Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dacia Thompson, Founder of Chillology, located in Westwood, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Chillology is a small-batch, bespoke tea company. Chilllology exists to inspire slower moments at home. Making a cup of tea does that for me, and I want to offer that to others. My customer is anyone who is an avid tea drinker, a beginner on their tea journey, or a "curious about tea" person. I focus on simple nutrition, and tea/herbal infusions are so versatile that it is easy to incorporate into your daily lifestyle.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Jamaica - that small but very influential Island in the Caribbean - and Jamaicans drink a lot of herbal infusions, which we call tea (there's a difference between tea, true tea, and herbs). Having a warm beverage in the morning is a part of many of us daily routines, and so when I migrated and got more into the culture of tea, that's when I decided to start a business out of what I was learning. I didn't start with teas first, however, but the transition in this niche/space came naturally. I am motivated out of my genuine love for having a cup of tea each day, just the same way others love coffee or their morning smoothie.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting! That has been my biggest accomplishment. I remember starting out with such fond memories. And I am proud of getting on the shelves in the stores I wanted to. I am still working on getting into more stores, but it is all about strategy and partnering with other brands that align with my mission and vision.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is not having access to funding and bootstrapping one's way to consistent cash flow, profits, successful projects, and campaigns.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start small.
- Say yes to everything in your first two years. Yes, to many collaborations, to features, and partnerships that will cost you, but you may not make back a dime from them.
- Make work hours for your business, whether you are product-based or service-based, and set allotted time for when you will work on your business, just as how we have set work hours for our regular jobs.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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