I can't believe it, nine years, it seems like yesterday that I began my "tea" journey.
I could have never imagined what was ahead when I started Teas Etc. I did not understand how it would enrich my life, the friendships I would gain and how many life lessons I would experience. And there is so much more in store!
We celebrated yesterday with tea, chocolate cake, many "remember when" stories and lots of laughs. I was glad that Melissa was in town for the celebration. She has done all of our product photography, as well as working in the office for the last four years. We were also pleased to have two new staff members with us yesterday, Suzanne who will be overseeing office operations and Carole our new wholesale sales person.
We have had wonderful employees over the years and I would like to say a big THANK YOU to them all!
Tiffany now in law school in Michigan and still working as a proof reader for Teas.
Emily who is still local and teaching middle school.
Brain, Melissa's brother now married and a new Dad.
Jason, Melissa's husband, responsible for the entire renovation of our offices and when he is not playing, excuse me "working", on his drums (with his band 10th Avenue North) we are still able to get him in to fix things once in awhile.
Didi who has gone from selling tea to selling shoes.
Kathy who so deligently awoke every Sunday for two years and told everyone she could how great Pu'erh is.
April who is still selling tea even though she is now in Montana living her own dreams, happily ever after with Newman's brother Mark.
Mark how could I forget Mark, our very first "reluctant" tea bagger in 1998.
Our son Christopher who began selling tea at 10 years old just because he was so cute and because I really needed help. The ladies loved him and could not beleive how knowledgeable he actually was. I remember the day when Chris was talking with a young lady and I asked if I could help she said "no I'm buying a bunch of stuff and I dont drink tea?"
Our adopted son Nathan who while he still works as site administrator is now telecommunting. We miss our favorite oolong enthusiast.
My mother in law who is always singing my praise and telling me what a success I am, thanks Dolly.
My personal favorite helper, Spring Leaf for all of her creativity, endless energy, staying until the job is done, making sure I stretch, eat, cry and keep going when it matters most. Who's better than you? Oh and Bill thanks for letting her play.
And who could forget all of those dedicated, tea drinking friends and family who have filled in along the way; Betsy, Priscilla, the Black's Dennis, Anita and Chris. Katie, Loraine, Mela, Barbara, Dawn, Riza, Nicole, Shannon, David, Candice and Cynthia.
Most importantly I want to publicly thank my husband Newman who while he thought I was crazy let me open Teas anyway. Who has become my biggest supporter, cheering me on even when I wanted to quit and helping me stay the course even when I became distracted and who has been working by my side at Teas for the last five years. Our company has gained so much from your web expertise and level headed style. I am grateful and owe you more than I could ever repay.
I would never be where I am today without all of the support, love and help of these incredible individuals, thank you.
See the party pictures below. Next year will be a big party and I hope you all are there!
Love and gratitude, Beth