Tea Retailer? or Tea Blogger? Why Not Both?

What Am I?
Tea Retailer? or Tea Blogger? Why Not Both?

Recently, I have been faced with this very question and as it appears many still operate in absolutes. I never thought of myself as one or the other. I’m a complicated person plus a woman and you know we can do it all. So what I want is acceptance that grey areas exist and so acknowledged. Though I’ve noticed sometimes these grey areas are over looked. The thought is you are either a “retailer” or a “blogger” and if you are a “retailer” you must only blog about your business so you can’t be a real “blogger.” Seems the thought of being “both” is almost alien to some. I do see it as a fine line and only few pioneers have mastered this tightrope walk. I’ve decided to take up the challenge and when my mind is made it WILL happen.

As I am sure many have noticed I prefer not to work within the confines of absolutes. Perhaps this is what evolution looks like? So bloggers will be retailors and visa versa. Taking the time to look more closely at the individual. Wouldn’t it be in everyones best interest to expand our understanding of a person or so many wonderful opportunities may slip right through our fingers.

The more pressing question is who I see myself to be.

Fact: YES!!! I do sell my very own tea blends and a plethora of other tea-inspired bath and beauty products, though I am just a “wee tea bud” right now. Found Here: iHeartTeas & iHeartTeas on Etsy

Fact: YES!!! I am a blogger and I have been doing that a lot longer than selling any products with great success. Found Here: iHeartTeas:The Blog

~Oh, boy I feel a classic @thedevotea style rant coming on or maybe that is how I started this post. Please forgive me now.~

Fact: I sell because I want to write! For that I need money. Lets face it money makes the world go round. I love to make my products because it is fun, helps me relax, and most of all funds my blogging hobby while keeping me home. Well, that and my husbands paycheck. Who am I kidding, mostly my husbands paycheck. Thanks, hubby!

~Kind of think I should be drinking a cup of tea and bathing in my tea baths right now. Instead having this mini-rant.~

Do I want to make money too? Well, duh!!! Of course I want to make money. Again, so I can stay at home, drink tea, be a mother to my child, a wife to my husband, and again… WRITE. For many the goal of a business is to make money and never stop making more and more and I get that. For me the goal of my business is to make enough money so I can write and try to take some of the financial burden off my husband.

So if anyone asks me what I am I will proudly say…”BOTH!” I love being an online retailer, tea and creating is in my blood, but I’m a blogger first.

Spoiler Alert:
Announcement For Those Who Made It Through My Mini-Rant…
iHeartTeas:The Tea Recipes

I am planning compiling some tea recipes I have created over the years and publishing them. Yes, that’s right a tea recipe book iHeartTeas style. The recipes will be made using teas from a variety of tea vendors and not just my own blends. Let me know if you would like me to create a recipe using tea from your company.

  9 comments for “Tea Retailer? or Tea Blogger? Why Not Both?

  1. 20 Feb ’13 at 8:12 pm

    The ol’ Catch-22 is this: Is there money on tea blogging? No. Is there money in opening a tea business? Yes. BUT! If you have a blog WITH you business, it gives your efforts a personality. I think @JoysTeaspoon and J-Tea International have been walking this tightrope quite well. I just wish others would take up the challenge.

    Or at least hire me to help. *heh*

  2. 20 Feb ’13 at 8:18 pm

    You can blog about your hobby and turn your hobby into a job later on.
    And then you can blog about your business or not.

    It is mostly a matter of choice and of how you bring it alive.

  3. 20 Feb ’13 at 8:26 pm

    Where to start?
    Firstly, Rachel, there are a lot of morons out there. “You can’t be a blogger and a retailer” . Well, to quote the iconic Australian movie The Castle “Tell ’em to get stuffed”. Which you have.
    So here’s a question for said morons: “Did your favourite tea blender spend several years blogging. video blogging, chatting in online fora, using social media to share the love of tea? Or did they doing an MBA and conclude that tea is big right now?”
    Worse is tea vendors who use a blog just to bang on about how good their tea is – they drive me nuts. (There’s one on TT that I posted a comment on – the comment never showed but the blog got better).
    I’ll be in the US in a little under 5 months. There are so many tea companies that I have heard of that seem to be well-respected there – Upton, Bigelow, David’s, Butiki, Adagio – and yet my list of must-haves does not feature any of those. In fact I can only guarantee I’ll be drinking tea from three sources so far, The Devotea US (Not a surprise), Joy’s Teaspoon as we’ll be in Vegas and yours.
    Not just because I read your blog but because what you are creating is something special.

  4. 20 Feb ’13 at 8:36 pm

    I think purchases are often based on trust and trust is developed when the vendor is transparent about his business, or open to communication. That is exactly how you seem to be going about things. The more you blog, the more people get to know you. The more people get to know you, the more they will be confident about you as a person and your endeavors. Your blog is great, it has personality. I think this translates well to your business. Interesting thoughts Rach’.
    PS: @thedevotea is another name that springs to mind as doing both successfully.

  5. 20 Feb ’13 at 8:40 pm

    I heart you! 🙂

    I have to admit, I never in a million years thought I couldn’t do both. I try not to blog too often about Joy’s Teaspoon specific stuff…but I do love to talk/read/write about tea so I just keep my ideas there. You have done an amazing job of balancing both. Everyone will tell you what you should do with your business, but in the end it’s up to you and what your gut is telling you.

    And…I am so excited about June I can barely stand myself.

  6. 20 Feb ’13 at 9:01 pm

    Maybe I hang around a certain crowd, but I find it hard to find someone who is just one or the other. I noticed this when I started looking into your blogs and things like WTE lately… I seem to be one of the few who doesn’t want to sell tea. At least, not in the same way the majority of you do.

    I want to add a tea review section to my baking blog when I get around to revamping it again. I want to promote some of the smaller companies, and I want to share what I like. Eventually, I’d like to use my culinary education to open a tea room, and of course I will have a strong opinion of what good tea is, but I’m more than happy to find a vendor I like and let them worry about the details.

    Anyway… You’re perfectly right in wanting to make money from what you love, and I think selling your own tea is a far better way to do it than to load your blog with ads and paid endorsements.

  7. 20 Feb ’13 at 10:09 pm

    @cody, I like the way you think. I don’t think @iheartteas @naomi or myself are a “majority” but we are all vaguely in the same category.
    We must all find our path, and it’s a pretty poor concept to criticise someone for running their own life and doing the things they see fit to do* (within reason and the law).

    * obviously there are exceptions, and these include Hall & Oates and Morris dancers

  8. 20 Feb ’13 at 10:39 pm

    @TheDevotea – It’s too bad you won’t be able to drink @joysteaspoon‘s Lemon Zest. To die for.

  9. 25 Feb ’13 at 3:56 pm

    You know, I think it is very much acceptable to be both a blogger and retailer. They go hand in hand.

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