Today's small business feature is simply awesome. Although I wasn't able to meet the owner in person, I loved how his personality oozed out of every answer in his Q & A. I personally found a lot of motivation thanks to his excitement and passion.
To better introduce this shop, I need to first start off how I got to know of this hidden gem.
While working on a photo shoot with pottery artist Carolina Alamilla, we strolled around Coral Gables looking for the perfect spots to photograph. Caro, as we all call her, has an intense love for tea; almost as much as I have for coffee. With the 90 degree Miami heat, we were in desperate need of a quick pick me up when Caro suggested Small Tea Company.
The first thing you'll quickly notice is their store decor. You guys. This. Is. Perfect. I just loved how they made the shop an entire experience through their decor and style. A few steps in, you'll be captivated by their Tea Stand - more like THE tea altar where you'll find their custom flavored teas. As your eyes keep wondering around, you'll find my personal favorite area, their ceiling. It's made of squares boxes and burlap, evoking a very earthy and rural vibe that adds the perfect touch to the shop.
What's even better? Their tea, of course! I've never been much of a tea person, but these guys really know how to make tea. I ordered the "Venezuelan Childhood" iced tea. Being from Venezuela, I had to try it - and my, was it the best decision I made that week. It had this sweet mandarin flavor that made you just smile after every sip.
I can go on and on about Small Tea Co, but I would much rather leave you with a taste and have you look over at the gallery and read owner Daniel's Q & A on how he started his business.
1. What made you start Small Tea Co?
I’ve been a tea fanatic all my life, and wherever I went, I was on the search for great tea, but always ended with low quality tea in my cup. I had to go online to source good tea, but doing this on my daily basis was quite difficult and looking for local shops was even more so since all the cafe shops near work and house where specialized in coffee and honestly serving really bad tea.
So I said to my self that there should exist a place specialized on tea; a place where I could feel comfortable, that I would enjoy going on a daily basis and get a perfect cup of tea. I wanted to be in a place that no matter if I was on the run, or not I could have good tea on the go.
This is why I created Small Tea Company: for the lack of tea shops, my love for tea, and my desire to have an amazing place dedicated specially to tea.
2. What was one of the biggest moments (as of now) that your business has had?
This is a very hard question; I can unashamedly say we’ve had so many good moments. Running a tea company is a very hard business because of the industry we're in, but I believe that my best moments are when customers tell us how much they love Small Tea, how much they love my concept, how much they want us to succeed. To me, these are the biggest moments because they give me the strength to continuously improve and to keep getting better and better.
3. What would you recommend to a person who is having doubts of opening a business?
Start. You will never know what you can do until you start doing. It's better to fail in something you've wanted todo than not do anything at all.
Believe in your business concept. Make your business as best as you can.
To have Patience. A Lot of patience.
4. What is the biggest lesson you learned as a business owner?
To believe in yourself. That if you set your mind right, you can achieve anything.
6. One fun fact about you
I'm Addicted to tea… and…Coca-Cola.
7. Favorite quote for motivation?
"A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Laozi
8. Any other tips you can offer to fellow entrepreneurs?
Don’t be scared of sharing your ideas and asking questions. You have no idea (pun not intended) how much you can get out of discussing your business plans with a friend or mentor.
Start Doing!! Don’t just sleep on it. One thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, you started your business!
Never stop improving your ideas, yourself, and your business. Don't settle for less under any circumstance.