Today is a new day for Amai. After much hard work, laughter, tears, discussion, debate and negotiation, Kathryn and I have ended our partnership in the business. Kathryn will move on to new projects, while I will remain as the sole owner of Amai Tea & Bake House. This is an incredibly exciting day for me and I am looking forward to continuing to bring my ideas for Amai to life.
While this decision has renewed my dedication and energy, it also leaves me feeling scared and sad. Kathryn and I have both worked tirelessly over the last 8 months to make Amai what it is today. Thanks in part to Kathryn’s efforts, we entered stores I would have never dreamed of and created a company that has already had a huge impact in its relatively short lifetime. I will always appreciate Kathryn’s dedication and contributions, which set Amai down a path to great success.
Separating a business is hard, even under the best of circumstances. It has consumed my heart and mind over the last few weeks, and without the support of Andrew and my family I don’t know how I would have made it through. There were times when I felt completely crazy and like I had lost my direction, but then I would get a message from a great friend or a note from a Lovescool reader and be reminded of why I’m doing all of this. The other day Andrew said, “When you’re squeezed, what’s inside comes out.” This may seem like a rather straightforward statement, but I believe it highlights the simple truth of situations like this. I am so relieved that this decision has been made, and I can go back to creating instead of negotiating.
Many of you have written me and asked for more information about what it’s like to start a business. I also get many notes from small business owners about their struggles in starting their own venture. It is this reason that I talk about my experiences (good, bad and indifferent) on this blog. Some question why I talk about internal struggles, rave about other company’s products, etc., rather than simply promoting the great things about Amai. Doing that would defeat the purpose to me. Amai is a new kind of company, or maybe it is just going back to the way it was originally supposed to be done. I believe in sharing knowledge, being honest and working hard, and I will continue to use Lovescool as an outlet for it all.
So, what is it like to start something new? From my experience, it takes everything you’ve got. I mean this in terms of money, time, and energy. It also takes total commitment, and the ability to focus on a goal and clear a path to achieve it. The pressure is now even higher to do this with Amai. There is a ton of work to do. Here I go again…