Two Years of TNTP!

Happy, happy day you guys!!! Today marks The Neon Tea Party’s 2nd birthday! Seriously, the fastest two years of my life. It truly feels like just last month I announced the launch of my blog and gathered friends over to the apartment for a fiesta themed launch party. (Cactus-shaped quesadillas, anyone?!)

We’ve come so far, yet have soo much farther to go! If you’ve been following our journey for a while, you’ll know TNTP has gone through many iterations in our two short years. I thought I’d use our birthday to walk you through where we’ve been, take a look at where we’re at now, and offer my best advice I’ve learned from the process of molding a business.

A Look Back on TNTP’s Business Journey

An early DIY in partnership with Cotton Inc! // Photo by Christina Mulé

On October 10, 2016, I launched The Neon Tea Party as a lifestyle blog aimed at celebrating what I call “playful eclectic lifestyle.” I covered home decor, personal style, and DIY, all through the same colorful, globally-inspired aesthetic lens you know and love. As the DIY category quickly became my favorite part of the blog (and as I was looking for ways to monetize the brand) I followed a notion I never previously imagined pursuing: teaching craft workshops. If I was teaching them online, why couldn’t I teach them in person? Being in front of people has never scared me so I figured if I had that going for me, I could learn the rest along the way.

Crafting Workshop with The Neon Tea Party

One of my very first pom pom workshops at CraftJam!

As fate would have it, CraftJam–an adults-only craft studio just a 12 minute walk from my apartment–was accepting new instructors. I went in for an interview, proposed my pom pom and tassel workshop (a skill I’d been diving deep into thanks to my best business purchase ever), and the rest is history! Teaching at CraftJam helped me hone my teaching skills, learn new crafts like macrame and embroidery, and gain crucial experience in creating and leading workshops.

“Global Goodies” from Mexico sold in The Neon Bazaar

As I continued experimenting with pom poms and tassels, I decided to try my hand at selling the accessories and home decor I was making for fun, and so The Neon Bazaar (our shop’s original name) was born. Soon after, Sam and I got married and traveled to Mexico for our honeymoon where I shopped for colorful home decor items to resell in the new shop. Both my handmade pom-tassel accessories and sourced Mexican decor sold well in our shop, however I quickly realized I didn’t want to be an inventory-based business. Coming from an ecomm background, my gut told me retail was going to be risky and that I have more to offer beyond making and selling products. Rather, I wanted to teach and inspire and empower others to make beautiful, aesthetically similar things that they can be proud of!

Where We’re At Today

The Neon Tea Party Website Homepage Crafting is Cool

That brings us to today. The Neon Tea Party’s mission is clearer than ever: to make crafting cool and empower others to tap into their creative side. There’s a lot we did this past year to crystalize this mission and hit the ground running:

We are still in such a growth and development phase of the business (so many ideas! so many hopes and dreams!), but the clarity of mission and purpose we now have is what I’ve been waiting for these two years and it feels SO DANG GOOD to be here.

What I’ve Learned

Many of you reading this may also have your own business or side hustle or maybe you’re thinking that you’d like to start one. My biggest piece of advice after going through all of TNTP’s various monetization efforts is to follow your curiosity and listen to your gut. Don’t be afraid to try new things, to fail, to succeed only to choose to put a successful idea to bed in order to make room for bigger and better. The beauty of forming a business of your own is that you can make it WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO BE. Don’t worry if Instagram eyeballs are watching your business efforts, change and flex your efforts until you land in your sweet spot. I guarantee you’ll know once you’re there, and at that point the sky will be the limit!

Before I sign off, I want to thank you–dear friend and reader–for being on this journey with me. Whether you’ve been here since day one or day 730 (that would be today…), your support for The Neon Tea Party is what motivates me everyday, what inspires me to keep creating, and what enables me to be a resource for you to dig into your own creativity! I love you!!!

Peace, love & neon,

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