Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blends with Benefits! (tm)

Time sure flies.  It's been over three months since my last blog post, and I'm sure that many people think I disappeared.  Even my family has been wondering what's going on with The Good Leaf.  So, here's what's been going on.

After 3 years of bricks and mortar business, moving to an online based operation has taken some adjustment.  I thrived on the customer interaction, and on being able to help people choose their perfect tea.  You see, when I started the business, my focus was on providing a wide variety of traditional and gourmet teas, organized by tea variety.  But over time I noticed that more customers came into the shop looking for a tea to help them solve a problem than customers looking for a particular variety of tea.  Maybe it was because of my background in mind/body and health psychology and how excited I was about the benefits of tea, but I became aware of how many of my customers were looking for results - better health, relaxation, weight control, tea to help them study or meditate, or to help them feel better when they were under the weather.

Helping my customers find their perfect tea was amazingly gratifying, and a real win-win.  I was thrilled to see that I was kind of good at designing and recommending teas by function.  And, based on customer feedback, it worked!  People experienced results; they were drinking more tea, choosing the right teas, and the best part was that some were telling me how they were making other healthy choices in their lives, on the foundation of their "tea-infused lifestyle".

After I closed the shop, I began to lose energy and enthusiasm around the company.  It's not that I lost interest in tea at all, but I traded in daily interactions with fascinating and happy people for solitary time assembling boxes and printing postage. I debated whether to continue....

But then a few weeks ago, after waking up with the first signs of Upstate New York winter head, that sinusy feeling that comes the moment I close the windows and turn on the heat, I instinctively entered the herb room and proceeded to blend some eucalyptus leaves with mint, a few other herbs, and then added some essence of crisp grapefruit.  I put on the kettle, brewed up a pot, and was instantly soothed and able to take on my day with a clear head.  And with my clear head, I knew that I would not give up The Good Leaf.  And that thought resonated with my heart.

I realized it was time to change my approach and design my website as best I could to function the way the teashop functioned.  Just as the title of this blog states, The Good Leaf really is about using tea to improve life, and the real mission of  The Good Leaf is to offer my customers the easy and delicious way to experience the good life.

So, I re-designed the website and have made a few alterations to the tea line to truly focus on wellness blends.  You can still select by variety because that method works perfectly for many people, but you can also choose teas for stress relief, weight control, teas for awakening, for lifting your mood, indulgence blends, and teas to help you feel better.  The teas are now my Blends with Benefits (tm).

I do miss the interaction I had with you when the shop was open, but I'm sure that with the new website organization, you'll get the delicious and life enhancing results you want from your tea.

I welcome your feedback!

1 comment:

Seema said...

Michelle, I was on the verge of breakdown when your store closed! As you know, I recently placed an order with you and I plan to order many more times; your oolong au lait is to die for and it is the special reason I decided to place an order. I miss your shop and I plan to indulge all my tea fantasies through your online store instead. Miss ya and hope all is well :)lerit