In a new series of interviews and inspiring tales of aspiring entrepreneurs comes the story of “The Teapotter,” Keith Brinson. Read on to learn of this whimsical writer, American veteran, and determined businessman, and discover just where he got his nickname.
Keith was a rebel even in his younger years. During his interview, he gave me a peak into that side of him, and shared, “”Growing up I was often rebellious in the clothes I wore, the friends I chose and most certainly in my inner way of thinking. I have never thought like most people I’ve known nor have I ever been a conformer just for the sake of having friends. If and when I did things of a rebellious nature it was because I wanted to and yes there were a lot of things I wanted and did not always but most often in a quiet manner. I do the same today. I will or will not do something simply because ‘this is the way it’s done.’ However, when I get that gut feeling I’m all out there!” Isn’t this the spark that ignites a passion in all renegade entrepreneurs?
After being receiving many awards and accommodations during his service in the United States Air Force, a chronic illness forced Keith to medically retire at the age of 27. Despite the fact that the military named him disabled, Keith was determined to continue to support his wife and two small boys. Although his father owned a painting business where Keith could work, his entrepreneurial spirit demanded more of him… Keith wanted his own business. He shares, “I wanted to make decisions, mistakes, set my own hours, talk to customers, make friends along the way and make a difference with each job I did. I succeeded! I didn’t get rich but I made ends meet and then some. In all honesty, I never believed I was the best at what I did. I was only as good as the last customers comment to my next potential customer.”
Keith carried those entrepreneurial traits of serving the public with integrity when he started his present business venture, “Teapotter’s Entrepreneurial Extensions and Helping the Homeless and Needy Teapotter Websites. The company motto is “Great Tastes for Helping Others” He also opened the “Teapotter’s Cafe,” a place where his famous barbecue was sold, and local artists, writers, and entrepreneurs could share their ideas and struggles. Not forgetting where he came from, Keith supplied free meals to all veterans on both Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Unfortunately, the economic crash under the current presidential administration had it’s toll on Teapotter’s Cafe, which closed it’s doors on December 24th, 2009. But Keith did not stop there. He continues to paint houses on his own, and sell his blue ribbon winning barbecue sauces, “Honey On,” and “Twangy Original” Teapotter’s Toppin Sauces. Proceeds from every jar go to help the homeless and veterans.