How does one say Thank You? Thank you for a year that has brought so many new changes to our lives? Thank you for the support and love we receive from friends and family? Thank you for where we are now?
We had a defining year at PAPER & TEA. When focusing on what our purpose as a company was, we concluded that it is not to sell the most tea in Germany. Our purpose lies in the in-between, the unmeasurable, the humanness that appears when we connect. In everything we do, we aim to enrich people’s lives. To share joyous moments of connection and celebration. To bring calmness to city life and into our homes. Spurred on by the motivation to share the gift of time with more people, we set out to grow as a company. Opening seven stores in a short timeframe had its challenges, yet working passionately together as a team on this shared vision was an incredibly enriching experience.
Sebastian Hoppe, Head of Design & Creation, recently shared his thoughts on this process when asked about his P & T highlight of 2022: “Two days before the opening, I entered the construction site in Vienna for the first time. I immediately recognized that it was going to be good, despite the chaos and the remaining construction tasks.” Working together with trust and respect enabled us to take risks and grow as a community. And the community came the moment we opened our doors. Who is the community?
You. Thank you. When you entered our new stores with curious eyes and smiles on your faces, we understood what we worked so hard for. Seeing your excitement as we shared cups of cold brew from the tap at our signature tea bars or noticing you taste your way through our chocolates were joyous moments for us. We are excited to get to know our new neighborhoods through you.
When sharing a cup of tea, time becomes fluid. The present moment is stretched just so far as to forget future or past worries. So what do we do with all this extra time? This year, we celebrated it by inviting artists to share their creativity at our Tea Time Sessions. At these free events, we as a community gather to listen to music, hear from authors or learn a new skill together. Thank you to everyone that joined, particularly to all the artists involved this year: musicians Moglii in Cologne, Florence Arman in Vienna, and Florence Besch in Dusseldorf, as well as author Carla Kaspari and calligraphy master Gaby Trombello-Wirkus from Schriftschatz.
When reflecting on the Chado - the way of tea - that we took this year, one moment that stands out is the brand event we organized at the end of May. Each department had lovingly created a room to explore in the beautiful Wilmina Hotel in Berlin. The idea was to gain a holistic understanding of ourselves as a company by physically engaging in each other's work. We were for instance able to weigh, fill and pack our own caddy of tea as well as see new product developments. Director of BrandCulture, Vitalis Martin, described the event as a “moment that made it possible to understand what PAPER & TEA stands for and how the brand feels. People live and carry the brand from the inside out: Enrich people's lives through human 2 human interactions.”
So what comes next? CEO Goran Pavlic lives by the motto that "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." As a brand, we want to act as a connector, a warmth-giver, an innovator, and continue to bring people and places together - basically living the brand to the next level. But this is for next year. For now, it is time to say thank you for a beautiful year of change. For an inspiring team of colleagues, partners, and friends. And for you, the community. Happy New Year!