What's Next for LiberTEAS

OK, I’m not sure if this will be the best time to announce this, but since some of you may have already figured out what’s going on, I think I’ll just address it now so that it’s out there.

And forgive me in advance for the length of this announcement. I’m long-winded. I know.

As you may have been aware, I’ve been recruiting new SororiTea Sisters for the SororiTea Sisters Tea Review Blog: http:sororiteasisters.com because the plan is that March 31 will be my final date for writing tea reviews. That’s because after that, I have something much bigger to handle. I’ll still be the admin for the site, but, I will not be writing reviews any longer.

The plan: LiberTEAS (that’s me) is going to take over 52Teas. Hopefully! That’s the plan, anyway.

Last month, Frank approached me, telling me his desire to take Southern Boy Teas to new heights. Then he asked me if I was interested in taking over the 52Teas line. This is something he and I talked about in the past, but it was never a really an immediate thing. It was always like: at some point in the future when I’m ready to retire from 52Teas, I should turn it over to you. Stuff like that. This time, it was more imminent. This time, he meant it!

There were a couple of major concerns on my part about what he was proposing.

First: I knew that there was no way I could afford to take over the company. I didn’t have the equipment I needed or the inventory that would be required and I didn’t have the capital to pay for it. So, yes, I’m going to be launching a Kickstarter campaign within the next few days. I hope that I’ll be able to count on your support to help make the Kickstarter campaign a success.

Second (and probably the most important concern of mine): As many of you probably know, I used to flavor/design/blend my own teas. I closed my company (LiberTEAS) about six years ago because I found that my creativity was stifled by the business end of things. I found it difficult to come up with new blends and express myself creatively with my business with the business stuff looming over my head. And here I was, actually considering taking over a company that required me to come up with a new flavor every week?!? Was I crazy? (Well, yes, I am, actually. But that’s not really the point I’m trying to make here.) Had I lost my mind? (Again, yes, but not the point.) The business end of things would still be there. Would I be able to do it this time if I wasn’t able to do it last time?

So, I thought about it a lot. And then I thought about it some more. Then I sat down with my oldest daughter – her name is Amethyst – and I did so with the intention to have her tell me either “Yes! You should do this!” or “NO! You shouldn’t do it!” I figured with her telling me in no uncertain terms either way with the way she tells me things – she would direct me the way I needed to go.

My daughter is really smart. She gets it from somewhere. I’m not saying it’s from me, but I will say that for a good part of her life, I was a single parent. I’m sure my husband – her step-father and really the only father she’s ever known – I’m sure that he had something to do with her wisdom, but … he also doesn’t drink tea. At least, he didn’t used to. (He is finally coming around.) And he used to mock and tease me mercilessly for my passion for tea. So is he wise enough for my daughter to have gained this intelligence from him? You decide.

Anyway, what I didn’t expect from my daughter is her reaction. She asked: “Can I do this with you?” So, I now have a business partner! She will be the business head: The face of the business. The sanity behind the insanity that is her mother. She will be the one who takes care of the business end of things so that her mother, the crazy one, will be able to do what she does best: drink tea and create tea blends. She will be the one who is making sure that orders are filled and bills are paid and inventory is sufficient so that we can do this thing. And I’ll be the soul of the business, the heart of it, the one who loves and is passionate about tea.

So, as you probably know, Frank has launched his kickstarter campaign to help get his Southern Boy Teas line to the place where he wants it to go. I hope you’ll consider helping him reach his goal. I’d love to see his Southern Boy Teas line succeed and go in the direction he envisions. He has a great passion for his Southern Boy Teas line.

And I hope that you’ll help me reach my goal too! While his passion is for iced teas, mine is for hot teas. Sure, I drink iced tea and I enjoy it, but if I had to choose one or the other to drink for the rest of my life, I’d choose the hot tea. I like iced tea a lot but I love hot tea. Hot tea and I have a thing together – a hot and heavy thing – please don’t tell my husband.

Frank told me that the last week of March is the last week that he’ll be creating a blend for 52Teas. After that, the business is mine to take over. His words: “52teas will be ending it’s 5+ year mission to create a new tea blend every week in March UNLESS you take it over.”

I don’t want to see 52Teas die. I really don’t. I’ve loved many of the teas that have been created and I love the idea behind the company. 52Teas – a new tea every week! I have a lot of ideas (seriously, I have been sitting around for the last three weeks coming up with different tea flavors. I think that at least some of you are going to be blown away by what I’ve been coming up with. For the rest of you, I hope that at least you’ll give me a chance to impress you with what I can do.) These aren’t flavors that will be taken from a wholesale company and relabeled to say 52Teas. These will be teas that I craft using the best ingredients I can find. Plus, I do plan on taking a few old rabbits out of my hat and re-creating some of LiberTEAS favorites including Masterpiece Chai and Sweet Caramel O’ Mine.

And as some of you might know, I’ve been reviewing teas for the last six+ years; first with the Tea Review Blog and then with SororiTea Sisters. These last six years have taught me a lot about the industry. I’ve had the opportunity to be get to know a lot of people in the industry. I feel that my experience over the last six+ years has given me the ability to source ingredients that I wouldn’t have been able to source way back when. I’ve learned a lot about tea that I didn’t know back when I started my tea business.

Looking back, all I can say is whoa! I was a babe in the woods, you know? I had no clue. I didn’t know what I was doing. I taught myself how to flavor teas and I learned through a lot of trial and error, and I think I mastered that well enough but as far as where to get the best ingredients and how to package them and market them in a way that would be appealing to the masses … I was an infant amongst giants, wandering about in the dense fog with no way of knowing how to get where I wanted to be.

So that’s what’s happening in the world of LiberTEAS. (And the world of 52Teas). I do hope that I can count on your support through this transition. I want to keep 52Teas alive and I plan to do that with the passion that I have for tea and with the help of my daughter and the support of all of you, I know I can succeed.


82 Replies
Sil select said

That’s exciting! Also glad that you’ll have help since running a business is no small thing to do. Good luck madam!

Thanks. I’m excited. I’m also terrified.

Login or sign up to post a message.

Super exciting! I came around to loose tea too recently to have been able to try your blends, but I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Best of luck to you and your daughter, and to Frank with SBT!

Login or sign up to post a message.

I tried really hard not to let this cat out of the bag, because I didn’t want to steal your thunder, but I’m glad you announced it.

I just want to add that Anne has been a faithful customer for many years and I’ve come to count on her advice and guidance on a lot of issues (we’ve shared a lot of private messages here on Steepster). I KNOW that she has as much passion for hot tea as I have for iced tea and I can’t think of anyone more qualified to take the reigns from me. I’ll be passing along to her all of the recipes I’ve used to create all of the teas I’ve created through 52teas so your favorites can be recreated and won’t disappear. I wouldn’t be surprised if Anne didn’t even improve on them.

I was wondering if LiberTEAS would get the recipes. Looking forward to this! Good luck to everyone!

Login or sign up to post a message.

SarsyPie said

Congrats on your new venture! I wish you all the best!

Login or sign up to post a message.

Good luck to everybody involved. Very exciting!

Login or sign up to post a message.

I am so excited to see where this is going, and I wish nothing but GREAT THINGS for you! When I read that your daughter is going to be doing this with you, that just made my heart swell… That’s really so fantastic.
Looking forward to your kickstarter! :)

Login or sign up to post a message.

Echoing everyone’s well wishes!

Login or sign up to post a message.

Tealizzy said

Wow! Exciting! Looking forward to seeing where you take it!

Login or sign up to post a message.

Nattie said

Congratulations, and good luck to you both! This is very exciting (:

Login or sign up to post a message.

Nicole said

Exciting! Good luck to both of you! Or all 3 of you – you, your daughter and Frank. :)

Login or sign up to post a message.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.