This weekend thousands of tea entrepreneurs and tea enthusiasts have filled the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center with the goal of starting, growing, or expanding their businesses. I will be one of many, ready to steep myself in the networking, education, and festivities offered over three full days in the city that doesn’t sleep.
2008 was the first and only other year that I attended this much-anticipated event. I was full of enthusiasm and hope for my new venture and excited to be the new kid on the block. Though a complete novice in the world of tea at the time, I brought with me a no-fail attitude and wanted to soak up every bit of information I could from anyone willing to share.
I took classes on making tea cocktails and the future of the industy. I attended tastings and walked the convention floor for hours with my “assistant,” wearing our Naja Tea-branded t-shirts as a grassroots effort to market my soon-to-launch company. I was green and fresh and ready to rock the tea world.
Over the last several years, a little bit of that newby spark has dwindled, replaced by a pragmatic business mind focused more on numbers and the bottom line than on the joy of immersing myself in tea as a passion. I’m thrilled about this weekend – excited to rewind a bit, to reconnect with people who love the leaf as much as I do, and to regain perspective on why I started this company in the first place.
I’m taking classes that some say I could teach. But I’ll wear my student hat with joy and come prepared to experience something new. I cannot tell you how very happy I am to see and meet as many tea friends as possible and to hear your stories.
It’s my wish to bring back a bit of that enthusiasm, ready to rock the world of tea come Monday morning.