Well... my tea business wasn't such a brilliant idea. I really love blending and selling my teas. Unfortunatley, there are some problems I've been trying to deal with...
Expense and storage of inventory: I only have enough money and room to blend and make small batches (which was the intent). The proplem with that is I can only vend at small venues, where I don't make enough money to really make it worth while.
Expense of venues:
The larger venues are expensive. I can't afford some and those that I can afford (local farmers markets) are difficult to get into, as they already have tea vendors. Plus... there's the small batch problem in that I would sell out too fast (which would be good right?) and not be able to restock timely enough to be back out there the next week. In order the have a client following I need to be at a venue on regular basis.
Here it is almost July and I still have teas that were packaged in March. Even that you buy at grocery stores can be months old and tea has a long shelf life... it appears that my teas aren't fresh.
Solutions to these problems are out of my reach:
I can't sell online (which would allow for more steady sales and customer base), because I'm working under the Florida Cottage Foods Act. In order to be able to sell online, I need to be able to contract with a commercial kitchen, which I haven't been able to find one that is willing. I'd also need insurance, which isn't that expensive, but I'm not going to buy it unless I can contract with a kitchen. Plus, I would need a permit for the kitchen (which I don't understand because if it is a commercial kitchen, it should already be permitted), and the permit is cost prohibitive.
Also, it really doesn't provide enough of a creative outlet for me. I'm going to try to sell the rest of my stock and gracefully bow out. I will however restock my Etsy shop Pieces of D with my artful wares and artful wear. I'm also going to rebuild my Pieces of D blog, which has apparently been deleted.
I'll keep this email address for a while, until I feel it is no longer of use. After that I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for your support!