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Nov '17

Holiday Season Prep 2017

Cynthia Fazekas
As the holidays approach consumers will be focusing on what they are thankful for and finding ways to embrace the little joys in life. Be sure they include tea as one of those gems
Nov '17

Don't Miss (Making) The Sale!

Cynthia Fazekas
While being conservative is usually a sensible option, when it comes to stocking up for the holidays, it might not be so. Holiday shoppers tend to be low on time and high on impulse, so if you do not have what they seek when they are in your shop, you might miss out on the sale entirely.
May '17

Memorial Day & Tea

Salma Ali

May means summer is on its way and with the season fast approaching comes barbecues and celebrations. Everyone will be on the hunt for the best beverages to stay cool in the sun.


Mar '17

Transition Into Spring

Salma Ali
The harsh cold of winter gives out its last breath as the sun stays a bit longer, the birds chirp a bit louder, and the flowers begin to poke their sleepy heads from the earth. Those new year's resolutions to lose weight might be revisited as warmer weather lends to the shedding of clothes.
Oct '16

Bulk Up for the Busy Season!

Cynthia Fazekas
he holiday season is just around the corner! Now is the time to bulk up on stock and take advantage of newly arrived harvests. In addition to holiday treat teas, have plenty of customer favorites on hand to help them survive the most wonderful time of the year!
Sep '16

Apples and Spice

Cynthia Fazekas
September is the season of apples and spice! While consumers transition from the lazy days of summer to back-to-school and work schedules, be sure to offer the perfect pick-me-up!
Aug '16

Election Year Tea Selling

Cynthia Fazekas
Every four years the US goes a little crazy when the presidential election is at hand. This year is certainly no exception and quite possibly the worst one yet. What can a tea retailer expect?
May '16

Consistency – A Component of Success

Cynthia Fazekas
Often we talk about so many other factors of running a successful business but one of the most important can be overlooked. Consistency is essential to maintaining long-term relationships with your customers. Consistency applies to several aspects. Here are three.
Apr '16

Experience Based Retailing

Cynthia Fazekas
The recent news of Starbucks closing its Teavana tea bar concept locations, David’s Tea struggles and those of other retailers have independent tea shop owners a little leery. With the Internet’s ability to let a consumer purchase just about anything at a good price, what commodity will hold their interest and get them into a store?
Dec '15

Holiday Season Tips

Cynthia Fazekas
Indications suggest that this will be a solid holiday season for tea sellers. Tea is trending, people are ready to do their holiday shopping, and tea awareness has never been better. If you’ve properly prepared for the season, you should be in good shape. Here are some thoughts/reminders for the depths of December
Sep '15

Order Early, Order Large

Cynthia Fazekas
The time is nigh for holiday season planning! The busiest part of the year is essentially here for tea retailers. Heaven knows things have picked up on the wholesale side, which means stores are ramping up for autumn and the holidays. If you haven’t already, please consider doing the same. You will thank yourself later.
Aug '15

Brushing Up On Those Sales Skills

Cynthia Fazekas
August is a good time to have your staff brush up on their sales spiel before the busy season arrives. Whether you have some new team members or veterans, everyone can use a little sales technique refreshers.
May '15

Most Valued Lessons

Cynthia Fazekas
Recently, the founder of a newly formed tea start-up asked what I wished that I knew when starting in the tea world nearly sixteen years ago. What advice would I give myself if I could go back and do so?
Mar '15

Conformity or Uniqueness

Cynthia Fazekas
In the tea world, we all get requests for teas carried by competitors, which presents a dilemma: to conform and carry what everyone else has or to offer unique selections. The average tea consumer is not especially tea savvy. They have discovered better tea options in recent years, discovering alternatives to fanning-and-dust-filled, lackluster tea bags. But unless they become overnight aficionados, they won’t understand that all tea companies don't carry the same teas.
Jan '15

Tea Market Snapshot

Cynthia Fazekas
The beginning of a new year is a good time to make changes to your tea offering while stock levels are lower and customer’s tastes are transitioning from indulgence to health consciousness. While you analyze bestsellers and sleeping, please recall that we now offer a Tea Market Snapshot that can be cater to your locality.
Dec '14

Tea Scrooge

Cynthia Fazekas
A Tea Scrooge is that inscrutable person, who stubbornly insists that they do not like tea. We have all encountered such resistant people in our tea lives. As tea enthusiasts and tea sellers, we feel compelled to show them the light. Tea, as we know it, encompasses such variety that we wonder how can anyone simply dismiss it as a whole?
Dec '14

Benefits of Brick & Mortar

Cynthia Fazekas
Often brick and mortar teashop owners worry about the proliferation of online tea businesses as threat to their business. Online shopping certainly offers convenience but it cannot replace the human factor. Brick and mortar stores offer much that can’t be replicated online.
Nov '14

Tea Gifts Galore!

Cynthia Fazekas
Tea gifts are the best gifts, say we! Be sure you have plenty to offer to make your shop the most convenient for your tea gift customers. Making your own gift sets is certainly an option. Packaged teas paired with a handy teaware item such as an infuser mug, at an attractive price point are sure to be bestsellers.
Sep '14

Friendly Reminder - Holiday Gift Sets

Cynthia Fazekas
Time to plan ahead to get a good supply of the items you wish to offer in your gift sets to ensure availability and no last minute shipping delays
Aug '14

End of Summer

Cynthia Fazekas
Back to school time and the fall kick off are just around the corner. August is a good time of year to have a sale to clear out slow movers and make room for fresh stock. Your tea vendors are likely to start getting new harvests in soon, and you don’t want older lots lingering when new crops are coming into port.
Jul '14

Summer Sizzle

Cynthia Fazekas
Engaging the customer during the summer has gotten easier over the years. What used to be tea’s off-season is now good business if you have an enticing iced tea offering. Premeasured pouches or simple instructions for using loose leaves enable the consumer to easily brew iced teas at a fraction of the cost of bottled beverages with ultimate control over added sweeteners.
Jan '14

Happy 2014 and New Year Strategizing

Cynthia Fazekas
Hope everyone had a happy and successful Q4. Now the holiday season is behind us and the New Year is an open road! What is your strategy for 2014? What would you like to do better?
Dec '13

More Holiday Gift Options!

Cynthia Fazekas
Last month we introduced children’s themed teas in gift tins and now happily to report they are favorably reviewed and selling well. Also available is a new line of wellness blends in gift tins called Body & Soul. So far they are also selling well! The teas (technically tisanes) are comprised of an assortment of herbs intended to support various needs.
Nov '13

Wave Watching

Cynthia Fazekas
In a few short weeks Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will be here! These two holidays overlap this year with Hanukkah a month ahead of Christmas, which may result in an unusual flow to the gift buying tide.
Sep '13

Key Items for Holiday Season

Cynthia Fazekas
As holiday season lurks in the shadows, it is time to think about purchasing key items to entice the gift shopper. As tea enjoyment becomes more mainstream, tea gifts will follow suit.
Apr '13

Mother's Day Planning

Cynthia Fazekas
Moms and tea are inextricably connected in my mind. My mother is and has always been a tea drinker. Growing up, tea was invariably available in our house to comfort, revive or console when needed, much like a mom in its own way. Giving any mother teatime is an act of care and completes a perfect comfort-giving cycle.
Feb '13

First Contact

Cynthia Fazekas
When we first encounter a customer looking for tea or tea time, our initial approach is quite important. Whether coaching new staff members or just for our selves, having some suggestions, reminders and what seems to work for others helps greatly in improving this valuable interaction.
Jan '13

Wintertime is Tea Time

Cynthia Fazekas
With the holiday season in the rear view mirror, we move boldly (mostly) into a bright and shiny new year. For most retailers this is a time of being less busy with the exception of gift returns and gift card redemption.
Jan '13

Plan Ahead for Valentine's Day

Cynthia Fazekas
While most of us are just catching our breath from the frenzied holiday season (many of you reported record breaking results -congrats!), it is already time to think about the next retail-gift-event bonanza. Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming soon and it is best to plan and purchase now, than to scramble when February 1st pops up on the calendar.
Jan '13

The Perception of Value

Cynthia Fazekas
While gift shopping this holiday season, I found myself in a local JC Penney partially for gift shopping and partially out of curiosity. There has been much in the news about JC Penney’s change in leadership in the past year as well as the attempt transition their image and business style.
Dec '12

Season's Greetings!

Cynthia Fazekas
Can you believe it is already December? We are two thirds through Q4 and sliding into the chunkiest, most hectic part of the year. Although, those of you in the northeastern US know that November was unusually challenging post Hurricane Sandy.
Dec '12

Guiding the Tea Noob

Cynthia Fazekas
With corporate America taking notice of specialty tea and strong support from influential celebrities like a certain daytime TV doctor, we are likely to see an influx of tea novices (noobs, in geek speak.
Nov '12

Tea and Entertaining

Cynthia Fazekas
The holiday season means entertaining - possibly more so than any other time of the year. Encouraging customers to incorporate tea into their holiday settings builds and shares a warm, relaxing, tea-centric lifestyle. Inviting blends and charismatic teaware set the stage for adding tea to a holiday table. Create vignettes in your shop to show your customer an appealing display they can easily envision in their home.
Nov '12

World Tea East Recap - Philly 2012

Cynthia Fazekas
Last month kicked off with a blast of energy from World Tea East. The show was in Philly for its second year at the very beginning of October. Attendees came to our booth almost steadily for the first day and even with some frequency on the second day. It was great fun as usual to show off our teas, wares and gift items as well as seeing and meeting east coast tea folk.
Oct '12

Great Gifts: Cast Iron Teaware

Cynthia Fazekas
While merely October, savvy retailers know the season of giving will soon be upon us. Gorgeous tea wares and delectable teas always make for great gifts as they provide comfort, beauty and enjoyment.
Oct '12

Leaves are Falling - Q4 is Calling!

Cynthia Fazekas
Leaves are falling, pumpkins are aglow and evenings are chilly, which can only mean it is October- and officially fourth quarter. Now is the time to ensure bright holiday successes by drawing in customers who seek warming refreshments and getting them to think TEA for holiday gift giving.
Sep '12

Twinkies and Tea

Cynthia Fazekas
There’s absolutely no good reason to eat a Twinkie. (Hang with me here Hostess fans.) The iconic sugary, crème filled sponge cake has virtually no nutritional value. There is nothing in it that is going to make you thinner, prettier, anti-oxidize you or make you live longer.
Aug '12

Ceramic Teaware – A Rainbow of Options

Cynthia Fazekas
Our long popular personaliTEA ceramic teapot is now part of a family. Previously, this 21ounce, easy to use little beauty was only available in snowy white. We are very pleased to announce a plethora of colors to match different moods, themes or décor.
May '12

May 2012 - Iced Tea Strategy

Cynthia Fazekas
Iced Tea season might be here a little ahead of schedule this year, but May is always a perfectly good month to get started. With specialty tea becoming more popular, your iced tea offering should be in great demand. Amazingly diverse and wonderfully refreshing, iced tea can both quench the thirst and convert the masses to the wonders of full-leaf tea.
Apr '12

The Sweetest Enemy

Cynthia Fazekas
Just last night, a national news show aired a segment about researchers and doctors announcing that sugar is toxic. The news of course, is not new to those of us in the tea industry. Many of us were drawn to tea because we were looking to avoid sugary beverages and found tea to have fabulous flavor and soothing effects. We got lucky early and discovered that a well-brewed cup of tea needs no enhancement and have benefited since.
Feb '12

New for Valentine's Day - Love Petals Gift Set

Cynthia Fazekas
For those of you who retail and maybe even those of you who don't, we just added a beautiful romance themed gift set. Called Love Petals, our new gift set contains three artfully decorated tea tins each filled with and enchanting new blends sure to entice the shopper and the sipper alike.
Dec '11

Holiday Bestsellers and Crowd Pleasers

Cynthia Fazekas
Welcome to December! It is hard to believe we are in the very last month of the year and knee deep in the holiday season. Tea retailers are going full throttle selling tea gifts and tea servers are brewing up holiday treats.
Dec '11

December Quick Tips!

Cynthia Fazekas
Throughout the month of December, your selling skills will be put to the test. Volume, exhaustion and harried customers will combine to make you less than your usual sparkling self.
Nov '11

Here It Comes - Holiday Season 2011!

Cynthia Fazekas
In October many of our tea friends mentioned they were just trying to get their minds around the holiday season. It seems to be upon us quickly this year and there will be a scramble for gifty things. The good news, like every year, is that tea is a great gift: It's useful, guilt-free, generally healthy and oh-so-affordable. The tricky part is the packaging.
Nov '11

Thankgiving 2011

Cynthia Fazekas
Nothing makes a person appreciate the little things like difficult times. Whether the difficulties are personal or more visceral like losing heat and power during a storm, sometimes circumstances can makes us ponder what we really need in life.
Nov '11

Rolling With The Punches

Cynthia Fazekas
Sometimes, for all your planning and persistence, things just go awry. Unforeseen obstacles present themselves at the worst possible times and cause ripples that seemingly affect everything in their path. When this happens it is easy to focus on problems. They certainly demand attention and require it for correction but too many times business folks will fixate on the negative.
Sep '11

Pushing Leaf

Cynthia Fazekas
While chatting with a tea friend last week, who is also in the business of tea, we happened upon the topic of sales skills. When one thinks about selling, it is very easy to conjure up the caricature of a sleazy, do-anything-for-the-sale, kind of a used car guy. If this is what your teashop staff thinks about selling, you might have to deprogram them a bit.
Jul '11

Dog Days Cometh

Cynthia Fazekas
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, July brings the famous sultry weather associated with the "Dog Days of Summer." This time of year is named for Sirius the Dog Star and the ancient beliefs associated with its position in the heavens above. July days are typically hot and long, created a desire for cold beverages and lots of them.
Jul '11

Coming Soon! VarieTEA Electric Kettle

Cynthia Fazekas
Fans of our modestly priced, bestselling, variable temperature kettle, UtiliTEA will be glad to see a slightly more upscale version in our new VarieTEA Kettle.
May '11

Peddling Leaves

Cynthia Fazekas
As many of you know, selling tea is not for the faint of heart. With so little inherent tea culture in the US and the proliferation of coffee in the last century, getting into tea retailing is not even remotely a get rich quick endeavor.
Jan '11

Banishing Winter Blues

Cynthia Fazekas
There's a lot of winter left and tea is the perfect comfort food. Non-caloric when pure, full of flavor and natural soul soothing L-Theanine, I can't think of a winter where tea didn't see me through.
Dec '10

The Old v. The New

Cynthia Fazekas
Every year the holiday season has inherent challenges such as what to offer, how much of it to buy and what events to plan. There is also always the conflict of whether to offer the traditional versus what is novel. Should you go with the tried and true or be daring and take risks with the new and untested?
Nov '10

Ambiance

Cynthia Fazekas
With the holidays fast approaching, entertaining at home is on everyone’s minds. Guests will be coming, meals are to be prepared and tables to be set. Holiday decor can mean so much when gathering with loved ones so it is important to set a festive tone
Nov '10

It's GO Time!

Cynthia Fazekas
Are you wondering where the year went? Seems like moments ago we were celebrating 2010 as a brand new year and making plans and goals for the months to come when - lo and behold we are all knee deep in Q4 poised to do the most business of the year.
Aug '10

Planning Ahead...Autumn

Cynthia Fazekas
As summer winds down and hot days start to give way to cooler nights hinting at the soft approach of autumn, it is time for the savvy tea business owner to plan, plan, and plan some more.
Jan '10

Happy New Year 2010!

Cynthia Fazekas
Greetings TeaSmart readers! Hope you have all successfully survived another holiday season and are ready to ride through the rest of winter. Let us welcome the New Year with open arms, and hopes that it will bring less misfortune and greater good for all.
Dec '09

Holiday Season 2009

Cynthia Fazekas
...Is not for the faint-hearted. There has been so much anticipation and so much debate about how much stock to carry or not carry. And oh so much nervousness! But by all accounts, people are out there, spending and looking for ways to gift appropriately and make the people in their lives feel special.
Dec '09

Adagio Teas Wholesale

Cynthia Fazekas
Loose bulk teas, gourmet tea bags and even retail ready Adagio branded tins are available for wholesale purchase. Our famous ingenuiTEA tea maker as well as an assortment of lovely glassware can be purchased by the case at special wholesale pricing.
Oct '09

Boo! It's October!

Cynthia Fazekas

Guess what? It's October! That means leaves are changing, cooler weather, hayrides and pumpkin carving - ah, so idyllic! But it also means it is officially fourth quarter. Eeeek!


Sep '09

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

Cynthia Fazekas

Once upon a time life was easy. Historical sales information was a reliable indicator of what could be expected year-to-year and season-to-season. Recent times have been tricky, unprecedented and downright unpredictable. This makes it very hard to project sales and determine how much stock to have on had at any given time. While over-buying seems likely to be a huge pitfall, under-buying is just as serious a business mistake. Let us ponder which is the lesser of two evils.


May '09

Ideas for Profitable Cross-Selling

Diana Rosen
Cross marketing is an easy, low cost way to bring attention to your teas and accessories by incorporating other products or services that you and your business neighbors offer. You already cross-market each time you display a teapot, strainer or other tea equipment alongside your teas.
Feb '09

Riding Out the (Economic) Storm

Cynthia Fazekas
Economic uncertainty has everyone nervous. The media seems hell bent on reporting the bad news and giving us very little good news to keep us going. People are scared to spend money even if they are not feeling a financial pinch. It has been reported that shoppers and corporations are afraid that they will look insensitive to the current struggles of others and are buying less, canceling major events, and reining in spending in general. All this contributes to a downward spiral.
Jan '09

How To Introduce New Teas

Cynthia Fazekas
With two more months of winter left to endure, we are still in peak tea selling season. Freshen up your tea selection, revive your menu and keep the ball rolling. Some of your vendors may be out of some items post-holiday season, but don't be afraid to try some new teas out on an ever more sophisticated tea customer.
Dec '08

Affordable Gifts

Cynthia Fazekas

Retailing in this unsteady economic climate has been particularly challenging. Fortunately, tea is one of the healthiest comfort foods as well as an affordable luxury. It seems the tea retailers that are doing the best are the ones who really understand this and are able to convey it to their customers.


Oct '08

Love vs. Business

Michael Cramer
Reality of Business - Like so many others, your interest in the business of tea is likely an extension of your love for the product. Our favorite beverage has been known to inspire such dreams. And what could be more alluring than finding yourself an owner of a popular tea room, authoritatively urging perfect strangers to discover tea's full range of colors, taste and aromas. The attractions of tea business are strong indeed.
Sep '08

Ramping Up for Fall

Cynthia Fazekas
Ramping Up for Fall
Aug '08

Sowing Seeds

Cynthia Fazekas

Jul '08

Tea Retailing: A Brave New World

Brian Keating
Tea Retailing: A Brave New World
May '08

That Awful Tea

Cynthia Fazekas
Choosing and Selling a Tea You Hate