It all began in December 2005 as an experiment.
A group of 4 friends, would meet at IHOP (International House of Pancakes) a few times a week for breakfast and between them consume 5-6 glasses of Sweet Tea each during the sitting. After a couple weeks our waitress, who was always the same began calling us the “Sweet Tea Junkies.” I liked the name and at the time Myspace was the “big” thing so I started a new profile called “Sweet Tea Junkie. The goal was to see how many other “Sweet Tea Junkies” there were.
My expectations were to find maybe 100 – 200 others that were as crazy about Sweet Tea as I was. Those expectations were quickly surpassed. The first few weeks saw nearly 1,000 sweet tea junkies, after the first month we were nearing 3,000 and then shortly after that when the Myspace page passed 8,000 followers I knew that there was more to Sweet Tea Junkie than just an experiment
I had a limited background in Graphic Design at the time so I decided to work up something very basic and print it
on some shirts to see if they would sell. Of course, looking back at that first shirt I see how terribly designed it was but it was a start (I think the lesson here is that if you have an amazing idea, don’t let small or humble beginnings hold you back from potential greatness). The timing of the shirts worked out great, as a group of us were traveling in the upcoming weeks to a music festival in Orlando, FL called Cornerstone. I honestly had no idea what to think, would people like these shirts or would they go unnoticed? I had a friend wear the first ever Sweet Tea Junkie “tea shirt” walk around to see the reception he would receive (See Picture).
I met back up with him a little through the day and got the news that people loved the shirt / the idea of Sweet Tea Junkie! He had been stopped a few times by people asking where he got his shirt from. I knew from that point we had something that could work, that people could get excited about. What an amazing feeling.
After the festival, I went to work on 3 new shirt designs, SweetTeaJunkie.com, and getting all of the business stuff in order to form Sweet Tea Junkie, LLC. Time has flown by and it has been years since those days but we’re still designing and printing up amazing “Tea Shirts” all the while chugging plenty of Sweet Tea.
Since 2005 we’ve expanded beyond just apparel. In 2009 we began offering Graphic Design and printing services to clients who wanted to take advantage of the same great artwork we were already producing for ourselves in their businesses. Then, in early 2013 we expanded the scope of the business once again, offering our own line of Premium Loose Leaf Teas, fresh crafted with Sweet Tea in mind. This is something that we have put many hours into perfecting and really it just makes sense that if we’re going to be called “Sweet Tea Junkie” that we have our own line of tea!
Sweet Tea Junkie is currently Headquartered in Central Florida
Drink More Sweet Tea!
ps. If you have something that you really feel is an amazing idea, don’t put it on hold till a better time (better times rarely exist). Start on it, get the experience and even if you begin small with no budget do what you love. Oh, don’t buy into the lie that you have to be in debt up to your eyeballs to start a business. Debt is a bad thing, regardless of what some broke finance guy or banker tells you!
One last bit of advice for you.. don’t go get a great idea and quit the job that’s paying your bills the next day. This may mean you working your full-time job during the day and building your passion at night or waking up early (yes there are two 6:00 o’clock in the day!).