Covid and all of the trauma that came with it really through me for a loop.
I have been impacted by loss of revenue due to events and class cancellations. Before quarantine I was working events with wellness providers. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, I would do tea tastings along with restorative yoga taught by Yogalistics, DC. These weekly yoga events took place in Femme Fatale DC a female cooperative, and Steadfast Supply a stores featuring products from local small business. On Sunday evenings I worked with the Woo Woo Company for tea tasting after yoga sound bath sessions. This interaction on a weekly basis is how I built my customer base. Meeting people face to face and letting them sample my tea was definitely to my benefit. By February of 2020 I was booked every weekend through July for private parties and my other weekly events. I was starting to generate revenue.
My company was nominated for “Best Branding” at the World Tea Conference. I have been to this conference before and was able to learn more information and build my network. Due to COVID19, the conference was virtual and I wasn’t able to meet people as I normally world. I am also a vendor with AFRO PUNK which also had to go virtual this year. This also resulted in a loss of revenue from foot traffic.
When quarantine began, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep my business. I didn’t have the confidence in my social media skills to drive people to the website. I made a goal to learn more about tea, cannabis, and business. Through free classes provided on different forums I was able to meet other small business owners and I participated in some virtual events. However, there was a long period where I went weeks without an order despite trying my hardest to post with intention and rewrite my business plan.
I have spent the past year and a half to two years diligently applying for grants, while pivoting to a virtual platform, and revising my business plan. I was able to receive a grant from Poise Bounce Back business grant initiative. With the money I invested in a business lawyer. Things were still very tight.
Every week I would sit at my computer and search fro business grants available to minority, female, small business owners. Since this has been such a crazy time, I'm shooting my shot with everything. So I applied, applied applied.
Then I won $10,000 from the Mastercard Main Street Love Initiative. It feels so good. Read about Rose Glow Tea Room and the other recipients here