I’m super excited to celebrate 8 years in business as of October 7, 2021! It’s been one heck of a wild ride and continues to be enjoyable year after year. It feels just like yesterday when I was peeling the brown paper from our windows to show off our new business to the world. Ok, a bit of an exaggeration, to the fine folks on Oak Bay Avenue.
Despite having to close down our first location during the pandemic, we continue to keep our heads up and move forward with our second location at 544 Pandora Avenue. Our business would not exist without YOU. Loyal customers keep us going and we are forever grateful for your love and support. Here are 8 lessons I’ve learned on this journey so far. Here they are in no particular order:
- Finding your Tribe: If I am honest with you, I really had no idea who our target market would be when we opened our doors for the first time. I know that it’s something people study for a long time before opening a business but I took the ready, fire, aim, approach instead of the ready, fire, aim, approach. I was just happy when anyone walked through the door in those first few days and weeks and even months. As time went on I realized that Matcha drinkers are very diverse but also have a lot in common. We seem to be open-minded free spirits. We are kind, nurturing, and let’s not forget our sense of humour. I love my matcha tribe!
- People want to hang out in places where they can be seen, heard and known: I remember learning about the term ‘Third Spaces’ a few years back - Places where people can enjoy the company of others outside of their workplace and home. I thought, this is what I would like for Just Matcha. A ‘pub’ for Matcha lovers to hang out together and enjoy the space. I like to think that we have created a little community where ideas and relationships have been fostered.
- Maintaining Boundaries is Hard: My desire to respond to everyone and everything lightening fast seemed like a great idea but this has lead to burnout. I’ve learned that I need to set some boundaries so I can actually live the life I am working hard to create. When you love what you do, it’s easy to always be ‘on’. Now I like to have a little more separation from work. Easier said than done....
- Matcha People Are Really Nice: I listen to a lot of complaints in the service industry about horrible customers. I want to let you know that there truly are a lot of nice people in the world, and they can walk through our doors each and every day. Thank you all for your love, patience and kindness.
- Enjoy the process: As someone who suffers with anxiety, I can easily forget to take a deep breath and enjoy the process. This one is a definite work in progress.
- Smiles are my kryptonite: It took a worldwide pandemic to solidify my love of smiles. I miss those pearly whites. A smile can go a long way. Smiling releases endorphins and makes us feel happier and less stressed. Can’t wait to see your smiles again when the masks come off.
- Celebrating Victories: I love to celebrate others but I’ve also realized that it is equally important to celebrate yourself. We need these victories now, more than ever to remind us of just how far we’ve come.
- Care beyond the professional relationship: In the past, it was viewed poorly if you were unable to keep things professional with a customer. However, I believe that getting personal is what people really want, at least that is what I am going for. Authenticity and personality can build depth to a relationship. I genuinely care about you. Thank you for caring about us.
Take your moment,