"What gets measured gets done." - Nicole Tirado, Founder of TeaRado Tech
We sat down with WIN Lab entrepreneur Nicole Tirado to learn more about her innovative tea brewing product and company, TeaRado Tech.
Q. Tell us what prompted you to start your venture, TeaRado Tech?
I was giving myself my regular, you got this, speak slowly and limit the number of times you say awesome right before going on stage pep talk before going on stage to talk Cloud Best Practices, when I removed my tea infuser from the cup and tea spilled on my pants. It was hot, so it obviously burned and left a huge awkward looking wet mark. I went on stage with my hand over the mark and the presentation clicker in the other hand. It was super frustrating because I normally speak with my hands but I had to keep one hand over the wet spot on my pants. Needless to say I was embarrassed, frustrated, and annoyed because I didn't even get to drink my tea which normally energized me before a big talk. From that day forward, I started searching for a tea cup that would allow me to infuse and drink without removing the infuser or tea bag. I came up short after traveling to 46 international cities, and that's when I decided to come back home and start building the Infused. The tea brewing cup that allows you to infuse and then drink loose leaf tea on the go. It's the only cup that heats the water to the right temperature that won't burn the tea leaves, causing a bitter astringent taste and depleting the intended health benefits. It also provides all of the conveniences of a tea bag without any potential toxins. The infused is the ultimate tea brewing device for healthier and more productive living.
Q. What has been your greatest success so far in your entrepreneurial journey and why?
Exhibiting at the World Tea Expo and gaining insightful feedback from tea experts from India, China and Japan. I reached tea experts from around the world, gained insightful feedback and validation that this is needed in the market. That my life work isn't just a good idea or an expensive hobby - it's an actual business that needs to come to life. The validation and feedback are guiding the design and function of the Infused cup now.
Q. What is one of the most important things you have learned while building your venture?
The power of focus. Wearing the CEO hat, the Ops hat, the Marketing hat, Creative Director hat in the beginning was paralyzing. I would start one thing, not finish and move onto another because I would lose focus. It's easy to get overwhelmed, especially when I list out all the steps it will take to get to certain milestones. I've learned how to prioritize the tasks, then delegate and then execute during short 14 minute sprints within 2 hour blocks. I've learned how to shut off the world, sip tea and really focus on what needs to be done so that I can just get it done and move on. Deciding what I'm going to accomplish, setting clear steps for myself and my team and then single tasking has helped me tremendously.
Q. What advice do you have for other aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Confidence does the body, mind, and business good. Drink it up every morning and exude it throughout every interaction, email, text message, IG and Twitter post. When you know who you are, then anyone that interacts with you will as well. Be undeniably sure of who you are, what you stand for and don't ever doubt yourself. Even when you're wrong there's power and growth in humility.
Q. What is the biggest misconception about being an entrepreneur?
People romanticize the freedom and flexibility. It's hard, it's SUPER lonely and you have to call all the shots. You are directly impacted by your decisions, i.e. your home, car, next meal, even your Netflix subscription can be at jeopardy if you make the wrong decision and you won't have anyone to run to except yourself.
Interested in joining the next WIN Lab cohort of women entrepreneurs? Head here to learn more about our application cycle!