She Created A Tea Discovery Service
A Tea discovery service that allows you to try premium tea before you buy a bunch! I had the pleasure of meeting Staci Brinkman the founder of Sips by when I was in New York for Project Entrepreneur.
Check out our Q&A below.
1.What is Sips by? Sips by™ is a startup based in Austin, Texas, founded by a small group of tea lovers who want discovering tea to be fun, personalized, and affordable. Sips by™offers a tea discovery box that pairs you with different premium teas from brands around the world each month, based on your tea profile.
- Why did you start your company? I started Sips by to make tea fun, accessible, and affordable. I’ve been a tea enthusiast for almost five years (now full-blown tea-obsessed), and I was spending a lot of time researching brands, tea types, and teas available in the market (at the store and online). I also was spending more money than I would have liked on shipping each time I found a new brand I wanted to try, or a tea that a specific brand blended or brought to market. Also, being able to determine quality was a big pain point for me when all I could do is look online. Different brands source differently, and blend differently – it’s hard to tell (from a consumer perspective, online or at the grocery store) what you’re getting before you actually buy the full-size product at the store (talk about tea growing stale on your shelf because you ended up not liking it after buying 20 bags/sachets or 8 ounces!) - or - you buy a 0.5 ounce sample online, spend $15, and hope you like it once it arrives. Our goal is to take the leg-work out of all the time, and wasted money that goes into a tea-curious person or tea lover discovering teas they’ll love!
- What was the scariest part of starting? The vulnerability of putting yourself out there and not knowing if you will succeed.
- Why did you want to be an entrepreneur? I had been consulting for a number of start-ups, working hard for other people, helping turn their ideas into realities. Sips by is an opportunity to work on solving a problem that was personal for me – and the first business I’ve launched/owned. I also grew up watching my Dad become a self made successful entrepreneur – this was inspiring to me, and he raised me to go after the things in life I want. I’m so grateful for that.
- Tell us a story/incident that happened while starting or running your company that may have made you feel defeated. Now tell us how you overcame that. This is a great question. More than one single story or incident, I think it’s most important to communicate that there are challenges every day that you have to move beyond. There are as many stories of defeat as there are stories of success and celebration. My husband and the Sips by team have been a huge support system for the “what now?!” moments, and our customer’s happiness keeps me extremely motivated.
- Have you ever been underestimated simply for being a woman? Or, have you been able to use it to your advantage? Tell us how. Of course I have, but I’m more focused on doing what needs to be done to grow my business.There are many successful woman entrepreneurs who are building networks and communities with and for women like me who are aspiring to grow their businesses. I’d like to encourage other dreamers and doers to seek out and focus on the resources available to them, and know it takes hard work. If I’m able to grow Sips by like I’d like to, then I most definitely plan on giving back to uplift other women aspiring to grow their businesses.
- Are you working on any upcoming projects you can tell us about? Sips by is my focus – explore tea with us at www.sipsby.com, or support us on our IndieGoGo at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/personalized-tea-discovery-box/x/16099534#/
We will be giving away a Sips by tea subscription box along with one of our cozy crew neck sweatshirt with the option of a custom cut by yours truly!