Is it odd?


Trends and Tips on developing and operating a tea business.

Is it odd?

Postby Sorotsu » Mar 16th, '08, 22:34

is it odd that im 16 and i want to own my own teahouse/bakery type store i already am thinking about themes and stuff. My mom doesnt think i could do it and she says i should get a 'real' job even if i dont like it. I dont believe her all i want to do is open up a little shop of my own.
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Mar 16th, '08, 22:43

Dreams are fine, but I think I agree with your mother (and I'm not much older than you)-- you will want a backup plan in case the shop doesn't work out. Retail is notorious for fast turnover, so there's very little job security and you could end up worse off than when you started.

So, basically, I would say to stay in school, study hard, and get a good job. Then, later in life, once you've learned all there is about opening, operating, and (most importantly) financing your own store, go for it!
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Postby Eastree » Mar 16th, '08, 22:45

It's not odd in the least; it's called a dream.

As far as work and education, I suggest taking a few business courses, if not getting a bachelor's degree in business. And a culinary class or two wouldn't hurt, either. At the very least, it will give you some formal education which you can use in the progress to the point of being ready. Also, educational establishments are usually a good place to form professional relationships. Social networking can give you not only a group of contacts, but also people available for professional feedback and improvement of your tea shop.

For work leading to that point, I'll definitely suggest working some sort of customer service, in the least. People can be snippy (to be very polite) for no reason sometimes, and the more experience you have with them, the better it will be for you. Work in retail as customer service, and in the food industry, will not only give you that customer experience, but also practical knowledge to apply to your career.

Another obstacle which you may encounter is people who don't take young management seriously. I have no advice to overcome that. But your charisma, temperance, and other qualities will speak for themselves when the times come.
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Postby Sorotsu » Mar 16th, '08, 22:45

well yeah i was going to learn about it first and everything but my mom thinks owning a teahouse is useless and has no profit.
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Postby tenuki » Mar 16th, '08, 23:24

Sorotsu wrote:well yeah i was going to learn about it first and everything but my mom thinks owning a teahouse is useless and has no profit.


Your mom is undoubtedly right. However, life isn't about doing only useful and profitable things. And it is certainly _possible_ to have a teahouse that is useful to the community and profitable to the owner. It is also very difficult.

But none of those negatives should stop you. No-one regrets anything more than not following a dream. It is entirely possible to start a business young, and in fact in many way's it's better. The older you get the more other responsibilities start preventing you from taking risk, until when you have finally gotten to the point you are financially secure there is no reason to take any more risk.

However, at 16 it would be very difficult for you to get the kind of financing you would need to start and operate a shop long enough for it to become established. It would also probably be hard for you to attract and hold the kind of employees that make or break a small operation like that. Also, you need to finish high school and at least start college before you start devoting the time necessary to this endeavor.

Your mom is just looking out for you, if it was someone else she would probably give the same advice all of us are, but it is you, her child. So give your mom a break, but remember, _you_ are the one who lives your life, not her. :)
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Postby Pentox » Apr 22nd, '08, 13:26

Sorotsu wrote:well yeah i was going to learn about it first and everything but my mom thinks owning a teahouse is useless and has no profit.


A teahouse is more of a job you do not for the profit, but for the fact that it's something you enjoy. At some point you'll have to ask yourself whether you want to work at a job you hate for more money or do something you love for next to no money.
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Postby joelbct » Apr 22nd, '08, 13:56

Hey, "profit" and "usefulness" are not merely economic terms, so hold onto your dreams, even if you need to get a so-called "real job" in the meantime. Tea is not yet hugely popular here, but it is growing. Some facts:

Tea is the world’s second most popular beverage after water. However, in the United States, tea trails water, soft drinks, coffee, beer, and milk, making it the sixth most popular beverage.

Over 80% of the tea consumed in the United States is in the form of iced or cold tea. However, tea consumption in the US is growing rapidly.

Sales have tripled in the past 15 years, exceeding $6 billion dollars. Of that, the high-end or Specialty Tea segment (including loose leaf teas) totaled $1 billion dollars in 2006, or 4 times the 1990 figure, with annual increases thought to continue at 10-15%.

Here 2 tea industry links:

http://www.worldteaexpo.com/
http://www.teausa.com/

Good luck on your admirable quest!
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Postby Wosret » Aug 19th, '08, 14:44

Your mother doesn't think that starting and running your own business is a "real" job? That's so strange!

I agree that courses in business will be helpful. There are more and more courses these days geared towards starting your own business. It's probably going to be one of the hardest things you ever do, and most new businesses just don't make it. At least there are plenty of "ins" to get into the industry - working at a coffee shop or tea shop, at a bakery, or in the office of a small business in an administrative role will teach you a lot.

Good luck!
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Postby JadeKitsune » Aug 24th, '08, 22:47

Miles,

I think you have a good business strategy with the lemonade-style setup at farmer's markets. Avoiding overhead, hitting an interested market/community, all very good.

And keeping a means of support for your employees (with your day job ;-))

Small, achievable goals can give you the momentum you need.

Let me know how things go ;-)

~Jess
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Re: Is it odd?

Postby Rockingtherepub... » Feb 28th, '09, 01:15

Sorotsu wrote:is it odd that im 16 and i want to own my own teahouse/bakery type store i already am thinking about themes and stuff. My mom doesnt think i could do it and she says i should get a 'real' job even if i dont like it. I dont believe her all i want to do is open up a little shop of my own.


Follow your dreams and your passions. Honestly age is just a number. If people recognize that you are serious about this, they will help you. Network in the community and do the research/work it takes to succeed. If you have a solid business plan that's profitable, send it out to potential (angel) investors. This way you won't have to disclose your age as of yet and people will see that you are taking this seriously in a professional manner.
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Re: Is it odd?

Postby capheind » Sep 5th, '09, 14:53

Wanting to run your own business isn't odd, although if you think thats the first step it is... You'll obviously need to work for quite a while before you can save up enough to even start, unless gold falls from your behind, or you have a rich uncle or something.

I actually just lost my job, and unless I find another one I'll have to move from my beloved adopted home town. the only perk is that I can, conceivably, set up shop down south after working for a year or two as costs are lower there.
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Re: Is it odd?

Postby judyw » Oct 30th, '09, 21:00

No, it is not odd. Once you know business (loans, trends and all the other stuff I have no idea about) start small and increase as you can. We all need attainable goals that others may see as dreams.
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