When Sarah was planning her wedding in 2000 and looking to rent pretty dishes for the occasion, she was surprised to find that no one offered that service in the United States at that time. “That was really the genesis of my vintage-rental business,” she explains.
In 2009, she found a home for her enterprise in a cute little 19th-century bungalow, which she initially used just to meet clients. “People would come in and want to buy my furniture or the items I had,” she recalls. Eventually, she opened a small gift shop and focused on importing products from England and France. Customers then began saying they wanted to be able to have tea there, not just to buy it.
Sarah had always secretly hoped to open a tearoom, so for years she had been planning the details of it—in her head, at least. As a trial run of sorts, she decided to offer afternoon tea once a month for all of 2012. People bought tickets not just for one month, but for the whole year, and she sold out all 12 events in a matter of a few weeks. She knew she was onto something and officially launched the tearoom in early 2013. “It’s been nonstop tea ever since,” she says.