I’m diving into the beverage world again with Cindi from Inspired Leaf Tea. Cindi is a mom, a business owner and woman who loves her tea! We talk about the world of sourcing tea and mixing tea blends, the dangers of artificial flavors, and some “entrepreneur shaming” that happens (that we would like to change). Pour yourself a cuppa and join us in this episode of Tough Cookie! 

Tough Cookie is a podcast that celebrates badass women in food – from product makers, to chefs, to digital food boss ladies. If you are or know someone who works in food, please send me an email at darlene (at) picklejarstudios (dot) com and tell me about it! Now booking for the 2017 podcast season. 

Listen on your favorite media player, and please leave a rating and review! 



Show notes for episode 11: 

Where to find Inspired Leaf Tea: 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/inspiredleaftea/

Website: https://inspiredleaf.com/

Where to find Inspired leaf tea: https://inspiredleaf.com/where-to-find-us/

Resources Mentioned: 

660 Curries Book

COCC Small Business Development Center

What we talked about: 

Sometimes you can negotiate more flexibility in your job, but other times you have to be realistic and know that your current day job is not going to offer you the flexibility you need. – Darlene

It’s good to weigh your options, but it’s also good to recognize when it doesn’t make sense in your full time position – Darlene

“Flexibility to me, especially being a mom, is more valuable than extra vacation time or stock options or 401K… it’s such a huge perk.” – Cindi

If something doesn’t get done, it ultimately falls to you. But then again, it ultimately falls to you if you want to go do something fun with your family and do the work later. It’s the joy and the privilege of having your own business. – Darlene

There is so many things to do when you are first starting… saying “what’s gonna get me from point A to point B”…it may look like a quick fix, but it got me to move on.

Tea is unique… it doesn’t have to be cooked, so it’s easy to do in house and makes more sense to do in house then getting a larger facility. – Cindi

Brand recognition is huge, especially when selling tea at retail and it’s a solid tin and you can’t see what’s inside the package. – Cindi

Laying out your process with clients makes it easier for them to go through something (like branding) that they haven’t done before. – Darlene

Talk to your clients in their own language. There’s jargon in every industry and if you speak in a way that your clients can understand, you’ll go a lot farther with them. -Darlene

The artisan food industry has grown so much, and it’s great, but not enough of those companies do events. You need to give customers an opportunity to try your product. – Darlene

Events are the one thing I wouldn’t do differently, even though it is so time consuming because it allows us to connect directly with our customers. You get to know people by name and I love that part of the business, I love making those connections. As we grow, I don’t want to lose that. – Cindi

Everytime someone buys something from us or places an online order, I genuinely feel so much gratitude, because they don’t have to. They could buy something else… and they are making the choice to spend their money on something that we’ve developed and I’m still so grateful for that. – Cindi

If you ever see artificial flavorings listed on a box of tea, just run the other way. – Cindi

Our growth has been slow and strategic. You get a lot of flack for that. It would be nice if the business community in general would be a little more gracious and not so judgemental of that person that’s running their business the way they want to run it and on their own terms. – Cindi

Entrepreneur shaming: this comparison of how long you’ve been in business and what you should be at, sales and profit-wise.

Where to find Darlene

Pickle Jar Studios website
Pickle Jar Studios on Instagram
Tough Cookie on Instagram