So, this has been such a very long journey to get where I am now. I started out by writing fanfiction in the 90’s where I fell absolutely in love with making content people could enjoy. Then what happened? I moved into trying to write original fiction, so I started a publishing company. I published a couple things (under a pseudonym), and then let it linger for years. I’ll say I “returned” to fanfiction, but I had never really left it either at that point. I truly liked to give my stuff away for free more than I liked to make money off it. Once it became about money, and seeing how much people would have to spend just to enjoy my content and make a few pennies, I didn’t like the publishing game anymore. I still have that publishing company, but I’m not really using it.
Instead, I’m consolidating all my content from various places onto my new website! www.skyberfire.com is my new passion and will come with no paywall for all my writing. My real goal is to see that people have things to enjoy.
Oh, sure, I do have a shop attached to the website. But I’m specifically doing things that interest me, and that’s why you’ll find such an eclectic assortment from quality looseleaf tea to handmade blankets to art or teaware or books or handmade trinkets... I lack the desire or attention span to stick to just ONE thing, so I’m a master of many instead... a procurer of unique and diverse products. I like to think I can get or create anything.
People ask me how I came up with the name Skyberfire for my business and it’s a really simple answer: it’s my artist name, made from the combination of my legal name and my author pseudonym.
Believe it or not, Skyberfire didn’t begin as a teashop. It began in 2018 (I think, but time melted with the pandemic…) as a handcrafted blanket hobby and textile design business. It was fun, and I really enjoyed sewing custom throws for people.
When the pandemic started, I just couldn’t bring myself to ask people dealing with sickness, stress, and loss of various kinds to support my rather “extra” business model. It felt too frivolous, and my spouse-creature vetoed the idea of giving it away free (rude of him…). So I put the custom fabric designs and sewing machines aside and thought for two whole seconds on what to do next. Then I picked up my dream and retooled my entire business model, to bring Tea and Comforts to everyone during the pandemic.
So after leaving behind my volunteer work of more than a decade in 2020, I decided to refocus all my spare attention on my business. I have long-since wanted a tea room of my own, and a bookstore (which I briefly was able to manage one before it closed down!) but not having all the money that others do meant so many hold ups. I could not afford to buy a business up. I could not afford all that overhead costs. But 2020 has made it very apparent that work from home can be a very valuable tool.
I decided I was going to take that plunge.I got myself into the tea industry, back into the book industry (selling other people's books, not my own), and continue my commission based or interest based handcrafted work. It's such a delight. I honestly look forward to everything about my business. Even the paperwork doesn't bother me (although more than a decade in administration and management could have something to do with that?) which means I'm not losing interest or dragging my heels.
You will probably notice that my teas are of a different variation than most of what is at your local grocer. This is intentional. I'm a very small operation (literally just one woman and the two CEO's--my children run this whole thing from behind the scenes! LOL) and I rent a small certified kitchen to produce and package teas. I'm licensed with the State of Wisconsin, and I'm actually applying to further my studies in tea with the World Tea Academy, since unfortunately 25+ years of self-study doesn't come with recognized certifications. I'm positive I'll learn tons of new things.
What do I do this all for? Myself, my spouse-creature, my two small mortals, my person-ruler (aka cat), and for others like myself who want quality teas without breaking the bank to get it. I do offer some fancy grades of tea for special order for those who specifically want those, but my space in the office is limited, so if you're looking for a specific high grade tea, don't hesitate to contact me.
In April 2022, I opened my first physical location, although at the time our family was going through some very rough changes. We ultimately ended up open by appointment until August. This location was one I had wanted for roughly ten years. It was an office space directly beneath my day job. However, the front entry was a stairway and advertising the ground level entrance at the back by the parking lot was a hurdle. We still did well, but it felt like growth was stalled at a certain point.
In January 2023, a "street level" location became available adjacent to the downtown. This location is where we're at now, right on the major highway that goes through town and barely a building away from the main street. It's also twice the size of the cozy little office space I first rented so we feel we've got space to grow. It's a continuous work-in-progress, but I feel positive about it. There's no more staircase to manage (Although there is 1 step) and there's frequently parking directly out front of the store.
Anyway, I do really love this. I hope you do too, and that you will continue to check back as I continue to improve and add to this site. It's such a joy to feel like my hard work is actually doing something! I'm certainly not going to get rich here since there's not really much mark up in price, but I can at least feel happy to provide an affordable priced selection.
Thanks for listening to my long-winded explanation (which could probably be more detailed, but I should still sleep sometimes, haha!).