I caught myself looking around the teahouse. I was looking for something that I’ve had since when the teahouse first opened. My tea company, J-TEA, has been wholesaling since 2004, and open to the public since 2007. Let me tell you, those were exciting times. The tea scene in Eugene was wallowing in its prolonged infancy. Slowly, over the years, J-TEA developed its following of supporters. A business like J-TEA really needs its supporters. For me, the tea room thing was kind of like I have to do it. I’d already been directly sourcing tea for a number of years at this point. On one of these trips, I managed to get myself into the mountains to stay with a farmer I bought some tea from the year before. We stayed up drinking for two nights in a row. I felt awful after the first night, but that all felt better when we started drinking the second night. He seemed to know it was the only medicine we needed. The drink of choice was red wine from his high turnover wine collection. Volume consumed aside, why do I remember it having an almost psychedelic nature?
“My son is away for the week, at camp” I stumbled up a short flight of stairs to his son's bedroom. I passed out for the second night. The bed smelled like his son. The room wasn’t dizzy. Yet my stomach turns when I make myself remember.
The second way to gain supporters for your business is to develop relationships. What do you mean when you say “develop” relationships? This is a good question. And what relationships do you focus your attention on? Also a good question. And when I say it is a good question, I mean, maybe it is a question that we should focus on.
We are looking for our tribe. You know when you are with your tribe. You might not know, but you will know. How do we know our tribe is a really good topic that I have no idea how to explain. Because it is a feeling. And the bad thing is that a lot of people are not in your tribe. If you live in a small town, there might not be anyone in your tribe in the entire town. Or in the circle of people you know. And that is why it is so important to meet new people all the time. We people have a similar ritual as when dogs first meet each other. We sniff each other out. I’m passionate about finding people in my tribe because it is with them that I feel I belong, the most. Who is in your tribe and who isn’t is based on feeling and nothing else. This relates to tea… somehow.