Ivy's Tea Co.
You all should know by now that I am a true tea lover! The high that I get from having a great cup of tea is unmatched. So, when I stumbled across this tea company owned by a BLACK WOMAN, I had to see what it was all about! I am so excited for this week's feature because Shanae's words filled my heart with goodness, gratitude, and all things happy. Reading her words is a full experience that I want to share with you all. So, get to know the beautiful and honest story behind Ivy's Tea Co. There's also a gift for you ;)
Background/Mission/Goal: Ivy's Tea Co. is a pop culture and Hip-Hop inspired holistic health brand. We provide tea, honey, and other herbal medicine for the culture. The business is marketed to Black and Brown people, as well as those from low-income or impoverished communities, with the goal of bringing holistic health to a community often ignored by the great holistic health industry, which is predominantly white, despite the fact that holistic health remedies dominate Afrikan medicine and are tried and true.
How long have we been in business?: Ivy's Tea Co. is now 15 months old. After a year of wrestling with the idea of starting an ecommerce business, I launched November 22, 2016.
Influence: There are quite a few tea companies, but none of the ones you'll find in your local grocery store are Black owned. The ones that are online are often owned by people who simply like tea, not herbalists like myself. Beyond that, none of them have a desire to make tea cool, like Ivy's Tea Co. The marketing is unpretentious and relatable, this is why the company is popular with its following.
Love of tea/Blackness/Femininity: I am the first born American to British and Jamaican parents. I came by my love of tea honestly, though it's likely peppered with the result of imperialism and colonialism. Ugh. Lol. Tea has always been a staple in my home, something I've been drinking since I was a child. My first cup of tea was a cup of black tea from Tetley sweetened with condensed milk. I enjoyed the tea usually with my mother and grandmother. It is how we built our closer relationships. Tea has just always been an element in my life, something for celebrations, for breakups, for intense socio-political discussions - I've communed often with loved ones and nature over tea. It is my hope that with Ivy's Tea Co. others establish and repair relationships, educate themselves and others, and explore the world in a new way. Tea has the ability to build bridges in a way that most beverages do not. As a Black woman, being a part of this work is how I use my gifts as an herbalist and doing it for Black, Brown, and other impoverished peoples, is how I fulfill my purpose.
Race/Gender: I know many Black business owners who do not make it a point to state that they are Black. It is essential to Ivy's Tea Co. that people understand that the company is owned and operated by a Black person. However, it is equally as important that people know that this business is not just for Black people. Ivy's Tea Co. is for everyone who identifies with the need for socio-politically aware businesses that give back to the community and invest in others (Ivy's Tea Co. sources herbs and tea leaves from fair trade and local/small farmers wherever possible). It just so happens that most of those businesses are small and/or minority-owned.
Toughest part of entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is so lonely. That's the one thing I didn't expect. I am disciplined and diligent. I know how to put my head down and get work done. I can work for hours straight - no lunch break, no bathroom breaks, nothing. Just productivity and getting work done. I didn't realize that I'd also have to be my own motivator and cheerleader. There aren't many people around when you're working on a business. The people that would stay, you tend to push away in favor of achieving your dream. It is easy to isolate yourself as an entrepreneur, and I'd argue that in many ways isolation is necessary. However, you'll find there are these moments of loneliness where you look around and you're the only one there. You have to be strong enough to keep going when there's no one else around. It's a physical test, but it's also a mental and emotional test.
Most fulfilling part of entrepreneurship: The most fulfilling part of entrepreneurship, for me, is being the boss. I am so comfortable making the decisions and having the final say. I've grown as a Believe in Christ, my self-confidence has seen a tremendous booth, and I am much more knowledgeable of myself - and this is just the beginning. I really like being in charge of myself and my business and seeing the impact of that decision to take charge play out in my community.
Deals: Ivy's Tea Co. recently dropped "Trust Me, I'm A Black Woman" mugs. You can get 15% off the mug, teas, and honeys with the code: ANaturalBeaut until March 10. Here's a link to the discount code: https://www.ivystea.com/discount/ANaturalBeaut.
Contact: You can shop Ivy's Tea Co. at www.ivystea.com. Like/Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @IvysTeaCo. And check out our hashtag on Instagram #TrapTea for the littest tea drinking experience ever. Really. Like ever.