Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Big Idea... Tea!?

The other day I wrote about starting this blog because I'm also trying to start a business, a spice business no less. Yes, I am a future purveyor of spices, one of the most historic and world-changing commodities on the face of the earth. Truly, not many people realize just how the quest for some savory spices changed the course of human history. Remember back to your elementary school days, when your teacher told you about Columbus' search for China and India.. are you starting to go back to 5th grade yet? Skip the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria (although good for you for remembering that much, which is more than I can say for some people I've met), do you remember why Columbus set out from Spain for his journey across the Ocean Sea? Yes, it was so Spain could expand it's empire, and so the West could find a faster route to the East, but do you remember why?

Spices!!!!!! Well, spices and gold, jewels, coal, silk, and other valuable items that one could bring back to the Spanish king and queen. No doubt about it, spices have shaped world history, and now I'm trying shape the history of spices. I recently came across some inspiration from a woman with a similar business idea on an old YouTube video posted here.

Has anyone ever seen "The Big Idea" on CNBC? It's a great show if you haven't seen it, very inspiring. Host Donny Deutsch interviews three or four entreprenuers each episode about how they started their own businesses. One of the most interesting millionaires interviewed, in my opinion anyway, made her bucks in the tea business.

Tracy Stern of Salon Tea has done to tea what I hope to do for spices: given an old, historic, and undervalued commodity a new and modern facelift. Tracy has established a tea empire that spans the globe, with exciting tea salons in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Dubai (there are actually 11 stores worldwide, check out her website to see which salon is closest to you).

Check Tracy out on "The Big Idea", here!

{images via SalonTea}

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The 7 Secrets of Running a Wildly Popular Blog!

Did you know that there are more than 20 million bloggers in the United States (according to The Wall Street Journal)? Of those 20 million bloggers, how many do you think are financially profiting from their blog? How many would you guess are making a living-- not just a few extra dollars-- as a professional blogger?

We live in the greatest country in the world, so I'm not surprised to read that according to last year's estimate, 1.7 million Americans are taking advantage of our right to free speech and our free market enterprise economy to actually make money from a blog. But I am surprised to read that the WSJ also estimates about a half a million people are actually making a living off of their blogs! Way to go to you 500,000 people out there! I know who a few of you are, but apparently I have some more blog perusing to do in order find the other 490,000!

Maybe they followed copyblogger's "7 Secrets of Running a Wildly Popular Blog" entry written by Dan Rieck.

I found Dan's blog to be insightful and helpful, although my chances of engaging in Tip #1 are pretty low at this point; it's tough to have a conversation when you're not sure if anyone is listening to you blog "conversation"!

Take a look at Dan's blog, and leave me a comment if you think he's left any tip out that has worked for you. I'd love your opinion and advice! :-)

{Image via}

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Moodboard Inspiration!

My moodboard is finally finished!

I'm meeting today with a friend who is helping me design the website and blog for The Spice Loft. After collecting images and bookmarking websites that inspired me for the past three years, it's so nice to finally have a moodboard complete. What do you think?

I'm taking a new spin on the spice market: fresh, urban, clean, modern, and fun! Do those"moods" come across with this inspiration board? Let me know!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Buy Yourself

About two years ago, a very dear friend and I were sitting at a coffee shop catching up on the weeks that had past between our last meeting. This friend is the special kind, a friend that you can talk to for hours and hours and not even notice that you've talked the night away. So in addition to the cursory "how's it going?", our talk drifted towards the different business ideas we both had been developing in our minds recently. Although my entrepreneurial spirit was just awakening, my friend's knack for starting different ventures had been alive for quite some time. Dan, my friend, always has the best advice. Some of Dan's cheapest advice (literally): buy yourself a domain name (or two, or three)!

Even if you just buy your, it's a small investment to make towards any idea you have for a future business or project. Although there are a number of websites that can search available domain names for you, I prefer to use At anywhere from $.89 (yes, you're reading that correctly, eighty-nine cents) to $9.99, you can be the proud owner of a domain name for one year. Add multiple domain names to your order, or choose to purchase the domain name for multiple years instead of just one, and bulk pricing applies to reduce the prices even further. Enter coupon code QUEEN3 when prompted at checkout, and you can save an additional 30% on your entire purchase!

{image via GoDaddy}

Monday, July 19, 2010

And so my blog journey begins...

Helllllllooooo Bloggers! I hope you welcome me into the blog world with open arms-- I'm actually a little self-conscious about joining your ranks; as I admire so many of you fabulous bloggers out there, I'm paranoid that I won't be able to blog up to par... But here I am, ready to blog my heart and soul out in my tiny apartment here in sunny south Florida.

This blog will follow my journey as I start my own business online from scratch with no money down. Truth be told, this isn't my first attempt at starting my own business. In fact, about $750 and three years of procrastination and "dabbling" in the online business world has not-so-unbelievably landed me here: back to square one.

So I'm chronicling my venture from beginning to *hopefully* an affluent and inspiring end. The impetus behind me actually sitting down tonight to write is a credit I have to give to my recent blog-crush, Cameron Woodward. Cameron's blog is not only one to make you think, but a blog that offers precisely the matter-of-fact motivation and introspection that all entrepreneurs need now and then. He writes:

Broken Builders.


You’re awesome, you really are.

It feels so disingenuous to type it all out like that – but I mean it, I really do. The potential that you have to make the world a more creative, wonderful, and beautiful place is sickening.

We’re something special.

Human. Broken. Inspired. Creative. Builders.

If you’re afraid, it’s ok, I am too.

Ok, we’re scared together; now that we’ve acknowledged the elephant in the room let’s create in spite of it –

Get it your passion out the door, no more excuses.

Thank you, Cameron, for being the inspiration behind my blogging debut, and for making it just that much easier for me to launch myself into the
Blogosphere and beyond!