WHO AM I?
Hey there, my name is Diane and I am a mum of three children, an early years lecturer, a training forest school leader, a disability advocate and a baker and maker of great food.
I want to combine all my skills into one job that will allow me to work in all the areas I have strengths in.
This is where my crowdfunding idea evolved and this is where we are today.
WHAT AM I CROWDFUNDING FOR?
I am crowdfunding to start a business to make people feel great. I want to travel from place to place sprinkle a sense of calm and well being where ever I go. I want to be able to teach children about nature with their parents, make their environment part of their holistic learning journey as well as providing great food, a listening ear and a sense of community spirt.
I need to raise enough funds to purchase a vintage converted horse box trailer or Citroen H Van and set up a touring tea room/pop up cafe/ coffee spot business. It will show up in areas of natural beauty across the Southdowns to encourage more people to spend time in their local green spaces for longer whilst focussing on teaching the younger generation how to look after and learn from the outdoors.
WHY IS THIS PROJECT IMPORTANT TO ME AND YOU?
Being outside is great for well being but with technology evolving, our children are spending less time outside. Therefore the environment that they will be responsible for in the future, is lacking the time and investment it needs to remain beautiful. Children need to learn how to look after their green space if they are not spending enough time in it then these skills will be lost.
My vision is to create a relaxing space outside for parents/carers/grandparents/passers by to enjoy whilst filling their tummies with something yummy. Refreshments, I feel are crucial to fuel ourselves to remain focussed in learning, exercise and concentration. Nutrition is key to well being. Alongside this there will be nature hunts, tree identification and opportunities for children to recycle compostable coffee pods by seed planting amongst other nature loving activities.
Our ethos is to ‘leave no trace’ and so we are using compostable and recyclable materials where possible to minimise the impact on the very thing we are trying to promote, protect, maintain and look after. All our cups, coffee, tea bags and plates can all be recycled, reused or composted.
Whilst you would assume it would only be a summer funded business, this is the very thing we do not want to happen. Imagine going on a Sunday walk in your local forest or woods, my touring cafe is in the car park and I hand you a winter scavenger hunt, hand warmers, hot water bottles and a coffee. You then return for warm soup and homemade bread and cake for your pudding. Before you know it you've spent 3 hours outside. Like a very clever lady, Swedish-born Linda McGurk said There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. (McGurk, 2017)
HOW IS IT GOING TO HAPPEN?
What's been happening so far...
Over the past four weeks I have invested a large amount of time and love into holding Tea in the Teepee events in our local park. The parish council have agreed two areas in our local village where I am able to pitch up. I have also approached two more parish councils in neighbouring villages to create the same pop up scenario.
My first facebook event was viewed by more than 5,000 people and had a turn over of £365 from the hours of 10-4pm Thats an average of £91.25 and hour. Each pop up I have held has been well attended with variant weather conditions with the last event being on a gloomy windy day.
Our feedback has been extraordinary.
It's been a real pleasure to see children and their parents enjoying each-others company whilst on a nature scavenger hunt in the park and watching little ones crouching in bushes looking for bugs or sat on a bench chatting to a couple who have sauntered up for a cuppa and a brownie. It's been exactly how I envisaged it to evolve.
What will be happening next...
As Autumn is approaching, it will become a little too blustery to pitch the teepee but we want to continue offering our service to our local community throughout ALL the seasons.
It will take a long time to save the funds needed to purchase a vehicle and I want to start my business as I mean to go on which is debt free. All the funds I have raised on the last three pop ups have funded my initial start up costs and purchased cake carriers, glass wear, tea towels, a portable sink etc, as well as funding my logo and branding.
I'd really like your help to propel my business to the next level by making a pledge, but not only that, feel proud that you will be getting more people outside and away from the distractions of busy life, contributing to the well being of others.
Thanks so much for your support, it really means a lot.
Twitter - @theteabarn
Instagram - @teabarn
Facebook - @teabarnhants