On December 10th, 2018, I launched a tea subscription business with 3 goals in mind. I wanted to curate teas boxes for people that matched their needs, flavor profiles, and tell them the stories behind each tea.
One year later, I am focused on telling the stories behind the teas because that’s where I’ve found I can provide the most value for my customers. Tea By C’s collectible informational cards, tasting wheel, and blog articles, are what make this business STAND OUT.
Keep reading for some 2019 stats, major challenges, and a monthly recap of accomplishments.
Some YTD stats:
2,952 website visits
64% of site visitors came directly to the site, 19% came from a Google search, 11% from Facebook or Instagram.
61% of site traffic on mobile
434 Instagram followers
82 teas sourced
76 info cards created
27 blog posts published
Challenges and obstacles:
- A large number of apps needed to integrate with Shopify to service my business model — more expensive than anticipated.
- Recharge app compatibility with Gempages app — not compatible, had to find workarounds and lost customers because automatic payments weren’t working properly for 3 months.
- Mailchimp no longer integrating with Shopify — email marketing migration to Seguno. Seguno does not have as many features.
- Content production timeliness (creating blog posts weekly and info cards monthly on time).
- Inventory management: meeting MOQ and using the tea while still providing a personalized service (optimizing and using all inventory).
December: Launch with holiday gift sets as my first product.
January: Design and launch of Curation by Claire, tea for businesses. Decked out the van with Tea By C signs.
February: Valentine's Day gift sets and first official tea tasting at Modio Health in downtown SF.
March: collaboration with a local filmmaker for a short TxC promo video ft. Golden Honey black tea. Tea tastings at Wework and Orange Theory.
April: The blog goes live with the first article about how to support small businesses without spending any money.
May: Tea By C is in the Marin Magazine, Mother’s Day tea bouquets released, and a tea blogger gives TxC’s Moscato Oolong glowing reviews.
June: TxC makes an appearance at the World Tea Conference in Vegas and does more tea tastings.
July: TxC releases the first custom tea blend called Mai-Cha (a blend of bancha green tea, toasted rice, and matcha green tea powder).
August: TxC ambassador program created to enable loyal customers to become advocates. Move away from the health benefits of tea and emphasize the storytelling aspect of the brand (redesigning of info cards and Instagram feed).
September: 100 TxC curated wedding goodies for Nico and Luci’s wedding with a personalized tea blend.
October: internal restructuring to plan teas seasonally instead of monthly. This allows for long term planning, time for supply diversification, and more cohesive content development (blogs, Instagram, email marketing are complimentary and more intentional). Glowing reviews of Tea By C’s Starter Kit by an Instagram tea influencer.
November: attended the SF international tea festival. Partnered with an illustrator to design unique holiday gift sets.
December: Launch of Apple chat on the website. First trial with paid Instagram promotion. TxC acquired its first business account to send Holiday gift sets to their clients.
The 2020 VISION:
In 2020, Tea By C is focusing on 4 major goals:
1. Sustainability- We want our packaging to be eco-friendly and sustainable.
2. Educational Tea Course- We're going to work on putting together an interactive tea course for you so you can all become tea experts!
3. Offline Points of Sale- TxC is going to explore selling more offline. We may pop up in some locals shops.
4. Teaware- Last but not least, we're going to go beyond tea and into high quality, unique teaware.
We're anticipating an exciting and fulfilling year ahead. We can't wait to explore new tea topics and opportunities with all of you loyal tea seedlings. Cheers!
Founder, Tea By C