The Mountain Tea Co. has been rendering premium quality tea for the last 25 years. The quality and essence of Mountain Tea reinforces their stance on providing most healthy, delicious tea products.
The Mountain Tea Co. is a Taiwan based company with a branch in United states. The variety and divergence of The Mountain Tea Co. products is simply amazing. You can even order tea online and it will be delivered right onto your doorstep. Customer satisfaction is high on the company’s list of priorities and they have proven it by way of constant innovations and satisfying the customer’s needs and demands time and again.
In a bout of corporate tete-a-tete, Mrs. Christine Chou, President of The Mountain Tea Co., shares her views with eBrandz.
Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business.
The Mountain Tea Co. is located in Los Angeles; its parent company Oriental Golden Trading Co. which was established in 1985 is a privately-owned-and-operated business that supplies the finest loose tea and tea products. We grow, manufacture, and distribute a variety of loose teas to different countries.
Our US office not only distributes teas, but recently also co-partnered with local manufacture supplying the nut based snacks infused with green tea extracts/powder. Our products address the need for natural, health-oriented products and healthy lifestyle in a fast-food oriented society.
Kindly give us a brief description about yourself.
To start with, I hold a master degree in Political Science from the Chinese Cultural University in Taipei, Taiwan. My entrepreneurial background would be that of a 20 years working experiences as purchasing manager, VP of Operation and CFO with GST Inc. a VAR 500 computer company in Southern California. Currently I play the role of President of 颐品春Tea Garden at Fujian China and President of Mountain Tea Co.
- What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?
My family has been in the tea business for years, but mainly in the wholesale market. I found myself wanting a new challenge and wanted to expand the business by targeting the retail sector. This has been a very different but exciting experience for me.
- How important have good employees been to your success?
Good employees are one of the most valuable assets to a company.
- What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?
Be passionate. Have a code of ethics. Do your best.
- If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would have started this business earlier.
- What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Persistence, confidence, and an open mind
- How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
It varies from situation to situation. Some ideas will take longer to fruition whereas others may have seemed like good ideas at first but are not. It’s important not to miss the forest for the trees.
- How many hours do you work a day on average?
Because I have to make calls with Taiwan and China I will work around 12 hours a day.
- How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Family has always been most important to me. Even though the first few years of entrepreneurship are the hardest, family remains dearer than my career.
- What motivates you?
When I see people appreciate my tea I feel happy that my family has left its legacy in the world. I’m most satisfied knowing that people are building fond memories around my tea.
- How do you generate new ideas?
I read, socialize, and research to predict which direction public taste is heading towards. We never know what will happen next, but we can always prepare for the worst and try for the best.
- What are your ideals?
Honesty, hard work, and compassion
- How do you define success?
Doing your personal best in every way.
- What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Customer satisfaction. Any successful company always has satisfied customers.
- Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?
- How do you build a successful customer base?
Great service and customer satisfaction will grow your business and customer base via word of mouth.
- How did you decide on the location for your business?
- Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Yes – a successful entrepreneur is inexorably linked to a successful customer base. Great service and customer satisfaction is integral to a company’s growth.
- Who has been your greatest inspiration?
The Dalai Lama
- What book has inspired you the most?
The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.
- What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My hours are flexible allowing me time for myself, family, friends, or emergencies.
- What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Meeting people who enjoy our products.
- What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
I am able to make the decisions and the guide the company towards specific goals.
- How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
I market through personal contacts, the internet, and referrals.
- In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
- What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Not following up on certain customers and not devoting enough time to business marketing.
- How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Do it right the first time.
- What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I enjoy riding my bike, swimming, driving my car, and reading
- What makes you happy?
When people like and appreciate my products.
- What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I believe that you can’t serve two masters. You will inevitably hate one and love the other. I have since left my position as a CFO at a VAR 500 company to pursue tea full-time.
- Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I really admire Google because they are first and foremost interested in serving the public, money is only a secondary result. This is the same angle that I take towards my business. I want to meet people who enjoy my tea and delight them again and again with great quality and service.
- Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
I see a Mountain Tea retail store on every street corner a la Starbucks.
- If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Michael Jordan said, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. And that’s precisely why I succeed.” How motivated are you to succeed?