In this series, we connect with a diverse group of small business owners across the country to hear their stories – from overcoming hardship to the achievements that have allowed them to grow. There is no doubt that it has been a challenging time for business owners, and through elevating their voices we aim to provide advice, support and inspiration for small businesses everywhere. More resources like our Community Business Directory can be found here.
Today we are speaking with Orleatha Smith, co-owner of Sip Herbals, a Black Woman-Owned Business.
My partner Kelly and I have been working in the real-food niche for over 10 years. We also have a unique understanding of the pain of losing our morning ritual because we dealt with health issues that made us ditch coffee in search of a suitable alternative. We both know, firsthand, what it is like to give up coffee and miss that morning cup - it’s why we created the Sip Herbals line of coffee substitutes. As mothers, we knew that we wanted to help others while giving ourselves the freedom of being entrepreneurs.
The top 3 challenges that we have faced are limited access to capital, limited access to business networks, and limited opportunity for business skills development. These things are not readily available in our community, so we had to seek these things outside of our network which is difficult and often an uphill battle.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression and as an eCommerce company, our packaging is our consumer’s first introduction to our physical product. As such, quality packaging is super important because they not only secure a good first impression but also lasting brand loyalty. In each order we include a note thanking them and letting them know that we would love to see how they prepare their cup of Sip on social media - of course tagging us! We also hand write a note on every box telling them to “Enjoy every Sip!”
We are doing giving Tuesdays during the month of December. Each Tuesday, we will pick a charity and donate 5% of sales to that charity!
Always be curious and be sure that you are not so dead set on being right that you are not willing to look at other ideas. Being wrong can open doors to opportunities that would have been missed as a result of needing to be right. We are very excited to connect with other businesses and learn and grow!