Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Having just transitioned from a career in social work less than three months ago, I'm a brand new entrepreneur! I own, run and manage the first SALONTEA tea boutique in Canada based in Vancouver. Our focus is on providing a variety of high quality, custom blended teas, full high tea service, assorted light bites, unique gifts and more to our customers in the South Granville area.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Though I enjoyed my decade-long career in social work and found it fulfilling, I have been interested in opening up a tea shop for nearly five years, as I not only love tea but love the experience of having tea and how it brings people together and slows you down (a novelty in today's fast-paced era). This idea to run a boutique was something I always sought to fulfill, and I became inspired to turn this dream into reality when I first saw and ultimately spoke with Tracy Stern (CEO and Founder of SALONTEA) after catching the tail-end of a reality TV show she was featured on called "Mad Fashion." That first conversation instantly changed my life and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing and inspiring woman.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Right now I would have to say learning. I am sure in a few months the answer will be meeting new clients and creating an environment for them to celebrate all of life's milestones through all that the boutique offers (including something we're really excited to offer: tea parties), but for right now the learning curve is huge and I am loving every minute of it (mostly)
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself having opened numerous SALONTEA locations accross Canada and continuing to bring people together through the unique experience of our wide selection of tea and tea products that go beyond the pot!
What does success look like to you?
To me success is waking up inspired and content. Success is knowing that everyday, week, month , year I am evolving and growing and (hopefully) inspiring others!
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Well as my new career has just begun I feel like everyday is a memorable milestone. This has all happened very quickly and because of the time crunch there is so much to do everyday that each day is filled with what may not seem like big things to some people but (prior to opening earlier this month) were huge memorable milestones for me. This includes getting the keys to SALONTEA, picking out furniture, hiring employees, seeing the paint go up on the walls, spending a day working with friends and family to piece the shop together, distributing my first press release, meeting new and inspiring people and, most of all, the non-stop unconditional support I have received en route.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
If you harbour a dream, don't wait a decade or more...do it!!! Life is short and precious and as far as we know we only get one of them so do whatever will make you wake up happy everyday.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support The Ride To Conquer Cancer. Cancer affected my life very significantly two years ago when I lost my father and I would do anything to help so that others don't have to go through that. I am also in the process of making a connection with a local charity to donate 10% of all sales of SALONTEA Chari"tea" tea to.
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