Spotlight on: Emily and Amy
Meet Emily and Amy – founders of EISA Tea Co. and two driven entrepreneurs determined to revolutionise the industry. The following is an exclusive interview with them, uncovering their passion and commitment to making an ethical and sustainable product. If you like the content, please feel free to leave a comment!
Please tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.
Emily and I are the two-part ‘dangerous duo’ at EISA Tea Co., an ethical and sustainable tea business that aims to inspire informed change in consumer habits. We believe in doing several things:
Firstly, we educate our customers on the source of the tea, the full journey that their tea has undergone from source to cup, the farming practices, and which family picked that specific cup. To do this, we host online events and seminars, run monthly newsletters, have a tea blog on our website, and are completely transparent.
Within this, we operate with a 100% open door policy, being clear and honest with our customers and farmers from the start. Any questions – even ones that so-called ‘consumer aware’ companies shy away from – we delve all the juicy little details of.
Finally, we believe in giving credit where credit is due – namely, to our tea farmers. We can’t quite wrap our heads around the motivations of tea companies that underpay and undervalue their staff – for us, our farmers are family.
How and when did you get started?
The idea began yonks ago, but the manifestation of it only came into being last year. Emily and I met on a cold winter’s day in 2019 in our university town, and we bonded over matcha and stories of faraway places.
After months of travelling together and trying out the world’s best teas, lockdown hit. During this time, we undertook our certification from the International Tea Academy and studied the effects of the tea industry on the people who suffered from it most – the tea farmers. We simply couldn’t understand how other tea companies got away with slave labour, the blatant sexism and racism on their farms, and child workers that were struggling just as much as their parents.
We spent all of our time crafting the perfect tea company – one that actually made sense. And then when a university competition came along, we entered it.
After a year of hard work, it all seemed to pay off. Not only did we win a professional kitchen, an office space, free accommodation, free branding, and grant money – but we had also secured farmers in the most prolific places across the world.
Finally, in 2021, EISA Tea Co. was born.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far?
We would be lying if we didn’t say that one of our biggest challenges has been Covid-19. Most of our tea farmers live in remote areas where the internet isn’t readily accessible – and when it is, it isn’t half glitchy. Being unable to visit the farms in person and finally hug our farmers was so difficult, and building relationships has been much harder amongst the pandemic.
Along with that, navigating the landmine that is the tea industry has been insane. Choosing a tea which is pesticide and chemical free, not picked by machines, grown on nutrient-rich soil, and processed by small families is especially difficult when we live so far away and travel is restricted.
On top of this, being taken seriously is an underrated challenge. As two women entering a male-dominated market, seeking to empower other women in other male-dominated environments is ridiculously difficult – especially when we have such big plans to revolutionise the industry.
What has been your most satisfying moment so far?
Securing our farmers!
We couldn’t have imagined how difficult it would be to fall in love with both tea and farmer – and in just the past year alone we have tried over 350 teas. Finally finding farms and families that we love and which the best tea that we have ever tasted has been one helluva accomplishment.
Would you recommend entrepreneurship to others?
Entrepreneurship encompasses so many concepts and ideas, and means something a little different to everyone. For us, it means being brave enough to follow what we believe in. It means fixing a problem which no one else seems to have cracked. Most importantly, it means being a market-leader, blazing a trail for others to follow.
Emily and I cannot recommend entrepreneurship enough. Being our own bosses, breaking and creating rules as we go – it’s a type of freedom that a desk job will never offer.
What was your motivation to become an entrepreneur?
Honestly, it all happened by accident!
We were motivated by something that we both felt so strongly about, it all came about by itself. Our main mission is to empower tea farmers around the world and by following our passion for delicious, ethically-sourced tea, the rest simply fell into place. Of course, it helps that neither of us can hold day-jobs for more than a week.
What drives you, what motivates you?
The knowledge that we can change the world, one cup at a time.
Knowing just how far we can go with EISA Tea Co., knowing that the world deserves an ethical and sustainable tea company that actually does things right… That’s all we need.
To find out more…
To satisfy your curiosity and get to know EISA Tea Co. more, head to the company’s website.
And if you want to read more about other successful entrepreneurs and freelancers, don’t miss the ‘Spotlight on’ section of Revolancer’s magazine!