A: Starting a tea company was not something I ever pictured growing up. Although I ran little businesses for fun as a child, when I got through school I still had no idea what I wanted to do. It wasn't until a visit to a local tea shop changed my life. Read the full story here.
A: Not getting overwhelmed. Everything I learned about opening and running a business was self-taught. I read a lot of books, did a lot of searching online, and even taught myself accounting on a plane ride to Japan. On top of that, people I talked to had so many opinions, both good and bad. The hardest part was gathering all of this information and organizing it the best way possible. I wanted things to launch without any major hiccups, so I felt a lot of pressure to do it right the first time. There were a few times that I felt like giving up because everything was just so overwhelming.
A: Having the ability to change things. I learned that sometimes things just don't work; a lot of my growth came from trial and error. I also love watching my business change. It's interesting how many different things can happen in such a short amount of time. I have a habit of writing down a couple sentences every day, so I can look back and compare what's happening today to what happened a year or a couple years ago.
A: Hearing positive feedback from others. It's so amazing to build something from scratch and have a loyal following. My customers are the ones who keep my momentum going because they give me great feedback and support. When I was beginning with this business, I'd get discouraged a lot. When that happened, someone was always there to step in and turn my thoughts around.
A: My mom. She left her life and family in Brazil to come live in America, for a better life. There were a lot of roadblocks that she ran into, but she was persistent. Growing up, she always encouraged for me to do what made me happy. Whenever I thought I couldn't do something, she was always there to encourage me to keep moving forward.
A: I love to go hiking (or if there's snow, snowshoeing). Being in nature is a great way to recharge my mind and disconnect. I think in a world where everyone is so connected, it's very important to take that time for yourself. The best ideas seem to come up when I'm out in nature. Reading and researching is another hobby of mine. Whenever I want to improve something, whether it's something personal or business related, I always find new articles and books to read about that topic.
A: Haha. It's really dependent on my mood. Some days I'll want something more comforting, so I'll prepare it as a latte, and other days I just want to enjoy it traditionally, with just hot water. It's such a versatile tea, there are too many possibilities.
A: There are actually 2 reasons. When harvesting loose teas, normally the young leaves from the top of the tea plant are picked. This usually consists of 1, 2 or 3 leaves attached to a bud. So, because I like the number three, I went with three. Also, my initials are LT. Put them together, and you get 3 Leaf Tea!
A: First, research, research, research! If you think you know everything, think again. It's impossible to learn too much. It's better going into something over prepared than under. The internet is such a great, free resource. There's so much help out there. Second, don't doubt your potential. So many people have amazing ideas and then think that they can't go forward with them. There's always a way. Sometimes you just have to think out of the box.