Beginning March 17th (Buy Women Owned Day), Sitti is elevating the stories of women-owned businesses through an ongoing blog series titled, “Own Your [Business] Story.” Throughout the past year, we’ve recognized (and experienced first hand) the hurdles for small businesses to pivot and push forward through the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges that have come with it. Through it all, these businesses have shown determination, grace, and resilience. In this series, we get up close and personal with some incredible women so you can hear more about their business stories: what (or who) inspired them to start their brand, what are the challenges they’ve met along their journey and what keeps them going.
Meet Sheena Brady, the founder and CEO of Tease Tea, an Ottawa-based company that sells ethically and sustainably sourced loose-leaf tea and accessories. Every purchase of their tea supports programs that help empower women and young girls. Their creative and aromatic blends support everything from a good night’s sleep to boosting your immunity and metabolism. They also sell the cutest tea accessories. (Check out this simple and chic tea tumbler!) Sheena gave us the scoop on her mission-driven business that is investing in women, one cup at a time.
1 - What makes Tease Tea more than your everyday tea company?
Our blends are focused on supporting women throughout their daily lives, from energy-boosting blends, immunity blends, blends that help you get a good night’s rest, and everything in between. All of our blends are ethically sourced and help provide funding and education to women in business through our sister organization, Founders Fund.
Want to learn more about the Founders Fund? Check out their website HERE.
2 - How did the brand begin?
Tease Tea started after I left a career in hospitality to pursue my passion for blending high-quality wellness-focused tea that was playful and accessible to the average woman, something that was missing between the sugar-filled widely available "fun" teas and the exclusive high-quality teas.
3 - Tell us a story that epitomizes your experience of being a woman business owner.
Especially in the early days of Tease Tea, we were mistaken for an MLM (multi-level marketing) company at trade shows and events, which was both flattering, considering we looked bigger than we were at the time, and frustrating because people didn't think it was possible for a woman in her 20's to be building an independent brand. Sitti notes: Well-known, highly profitable “MLMs” include Avon, Herbalife, Mary Kay
4 - Can you please share a recent exciting success?
We recently became a certified Benefit Corporation (B-Corp), which has been a big goal for a while. We're thrilled to be building an ethical business that makes sense beyond just profit.
5 - How did your company celebrate International Women's Day (or Month)?
We're celebrating with our extended community through some resources and giveaways that will help ease some of the overwhelm of the month (so many great events to attend!). Internally, our team is learning about lesser known influential women throughout history as a team, so that we can reflect on the women that have brought us to where we are today.
Check out the various resources and events that Tease Tea has curated HERE.
6 - Who are your women role models?
So many! We're lucky to have a community of brilliant and talented women through our sister organization, Founders Fund, so we always have an abundance of women to look up to. One woman that stands out is Vivian Kaye of Kinky, Curly, Yaki. She's been a peer mentor for years and one of our biggest supporters. She's built multiple businesses and had an incredible depth of wisdom on how to manage business and life.
7 - What is the best advice you have for women-led small businesses/business owners?
Work on your money mindset. Know that you deserve funding and recognition for your work.
DISCOUNT ALERT! Use code “SITTI30” for a special surprise discount on anything in the Tease Tea store!