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#shopsmall: with My Loyal Tea Company

Jennifer Tolbert

 

 

 

I have grown to love hot tea! When I went on #whole30, I realized that I don't really love coffee, unless I mix it with tons of sugar and cream. But, I do love a warm cozy cup of something in the morning. And I love chatting with business women about what it takes to start and grow a business and I love to support them when I shop. So naturally, I had an amazing time visiting with Lori of My Loyal Tea Company and hearing her story and getting a crash course on making a good cup of tea!  

Lori and her daughter, Victoria, are two women who are making a business out of their passion for a good, high-quality pot of tea and serving a tea that makes you feel good from the inside out! 

Starting the My Loyal Tea Company

Jenn: Tell us about My Loyal Tea Company! 

Lori: I want to tell some little stories. That's kind of my style. I am part of Irish descent and we probably don't have to say anything else beyond that. We are good at our storytelling. So, I am going to take you back to when I was three years old and I have this vivid memory of walking into my great grandfather's bedroom. I had a little tray with little plastic tea pot with flowers, cream and sugar and I pretended to have tea with my great grandfather. He had this lovely Irish brogue, and he smiled at me, and he called me his little tea lady. And it is such a vivid memory and I get chills just thinking about it. It felt prophetic to me. 

So, I was in my daughter's kitchen and told her this story, and she was all in. She said, this is more than a dream here, this is a dream we need to make a reality. 

So, about eight years ago, and my daughter and I wanted to start a brick and mortar tea shop. And we were dreaming. 

We really had it planned it out. We wanted to be downtown, we wanted it to have a certain vibe, with people coming in and out. We would serve organic loose leaf tea and that was really important to us. And in our minds eye, it was really great. But, in reality, we were living paycheck to paycheck. That was really hard for me because this was a dream that just kept getting bigger and bigger. 

So, knowing that God puts desires in our hearts, and he gives us the grace to step out, and what He calls us to, and He is faithful to provide, all the time that we were thinking and dreaming and talking, we decided to take our business online. In hindsight, I absolutely love the online space and it was the best thing we could have done. 

It feels like we are going up a spiral staircase, and the Lord pivots you just a little bit but takes you higher and higher. 

Jenn: What are some things that you really love about owning a business? 

Lori: I consume books and I am the kind of person that goes all in. So, I ask God every morning to lead me every moment of everyday Lord. So, we know God created the whole universe on words, so we know how important words are. So, I ask God to lead me to the resources I need. 

Jenn: If someone wanted to start a business, what are the 3 things you would tell them to get started? 

Lori: One of the things I would do differently, is I would have started social media first and posting to social media right away. I would have started getting into online communities and start connecting with people while we were building the company. 

Second, I would say put your origin story out there and start making connections and be present for people. Don't just pop in, sell your stuff and pop out. Let them share in the journey. 

Third, I am a life long learner and I am thankful for that. You need to be one too to run a business.  I get that from my father and I like to learn something so well, that we can teach somebody. I want our community to come along for the ride and to watch us while we build out business. I hope someday we can help someone that may be one or two steps behind us. 

Tell Us More About Your Tea...

Jenn: What makes the tea from My Loyal Tea Company special? 

Lori: So, many of our customers are interested in tea and curious in tea, but really don't know the difference in fine tea. We don't want it to feel stuffy, but we want to teach you the difference between our tea and the commercial teas. Our health is from God (3 John 2), but we can make real decisions about what we put in our body so that we take care of our health too. 

So, we start our customers out with a cotton tea bag and our teas or loose leaf and hand-rolled. This isn't a crushed up powder. Tea is supposed to be good for us, and it is, but not when it is laden with pesticides and toxins. So we create our own blends that have real ingredients and have positive impact on your body. 

So that's our jam, we want our customers to have an experience and we are so honored with when they send tea as a gift. We write a hand written note, and when they open the box we want them to breathe a sigh of relief and for it to be a jumping off point to make healthier choices. Especially if someone is asking, I want to be healthier, but where do I start. 

 

We do a lot of research. We create our own blends. With herbs, you can create tea with a purpose. We actually had a headache blend, an inflammation blend, a sore throat blend. And then we have some just awesome drinking teas. We have four great Earl Grey's which are amazing teas. 

We really wanted to make the experience with our teas a real experience and create blends that really can help you. For example, we had a customer who was training for a half marathan and order our inflamationeze to help her body heal from training. She had an amazing testimonial about how they helped her. 

A lot of the names of our teas are specific, so we for example we have Immunitea, which is infused with dried elderberries, and Echinacea. 

I am really proud of the business we've built. We are building a really strong, solid business. It can be overwhelming. 

How To Make the Perfect Pot of Tea

Jenn: So, for someone who doesn't know all the in's and out's of tea, can you give us a crash course? 

Lori: Sure! First, let's talk water. Use a good, purified water. Many times people use tap water, but we will use water purified through reverse osmosis. We've been studying water for a long time. So, if you can get that kind of water because it will make your tea taste more pure and it's better for you. Then, you want to bring your water to a rapid, rolling boil, 212 degrees. This is for all tea. For herbal and black teas, pour the water over the tea bag right away. For a green tea, let it cool for about 2 minutes and then pour it over. This will keep the tea from becoming bitter. 

Then, choose a good quality tea. Buy loose leaf, organic tea. There are only 6 types of tea, there are only 6 kind of tea plants. Herbal tea isn't really from a tea, plant. It's a mixture of plants, herbs, but it is not made from the actual tea plant.  When you try our teas, you will see, smell and taste the difference from a commercial crushed up tea. 

Lastly, use a tea pot. I wouldn't really recommend that you microwave your tea. You can get an inexpensive tea kettle for about $20 and I recommend you use one of those. 

 

#shopsmall

We love supporting other women and their businesses! If you would like to try to some of Lori and Victoria's teas, you can check them out on their website: 

https://myloyalteacompany.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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