In part 2 of our interview with Kerry from Pens and Tea, we discuss the connection between writing and drinking tea, how to get into tea, and the challenges of being a youtube personality. We hope you enjoy part 2 of our interview with Kerry.
- You review and talk about both pens and tea in each of your videos, what connects the two in your mind?
Pens and tea connects for me because I have simply always done both at the same time. They are both very comforting experiences, very personal experiences and bring me the most inner peace. I review both pens and tea in all my videos because they’ve become almost inseparable to me now and I want to share this passion with others.
- Can you discuss how you think tea fits into the world of writing?
Tea fits into the writing world for me, but I do get my fair share of negative responses on YouTube from those who don’t understand why I put them together. To me I see relaxation, and time that can be spent for self-reflection or some quality ‘me’ time. I see fountain pens and tea as a luxury item that is best shared together. In other parts of the world tea is nothing special, fountain pens are nothing special, but in North America they are not as prevalent and I see this luxury as a privilege.
- As a fountain pen user myself, and as somewhat who greatly enjoys writing, I have found that tea aids the writing process. Is this something you have found as well?
Tea absolutely aids in the writing process. Whether I am writing something with a fountain pen, my iPad, or my computer I always find tea helps to make the blank page not seem so scary. If I ever have a moment where the ideas aren’t flowing, there is just something about holding a warm cup of tea in your hands and smelling the aromas that help to relax me. This relaxation allows the creative batteries to recharge and my writing to be productive.
- What is the most interesting tea experience you’ve had?
The most interesting tea experience I have had is a very interesting question. The funniest one I can think of is just when I started drinking loose leaf tea, my friend Rob told me that you can actually eat the leftover ‘leaves’ because they hold all the nutrients and taste really good. I was so gullible that I tried it, I think I spat out two full glasses of water trying to get all the leaves out of my mouth!
- For people just getting into tea, is there any advice you could give them?
The best advice I can give to beginners is to not fall into the ‘loose leaf tea’ trap. Start with pre-bagged tea. Yes, there are substantial loose lea benefits to over pre-bagged but if you’ve never had tea before then buy a multi-pack of any brand from the grocery store and start there. Tea can be very overwhelming (just like fountain pens) with all the types and accessories you can get. It is best just to take baby steps, try out a few basics first and if you like that, then you can go from there.
- With a youtube channel undoubtedly you have met some interesting people on the internet. Are there any experiences you can share?
I have met some amazing people through this YouTube journey; including an awesome group that meets in Toronto every month, and those that live far away! One moment that stood out to me was a few months after I was making regular videos, Matt from the Pen Habit reached out to me and had me as a guest on one of his videos. That was incredible, I had watched almost all of his videos up to that point and really valued him as a reviewer, the fact that he wanted to talk to little old me was amazing. After being on his channel, my own started to grow pretty exponentially and I really couldn’t thank him enough for having me. He is such a genuine, humble and funny guy and I couldn’t be more proud to have been on his channel.
- Many people start youtube channels to share their voices, is there any advice you can offer to beginning youtubers?
My advice to beginning YouTubers is to set a realistic goal of how many videos you can manage and stay consistent to that. To some people, two videos a week like me is too much, they may need one a week or two a month. Whatever you can manage is best to stay with that. If you set a goal too high then you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you promise 4 videos a week and can’t consistently deliver than your audience won’t appreciate that. Consistency is key.
- Discuss what challenges you have had to face as a youtuber.
There are many challenges that you face as a YouTuber. Firstly, you have to be able to manage your own time. You are your own boss and no one is forcing you to stay on track. Secondly, you are opening yourself up into a position of vulnerability and need to be aware that with the 90% love comes the 10% hate. Internet trolls are a real thing and being able to ignore that is a must. Find what works for you, believe in yourself and stay true to your own authenticity.
- Going forward what is one thing you would change about fountain pens and the fountain pen community/industry?
That is a tough question! I think I would like to have them [fountain pens] be readily available. In Canada, most people don’t even know that fountain pens still exist. I would like to see them brought back to the main stream. I don’t think that will happen in this digital world, but I think it provides a nice relief to the overwhelming amount of screens we stare at!
- Going forward what is one thing you would change about tea and the tea community/industry?
In general the tea community experiences I have had have been like that of the fountain pen world, very friendly and open to discussion. I do find that sometimes I bump heads with those who call themselves ‘tea purists’ who have a disdain for pre-bagged tea but in general I wouldn’t really change much.