Talk to me about coffee and dreams, you bet, I am so there.
Launched just this November, The Dream Coffee is a single origin coffee locally sourced from the farmers of TBoli, South Cotabato. “Wake up to the dream in your cup,” they like to say. The ultimate dream? To produce coffee with a dream-like taste, and to positively impact a growing number of farmer families in the mountainous communities of Tboli.
Let this be said. If there’s anything better than enjoying a good cup of coffee, it’s enjoying a good cup of coffee while making a contribution to another person’s dreams.
This is what The Dream Coffee is about. They directly trade and partner with 75 farmer families who are not only given livelihood but also training on coffee production and processes, as well as essential life skills like saving and financial management.
As a coffee drinker AND an advocate of pursuing passions and chasing dreams, The Dream Coffee hits it very close to home for me.
I know Iya Joson, owner and founder of The Dream Coffee. Two years ago, sitting across from her in our weekly Victory group Bible study, I remember observing Iya as she beamed with love for Jesus and a wide-eyed excitement for God’s Word. Even then I just knew that she’s meant to change the world!
I’m so proud of Iya for what she’s built, for her leaps of faith that made The Dream Coffee come true, and for her journey from being a beauty editor to an enabler of dreams.
There’s much to learn from her story and I took the liberty of asking her questions creatives (young and old) can find inspiration from.
Listen up, dream chasers, and take notes. ;)
1. What made you jump ship from beauty to coffee, from corporate to social entrepreneurship?
Tell us about that one moment when you know it’s time to leap!
IYA: “It’s funny. The changes in my career from being an editor to a brand manager to an entrepreneur never happened because I wanted to leave the industry where I was. I think I’m the type of person who likes to stay put in a place and space that she knows she’s good at, but the changes happened anyway, because I knew in my heart of hearts that it was simply time to move on.”
“I’m certain it was God orchestrating all of that! It was in January of this year when I just had an intense feeling of displacement in my gut—I knew I was meant to be somewhere else, even if it made a lot of sense just to stay where I was.”
2. Tell us what a day is like as an entrepreneur, in comparison to when you were a brand manager of a beauty brand.
IYA: “When I was both a beauty editor and a brand manager of a beauty brand, I was working for companies and that meant days spent working in an office, meeting people elsewhere, and attending or mounting events.”
“When you’re an entrepreneur, you have more leeway to dictate your own schedule. Leading up to our launch last November 15, I traveled a lot, on a couple of trips to T’Boli where the farmers we work with live, and also to other places just to get my mind to open up to the potential and possibilities of starting a new business. Now, I like to dedicate a couple of days a week to meeting people, and then for the other days, I’m either just at home doing all the glamorous things one does in a start-up—running bank errands, processing the orders coming in—or driving around to get deliveries of raw materials done.”
“Unlike in the previous jobs I held, now I’m hardly ever dressed to impress, in heels, or even in makeup. Those things are fun, but I also try to see the magic in doing every single thing in a business that’s just begun, no matter how small of a task it is. It’s also very exciting in its own way.”
3. What’s your advise to other young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to chase after their dreams?
IYA: “I want to be able to say, “Just do it,” but I think just going after your dreams point-blank isn’t all that there is to consider.”
“I think you have to get to a point where you can just be honest with yourself and really get to the core of why you want to go after a certain desire in your heart—because if it’s just to make a name for yourself, I don’t think that will get you very far, but if it’s to make an impact on others’ lives, then that’s a dream that could be worth your time and effort to chase.
“It’s so easy to build yourself up. But the world needs more people who aren’t only after seeing their own dreams come to life, but who are also more than willing to put in work that paves the way for other people to see the reality of their own dreams, too.”
“Another thing would be to build yourself up for success. Don’t pursue anything without excellence. And in my experience, a good way to do this is to learn, learn, and learn. Wherever you are right now, even if it doesn’t feel like the most fulfilling thing in the world at the moment, I truly believe you’re meant to be there and one of the reasons why is so you can learn something that will be so crucial to the plans God has written out for your future.”
4. Share with us a Bible verse that spoke to you in a special way during this process.
IYA: “There are so many! I’ve been extremely dependent on God and His Word throughout this whole thing. Actually, if you really want to build your faith up, start a business! Haha. But seriously, a recurring one would be:
“Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters—a pathway no one knew was there!” (Psalms 77:19)
IYA: “It was a constant reminder from God that He is working on something new and different through The Dream Coffee. It’s a way of doing business without its own blueprint yet, but so long as He’s behind building it, we’re standing and working in faith to see His vision come to life.”
5. How do you like your coffee? :)
IYA: “Black. Especially when you’re drinking very good coffee, you don’t want to get anything in the way of that dream-like taste!”
The Dream Coffee
Shop The Dream Coffee today, know more about their story and support the cause!
Dream Chasers Series
This post is part of a special blog series where I feature passionate creatives, travelers and dreamers who have made a choice to chase their dreams and pursue what makes their hearts soar.
I believe in learning and finding inspiration from other people’s stories, which is what this series is all about. I hope that as we get to know these dream chasers’ lives and visions and challenges, we find valuable lessons and inspiration that will help us in our own journey. Read more from this series HERE.