Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sho Tasaki, Co-Founder, and CEO of Senbird Tea, located in New York City, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Senbird brings you the finest organic Japanese green tea and herbal tea from local farms across Japan. As a Japanese family-owned business, we grew up drinking tea with loved ones. Every brew was part of our ritual for a healthy and happy life. With each moment together, we felt all that is good around us. We are here to share that goodness with you. We hope to inspire more moments of appreciation every day by sharing the Japanese tea experience with tea lovers around the world.
Tell us about yourself
Growing up drinking tea with our family, my partner and I have always been tea lovers. There are many moments we've had with traditional Japanese tea that has inspired our everyday lives - whether that's a moment of energy, joy, connection, or relaxation. When we traveled to Japan, we were immersed in the vast selection of high-quality, organic teas from different regions. Returning back to the States, we found it difficult to find the same quality Japanese teas at local markets.
That's when we decided to leave our corporate jobs to travel to tea farms in Japan and curate a collection of our favorite organic green teas and herbal teas. We also carry a limited selection of handmade teaware from Japanese artisans who are masters of their craft. We welcome all tea lovers and fans of Japan to explore the world of Japanese tea - the health benefits, the art of tea production, and the practices that support the well-being of your mind, body, and spirit. We want to create more moments for you to connect, share, and enjoy Japanese tea.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
At Senbird, we strive to provide the best experience with the mindset of omotenashi, or Japanese hospitality. This is why we created airtight tea tins that keep the aroma and taste of your tea fresh while reducing exposure to moisture and heat. Our tea tins are beautiful enough to gift and also easy to refill or repurpose for other uses to encourage customers to recycle our packaging.
We are proud to say we have a return customer rate of over 30% with a recent successful Amazon store launch. In under a year, our teas became the highest-rated in both the "Green Tea" and "Herbal Tea" category. In this short time, we have accumulated over 1,000+ 5-star reviews. In addition to our online presence, we partnered with Muji USA and more to do pop-up events where we educate and serve cups of freshly brewed tea. We love hearing from our customers and other tea lovers!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As entrepreneurs, wearing multiple hats is inevitable. However, there is nothing more important than building a team you can trust. Nothing can be done on our own, and welcoming different ideas, unparalleled expertise, and unique perspectives help refine goals. We are grateful to work with talented and ambitious colleagues who inspire us every day. This allows us more time to focus on the big picture priorities that drive our vision for the company.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Enjoy the journey - Be passionate and love what you do.
- Be authentic - Choose something you can't live without.
- Don't give up - "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again. - Henry Ford"
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We are always looking for more ways to collaborate with brands and people who share the same passion for wellness. You can check out some of our content and collaborations here. Feel free to reach out to us with your ideas and suggestions here.
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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