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Conversations with Julie Alejandro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Alejandro.

Hi Julie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My love of tea and tea parties started with my mother and both my grandmothers, all who loved drinking tea and using antique teacups. My mother would often entertain her friends and use her beautiful collection, and I loved how each teacup was so different and unique. My two sisters and I had tea parties growing up, and I knew I wanted to have my own collection. Over the years I kept collecting and entertaining my friends with tea parties and started having tea at our women’s church group. The idea of starting a business was from my women’s church group over 8 years ago, and I’ve been growing my business ever since.  My teenage daughter also shares my of tea and tea parties. Originally, I started my business doing birthday princess tea parties for young girls and bringing everything to their home. We had so much fun playing games, dressing in jewelry and tiaras, drinking pink lemonade and having tea sandwiches using the teacups and fine china. About 3 years ago I started doing tea party rentals for birthday and baby showers. After COVID-19 hit, I now only offer tea party rental packages. I love to help families create lovely memories for their special celebration and I’ve spent a lot of time to find beautiful teacups, teapots, floral plates, tiered stands and more. My collection has grown to over 200 beautiful teacups, 2-tier and 3-tier server, 60+ teapots, luncheon plates, tea napkins and silverware. I also have dress up accessories and fascinators.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’ve been lucky to have had wonderful experiences during my new business journey. This is my first business I’ve started, and I knew I had a lot to learn. I took some time to meet with other party small business owners to learn from them. The most challenging part is to provide a tea party to meet all party needs whether it’s a birthday party, baby shower, or bridal shower. It really helped that I’ve had many years of personal tea parties and a love of hosting events at my house to help in creating my party packages. I continue to evolve the business such as providing menu and food preparation ideas, sample menu to print, party game ideas, and tea trivia games.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have a large and beautiful selection of antique teacups, teapots, tiered stands, plates, napkins, and antique flatware. I also have a large selection of jewelry, feather boas, and tiaras for young girls’ tea and fascinators for adults. We are flexible too with our rental packages so if you need to change quantities or specific items. There are many party rental packages on the website and I also provide customized packages with a $25 minimum rental. To also make the process easy by dropping off and picking up all rentals; and we hand-clean everything. I also can try to match colors or a theme for the tea party.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Before you launch a business, ask friends and family (preferably in your target age and demographic market) for advice and feedback. This will save a lot of time and create a good business plan. Also, try to connect with other small business owners that might align with your business to get referrals.

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