The Kettlery – high-quality, loose-leaf teas to support health and wellness worldwide
About The Kettlery
The Kettlery is a specialty tea brand built on a passion for high-quality loose-leaf tea and a quest for redefining the way tea is consumed. We offer our customers over 70 varieties directly sourced premium loose-leaf teas, tea accessories, and gift products. We built The Kettlery to promote a sustainable and healthy loose-leaf tea lifestyle. So, besides sourcing and selecting the finest products we also ensure that all of our packaging material is environment friendly and 100% recyclable. In our partnership with tree-nation, we provide carbon-neutral shipping
How We Built The Kettlery
We operated tea boutiques in India along with several online channels. Post Covid 19 pandemic, we pivoted to a digital-first strategy and launched our online store in the US market. We currently sell through our own website (www.thekettlery.com) along with several online retail and wholesale platforms (https://thekettlery.faire.com) in the US and India. We also sell our products through a channel partner in Vietnam. We plan to expand our store footprint and are actively looking for channel partners in high-potential European and Asian markets.
The Kettlery is a design focused brand with a keen eye on sustainability. All our innovative blends and designer tea sets are unique and tell a story. We have been fortunate to have a loyal customer base who understand and appreciate how important it is to steal a few moments for yourself forfine things in life.
What motivated us to start the business
Sandeep Kotecha, Founder
I had gained valuable tea experience at Teavana when it was acquired by Starbucks in 2012. After moving back to India, I founded The Kettlery in April 2015 along with co-founder Praneta Mehta, with a vision to develop a global tea lifestyle brand. We operated experiential boutique stores in India to offer unique high-quality tea experience to our customers.
“The idea of curating and designing unique products always intrigued me and after moving back to India I felt inspired to start my own business. I realized that although India manufactures some world class teas, they were never marketed to the world in the same fashion. This led to the idea of creating a globally renowned brand which offers high quality products. The Kettlery is a manifestation of East meets West and our mission is to project the brand as a design led global brand which highlights the expertise of different tea cultures in taste, design and innovation through our own products.”
– Sandeep Kotecha
“I come from the digital marketing background. Living in the digital world is amazing, but we seldom forget the happiness and joy that a small gesture or a beautiful product you can touch and feel can bring to you. We wanted to inspire people with The Kettlery, literally! Wherever you are, the moment you sip on The Kettlery teas in one of their beautiful tea accessories you will feel that happiness and solace within. I’m proud to say that this has helped us gain many product level loyalists over the course of time.”
– Praneta Mehta
The challenges the business/market is facing
Tea being an experiential product, it is difficult to fully capture the essence of the product digitally as compared to a physical store where customers can taste and smell the products. The challenge right now is to identify the right mix of online/offline business models and a clear omni-channel expansion plan especially after the Covid 19 pandemic. The market is flooded with several tea brands and most of them are marketed as sustainable clean label brands. It is critical to have a differentiation strategy for your products to survive and grow the business.
The opportunities the business/market is facing
With a renewed focus on sustainability and wellness post-Covid, customers should look for directly sourced quality ingredients from tea gardens across the world. Along with the teas, the accessories and gifting products will also be engaging for design-centric customers who appreciate fine things in life. The opportunity lies in identifying low inventory, low-cost distribution, and marketing-led models with high-quality products and focusing on a small group of loyal customers than trying to create just another wellness brand for all. Easier said than done of course!
Advice to others about business
· In the current volatile circumstances Your cost can be 3X of what you have calculated in your business plan.
· Get early mentors from the same/similar business if you can before starting out. It will help you avoid costly mistakes.
· Start with a co-founder/partner with complementing business skills if possible. Team work will help you in adverse circumstances.
· Learn basic accounting skills as it will go a long way in building a successful business
· Believe in creating long term value for your business and customers, valuations are short lived without a solid business model.
· Practice some form of meditation. A healthy and calm mind will help you tremendously when the going gets tough. The Kettlery teas can help of course 😀
Lessons learnt from running this business
· Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Plan for the worst case scenario and hope for the best one.
· Diversification of sales channels is critical. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
· Networking is more important than watching a TV show at home. Allocate 1 hour daily for some form of networking.
· Fail fast. If something is not working, change course and try something new.
· You should survive long enough for someone to notice you and see value in your business.
· Ask for help when you need it. Don’t be shy.
Founder, The Kettlery
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