Sunday, January 17, 2010

December, the Holidays and Looking to the Year Ahead

Once again we have survived the holidays. Grateful to have been busy the month of December was a blur. I must admit that I look forward to a time when it is, personally, less hectic. Having already mastered the ability to avoid the holiday frenzy, because of the years I have spent too busy to partake, I should actually know how to really enjoy this special time of year.

As we bring the fiscal tasks of 2009 to a completion we are pleased at the end results and feel even closer to our 2010 goals! As an eternal optimist I have avoided the "bad" economy mindset, which is what works for me. That said what is most encouraging is the refreshing optimism of many other people, particularly the buyers at our recent show in Atlanta.

Our big January gift & gourmet show in Atlanta was great. The foot traffic was up significantly and buyers, both large and small, seem to be looking for new revenue generators and tea fits perfectly. Overall expectations are for a positive year ahead which translated into sales and some cool new partnerships.

2010 will bring other changes to Teas Etc the first of which began in December with our strategic planning. Exciting new product additions include new private label packaging options and some fun, innovative products that include tea.

Also new this year will be my writing contribution to Fresh Cup magazine. I will be writing a marketing column quarterly with my first article, The Benefits and Strategies to Holding a Tea Tasting, in the March issue.

Another change in 2010 will be the relocation of the World Tea Expo. Co-locating with Natural Grocers at the Las Vegas Convention Center the show opens June 10 with New Business Boot Camp the two days prior on the 8th & 9th. Registration has opened and the education program has some exciting new sessions. I really enjoy going to World Tea for a variety of reasons. Some of the less obvious ones are the opportunity to see other exhibitors that I don’t make time for during the rest of the year.

My trip to Asia is coming together nicely. We have a ton of new arrivals from the late summer/fall harvests, monsoon varietals and the freshly scented jasmines. Excitement about the development of new grower relationships overseas and the anticipation of many more teas to taste as spring arrives and the launch of our new flavored line scheduled for the second quarter of the year. 2010 looks to be a successfully, tasty year at Teas Etc.

Until next time, Beth