Thursday
Dec122013

You've got to know when to hold 'em...

...know when to fold 'em...

Friday, December 20th will be the last day I open the teany tiny tea shop as a cafe on Webster Street. Personally, this decision is not easy, but from a business perspective, the right move.

I started this project two years ago with the goal of learning more about running a business by jumping in and getting experience first-hand. I set my intention to serve by way of tea, through this tiny business, my own style of community building, customer service, and a more mindful way of being. By my own measure, my goals were satisfied beyond what I could have expected, and have left me with so much to be grateful for and continue to grow from.  

In this self-curated MBA program, every person that visited or supported the shop became a teacher. The raised eyebrows, cheers of support, and moments of connection that are impossible to describe, all became the syllabus for my intro to small business. From it all I take away a more refined understanding of my own professional strengths, opportunities for growth, and a continued faith in the power of local community support. 

At this moment I cannot admit I know what is next for me or Tea Here Now. I know that this process has only made me love sharing tea more, given me a new rubric of business skills to buff-up on, and a heart overflowing with gratitude. I'll take the time to savor the next week of sharing tea and celebrating with those that fill Tea Here Now with love and warmth, then I'll continue to reflect and consider what's next. 

If you want to stay connected, please fill-out the little e-mail sign-up and I'll keep you posted as the kettle keeps singing. 

I wish you many great cups of tea and savored moments,

Andrea, The Tea Lady

Sunday
Oct132013

You're only open one day a week?! What?!

Yes, sweet sippers, it's true. As it turns out, the tea lady is human and after running at warp-speed for the last year and a half needed to catch her breath. She's adjusted hours for fall/winter to keep the tea shop open Fridays from 11am-6pm, and for occasional pop-ups both in the shop and around town. You better believe that Fridays and any other day the shop is open will be super special and something to celebrate and look forward to! 

Please trust that she's made this dramatic (and hopefully temporary) shift with hopes of being able to offer more tea love and adventures very, very soon.

For now, come visit on Fridays for your tea shop fix (and to stock-up on our amazing bulk tea to keep you steeping in style every day), and stay tuned to this site and our facebook page for updates on special tea events and pop-ups. Should you have a tea emergency feel free to message us on facebook or email the tea lady directly: Andrea(at)TeaHereNowCafe.com You can also sign up for our occasional tea-mail by clicking the "email sign-up" tab on the home page.

Hope to sip and celebrate tea with you soon!

 

 

Saturday
Feb022013

The power of pop-up partnerships

If you've visited or seen photos of Tea Here Now, you know that our shop is tiny. Only about 125 square feet of sipping and service space. Such diminutive digs are no excuse to keep it all to ourselves and not share it with fellow passionate up-and-comer businesses. Recently, we've been fortunate enough to enjoy serving alongside Angel Cakes, Indie Cakes & Pastries, and Picnic Bakery, and what a treat it has been for us and our sweet sippers! We've also been able to offer wares from local businesses and bliss by our massage therapist neighbor, Hannah Raphael.

There is something very powerful in partnering with others trying to share their passion and art with our community. It's magical to introduce sippers to the artisans behind the treats they enjoy and to learn alongside them about the dedication they have to their craft and service. I'll admit that it's not a bad gig to always be on the lookout for new and amazing complements to a perfect cup of tea.

So, next time you visit the tea shop I hope you'll take extra pride in knowing that by supporting our tiny shop you are really cheering on a multitude of local entrepreneurs committed to making our community a better/sweeter/calmer place.

Saturday
Jan192013

Following bliss may cause blisters

My teany tiny tea shop has now been open for about 45 days. 45 abundantly amazing/exhausting/inspiring/informative days. Every day, really every hour, I am gifted new lessons in building a business and serving my community and neighbors. There is nothing more heartwarming or encouraging than the support and response I have been given by those that have shared tea or treats in the shop. To witness the dreams and intentions I set before I could ever know what to expect unfold before me each day, makes the long "entrepreneur hours" of a new business owner possible. Not just possible, but nourishing and propelling.

I've been gifted an opportunity to find my place. My place to make those I encounter feel better or calm or comforted if even for the moment it takes to steep a cup of tea. I've found a space that I've been able to fill with laughter and joy, and the story of what it takes to bring those lovely leaves from amazing lands and hands around the world to sippers in Oakland, California. I've crossed paths with kindred company willing to share in my passion for sitting, sipping, and savoring. I've witnessed neighbors getting to know each other better, new beverage territories explored, strong community support of one little gal's dream, and the need we all have to slow down just a bit to connect and refresh in an ancient way in our modern day.

So here I am, following my bliss with gusto and gumption. At the end of extra long days I liken this journey to an amazing hike. Up before the sun each day I lace-up my boots and eagerly prepare for the adventures ahead. At the end of some days when I take those boots off I notice blisters from the day that remind me of what I encounterd along the way and how I grew from it and am better for it.

It is so satisfying and I am beyond grateful.

 

Friday
Oct262012

The ballet of building a business 

This little ballerina has been a bad blogger. I've been informed that at least two (!) kind folks are reading these dispatches, so two apologies are issued for my lack of posting. Now, here we are.

Today was a big day. Up until this point I've put much time, love, blood, and sweat into the renovation of our tiny space. Today, the tears came. Proudly I can say that they were not the result of a breakdown at the end of one of the many long days of work I've been enjoying. Not because I questioned what the heck I was doing with my passion/time/money/etc. (not to mention that of my nearest and dearest, too). But, because all the hurdles to opening our door have been cleared. Plumbing, electric, health department, and finally building inspections passed. The kind city worker added his final signature to my permit card, shared his blessing, and continued on with his day. I was left in the shop, card in hand, heart pounding and overflowing with gratitude, and then they came. Joyful, hard earned, and celebratory. A big day, indeed. Moment savored, then I moved on to keep on with the to-do list of stuff that needs to be done to get things in ship-shape.

Much of this journey has felt like what I know ballet to be, immense effort presented with nothing short of grace and ease, done by an incredible troupe of talented artists. Doing something crazy hard in a way that makes it look super easy, collaboratively. So far, two of three of the main goals I set for myself at the offset of this project have been met-- I've learned so much about building a business, and I've done my best to approach every moment and decision mindfully. My dearest ones are still putting up with me, and I can say that I've squeezed every drop out of every day, most often with a smile and open heart. Goal three, to successfully operate this business built on passion and with a beginner's mind, still remains, but for now I savor the fortune I'm blessed with.

Tonight my sister arrives, tomorrow we work to put the finishing touches on our space, and this coming week with the help of my amazing husband, we'll open a few hours each day to introduce ourselves to the community. A week from Monday (November 5th) we'll be full steam ahead. My goals remain the same, but also turn to serving the community I so care for. I'll do my best to keep posting these little postcards and hope that I'll be able to share a cup of tea with you soon!