A Year in Review
As you know, we recently celebrated our first birthday as a company. And what a wonderful year it’s been! We want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who has supported Tea Ave along the way; we couldn’t have made it this far without your support. Thank you!
To mark the occasion, founders Heidi and Jeff shared their thoughts about what it was like to build a small business from scratch. Here’s what they had to say.
I still remember the time I jokingly brought up the idea of starting an online oolong tea shop during a casual brainstorming session with Heidi. We usually sleep on our ideas and revisit them the next day to see if they are indeed good ideas. Most don’t pass this test – but oolong did. We both think it’s because we knew that we love oolong tea too much to pass on it.
After several rounds of meetings and brainstorming sessions, we decided to embark on the idea together. We then spent the next few months researching and working out our business plan, designing the website and flying back and forth between Taiwan and Vancouver to make sure we had the very best product selection – and that we were actually bringing something new to the market.
Fast forward twelve months, and Tea Ave was born. I still remember the moment it went live, and I’ll never forget our first order, which we got minutes after we launched. I really couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved together. It’s a project that’s near and dear to my heart, not only because we do everything ourselves, but because we took the time to get all of the details right. When we finished our careful preparations and the brand was launched, everything was perfect.
What a year! Tea Ave has kept me busy the entire year, from our grand opening last March to being nominated for Best Tea Industry Website and attending the World Tea Expo in April and May to traveling to tea farms in Taiwan in July and August to attending the Honoring the Emmys event in Hollywood in September (where we mingled with celebs!) to celebrating our first Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Whew! We’ve experienced many firsts over the past year, and it’s been a year full of activities and campaigns, with lots and lots of support from the tea community.
Our recent celebrations of Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day went great, and the launch of our Tea Ave app and collaboration with Alexis of Teaspoons and Petals for the 2015 FEED event to benefit the hungry was a standout memory for me. I’ve loved being a part of so many great events where I get to meet other people in the industry and talk tea all day long. It’s been a truly fruitful year: None of the tasks we’ve undertaken have been easy, but I’m proud to say I’ve enjoyed every moment of the journey. There’s nothing more rewarding than hearing customers tell us how much they love our products; that’s what pushes us forward, and what drives us to be excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.
What’s next? Well, we’re looking to expand and start offering our products in brick-and-mortar stores and do some pop-ups in the coming months. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, celebrate our anniversary with us on all these sales!!