We talked with TJ Williamson of World Tea Podcast to learn more about his business, how he operates, and how he brewed up the idea for World Tea Podcast in the first place.
1) How would you describe your business/what does your business do?
People love a good story. The World Tea Podcast helps them tell it. We are currently working with tea shops, with plans to extend to cafes, we sit down with owners and purveyors of our beloved daily drinks to discuss what they do and why they do it. Putting this into a podcast or video we deliver quality content production for website and marketing needs.
2) What influenced your decision to start your business?
We’ve been podcasting since 2014 after having worked on a tea farm while living in Japan for half-a-year. Coming back to Canada and finding myself wedged into a cubicle, I couldn’t find any podcasts on tea. Wanting to learn more about it I decided I might as well do something about it. Eventually, after numerous interviews with tea shops, I noticed that their stories weren’t getting out. So once again, I decided that I should put the podcast to work by helping those who provide me with an amazing beverage.
3) What makes Peterborough & the Kawarthas a great place to be an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur takes you outside of your comfort zone a lot. Growing up in Peterborough and the Kawarthas gives me a sense of grounding. I know the area and the people. I also know that there is not a lot of tea here. There is so much room to grow when it comes to tea and this region that I’m dead-set on getting a cup into everybody’s hands.
4) a) How did the Business Advisory Centre help you?
I hold degrees from both Fleming College and Trent University. Both degrees are in business. Are they helpful, yes… But nothing prepares you like actually being an entrepreneur. That’s when you feel the heat and the BAC is a go to for answers. I still have questions, about the most minute of details, and I’m overjoyed when the BAC can scratch the itch.
The funding through Summer Company has helped with equipment. In creating videos and podcasts I’m not settling for anything I myself wouldn’t watch. My clients deserve the best and to deliver that, I need to have great audio equipment and cameras. Let’s just say that I had a lot of big boxes arrive on my doorstep over the course of a week.
5) What is next?
Front and centre, the tea industry is small. Is it growing? Absolutely. But Canada has a strong history with coffee roasters and cafes. We also have great wineries and brew houses. I’m determined to take my content production and development into those industries. Someday in the future, I’ll go from World Tea Podcast to World Beverage Podcast.
6) What advice would you offer aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you can afford it. Do it. If you have an idea, make it happen. Patience is truly a virtue. I’m only now just gaining traction, but it’s there. Don’t be shy to start something and talk to people. I’m literally making a business out of talking to strangers and most of the time I have to ask them to stop talking.
7) What is your personal definition of “success”?
My first measure of success was to have someone view my podcast. Somebody did. Then I wanted success to be people talking about it. People did. Then I wanted to be recognized at events. Occasionally someone will come up to me and introduce themselves. I can’t buy that. That is my success. Now, I want to be a resource within the tea world that is a hub for information. If you have a question about tea and my podcast helps, I think I’ve succeeded. If you see my podcast as a resource to use to tell your story and make content, then I have succeeded. It’s all about the little steps and there is always room to grow.