I could not have imagined how big 2019 would be when the year started. I always have big aspirations for my business but 2019 was an exceptional journey.
At the end of 2018, we had our website professionally re-designed by a local company called Venture Creative Collective. They gave us the tools to bring our business forward the way we wanted to in 2019.
Living my Best Life
This year, I was humbled to travel from one coast of our gorgeous country to the other sipping tea and purchasing teacups as I went. I am in awe that every day I get up and get to live my dream. I mean seriously, some of my days consist of buying gorgeous teacups and eating dainty sandwiches. If this isn’t a dream come true, I am not sure what is. At least, it is for me.
With travels come phenomenal experiences which are often enhanced by those we meet along the way. This year, I was able to meet with people who shared my passion for preserving the history behind such beautiful pieces and those dedicated to keeping that history alive and well.
Some of my stops included Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia, Moncton, Saint-John and Fredericton, New Brunswick, Barrie, Cornwall, Kingston and Toronto, Ontario, Calgary Alberta, and Victoria British Columbia as well as Montreal, Trois Rivieres, Drummondville and Quebec City, Quebec.
Afternoon Tea Here, Afternoon Tea There, Afternoon Tea Everywhere!
I had the opportunity to visit tea Rooms in Markham, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, and Victoria. The list of tea rooms I want to visit just grows. My must-visit tea rooms for 2020 include Grey Gables in Pembroke, Ontario and Crossroads Tea Room in Perth, Ontario. Surprisingly, I have not yet been to Zoey’s located within the sumptuous Chateau Laurier right here in Ottawa. In Montreal, Le Cardinal tea room is definitely on my list. No doubt, at some point, I will travel to the Niagara region. I have heard about a nice little place called Queen Charlotte Tea Room. I look forward to trying it out. I am also setting my sights on afternoon tea in Florida. I never know where my travels will take me.
In the last quarter, I achieved a goal I had set back in 2016: to obtain my certification as a personal property appraiser. I met so many wonderful people from diverse backgrounds and learned so much. One of the questions we receive the most is certainly, “Can you tell me how much this teacup is worth?”. Now our years of experience is coupled with certification and the ability to provide you with an official appraisal of your teacups and antiques. We look forward to building this side of our business in 2020.
One of the greatest accomplishments for our business in 2019 was converting every item we offer to ship free in Canada and the United States. We were also able to reduce our shipping rates to every other destination. We have done what large corporations refuse to do. Every decision we make hinges on this one principle: “If I were the customer, how would I want this to be”. I don’t particularly like finding a piece I love only to find out that shipping is going to cost me an extra $40. So now my budget is blown and I am frustrated because I am going to forego a piece I want to add to my collection or I am going to spend more than I had originally planned. So we want our customers to forget about the worry of shipping costs and know that the price you see, is the price you pay. Nothing more. Ever.
Plans for 2020
The beginning of a new year and a new decade is filled with opportunities for growth, improvement, and opportunities. We certainly look forward to undertaking this year to maintain the same excellent customer service we have provided our customers worldwide since 2011. In every transaction, we always ask ourselves, if I was on the other side of this, how would I want this to turn out and so we make that happen.
We look forward to our Teacup Tuesdays hosting in our VIP facebook group where we go live to discuss different topics on collecting, maintaining and learning about vintage china. We will continue giving away a teacup each and every month of 2020 as we have since 2018 and we will continue our involvement in our community like our sponsorship of the 175th Richmond Fair in 2019 and our sponsorship of the Tyndall Senior’s Village in Mississauga where we helped get Christmas gifts to seniors by sponsoring all of the shipping costs.
Most of all, we look forward to interacting with you along our journey. You are the reason that we have the opportunity to do what we do. Thank you. We wish you joy, peace, and happiness but most of all, we wish you beautiful teacups! Rick and Cynthia