The Business of Tea PartiesThe Business of Tea Parties

22 Apr
Posted Fri, 04/22/2011 - 10:32
Tea With Dee

Tea with Dee Tea Set. Photo by Larny Mack Photography
Tea with Dee, tea set. Photo Ⓒ Larny Mack Photography

When Larny Mack Photography contacted me about a possible new client he said, “I referred someone to you in need of your help. She needs marketing materials for a new Tea Party business… not the political kind”. I laughed at the qualifier. Honestly I was relieved. I’m not interested in getting into business with any political party. I have my beliefs and some strong opinions. Half the people I know agree with them and the other half don’t. I want better odds than that for my business so I keep the politics out.

I first met with Dee in her home. We shared a pot of yummy peach tea and spent about two hours discussing the business of tea. I had many questions. Why tea parties? Who comes to a tea party? What do you do? How much does it cost? Where did the business idea come from?

I needed to find out how serious Dee was about her tea party business? Did she have a business name? Did she have a logo? What colors did she like? Did she plan on selling products? What ideas did she have for marketing?

I left that first meeting amazed and inspired. Dee knew exactly why she wanted to host tea parties. She had done her homework and made a business plan. Dee was passionate, excited and serious about her new business.

Tea with Dee business cards. Photo by Larny Mack Photography
Business Cards elegantly displayed for a tea party event. Photo Ⓒ Larny Mack Photography

I explained to Dee that I would create her marketing items in a specific order. First, she needed a logo and a brand look. From that I would design her business cards. Next, she needed stickers and hang tags for the tea products. These items needed to be designed and printed before the photo shoot with Larny Mack Photography. She had come to me specifically asking for a postcard design and a website, but these items would have to be done last, after the photo shoot.

Tea with Dee postcards. Photo by Larny Mack Photography
Postcards displayed for a tea party event. Photo Ⓒ Larny Mack Photography

I have worked with corporate clients, small business owners and freelancers like myself. Each offer different challenges and with it different rewards, but none have inspired me like Dee. I don’t know how old Dee is. I know she has grown children and grandkids. I know she is an accomplished and gifted quilter. She also volunteers as a story time reader at a local elementary school. Her energy and excitement are infectious. When Dee first viewed her teawithdee.com website I thought she might cry from excitement. Her business dream was now a reality.

Tea with Dee postcards. Photo by Larny Mack Photography
Tea with Dee tea product branded with stickers and hang tags.  Photo Ⓒ Larny Mack Photography

Working with Dee taught me that stage of life is irrelevant. Passion for life is everything. Find your passion and pursue it with everything you have. Take it seriously and have fun with it at the same time.

Dee at her first tea party
Smiling Dee hosting her first tea party. Photo Ⓒ Larny Mack Photography

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