1. What is your business?
The Algabar Tea Collection is a Los Angeles based on-line retailer of exquisitely blended, scented and flavored teas, many of which are organic, fair trade and/or biodynamic. I provide signature tea services at tea parties and conduct tea tastings that bring people together to learn about tea and experience the pleasures of tea culture.
Years of personal meditation practice and study lead me to recently launch rituals4wellbeing which hopes to inspire fellow entrepreneurs to nurture their spirit and quiet the incessant chatter in their mind so they can hear the important stuff.
2. Why did you launch this business?
When I launched the tea business four years ago, I sensed a shift in the perception of tea. The image of the lavish upper class Afternoon Tea or the coma inducing sweet iced tea was evolving as people of all backgrounds discovered the healthy and energizing virtues of tea. Wishing to bring attention to the mastery of tea production and the artistry of blending teas, my mission was to offer delicious teas paired with memorable tea experiences and to inspire Americans to experience the way of tea, much like the rest of the world.
3. Greatest pleasure in business
I do the happy dance when a non-tea drinker or a life long tea drinker tells me that they love my tea and that it has changed their idea about tea.
4. Greatest Challenge
My greatest challenge has been transitioning from a retail store to an on-line business. I miss the face-to-face interaction and the rewards of building personal relationships with my customers. This year I am putting more effort into group tastings and events, which have been great for me emotionally and have been good for business.
5. Key Resource
I closed my store over a year ago and moved the business to my loft in Hollywood. With limited part time help, I struggle with isolation and loneliness, but the hardest challenge was reinventing my business from retail to on-line. Then along came SMARTY. The Foundation Course changed the course of my business and helped me redirect my focus towards a new target market and towards other opportunities to directly interact with my target customer. I have met many talented women and have implemented many great ideas that I garnished from various events and conversations. SMARTY has been a lifeline to other like-minded entrepreneurial women who dare to dream big but struggle with similar challenges.