It's a long story with many parts but I'll give you the main trigger. So many people have asked me how I came up with the idea to start a Caribbean tea business, something very unique and definitely not main stream. Some people dream their whole lives of starting a business and spent countless time thinking of the perfect product or service to offer. Others kind of fall into it when an idea suddenly clicks. And for some of us, we fall in the middle and through a winding journey, things eventually start to piece together. This was the reality for Taste Tea Naturals™. If you're interested to know the why behind Taste Tea Naturals starting, you can read the story here. But this blog post is more about my journey to find the right product.
Though I was a teacher, I had deep down always longed to own a business. I admired entrepreneurs and the way they were able to bring new things into the world. I liked the idea of having employees who I could challenge and help bring out their full potential. But I never felt I had the skills to really start a business. If you like to cook, you can open a restaurant, if you like to knit you can sell yarn and if you like video games you create one yourself. I didn't really have any skills. I liked to talk, eat, sleep and socialize. What business was I going to make with that? I didn't see my skills aligning with any viable business endeavors so I let the dream sit way in the back of my head and continued on with my life.
I started hearing abut the health benefits of certain Caribbean leaves such as soursop and pawpaw (papaya). Some newspaper articles suggested that they could cure cancer naturally, lower blood pressure etc. Now it's a very Caribbean thing to mix different tea leaves, plants and roots to remedy various ailments so I was intrigued. I was quickly growing more and more interested in natural and healthy products at the same time anyways. I even remember speaking with a shop clerk at a small, but popular Caribbean grocery store and he told me that these herbal leaves, (locally known as bush teas) were always in demand and selling like hot cakes. I decided that I should get involved in this too but I would find a way to better package the teas because all the offerings were very basic and I've always thought of tea as something that makes you feel special.
I started to do some research and even contacted a supplier for samples. I found that the herbal leaves were either flavorless or had a completely unappealing taste. I couldn't figure out what to do so I left the idea alone, pretty discouraged because I thought the idea would work. I went to a trade show a few months later and saw a lot of bush tea products on the market. So much for my original idea. I tasted a few of them and was just as disappointed as before. The teas didn't taste good. I spoke with a store clerk for a gift shop and she told me people like teas that make them feel good and have functional wellness properties but that they buy the ones that taste good. Right there I saw a need for taste good, feel good teas. It didn't have to be one or the other. I decided the "feeling" would not just be in terms of heath benefits but also in terms of experience. I wanted people to feel special, calm, relaxed, cultured and connected to great experiences. I wanted to create something that people could give as a gift, a way of sharing Caribbean culture with the world and extending the experience to friends, co-workers, family members etc. I also knew I wanted to give back, share positivity with the world, and build a community where people would uplift and encourage each other and feel safe to dream. There was so much more I wanted for my business than just the product.
At that same trade show, a lady told me not to do something everyone else was doing. She said to change my focus from bush teas. Maybe I could do them later on but it should not be how I started my brand. I decided to do Caribbean flavored teas because I knew this would meet the need of taste good, feel good teas. And that's how the idea for Taste Tea Naturals was born. We're a tiny business with great dreams and I invite you to join us and come along for the ride!
Tell me in the comments, have you ever had a dream but were doubtful your skills could make it a reality? What dream are you sitting on and what can you do today to activate it?
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