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The importance of knowing your numbers - with Tas - Very Craftea
Episode 12412th August 2022 • Bring Your Product Idea to Life • Vicki Weinberg
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Today on the podcast I'm talking to Tas from Very Craftea. Tas exists to help all people create moments, to feel comforted and included by creating the best products accessible to everyone without compromise. Tas sells two separate product lines in her business, organic teas and craft kits, hence Very Craftea. 

We spoke about Tas’s inspiration for setting up her business, building relationships with suppliers and the importance of having a good spreadsheet so that you know your numbers. 

Listen in to hear Tas share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:20)
  • How she got the idea for her business (01:53)
  • The first steps of turning an idea into a business (04:31)
  • Building a business takes time (07:46)
  • Ensuring that she worked with ethical suppliers (19:01)
  • Building supplier relationships (22:11)
  • Finding suppliers for her craft kits (24:25)
  • Putting together her craft kits (29:17)
  • Her number one piece of advice for other product creators (39:45)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Very Craftea Website

Very Craftea Facebook

Very Craftea Instagram

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Transcripts

Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas To Life podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hi.

Vicki Weinberg:

So today I'm talking to Tas from Very Craftea.

Vicki Weinberg:

Tas exists to help all people create moments, to feel comforted and included

Vicki Weinberg:

by creating the best products accessible to everyone without compromise ever.

Vicki Weinberg:

So Tas sells two separate products in well two separate

Vicki Weinberg:

product lines in her business.

Vicki Weinberg:

She sells, um, organic teas and also craft kits.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, hence Very Craftea.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, this was a really fascinating conversation I had with Tas.

Vicki Weinberg:

We spoke about how her, you know, her inspiration for starting the

Vicki Weinberg:

business, how she went about it.

Vicki Weinberg:

And she had some fantastic advice for anyone else looking to start

Vicki Weinberg:

a product business as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope that you do too.

Vicki Weinberg:

You ready?

Tas:

Yep.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, hi Tas.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being here.

Tas:

Thank you very much for asking me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, I'm really excited to talk to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can we start by you please give an introduction to yourself, your

Vicki Weinberg:

business and what it is that you sell?

Tas:

Yeah, sure.

Tas:

So, uh, my name is, uh, Tasmine Rodrent, or recently I recently just got married.

Tas:

Um, and I run a business called, uh, Very Craftea in which I sell,

Tas:

consciously sourced, loose leaf tea and, um, embroidery kits.

Tas:

Hence the name, I suppose.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's a, it's a great name and congratulations

Vicki Weinberg:

on your wedding as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I really so much.

Vicki Weinberg:

I really like, I really like the name.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so can you tell us, how did you come up with the idea for Very Craftea?

Vicki Weinberg:

So how, and when I guess let's start there.

Tas:

Okay, so it started, so I've just been in business just

Tas:

over five and a half years now.

Tas:

Um, and it started when I met, um, met somebody who is now one of my best friends

Tas:

at a, um, kniting class that were held.

Tas:

They held in, uh, the city that we lived and we met each other there

Tas:

and we quickly realized after a few weeks of going to this kniting

Tas:

class, we weren't very good at it.

Tas:

So, um, we, uh, decided to not go to knitting class, but come back

Tas:

to my house and we would, uh, drink cups of tea and, uh, watch, um, TV.

Tas:

I think it was Master Chef Professionals is the, our go-to thing when it was on.

Tas:

And, um, uh, my friend, uh, Natalie, she was saying oh, you, you know, one

Tas:

day she just said, oh, you know, this is really the life, you know, sitting

Tas:

down with like good friends, good cups of tea, you know, just relaxing.

Tas:

She goes, oh, if we had like, you know, something that we could do, like

Tas:

embroidery or something, we could be, you know, having tea and crafting, we'd

Tas:

be like, oh, you know, we'd be like craftea, like, you know, very crafting.

Tas:

I was like, oh, that's gonna be good name.

Tas:

I'm just gonna write that down for no reason whatsoever.

Tas:

And then I wrote it, wrote it down.

Tas:

And the more and more I thought about it.

Tas:

And the more I thought, like the name was really good.

Tas:

And I just thought that really is like something that without realizing, I think

Tas:

people do like, they'll sit down and they'll, they'll either pick up something

Tas:

like a hobby that they want, that they want to do, or, um, drinking some tea,

Tas:

relaxing, like trying to get away from like screens and things like that.

Tas:

And it just, it just makes sense that the two go together and

Tas:

that's where it came from really.

Tas:

And that's how it started.

Tas:

Oh, that's brilliant.

Tas:

Thank you for sharing that.

Tas:

And I'm with you as well.

Tas:

Because I quite like a little bit of cross-stitch and a bit of crochet and it

Tas:

is nice to just sit down with your cup of tea and an armchair and just do something.

Tas:

And as you say, nice to do it with other people as well.

Tas:

Yeah, exactly.

Tas:

It's just the, like, even though it can be like quite a, a solo, um, activity,

Tas:

you can do it with other people, even if it's not the same project.

Tas:

It can be, you know, it's the whole getting people together from like,

Tas:

from ev from like, regardless of what ability you've got or, you know, what

Tas:

you've done before, you know, even if you've not done anything like that,

Tas:

it's so there, you know, so easy to pick something up and just try it and,

Tas:

you know, you know, meeting new people.

Tas:

And especially since we've had so much time of not seeing anybody or talking

Tas:

to anybody, um, you know, it's a really good time now to like get back into that

Tas:

and engage in doing something like that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so after you came up with the idea what happened then?

Vicki Weinberg:

So what did you do?

Vicki Weinberg:

What were your first steps in terms of turning it from an idea into a business?

Tas:

Uh, yeah.

Tas:

You know, it's so long ago now it's really just, sometimes it's really difficult to

Tas:

like go back and it's really easy to like, um, it's really easy to think to yourself.

Tas:

Oh, I've not really achieved anything, but when you go back, like I try

Tas:

and look at like old photos and things like that, of where, where

Tas:

I've come from to where I am now.

Tas:

It's just, it's just, um, you know, such a big jump.

Tas:

And you don't realize that because you are in your business, but when,

Tas:

like when it's, when, when I came up with the idea of thinking, right,

Tas:

okay, I'm going to just try and see how this works as a business.

Tas:

The first thing was trying to find, um, a tea supplier and I knew I wanted,

Tas:

um, some, uh, like a firm or a company that could help me that were, um,

Tas:

you know, their, their ethos was, um, uh, sustainability and ethical and,

Tas:

um, and all these sorts of things, because anybody can go to any big

Tas:

company and buy wholesale tea, but you know, for cheap money and, but

Tas:

you don't know where it's come from.

Tas:

You don't know where, how the workers are treated.

Tas:

You don't know um, if the companies are saying what they do, they're actually

Tas:

doing it, those sorts of things.

Tas:

So I spent a long time looking for those sorts of companies.

Tas:

And particularly when I started off, there were a lot of companies that didn't

Tas:

want to speak to me because, you know, I, I only wanted to order like a kilo

Tas:

of tea, for example, to start off with.

Tas:

And they're like, oh no, our minimum was like 10,000.

Tas:

And it's like, oh, okay.

Tas:

And, um, and, uh, you know, it was just, you know, it's a bit

Tas:

sole destroying to start off with, but you just have to plug away.

Tas:

and then you end up finding a company like I did, who, um, have the same ethos.

Tas:

They give, um, 50% of their profits back to the farming

Tas:

regions where we get the teas from.

Tas:

Um, you know, so it's all holistically, it's all goes in the same sort

Tas:

of ethos that I believe in as an individual, as well as bringing

Tas:

that, those values to my business.

Tas:

So, um, so yeah, so that's where that was the main thing where that came from.

Tas:

Craft side of it was a bit more hit and miss to start off with.

Tas:

I started, um, buying kits from other small businesses, um, or

Tas:

other businesses in general.

Tas:

Um, but it was hard.

Tas:

It was really hard and really difficult to explain the link between

Tas:

the tea and the crafting kits.

Tas:

When the crafting kits weren't really mine and the um, the design of them didn't

Tas:

really match with me as an individual and my customers that I ended up, um,

Tas:

um, acquiring through, um, you know, things, you know, the posts that I did

Tas:

on social media and stuff like that.

Tas:

So that took a lot longer, but now we've, you know, I've got a range of designs that

Tas:

are a bit, a bit out there, a bit unique, a bit more, um, not standard and you know,

Tas:

nothing that you would find in, um, you know, some, some magazines potentially,

Tas:

because of some of the nature of the, of the mottos and things like that.

Tas:

So it's a bit, so it's a bit more on the, um, uh, edgy side I suppose.

Tas:

Um, but yeah, that, that took some time, but we're was starting

Tas:

to get a bit of traction now on that, which is really good.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really exciting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I've got so many follow up questions from that Tas, where to start, but

Vicki Weinberg:

firstly, I'll say, um, it's really interesting when you said, oh, um,

Vicki Weinberg:

you don't feel like you've done that much because it's, it's interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

So many people I talk to on the podcast, it's only when they sort of

Vicki Weinberg:

share their story, they go, oh wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

I've come a long way or wow, haven't I done a lot.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because you're right, it's so easy to just take for granted where you are.

Vicki Weinberg:

Right now.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think, especially because if the, if the early bit is hard and challenging,

Vicki Weinberg:

it can be quite easy to not forget, but I think maybe block it out slightly.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I don't whether it's conscious or not, but yeah, I think it can be

Vicki Weinberg:

kind, kind of easy to sort of overlook all the hard things you went through

Vicki Weinberg:

to get your business where it is.

Tas:

Yeah, a hundred percent.

Tas:

And I think because we are so particularly if you are a business

Tas:

and you are on social media, you end up finding other businesses, just,

Tas:

you know, through, uh, you know, uh, they come up like, you know, to, you

Tas:

know, for you pages or Instagram on the discover pages and things like that.

Tas:

And you'll see these people who have overnight started a business

Tas:

from zero to like a hundred thousand or million or something like that.

Tas:

And you think to yourself, well, I've been, you know, I've, you know, I say

Tas:

this to myself a lot and particularly this year, it's really difficult.

Tas:

And, um, I think for myself, you know, I've been doing this five years.

Tas:

Why am I, you know, I'm not there yet, but then I look back at these,

Tas:

you know, my first, like I say, in inverted commas event, it was like

Tas:

a little street party near my house.

Tas:

I had one table that wasn't even mine.

Tas:

It was like somebody's, um, lent me it, um, with like a table cloth.

Tas:

Oh no, not even the table cloth.

Tas:

It was a scarf of my mums that I covered the top with, with five different teas.

Tas:

Um, and that was it.

Tas:

That's all I had just like five little, um, five bags of tea and that's all I had

Tas:

to now I've got 20 different types of tea.

Tas:

I have, um, you know limited edition ones that I have for, um, some

Tas:

of my wholesale customers, I've got like a range of accessories.

Tas:

I've got this whole new range of craft kits and stuff like that.

Tas:

And it's like, those things do take time and it was more organic.

Tas:

And because I suppose, because you work hard, you know that you've worked hard,

Tas:

but you know the pitfalls and you know what you've spent your money on and

Tas:

it's gone wrong or you know what you've spent your money on and it's gone right.

Tas:

And all these sorts of things and it's just, and it is sometimes really

Tas:

difficult just to think to yourself, well, I don't know why I'm not, you know,

Tas:

this massive, uh, massive company now, but it's been a slow and organic thing.

Tas:

And, and I think I, I would prefer to do it this way because otherwise I

Tas:

wouldn't have learned as much as I, I have by doing it in such a quick way,

Tas:

because, you know, even when I started out you know, even like the, um, you

Tas:

know, the few like five pound sales that I did, or, you know, an event

Tas:

where I took in total 20 pounds and it covered my table or something like that.

Tas:

If you don't have those like grounding sort of, um, um, opportunities or,

Tas:

um, yeah, opportunities or, you know, experiences it's, it's difficult to

Tas:

then to then when things are a bit slower or you're not growing as quick

Tas:

to realize, because you've not seen the organic growth, I suppose of it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I agree.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think, like you said, when you, you look back, I think it's easier

Vicki Weinberg:

to kind of appreciate where you are now, when you look back to those days

Vicki Weinberg:

where, you know, when you are only making 20 pounds in an afternoon or

Vicki Weinberg:

whatever it is, I think it, yeah, it really makes you more appreciative of

Vicki Weinberg:

where you are, even if you are still not, um, maybe where you want to be.

Vicki Weinberg:

Ultimately it's still, you can still measure the progress.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Yeah, definitely.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

If you've not got, if you're not seeing the slow growth, it's difficult

Tas:

to, it is also, it's also difficult.

Tas:

If you don't have that slow growth, it's difficult to see what's

Tas:

working and what isn't working.

Tas:

And if it's just all from zero to a hundred straight away, but there's

Tas:

things that haven't been working, but if something else has taken over

Tas:

and done better, you won't know what, you know, what's taking the money

Tas:

out or taking your time out that you could outsource and things like that.

Tas:

It's.

Tas:

Yeah, it's it's I think it'd be a bit more difficult.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that makes sense because you're right with sort of growing

Vicki Weinberg:

slowly, you can sort of see the impact of every little thing that you do.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's really interesting what you're saying about overnight successes as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I don't know if you've ever heard me say this, but I'm,

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm also not a hundred percent convinced about those and someone can

Vicki Weinberg:

definitely prove me wrong on this.

Vicki Weinberg:

But sometimes I think sometimes I see someone and I feel like they've come

Vicki Weinberg:

out of nowhere, but then I think to myself, is that just, they've just

Vicki Weinberg:

come up on my radar, but actually they've been working really hard for

Vicki Weinberg:

two years, three years, five years.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's just that I've just heard about them now.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Does that make sense?

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I, and I'm not to put anyone down because there will be people

Vicki Weinberg:

who do brilliantly right from the start and that's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I also like to say, because I think sometimes we can compare ourselves to

Vicki Weinberg:

people and we think, oh, we should be where they are, because they've only

Vicki Weinberg:

been in business six months and, you know, they're overtaking me whatever.

Vicki Weinberg:

But actually that might be six months plus three years of just logging

Vicki Weinberg:

away in the background around a day job, but you know, whatever it is.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, um, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I only say that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah because, not to put anyone down, but just to make people think, oh,

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know because I think we can be really critical of ourselves.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and really what was so far the word of, so really complimentary of others

Vicki Weinberg:

and what they've done, but we are not always as kind to ourselves, so yeah.

Tas:

Oh yeah, definitely.

Tas:

Yeah, yeah.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

I totally agree.

Tas:

And yeah, there are a lot of people who, um, I, yeah, I agree with that.

Tas:

They they've just appeared because they might have just appeared to us,

Tas:

but there's I saw a LinkedIn post.

Tas:

I think this morning of somebody who said, um, he got a comment from

Tas:

somebody saying, oh, it's because you were just lucky that, and he was

Tas:

going, no, but I've done all this.

Tas:

And he listed out all of the things that he was doing, you know, he'd

Tas:

done, you know, 400 hours of training.

Tas:

He'd done, you know, 150 videos over a year.

Tas:

Um, you know, and all these, you know, and all these sorts of things.

Tas:

That's how he's got his, his quote unquote overnight success.

Tas:

But it wasn't, it was a lot of hard work, um, over, you know, a year

Tas:

or two years prior to it, you know, working for him and getting bigger.

Tas:

And I think there's a lot of, I think we are getting a bit more,

Tas:

um, savy is not the right word, but do you know what I mean?

Tas:

Uh, and you know, looking at, and seeing these businesses and people on Facebook

Tas:

and going that's, that's not accurate.

Tas:

That's not a, that's not real.

Tas:

That's that isn't real to me.

Tas:

And I shouldn't be comparing myself to that.

Tas:

And I, you know, my journey will happen in whatever, in

Tas:

whatever speed it will happen.

Tas:

And it'll be ups and downs.

Tas:

Like everything is in life and it will just, it will work as it will work.

Tas:

And, um, you, you build the business to what you want it to be based on.

Tas:

Um, you know how you see the success of it grow going.

Tas:

And I think if you want it to be big, you know, you need to put the effort

Tas:

in and the work in and make it, you know, and it's a constant thing.

Tas:

But sometimes, you know, I had a chat with my another business friend of mine

Tas:

that we don't, you know, we would say that we, we don't want these, you know,

Tas:

looking at, um, you know, like Dragons' Den with like a three year planner and an

Tas:

exit strategy and all this sort of stuff.

Tas:

We want a business that works for us in our life.

Tas:

That we love doing and that's, and that's what it is really isn't it.

Tas:

So.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

That I feel exactly the same.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like I feel like, I think I'd almost be scared to have an

Vicki Weinberg:

overnight massive success which is such a silly thing to say.

Vicki Weinberg:

Maybe that's something more to do with my personality than

Vicki Weinberg:

anything else, but I don't know.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think we all have like, what success means is kind of different for all of us.

Vicki Weinberg:

Mm-hmm . And as long as we are happy with our businesses and where we are

Vicki Weinberg:

and where we're going, that's fine.

Vicki Weinberg:

And something else I was just thinking about was actually, is that the algorithm

Vicki Weinberg:

doesn't help with all of this because you find like you see a company.

Vicki Weinberg:

And for me, it's mostly on Instagram because i'm on Instagram

Vicki Weinberg:

lot and I'll see a company and I think, oh, they look great.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then suddenly you are seeing all their posts and all their ads and you

Vicki Weinberg:

know, like the way that algorithms work.

Vicki Weinberg:

Suddenly, like they're just put in front of you all the time.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think that kind of lends itself to the fact of, wow, they've suddenly

Vicki Weinberg:

come out of nowhere because you're suddenly just once they're on your

Vicki Weinberg:

radar, they're like everywhere.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know if that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I do think that plays into the whole feeling like, yeah someone's miles

Vicki Weinberg:

ahead of you or whatever it is, because suddenly you can't, you know, turn around

Vicki Weinberg:

about seeing their posts and everything.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think, yeah, it's just the way like we get shown, you know, we show an

Vicki Weinberg:

interest in something and suddenly we are bombarded with it, but I don't think

Vicki Weinberg:

that helps if you're comparing yourself..

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I feel like if you've got a competitor quite and you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

you start checking them out quite often, you just, all you're seeing

Vicki Weinberg:

is what they're doing, and that can be a bit disconcerting actually.

Tas:

I did, I did that as well.

Tas:

We all do that.

Tas:

I suppose when we start on social media, like follow people or follow

Tas:

competitors and things like that.

Tas:

And then I, and then about two or three years ago, I stopped doing that.

Tas:

I stopped and unfollowing all of them just because.

Tas:

One, it was, I was looking at them going, well, how come it's working for them?

Tas:

And I've done something like that.

Tas:

And it hasn't worked for me.

Tas:

And, um, or you feel like, you know, if you do something and they see, you

Tas:

know, and or if somebody sees it from there, you, they think you're copying

Tas:

them and all these sorts of things.

Tas:

And I was like, right, I'm not gonna do it because it's not, I don't like it.

Tas:

It's not making me feel good looking at their content.

Tas:

So I stopped doing it.

Tas:

And I started following more people that, um, that, you know, either, um,

Tas:

other small businesses in completely different areas that I really

Tas:

admired and have got friends with.

Tas:

And, you know, we share, um, you know, the highs and lows of, you know, of,

Tas:

uh, running a business or, you know, and other people, you know, such as

Tas:

yourself and other, um, uh, people that can, you know, have been able to

Tas:

provide advice and things, on things that could work and, um, you know, trying

Tas:

different avenues and things like that.

Tas:

I think it's too easy to fill up your grid with, um, with people that doing a

Tas:

similar thing to you and feeling, and, and it not being productive to how you

Tas:

are feeling in your business, particularly if you're feeling in a low place.

Tas:

Um, seeing, you know, seeing any, any sort of content that's, you know, that's,

Tas:

um, positive from, from someone else where you, you don't know about them and

Tas:

they've just got this overnight success, for example, is, is not gonna help.

Tas:

So my, I would recommend not following competitors.

Tas:

Um, if you can, and, you know, just fill it with people that you know, are

Tas:

inspiring to you or that you like, look, you know, you like looking at their

Tas:

content and that can help you rather than trying to compare yourself, because.

Tas:

So, what is it?

Tas:

Comparison is the, is the thief of joy or something isn't it.

Tas:

So, um, so yeah, so that's yeah, so that's what I've started doing now.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

I don't follow any competitors really.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's such great advice because I think most of us

Vicki Weinberg:

at the beginning, we, we do do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and it sounds really obvious doesn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

Just to unfollow them, but I think sometimes you don't because there's

Vicki Weinberg:

almost like a perverse thing in it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like you sort of wanna see, but I think yeah, for your mental health

Vicki Weinberg:

and you'll that all the rest of it, I think unfollowing is brilliant advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, yeah, I'm definitely gonna take that on board.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think, I think that's.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, I think that's just really sensible for so many reasons.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's come back to talking about your products, if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

Tas after you gave us your introduction, I had so many questions.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, wondering where to start.

Vicki Weinberg:

Let's start maybe, um, with your eco policy.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I know that's something that's important to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

You mentioned when you were.

Vicki Weinberg:

About when you were sourcing your teas, you were talking about only wanting to

Vicki Weinberg:

work with certain types of companies.

Vicki Weinberg:

So should we start there?

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Yeah, sure.

Tas:

So, um, so yeah, so, like I said, at the beginning that you can, anybody could go,

Tas:

same with coffee, you can buy, you know, uh, you know, from, you know, wholesale

Tas:

like coffees and teas and things, but it's, I, I was never comfortable buying

Tas:

things that weren't, that I didn't know where they came from or that they, I

Tas:

didn't feel comfortable selling, because I didn't know the backstory or I didn't

Tas:

know, I wasn't sure that the, um, you know, like all the eco policies are

Tas:

there, all the ethical values were there.

Tas:

So, um, and I always, and like I say this to all my customers, that I

Tas:

only sell products that I use myself.

Tas:

So I only drink the tea, I only sell the teas that I drink.

Tas:

Um, so, so it'd be silly for me to buy things and, you know, seldom to people,

Tas:

if I wasn't comfortable about where they came from and all these sorts of things.

Tas:

So that was, so that was a real big, um, important thing for me.

Tas:

So, yeah.

Tas:

So, um, the main company that I use, um, they they're a social enterprise,

Tas:

so they give, um, that, you know, half of their profits back to um, farming

Tas:

regions, um, you know, to get like girls into education and, um, things like that.

Tas:

Um, or other, uh, or another company that are part of the ethical tea

Tas:

partnership, which guarantee fair wages for farmers, um, and, um, safety

Tas:

standards and all those sorts of things.

Tas:

Things that we take for granted as you know, employees in this country

Tas:

are not guaranteed in other countries.

Tas:

So, um, so it's all like a holistic, like whole cycle thing really.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And how easy was it to find teas and companies that fit that criteria?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I'm, I'm guessing perhaps not as easy as if you were just

Vicki Weinberg:

happy to go to a wholesaler and buy whatever they had on, on the shelf.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

It's yeah.

Tas:

It's, it's difficult.

Tas:

And also it's difficult in terms of like quantities and things like that because

Tas:

it's just me and, um, you know, I haven't.

Tas:

You know, warehouse, uh, warehouses of space to put, um, you know,

Tas:

lots of tea and things like that.

Tas:

So, yeah, so it was really difficult, but it was a case of, um, you know,

Tas:

speaking to, you know, doing a lot, so much research and, um, speaking to

Tas:

like the owners, not just, um, people who are trying to like salespeople

Tas:

and things like that who were just speak, feeding me like their spiel

Tas:

of things that they were saying.

Tas:

I was like, no, I need to speak to the people who are made these policies

Tas:

so I can, you know, speak, you know, guarantee that that's what they're doing.

Tas:

They're doing what they're saying.

Tas:

And you know, and I get updates from the companies that are using,

Tas:

the projects that they've done and, um, you know, things like that.

Tas:

So it's really, you know, it's really important that that's,

Tas:

um, that's, it's been upheld and what they're saying is true.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, that's brilliant and it's great that you've managed

Vicki Weinberg:

to do sort of all of that research.

Vicki Weinberg:

It sounds like you've been so diligent.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so I guess it shows that while it might be harder,

Vicki Weinberg:

that it's definitely possible.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I, and then what, yeah, I think that's great.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so what I was going to ask then was, so are these, the companies that you

Vicki Weinberg:

started working with five years ago, are the, are they still in the whole, the

Vicki Weinberg:

same supplies you're working with now?

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

We've got like a really good relationship and, um, You know, and it's, um, because

Tas:

we've been to, we've worked together for so long it's, um, you know, it's

Tas:

quite, uh, you know, it's quite like a symbiotic thing, I suppose, like,

Tas:

in terms of like we're helping each other out and all these sorts of stuff.

Tas:

So the, you know, the more, um, you know, the more orders that I get

Tas:

obviously the more money that I can give to them and then the more money

Tas:

that they can give to their projects and all these sorts of things.

Tas:

So it's um, so yeah, so it's really good.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's great.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that's one thing I didn't say very succinctly early, but I guess that

Vicki Weinberg:

was what I was trying to get at is that, I guess you spent a lot of time

Vicki Weinberg:

finding the right people to work with, but if you're still working together

Vicki Weinberg:

five years on, it's definitely worth putting in that groundwork right away.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I think it can be so hard when you find a supplier,

Vicki Weinberg:

but they're not quite right.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then you're moving on and you're just constantly cycling through the process.

Vicki Weinberg:

Finding someone to work with.

Vicki Weinberg:

Whereas I guess now you've got a great relationship and yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

It just makes everything so much easier doesn't it.

Vicki Weinberg:

So much more pleasant.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Yeah, definitely.

Tas:

It's yeah.

Tas:

You know, I know when I ring them up, they know who I am

Tas:

and all these sorts of things.

Tas:

And um, so yeah, so it's, yeah, it is really important and I think having

Tas:

particularly now with, you know, with, with everything as it is, you

Tas:

know, with, um, you know, getting things from abroad and, um, you know,

Tas:

delays and all this sort of stuff.

Tas:

Like having like a good relationship with suppliers is so important and,

Tas:

um, you know, and, you know, being able to speak to somebody and, you

Tas:

know, and, um, you know, if you've got any concerns and things like

Tas:

that is really is vital really.

Tas:

And, you know, having that um, that connection is, you know, something that

Tas:

you need to just like, be mindful of as a business with who you're using.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now I'd love to just change subjects a little bit if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

And talk about your craft kits.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I think probably good place to start is if you can describe for

Vicki Weinberg:

us some of the kits that you've got, because obviously I've been on

Vicki Weinberg:

your website and had a good look.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but we'll assume that people listening may not have done that yet.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hopefully everyone will go and take a look.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can you just explain, um, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Describe some of your kits for you and then, and then we'll

Vicki Weinberg:

talk about them a bit more.

Tas:

Yeah, sure.

Tas:

Uh, so yeah, so like I said, like trying.

Tas:

Uh, when I, when I first started and had kits from other businesses,

Tas:

they didn't really, they didn't really like gel with me.

Tas:

And they were quite, um, they were quite, uh, like quite um twee and,

Tas:

and safe and things like that.

Tas:

And it wasn't really who I am as an individual and where I want

Tas:

the business in terms of both the tea and the crafting kits to like

Tas:

go and the brand and everything.

Tas:

So, um, I was at an event locally and, uh, met somebody who was an embroidery

Tas:

artist who was selling her finished items.

Tas:

And, um, like we started chatting and, um, and everything, and I said, oh, would

Tas:

you be interested in doing like bespoke designs for my business, for like, for

Tas:

kits that I was thinking of coming up with and she was like, yeah, that'd be great.

Tas:

And all this stuff, anyway, we started chatting.

Tas:

And, um, so I gave her a bit of a brief and said, you know, I wanted something,

Tas:

they were like quite edgy, but had a bit of like floral things on them.

Tas:

So when you looked at them from a glance, it was like, oh, that's a

Tas:

pretty design, but when you looked a bit closer, it was a bit like, Ooh, I wasn't

Tas:

expecting, uh, wasn't expecting that.

Tas:

So, um, so yeah, so we came up with these designs.

Tas:

I think we started off with, uh, six or seven to start off with, um, and the

Tas:

kits come with everything that you need.

Tas:

So the fabrics all printed, um, with the design and in colour, um, the hoop,

Tas:

the, the threads, the needles, all these sorts of all the, the things,

Tas:

but what I like to say to everybody is that it's not, um, really, uh,

Tas:

prescribed what you do with them.

Tas:

So you can do as little or as much as you want.

Tas:

And the design will still be, you know, you'll still have like your own bit

Tas:

of art that you can hang up or frame.

Tas:

Um, so it's not, you know, if you don't finish all of it, it would

Tas:

look like the half finished thing.

Tas:

You can just do the outlines.

Tas:

You could just do bits of the colors.

Tas:

Um, so it is really being accessible to everybody.

Tas:

So regardless of like your ability or if you've got, um, you know, issues with

Tas:

like dexterity or anything like that, you can still do things and still have this

Tas:

bit of artwork and have it in your house.

Tas:

And it will still be done regardless of if you do one stitch

Tas:

or, you know, all the stitches.

Tas:

So it's really.

Tas:

Like it's, I guess it's as much, um, as you can be.

Tas:

Um, uh, what do you call it?

Tas:

Like free hand with a design that's already been given

Tas:

to you, if that makes sense.

Tas:

So.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess as designs printed and you just embroider it over or around,

Vicki Weinberg:

or however you choose to do it.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

So, yeah, so it's yeah, so it's pretty much you you've got creative control,

Tas:

but the design is already there.

Tas:

So it's, so, you know, you don't have to do stitches that are, you

Tas:

know, some of them are really hard, um, or I find really difficult.

Tas:

So like French knots, they can be a bit annoying.

Tas:

So if you don't want to do French knots, you don't have to, you know, it's not

Tas:

like a design that says you must use this stitch for this, this, this, and this.

Tas:

So.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's really good.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so you had the designer to help you design them to your brief, but

Vicki Weinberg:

what about sort of sourcing all the bits that make up the kits?

Vicki Weinberg:

So the thread and the fabric, how have you managed to pull all of that together?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because to me it sounds like a massive job because I've got a few of these kits,

Vicki Weinberg:

not yours, but I've got a few cross-stitch kits before and you get quite a lot

Vicki Weinberg:

in a cross-stitch or embroidery set.

Vicki Weinberg:

So yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

How have you gone about that?

Tas:

Yeah, that was also very difficult.

Tas:

um, again, it was, um, I was trying to be mindful of where I

Tas:

was getting the products from.

Tas:

Um, so I've a so all of the products come from businesses that are based in the UK.

Tas:

So, um, so it's all part of the, I guess, circular economy, I suppose.

Tas:

So it's all trying to, um, you know, every time you buy a kit from me,

Tas:

you are helping other businesses that are in the UK as well.

Tas:

So it's, um, so that was really important because again, it's, um, another

Tas:

relationship that you can have with them and, you know, and it might be, you

Tas:

know, it might be a big, um, company that you're dealing with, but you are still

Tas:

part, you know, you're still part of that and they're still a supplier to you

Tas:

and, um, you know, that that relationship is still really important as well.

Tas:

So, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's great because I mean, there are so many different

Vicki Weinberg:

elements aren't there that make up a kit.

Vicki Weinberg:

And are you able to source them all from one place?

Vicki Weinberg:

So are you sort of getting everything from different places and having to

Vicki Weinberg:

physically pull the packs together?

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Unfortunately at the minute it is different from different places,

Tas:

but it's to try and get like the best of everything from everywhere.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

So, um, so.

Tas:

Which it's fine.

Tas:

It's like, once again, it is the same with everything.

Tas:

Once you start, it's really difficult trying to find it, but once you know what

Tas:

it is, it's very easy to, to reorder, you know, what, you've, what you're getting.

Tas:

And you've got like the list of colours of threads and things like that,

Tas:

so, you know which ones they are, um, and, uh, and that sort of stuff.

Tas:

So it's just, um, yeah.

Tas:

It's just the beginning bit is, is always more painful at the beginning when you

Tas:

just think, oh, I've got to really got to sit down and order these, but once

Tas:

you've done it, you know, um, you've got like a, you know, like a robust, like

Tas:

spreadsheet of what you need and, um, you know, where they're coming from.

Tas:

It's just a case of referring back to that the next time in ordering it again.

Tas:

So, yeah, it's just the initial part, um, of it really.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess some of the elements like hoops, for example, are going to be

Vicki Weinberg:

standard throughout whatever pack.

Vicki Weinberg:

You all exactly.

Vicki Weinberg:

So is it a really, I hope you don't mind me asking this, is it a big job actually

Vicki Weinberg:

physically putting the packs together?

Tas:

It is a little bit and it's, but once you get like, um, a bit

Tas:

of, um, uh, what do you call it?

Tas:

Like a production line.

Tas:

So I have like all the boxes that I make up, and then I put the tissue paper in

Tas:

each one, the instructions in each one.

Tas:

So it's just like, you're just doing that over and over again.

Tas:

And you just have some music on, in the background and you just kind

Tas:

of just like work your way through.

Tas:

Um, and I did ask, my husband if he wanted to help me and it got too complicated and

Tas:

the, so I just started shouting at him.

Tas:

So I asked him to leave.

Tas:

I was like.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, it sounds like the sort of thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think I would, if, if it were me, I would definitely be wanting to just, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Get on with it on my own.

Vicki Weinberg:

Sometimes I would keep one it's helpful as you think it might be.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know why there there's part me that thinks all putting together

Vicki Weinberg:

that sort of kit must be really fun.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I, I don't mean to sort of disregard all the hard work

Vicki Weinberg:

that goes into it, but is it fun?

Vicki Weinberg:

It sounds to me really fun, sort of creating a craft kit.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

It it's nice that once you because like there's, uh, 10 things.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

10 things that I need to make sure I put in there.

Tas:

So it's like literally just going like, you know, like, you know, counting

Tas:

them all out and once you've got them all, it's like folding it all up,

Tas:

putting the tape on, putting the label on that's that, that can get stored.

Tas:

Then, then it's the same for the next one and all these yeah.

Tas:

And all this.

Tas:

It's annoying though, when you, when you're in the rhythm and

Tas:

then like you, you need something.

Tas:

So like, um, so I have like a bit of backing felt that I had in each one.

Tas:

And then if I'm, if I run out of the squares, I need to go and cut some more.

Tas:

It's like, I don't like it when I have I'm stopped midway

Tas:

and I'm like, oh, darn then.

Tas:

So I'm like, right, stop.

Tas:

Get the big table.

Tas:

I'll get the felt.

Tas:

I get the measuring tape out and things like that to measure it all.

Tas:

So to cut it.

Tas:

But yeah, but once you're in the rhythm and once you're in the.

Tas:

Um, uh, flow of doing it.

Tas:

It's very, it's like really quick and it's quite, it's just, um, you can just

Tas:

put the music on and there, you don't really have to think too much about it.

Tas:

You just, because you know, you've got 10 things to put in there.

Tas:

You just make sure you just pick the 10 things and that's it really.

Vicki Weinberg:

I do think it sounds really.

Vicki Weinberg:

And also I guess also the thought of like you, obviously you are

Vicki Weinberg:

creating these sets yourself as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

I just think that's just, I don't know why that just makes me feel like

Vicki Weinberg:

this is such a joyful thing to create.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like something that someone's going to take and make something with.

Tas:

Yeah, it's really nice.

Tas:

Especially when I get like photos from people who've sent what, what they've

Tas:

done or, um, you know, they'll or, or I'll get messages like saying, oh, I didn't,

Tas:

you know, I did only this bit, um, you know, I didn't get a chance to finish it.

Tas:

And I was like, oh no, but looks, if you that's all you want

Tas:

to do, then that is finished.

Tas:

So, um, you know, so it's really nice getting comments and, um, like messages

Tas:

from people about, you know, saying that they haven't, you know, um, picked

Tas:

up embroidery for so long or ever.

Tas:

And they've got this, you know, piece of, you know, work that they've

Tas:

effectively done on their own.

Tas:

And it's, you know, It's a very proud moment.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, no, you should feel proud.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it's nice that, like you say, the designs are printed.

Vicki Weinberg:

They are accessible as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

So like anyone presumably could just pick one up and give it a go.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

You'd then have to, yeah.

Tas:

The worst thing about having, having a design is the tracing out of it.

Tas:

You know, sticking it, the paper against the window and putting the fabric on the

Tas:

tar pool and the light box and all this and you know, and all this sort of stuff.

Tas:

And you just, sometimes you just want to get on with it.

Tas:

You just want to put the fabric in the hoop and just start sewing.

Tas:

But, um, particularly if you're a beginner as well, you don't want added

Tas:

stress of like doing things like that.

Tas:

And it can be a bit messy.

Tas:

And if it's, you know, if it's not, if the pen doesn't come out

Tas:

with like washing or things like that and it's leaks and all that.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

I was like, no, don't want any of that for.

Tas:

To, to any of that drama to give to anybody else.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, so it sounds like you designed this to make it super easy.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Yeah, definitely.

Tas:

It's basically what I would do.

Tas:

It's like, what would I, what would I want in a kit?

Tas:

I wouldn't want to trace.

Tas:

So then therefore, no tracing.

Vicki Weinberg:

I never even thought about tracing because

Vicki Weinberg:

I've never done embroidery.

Vicki Weinberg:

I've only ever done cross-stitch.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's kind, I feel like that's my limit.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I can count crosses so I feel like, do you know what I mean?

Vicki Weinberg:

I feel like I can count.

Vicki Weinberg:

So therefore I'm good, but the thought of actually having to

Vicki Weinberg:

do like real stitching I'm yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Maybe one day, I feel like it's maybe, maybe I should try one of

Vicki Weinberg:

your kits because actually, yeah, it sounds like I couldn't go far wrong.

Tas:

No, exactly.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Well, you know, my best friend she's she did.

Tas:

Um, well, and so like when I go to events, I have, um, them, I have like,

Tas:

uh, finished ones as like a display.

Tas:

And I purposely gave them to people that had never stitched before or

Tas:

hadn't stitched for a long time.

Tas:

So my best friend, she did one.

Tas:

Um, and she's never stitched embroidered before.

Tas:

Um, I gave one to a neighbour of mine.

Tas:

She hasn't stitched for, you know, like 20 years or something.

Tas:

And she did one and you know, it was really, and you know, her son did one.

Tas:

He's never, um, done embroidery before.

Tas:

And, and they're, you know, I have those as like my display ones and,

Tas:

you know, and it's, and so like I tell people and they were like, oh,

Tas:

you must have taken ages to do these.

Tas:

And I was saying, oh no, it's not actually me that because it's pointless

Tas:

me showing what I can do, because I've been embroidering for such a long time.

Tas:

But what, um, it's showing people that look the, you know,

Tas:

this is the range of people.

Tas:

They've done them and they're their varying ability.

Tas:

And look what they've produced.

Tas:

Look, and I've got these out on displayed because they're so nice.

Tas:

It's not like I've been given them and gone, oh my God, these are

Tas:

awful and then 'veI throw them away.

Tas:

But they're, you know, they're, they've done.

Tas:

You know, they're so they've picked it up so well, and they've done such an

Tas:

amazing job of, you know, we display them and they're focus on my website

Tas:

are the ones that they've done as well.

Tas:

So, um, so yeah, so anybody can do it and anyone can pick it up.

Tas:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's brilliant.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's great to share that as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because as I say, it makes it so accessible to people and talking of the

Vicki Weinberg:

pictures on your website, we see what's really hard, obviously this is not visual.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but why don't you just so people can get a sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I love looking at all, all of these on your website.

Vicki Weinberg:

So people just get a sense of what you offer.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, why don't you describe for us just one or two of your favorite designs.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and don't worry about what you say.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I can always put the explicit filter on if I need to

Vicki Weinberg:

if you're worried to put that.

Tas:

Okay.

Tas:

So yeah, so I've got a, I've got a couple, they all range, um, from, uh,

Tas:

in their, um, complexity, I suppose.

Tas:

Um, but one that I really like is, uh, that I've got one

Tas:

it's really, it's really easy.

Tas:

And it says like tea question mark, obviously.

Tas:

And, um, and it's got like little tea leaves around the outside, which I really

Tas:

love, which I really love stitching.

Tas:

I really like the one we did that we designed last year.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Last year was for, um, because every year I get asked about, um, in January,

Tas:

particularly about detox tea and things like that, and there's, spoiler alert,

Tas:

there's no such thing as a detox tea or detox coffee or anything like that.

Tas:

And so, um, so I do a big post about that on social media and it's my

Tas:

best performing post every year.

Tas:

And so, um, and so I did an embroidery kit about saying that nobody cares

Tas:

about your diet because there's so much particularly in the new year,

Tas:

there's so many, you know, there's so many people going on and on and on

Tas:

about their diets and things like that.

Tas:

And not saying that you're not, you know, not saying what people are doing

Tas:

things for, you know, health reasons or whatever is, is, should be, you know, not

Tas:

commended, but you know, that it's a lot of negativity, particularly for people

Tas:

who have got, you know, uh, issues around eating and, um, and things like that.

Tas:

And it's, you know, a lot of negativity about it and, you know, and.

Tas:

It's a big movement about pos you know, body positivity, but in January,

Tas:

no, no, you must hate yourself in January because we've had, we've

Tas:

had a nice Christmas, for example.

Tas:

So that one was quite, uh, well received, let's say.

Tas:

And, um, so, um, so that was one of my favorite ones as well, because it's

Tas:

quite, um, an important one to, to me and um, a lot of my friends have, uh, oh,

Tas:

customers, sorry that I've become friends now, that are, you know, that really like

Tas:

it and the, the message behind that one.

Tas:

So I really like that one.

Tas:

And then one of my most popular ones, isn't, uh, one of the, the

Tas:

reason why it's so accessible is that my love is loved one and my

Tas:

little rainbow and things like that.

Tas:

Everyone.

Tas:

Yeah, that always seems to sell out, which is really nice.

Tas:

So a lot of people have got that one and have hung it up and things like that.

Tas:

And so that's really nice too.

Tas:

So, so yeah, so those are my favourite, my favourite ones.

Tas:

I love them all, but those are my favorite ones.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you for that, because I just wanted you to explain them.

Vicki Weinberg:

So people got a bit of a sense of what they are.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because when I looked, I thought, well, they're not your

Vicki Weinberg:

traditional embroidery kits that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Think of, like you said, because I, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

You think of embroidery, you think of flowers and beds and butterflies

Vicki Weinberg:

and yours are really pretty, but they were a little bit edgy aswell.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, so that's what I wanted to try and convey.

Vicki Weinberg:

And hopefully people go to your, so do let us know your website address.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now this is a good time to actually tell people your websites.

Vicki Weinberg:

They can go and have a look for themselves.

Tas:

Oh yes.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

So you can, uh, so yeah, so, um, you can buy all my products on

Tas:

and craft kids off my website, which is, uh, verycraftea.co.uk.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'll link that up in show notes as well, but I thought that, it's quite

Vicki Weinberg:

good to give it a mention here as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and yeah, and also link to your social media accounts and everything else.

Vicki Weinberg:

So the final question I have for you, Tas, if that's okay, is, is what I ask everyone

Vicki Weinberg:

is what would your number one piece of advice be for other product creators?

Tas:

Oh, gosh, uh, gosh, a really good question.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's why I leave it till the end, because it's tricky.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Into false sense of security being, oh yeah, these are not hard questions.

Tas:

Um, I really, oh I think the main thing is is getting your numbers right.

Tas:

I can't stress this enough about everything.

Tas:

So I have this spreadsheet and it's, I don't know, I think it's about 27

Tas:

columns long or something like that.

Tas:

And it talks and it goes through every single bit of cost that it takes

Tas:

for me to produce either a bag of tea to sell or a craft kit to sell.

Tas:

Um, and it talks about bags, labels, uh, processing costs on the website.

Tas:

Uh, so, you know, so like, um, so my, my website is through Shopify, so it will,

Tas:

um, the costs that Shopify take per sale, postage, how much, um, you know, PayPal

Tas:

takes all these sorts of things and it all works and I've done every single point

Tas:

and then work out how much it costs to sell that before I end up with a price, I

Tas:

didn't do that for about two and a half.

Tas:

Uh, no, probably longer than that.

Tas:

Probably three years.

Tas:

I hadn't had that.

Tas:

And I worked out that I was selling things cheaper than it was costing me to, to

Tas:

make it, which is not really a good thing when you, when you're in a business.

Tas:

So, um, so, um, so yeah, so if I could start again, that would definitely

Tas:

be it because not one, I guess it would is obviously you don't get into

Tas:

the thing that I was that you're not selling things cheaper than what you,

Tas:

your it's costing you to get and make.

Tas:

Um, two, it you'll be able to build in quite a nice, uh, you know,

Tas:

margin or profit for you as well.

Tas:

But also like three years, like you can build in potential uplifts and

Tas:

costs that you, that you might incur from like, uh, you know, like, you

Tas:

know, over the pandemic, like nobody could get cardboard boxes and car

Tas:

boxes that I was buying for 30p, when it went up to like a pound 50 each.

Tas:

And it was, you know, all these sorts of things and it was, you can

Tas:

take a little bit of the hit of that for a small amount of time, but not

Tas:

if it was for, you know, forever.

Tas:

So it's, you can work out, you can change, you know, small amount of

Tas:

figures, you know, your figures in this, you know, in your spreadsheet to say,

Tas:

you know, if it did go up a thousand percent, how much is that going to affect

Tas:

the, you know, what I end up getting.

Tas:

Or, you know, will I have to pass that cost onto the consumer and how, if I do,

Tas:

how do I, you know, explain that to them?

Tas:

How do I mitigate that if I can, or all these sorts of things.

Tas:

So, yes, my one piece of advice would be to make sure your numbers are

Tas:

correct, because it will end, it will save so much heartache and headache

Tas:

later on when you have to keep upping your prices um, because you've not

Tas:

factored that in until the beginning.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's such good advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Especially like your spreadsheet, because I think it's going to be

Vicki Weinberg:

so easy to forget some of those little costs, like the PayPal fees.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I've definitely in the beginning when I was selling my

Vicki Weinberg:

products, I was definitely similar.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, I had the big cost worked out, you know, the production and the

Vicki Weinberg:

shipping and the storage, but then those little things like, yeah, like the,

Vicki Weinberg:

like the PayPal fee is a great example.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's not a massive amount of money, but it all just adds up and yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think thinking of absolutely everything is really, really smart

Vicki Weinberg:

because yeah, that must have been horrible to realize that, oh, actually

Vicki Weinberg:

I am, I'm selling, these are lost, but good for you for like working it out

Vicki Weinberg:

though, because I think it could have been also easy to just kept on going.

Vicki Weinberg:

I can, especially because numbers, um, If it's not something you are sort

Vicki Weinberg:

of, you feel like you're good at, or you enjoy it can be so easy to just

Vicki Weinberg:

kind of put your head in the sand and definitely just hope for the best.

Tas:

Yeah, definitely.

Tas:

Even, you know, even like little things, um, you know, like stickers,

Tas:

if you put a sticker on something that costs money, if you, you know,

Tas:

even if it costs you like 3p that still will cost to you as a business.

Tas:

It's, you know, I've really gone to like the nth degree because I

Tas:

was thinking, you know, I always, I thought as soon as I worked out that

Tas:

if something did happen and everything went up, what would that affect.

Tas:

You know, because I don't want to increase my prices if I can help it

Tas:

for my consumers because it's, you know, times, you know, times are

Tas:

difficult for everybody at the minute.

Tas:

And um, so it's trying to mitigate these sorts of things like, you know, can I,

Tas:

you know, if I don't put a sticker that says my lay, my business on, on the

Tas:

box, is that on the outside, is that really going to make a difference to

Tas:

the person who ends up receiving it?

Tas:

Probably not, but that will save the money.

Tas:

You know, over X amount of packages that are being sent out, but, um,

Tas:

you know, those sorts of things.

Tas:

It's just looking at what you, what you are doing.

Tas:

And it's not a freebee, I suppose.

Tas:

To, to just think, oh, you know, this little bit of, you know,

Tas:

this, you know, this sticker, this tissue paper, it's not free.

Tas:

It isn't free for you to, to put in because you've had to buy it.

Tas:

So it's all the little things that just need added that need

Tas:

costing in and looking at.

Tas:

So, um, so yeah, so, you know, so you know exactly what it is and

Tas:

you know how much it is and you're more comfortable then knowing.

Tas:

Um, you know, more confident in what you're selling and

Tas:

confident in your price.

Tas:

If somebody says to you, oh, oh, that's really expensive.

Tas:

You can say to them, well, I, this is what you get included in, in, you

Tas:

know, in a, in a craft kit, or this is what you are paying for in the tea,

Tas:

as well as, you know, the fact it's consciously sourced, blah, blah, blah,

Tas:

blah, blah, all those sorts of things.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really good.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I also think that as you've explained, it's great to know your

Vicki Weinberg:

costs in that detail, because should something happen like the cost of your

Vicki Weinberg:

box, this gets more expensive, then you can make a really informed decision.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do I pass it onto the consumer or can I cut costs somewhere else?

Vicki Weinberg:

And as you say, if you've got all those cost detailed, you could go,

Vicki Weinberg:

well, the box price has gone up, but could I buy cheaper tissue paper

Vicki Weinberg:

or could I not put a sticker on?

Vicki Weinberg:

Or could I do, I guess it makes it much more actionable to kind of think about,

Vicki Weinberg:

okay, how, you know, how do I tackle this?

Vicki Weinberg:

Or do I just follow up the additional cost or whatever, but at least if

Vicki Weinberg:

you've got that degree of detail, you're making a really informed decision rather

Vicki Weinberg:

than just let things happen to you.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

You've got more con yeah, it is about having control.

Tas:

Because when, when things go up.

Tas:

And you haven't got it all written down and you don't know where it's all and

Tas:

you don't know how it affects everything.

Tas:

You feel like you've flo because you don't, you feel ou tof control.

Tas:

But when you find out something is going up and you've got it written down, you

Tas:

go, okay, what, well, how will that affect me by this going up by this much

Tas:

of minute amount of money and you can do, and you can play about the figures for,

Tas:

you know, just in case things as well.

Tas:

So it, it is all about having control and it's, you know, and it is horrible

Tas:

and it is boring and it's not as fun as designing stuff and making things and

Tas:

stuff, but it's, it's the fun, it's such a fundamental part for you to be able to

Tas:

do all the fun stuff that it needs doing.

Tas:

And that's, you know, I can't stress that I can't stress that

Tas:

enough, that, you know, everyone should really focus on doing that.

Tas:

If they've not already been doing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I love this.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm absolutely sold.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I agree.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think anyone who isn't doing this already, I think it might be quite a

Vicki Weinberg:

painful thing possibly to do, but I guess once you have it, it get, like

Vicki Weinberg:

you say, it gives you so much control.

Vicki Weinberg:

You can make really informed decisions.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I definitely think it's worth the sort of, couple of hours of pain that it

Vicki Weinberg:

might take to actually get it done, but I'm so my, my accountant would love you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm so impressed you've everything down to that detail.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, because it's yeah, I think it's exactly the level of detail you, you

Vicki Weinberg:

need when, when it's your business.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Oh yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you so much for sharing that, that,

Vicki Weinberg:

that's definitely one of the key takeaways in this episode for me.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's a brilliant sort of actionable piece of advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

People can just go away and do that if they're not already, um, I'm sure

Vicki Weinberg:

lots of people are, but if you're not, I think that's a good reminder

Vicki Weinberg:

to perhaps take a look and yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for everything that you've shared.

Vicki Weinberg:

I've loved talking to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I really hope people go to your website, take a look at your tea,

Vicki Weinberg:

take a look at your crafts kit.

Vicki Weinberg:

And as I say, the link will be in the show notes of this

Vicki Weinberg:

episode to make that really easy.

Tas:

No.

Tas:

Great.

Tas:

No, thank you so much for inviting me.

Tas:

I've had, yeah, it's been really nice chatting and it's, um, it's

Tas:

nice to, you know, look back, you know, think back about, you know,

Tas:

where I've started to where it is.

Tas:

And, and I hope that people who, who are in a similar position or thinking

Tas:

of starting or growing their business, this has been helpful to them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, deffinitely.

Tas:

Always happy to, yeah.

Tas:

Always happy to chat.

Tas:

If anyone wants to drop a message about, um, about business or any or

Tas:

anything or about tea or anything like that, I'm always happy to chat.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much Tas.

Tas:

No, thank you very much.

Tas:

Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode, do

Tas:

remember that you can get the full back catalogues and lots of free resources

Tas:

on my website, vickiweinberg.com.

Tas:

Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it

Tas:

and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful.