Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Hobby As Work At Work As A Hobby

The lightest Taiwanese oolong of them all, the Wenshan Pouchong (文山包種茶).

At some point, the novelty of having a hobby as a job wears off, and it becomes clearer how to move this hobby forward as a normal job with some sort of tangible returns. That in itself is not a bad thing. I still love turning this tea-thingy from talks to a more tangible Pekoe & Imp where passion guides the flow. Never lost sight of how it could develop in terms of content and business models. Glad that as the months pass, the the amount of effort and commitment has turned out as projected.

There're a couple of channels to turn the project into something even more concrete, like a brick and mortar outfit. But that will take the form of a not-too-wise investment with little returns. It's a plan I'm not prepared to do anytime soon. Happy with the current model. Let's not talk about start-up costs. That's not much different from what the partner and I would have spent on our own to build a collection. Let's talk about these workshops we're doing. Yes, we're relieved that to date, the purchases of tea leaves are more or less covered, but that's no way that profits can be made and earnings could sustain real salaries. We'd need to work three other part-time jobs to sustain our monthly expenditure! At the end of the company's fiscal year, we can merrily file a nil return. Hurhurhur. As of now, it's kinda work, but more of a committed project, really.

Currently, with this temporary position at the office, the work isn't too brain-bashing. But I can't imagine being a full-time corporate rat, and still sort out Pekoe & Imp. Very tough to allocate time to do this newest thing when I've got both hands full with other projects. If I do get back into a full-time office job, and that's a giant IF which is not in the near future (thought I should qualify the thought lest my friends get funny ideas), one project needs to be dropped.

The company registration is valid for a year. We're going to make full use of the year, and see where we go from there. The tea partner and I set out to spread a love of unblended teas in our style. Sticking to it. And I think the ripples are slowly reaching out to many. We already achieve immense satisfaction in doing these tasting workshops. The partner and I are friends too. We chat over meals and whatnots about non-tea related topics. We know where each other stands currently, in most matters.


Cavalock said...

I think it's great what you are doing. I do understand a bit how it feels when your hobby kinda becomes your work. it's a bit like when I was writing and doing stories, and getting paid for it. it's always when hobby = work = very little pay, but it's usually worth it until it stops being fun. ;)

imp said...

you totally understand. i shall see when it stops being fun. it did, for a while, when i was pissed off at the tea teacher. but i learnt to separate human from matter. :P