physical store in the future. I presented my website and business plan, and then basically spewed excuses out of my mouth for the next few months. I was afraid to launch and develop it. I had started to create some content, but things weren’t…right. I kept saying that I needed to have content ready in order to launch the site and that without a surplus of content, I would never be successful. My content sucked, to be honest. The writing was forced and unoriginal and just a way for me to procrastinate on not launching my blog. I was having a hard time figuring out what I wanted this blog to be, I really had no clear vision for it and it really showed in my writing.
During this struggle, I was writing a post one day and accidentally pushed the wrong button and launched my website when I was trying to save a draft. I was not ready at all, but it was the push I needed. I ended up redesigning a website on WordPress (because Wix was so expensive!!) and then launching quietly. A day later, I launched an Instagram to match and changed my personal Pinterest into a business account. From there on, I told myself that I was going to do whatever it takes to grow organically and as fast as I can. And so I did.
Since launching end of January, I engage daily with my 5000 followers on Instagram, try and post weekly on my Facebook, and of course, try and post content on Wednesdays and Saturdays on my blog. This is not meant to be boastful at all, I work countless hours to ensure that my plan will be successful, not for me but for companies I want to work and collaborate with. Collaborations are key to this blog; I have many companies reaching out for me to review their tea. They help me take steps into the direction I want this blog to go, as well as helping me form relationships with these tea companies. My current goal is to help tea companies in any way I can. I review teas, perform giveaways, and get eyes on their products. I have rules I follow like: 1) I will not write a review unless I have tasted their product. 2) I will not be biased towards teas that are sent to me at no cost. 3) My reviews will be honest and full of integrity, I want to be proud of everything I post.
Recently, I feel like I have been struggling a bit. New Instagram algorithms have made Instagram engagement more difficult. I have a surplus of tea reviews to complete (which can be overwhelming), but I need to dedicate time to each tea to ensure a proper and solid review. I am amazingly blessed, but that does not mean I struggle. The bottom line is that I love tea. And I love helping others. And this blog is a way for me to help other tea companies and drink tea. I love it. I am always learning new things. Even if I am struggling, I want to continue to build Tea&Me. It is something I love to do about something I love to drink.
I hope you enjoyed my story. I definitely have more I could have shared, but I will leave that for another story another time. Chao! Happy Brewing!