Below is a copy of what I posted on Steepster:
Liquid Proust Teas Just Hatched
I apologize for being a liar: I said I would open up on Friday (tomorrow) but instead I am opening tonight. This decision was made on account of me agreeing to work overtime tomorrow, 11 hours, and the extra money will be much appreciated in my wallet at PopCon this weekend 🙂
Tea is a lifestyle for myself, just as it is for many of you. Claiming that tea is just a hobby wouldn’t be suffice considering hobbies are generally known to be what people do in their free time and tea is not set aside just for free time because I ensure it is a constant aspect for me. Many of my friends and family members told me that I would open a shop over the last year and I laughed because I viewed teashop owners as rockstars and I don’t see myself as a rockstar. Well, it is quite possible that I may be among those individuals; not a rockstar, but a tea creator. Many of you have heard, read about, or seen something about Liquid Proust Teas and I am quite happy to say that Liquid Proust Teas is officially open.
Considering that Liquid Proust Teas is new, there is a lot of room to improve. Many things will change if I am successful with my first batch of teas such as: labels, packaging, presentations, and prices. When it came to choosing quantity that I would begin with I had two options: Go big or start small. After a lot of contemplation I made the decision to create quite a bit. This decision came from two factors. The first factor was an agreement with myself to start big to see if this is something I will continue for leisure or par time work. The other decision was based on mathematics. Once I did some computations that revealed I need the profit from 54 ounces of tea being sold to cover just my LLC filing cost I decided that small batches wouldn’t cut it.
Enough with the paragraphs…
Here’s some random information I want to put out there:
1.I will not be using Liquid Proust on Steepster to do or handle the business of Liquid Proust Teas. Steepster is a website that I really enjoy interacting with and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I’m hoping that people won’t get upset that I still operate on here in the same way that I do now. That means that Liquid Proust Teas from my end will only be discussed via Etsy or email; with the exception to #2 that is listed next.
2.I will not create a new posting on Steepster unless I have a new lineup that is being/is released. As of now, I plan to do that three times a year but this could change depending on demand.
3.I vow to be objective when describing my teas and letting the consumer be subjective. This pertains to the ingredients list. When I list teas they will be as they are; for example, gyokuro will not be labeled as ‘premium green tea’ but as gyokuro.
4.Pictures that are used for my storefront and blog are meant to be 100% accurate as they are pictures of what I package to be sent out.
5.In regards to blogging: I plan to show the process to the majority of the teas that I create, but there are times that I forget or Startrek distracts me…
6.Just something to know: Etsy stores pay a fee for when an items sells ($.20 & 3.5%) plus a transaction in regards to how payment is made which is roughly 3% + $.25 or $.3 (Paypal vs Direct via Etsy). This means that an item that cost $6 can accrue fees at about $.87 (if it is just that item). As a customer myself, this information has changed how I see these small specialty shops online.
Short term goals
1.Establish Liquid Proust Teas as an honest and friendly company one customer at a time.
2.Learn how to accept defeat when it comes to not creating a tea that measures up for others’ taste buds.
Long term goals
1.Provide aged oolong at a competitive price
2.Participate in farmers markets
3.Work on matcha truffles (issues with shipping…)
4.Work on one SICK Kickstarter that would allow me to travel and coblend with another tea company to create some badass blends
a.Personally I see tea as something that brings communities together and it should be true not of just the buyers but the sellers (companies) as well
b.Question: What if the teas were called Badass Blend #1, Badass Blend #2, and so forth? (Really, but not really…)
Profits for my first ‘wave’ will go towards
1.Paying for the LLC filing cost
2.A large dehydrator so all the crazy fruits that are never in tea blends will show up and because tea infused jerky should be an option. That would include jackfruit, starfruit, durian, and more.
3.Purchasing samples of aged oolongs from a few suppliers to evaluate
4.Purchasing herbs from New Zealand and Japan to compare
5.1989 Pu’erh : I need to own a full cake at some… so why not the year I was born?
Thank you very much for reading all of that information. I will do my best to be transparent when it comes to the operations of my business so nothing is hidden. Earlier in the post I talked about continuing if I am successful with my first ‘wave’ of teas and what I mean by that is still undefined… do I say when I break even I’m successful or am I successful when I get good reviews? I’m uncertain, so I’m just going to do what I have done and give it 100 while hoping for the best.
Thankfully the future is unknown and we live it one day at a time.
If you have any questions in regards to Liquid Proust Teas feel free to shoot me a message on Etsy. Also, I love suggestions!
Lastly, regardless if you buy from me or not… if you give my tea a 1 or 100… look at my Etsy and laugh… I just want everyone to know that Steepster is only an oasis because of the people that interact on it. Intimidation was the only thing Steepster had for me a year ago because I didn’t feel adequate enough with tea to partake in the conversations on here. I haven’t even been on here for a year still and the amount that I have learned has been amazing. While I can’t make my hand appear from your screen and shake your hand, which would either be scary or awesome, I can say that much of my mission is to provide great teas to the community that is invested in the culture of tea. Just keep in mind that I’m not a super hero so this mission may not be achieved on my first go at it… then again, some super heroes end up fighting the same villain because of what I will call ‘reasons’ and therefore constantly fail their mission only to reattempt it.
Realizing that I’m now a small part of the world of tea makes me smile and I hope I can bring that smile to you.