It’s the classic startup dream. Quit the rat race and launch a sleek café, selling the products you love. Well, it’s possible and it’s a dream that’s been achieved by Emily Grace Wright, thanks to funding from Virgin StartUp. Her business T&SHOP is our Virgin Startup of the Week.
We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on Virginstartup.org each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson?
Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does
T&SHOP serves and sells T, as in tea (and Caravan coffee) and cake, in a lifestyle concept shop.
Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?
Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?
Great T and coffee in a great space where everything is for sale. It's a blend of lots of things I love reclaimed furniture, tasty and healthy food, succulents and cacti terrarium, pineapple cards, the perfect simple leather tote bags, bergamot candles in lab beakers and handmade sheepskin slippers.
Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?
We’re based in an up and coming area which is great as there are other places opening up which drives more footfall, so I don't see the other local traders as competitors- Stoke Newington Church St is a major destination place, just up the street, so that's the competition!
Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?
Pretty much every product is unique to T&SHOP, not many cafés serve loose leaf teas or piadina and you can't usually buy the chair you're sat on!
Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?
I love tea...and cake. I had always wanted my own shop and this is an amalgamation of everything. I worked with friends to make bags, candles and am developing scents. I hope it's useful as part of the community, I wanted something for everyone so the teas go from builders T (bag in cup) for £1 to flowering teas and matcha. I had looked at lots of premises but when I looked at the one below my flat it got me thinking of what I would like there to be on the street.
Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?
Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?
It was literally my start up funds so from the stairs, floors, electrics and a lot of paint to ingredients to bake.
Floor 8 to 9 – Who’s your Virgin StartUp Mentor?
Jonathan Fairhurst, Chief Financial Officer of FitFlop and Soap & Glory Cosmetics
Floor 9 to 10 – What’s the best tip they’ve given you?
As a family man he gave me some great advice on how to reach out to the yummy mummy's and has been doing some things on excel I would not have known where to start with, which has been really useful, knowing where to refine things so hopefully it keeps getting better.
Floor 10 to 11 – What’s your workspace like? (send us a pic from your phone)
A desk, a lamp, lots of notebooks, retractable pencils, postcards and photos of my grandmother, candles, display case storing my sunglasses and an ancient MacBook.
Floor 11 to 12 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?