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I'm starting a tea company!

So here I am. I've taken a leap that I've been thinking about for many years. I'm starting my own company!

It's been challenging to figure out the steps on how to start a business. Do I need to register as an LLC or can I be a sole proprietor? How do I find packaging? Create a brand? Where do I get the tea? How do I pay sales tax? How do I build a website? And on and on...

Today 42 packages of Hawaii grown green tea came in the mail from Hawaii. My first inventory. Now I have to sell this stuff?! How am I going to do that?

I'm starting this blog to give you an insider look at one female entrepreneur's process at starting a business, the ups and downs and everything I've had to figure out. 

Like today. After wrangling with trying to build a website on wordpress for a few days, I finally threw in the towel and purchased a shopify membership. Yes, it's more expensive, and I have less control. But I don't know web development. After several days of frustration, my web site looked like this: 

Not exactly...what I was hoping?

So, even though I'd sunk some money into hosting the site via Siteground, I had to abandon this sinking ship and go over to Shopify. And I'm super glad that I did! (No, this is not sponsored!) Because, whew, it was so much easier. Within really like an hour I had a viable embarrassing web site ready to go!

Then I checked the tracking number for the package of tea coming from Hawaii and saw that it had been delivered! So I ran down the spiral staircase of the apartment where we live, to the front porch, where I found a medium-sized box. 

I organized the tea into a plastic bin, with some desiccant, ready for shipping! 

Inventory!

Other tasks accomplished during my staycation so far:

*Ordered a variety of flat rate shipping boxes from USPS--it's going to take 6-10 days to ship, which won't exactly meet my launch date of 9/1...oh well.

*Tried to set up a business banking account with Chase yesterday, but kept getting an error. I never went to business school, but was advised that it's important to have a business banking account for my LLC, in order to maintain the "corporate veil"--which is a fancy term for keeping my business finances and personal finances separate!

Still on the To Do list before launch:

*I also received a box of Minto Island Tea from Oregon that I need to instagram a photo of. (I have a weird (?) business strategy--because US grown tea is so rare, I promote other business so that the rising tide lifts us all. TBD if this works out.

*Clean up web site- it's basic and functioning right now, but it could use A LOT of improvement

*Figure out shipping! Add to web site.

*Transfer domain from wordpress to this web site

*Actually finish setting up the business banking account

*Correctly attribute some photos on web site

*Probably a lot more stuff but it's past 4pm and my brain is tired right now (anyone relate??) and...I'm on staycation so I should probably try to relax a little bit!