Selling Tea and wellness go hand in hand.

Tea and Comfort

Cynthia Fazekas

Tea has a long history of being associated with wellness. One of the very first things the early tea sippers in ancient China noticed was the way drinking a warm cup of camellia sinensis made them feel, so this association is well entwined within the history of tea. In addition, herbal infusions, aka tisanes, are also universally seen as folk medicine, are also viewed colloquially as "tea." This presents a unique problem for passionate tea lovers and sellers who have fallen in love with true tea, camellia sinensis, for its wonderfully vast variety of tastes. The problem it presents is that people seek tea for potential health benefits versus how it tastes versus seeking it for the enjoyment value.

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Selling A gift in the hand, is a sure sale!

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.

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Selling Yum!

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.

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Selling It's blooming teacups!

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.

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Selling Bye Bye Glorious Tea Wall

Tea Selling in a Post-Teavana World

Cynthia Fazekas

Tea industry veterans will clearly remember the tea landscape prior to Teavana populating malls throughout the US. It took a lot of preaching, teaching and convincing to get consumers to let go of their precious beany beverage and try something outside of a cup of coffee.

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Selling Stock (way) up on Holiday Favorites!

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!

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Selling Apple and Spice Tea by the fire

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!

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Selling Staff should web well acquainted with all products.

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.

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Selling Matcha prep class and tasting would be a fun experience.

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?

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Selling Tis the gift-y, chaotic, mad-dash season!

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

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Selling Time is a-ticking!

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.

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Selling Lessons from the past.

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?

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Selling Fall in line or blaze trails?

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.

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Selling What leaves are people buying near you?

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.

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Selling Tea...humbug?

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?

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Selling Cupping tea with customers

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.

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Selling Gift selling made easy!

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.

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Selling Enjoy summer's last hurrah.

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.

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Selling Fruity herbals are refreshing iced teas.

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.

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Selling Body & Soul wellness teas!

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.

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Selling Make the most of sales swells

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.

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Selling Popular Gifts for Mom!

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.

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Selling Greetings! We offer you leaves of joy.

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.

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Selling Brrr! Tea makes the perfect anti-freeze.

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.

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Selling Tea Blends for Men

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.

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Selling What makes a shopper shop?

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.

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Selling Ho Ho Ho! Hope you're ready to go!

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.

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Selling A universe of leafy goodness in a basket.

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.

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Selling Tea completes a welcoming holiday table.

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.

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Selling Great Gifts- Tasty Teas!

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.

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Selling Plan ahead or Q4 could get scary!

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.

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Selling Irresistible sans health benefits.

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.

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Selling Coming soon!

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.

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Selling Tiny, beautiful crystals can add up to trouble!

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.

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Selling Irresistibly festive and tasty!

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.

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Selling Even our pumpkins were chilly!

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.

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Selling Failure to "bob and weave."

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.

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Selling These beauties can't speak for themselves.

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.

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Selling Hot sun + cold tea = happy!

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.

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Selling We must be friendly, informative guides on the tea-path.

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.

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Selling Funky new teas pique curiosiTEA

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?

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Selling Warm and inviting...

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

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Selling Tick tick tick...

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.

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Selling Celebrate the New Year

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.

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Selling Making it pretty!

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.

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Selling A few of our Adagio TEAm members

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.

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Selling Last year went loop-de-loop!

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.

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Selling Cross-selling with verve.

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.

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Selling Weathering the storm

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.

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Selling Encourage exploration with new teas.

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.

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Selling Affordable Gifts

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.

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Selling Tea and Cookies

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.

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