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Monday, March 21 • 7:30am - 5:00pm
Tea Business Incubator (Room #S233)

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Tea Business Incubator is for anyone who is thinking about starting a tea business or just starting a tea business and looking for knowledge about the business-end of tea. Strong knowledge of the tea leaf is most helpful during the session. Tea Business Incubator is not the place to learn about tea appreciation or the leaf itself but the Business of tea. Babette Donaldson will be your Lead Emcee and a Speaker for the day. REGISTER TODAY!

We strongly encourage completion of World Tea Academy 1 & 2 before taking this course or having a general knowledge of tea through reading The Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew or Modern Tea by Lisa Bolt Richardson or Tea Lover’s Treasury by James Norwood Pratt.
7:30 am – 8:00 am Check-in/Light snack muffins, juice & tea/Short introduction for the day by Emcee: Babette Donaldson
8:00 am – 9:30 am: The Big Picture a ‘reality check’ - by Chris MacNitt
Will the tea Journey work for you? What do you want to say? How do you start on your journey?
The realities of buying from distributors vs. source.
What you want to sell vs what you need to sell.
Time ratio between buying and selling
Is a webstore cheaper than bricks and mortar?
Limiting your focus in a realm of possibilities
9:45 am – 10:45 am: 50 Ways to Attract and Keep Loyal Customers – by Babette Donaldson
Even if your tea business is still in the dream stage, you should be able to visualize your first customers and how to find them? Have you set up your email marketing tools or blog? Have you collected data from other tea loyalty programs and considered how to craft your own? Join Babette Donaldson for a fast-paced hour to earmark 50+ checkpoints to help you get and keep loyal customers.
  • Plan your customer strategies before you spend a dime.
  • Craft your personal story. What kind of "tea person" do you want to be?
  • Prepare to put yourself "out there" in front of future customers.
  • Strategize options for multiple sales venues.
  • Sell your first package of tea and plan how you will keep that first customer.
11:00 am – Noon:  The Must-Haves to Start Your Business –  Tim Smith (There is nothing worse than buyer’s remorse especially when first starting off a new business. Let Tim arm you with the basics to give you the edge so that you can spring into action and fill those customer orders).
Noon – 1:00 pm: Lunch Break
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Nitty-gritty operations stuff that can make or break your business: Packing, shipping, and unboxing! - Nishchal Banskota
In today’s world esp. during and after the pandemic, it is extremely important to streamline your operations, supply chain, and customer experience. While you can most certainly blame the international shipping rates and supply chain issues for increased pricing, your customers always expect an affordable tea with a “wow” customer experience. We will discuss how you can achieve most of this, if not all, through various tips and tricks in packaging, shipping, and unboxing. Here are some more details on the specific topics:
Understand the current supply chain and shipping issues (both international and domestic).
Learn the basics of shipping domestically in the US and what services are best for the tea business. You’ll also take away some tips and tricks on how to save money by choosing certain types of packaging and services.
Understand what exists out there for tea companies in terms of building a business, co-packing, fulfillment services, and so on (All lifesavers if you have the funding for it).
Unboxing experience and how to “wow” your customers and why is it super important in today’s world to do so!
General tips and tricks of successfully running an eCommerce business.
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm: Breaking Even Instead of Breaking Bad ---  Don Ho
What you don’t know can hurt you and if you don’t know how to price your teas properly you will be hurt financially, and no one wants that.
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Why a Business Plan? –-- Sherolyn Sellers
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin knew what he was talking about you should listen carefully to this session. So, plan on attending this one and pulling together a business plan to follow to the success of your new venture.
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Group Question & Answer Session --- Speakers from the day
Now is when you probably have lots of questions for the speakers from today. This 30 minutes will go fast so be ready.

Official Sponsor Mosi Tea

Sponsored in part by American Boba Supply  & Den's Tea

avatar for Tim Smith

Tim Smith

Owner, The Tea Smith
Tim was first introduced to tea during a visit to Japan many years ago.  From there he discovered that tea is so much more than just a beverage, and was drawn into the legends, history, flavors, and people that make tea so special and such an important part of people’s lives all... Read More →
avatar for Nishchal Banskota

Nishchal Banskota

Founder, Nepal Tea
Nishchal Banskota is a 2nd generation tea producer and the founder of Nepal Tea which directly brings certified organic teas from Nepal to the American market. His vision is to create a tech-enabled transparent tea trade that bridges the gap between the primary producers and consumers... Read More →
avatar for Sherolyn Sellers

Sherolyn Sellers

Founder/Owner, Urban Tea Party
Since 2006, Sherolyn Sellers has served as the TEO of the Urban Tea Party located in Atlanta, GA.  Her mission as TEO is to normalize the daily tea experience, especially for black women.  The Urban Tea Party is the essence of Sisterhood, Spirituality, and Soul.  In today's session... Read More →
avatar for Chris MacNitt

Chris MacNitt

Tea Development Lead, Starbucks
Chris MacNitt started his tea journey at eight years old and grew up in his family’s tea business. Steeped in passion, he joined Teas Etc. at nineteen to develop their tea blends and manage their raw material quality. While working for Teas Etc. In 2016, he was approached by Starbucks... Read More →
avatar for Babette Donaldson

Babette Donaldson

Founder, Tea Sippers Society
Babette Donaldson, the author of six tea-themed books including, The Everything Healthy Tea Book, the Emma Lea Books, and Fun With Tea, is also the founder of the International Tea Sippers Society and the publisher of the T Ching. She began her study of tea in the 1970s in the... Read More →
avatar for Don Ho

Don Ho

Founder, BDH Consultants
After a decade as a practicing attorney, Don discovered his passion for tea and decided to turn his hobby into a second business. With the help of his family and employees, Don created seven-figure foodservice and retail business. In the first four years of operation, Don oversaw... Read More →

Monday March 21, 2022 7:30am - 5:00pm PDT
Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall