Name: Wendi Mitchell
Location: Bangor, Maine (also hometown of writer Stephen King)
Educational Background: RN/BSN – Husson College School of Nursing/Bangor, Maine 1994
Current job title: RN (Nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine) & Owner of Teatrition Tea And Wellness
Tell us a little about what Teatrition is and what inspired it.
Firstly, Teatrition Tea And Wellness offers online sales: Quality, fresh, pure and single origin loose leaf teas, loose leaf tea blends, herbals and organic, whenever possible, which is most of the time. Our emphasis is on education – what tea is, how it may benefit people, how to steep tea and why they should drink tea.
Teatrition Tea And Wellness was officially started in 2016. My sister (Staci) was living in Florida and got us hooked over the past 6 yeas on teas from a very well known tea company in Florida.
The nurse in me realized a few years ago that the big tea company added a lot of sugar and preservatives to their teas, although they were very yummy! I started reading, sampling, taking online tea courses – to educate myself on the different types of teas and their health/wellness benefits and tea producers that would actually sell to me, since I was literally starting from scratch. (Big tea plantations don’t want to sell direct, so I had to establish relationships with quality/organic tea brokers. Long frustrating story, but I have a few tea houses I work with and 2 tea blenders who create my recipes and make tea blends for me.) I still prefer single origin loose leaf teas – especially green or Oolong – but my customers tend to lean towards the blends.
Fast forward to 2015, I started sharing my loose leaf teas with my friends and co-workers and feeling them out as to if they believed I had a decent business idea. My friends seemed interested in learning more and making teas part of their daily life, so by 2016 I was officially in business.
Why are you passionate about tea and wellness?
It didn’t take me long to realize that although I love coffee, it was fatiguing my adrenals and upsetting my stomach by late afternoon. The more I learned about loose leaf teas, not tea bags, the more I was convinced the catechins and other properties in tea were what my body needed.
In addition to tea, what other things do you do to maintain your physical and mental wellness?
My nursing job begins at 6:30am, so I rise at 3am and work out with weights and/or treadmill in my basement gym before making tea and heading off to work.
What is the biggest thing you struggle with an an entrepreneur?
Technology! I can perform CPR but I can barely turn my home computer on and off. Thank goodness for my kids Madi, 15 and Hunter, 11. They assist me with all things tech, while my sister Staci is my social media goddess.
“It didn’t take me long to realize that although I love coffee, it was fatiguing my adrenals and upsetting my stomach by late afternoon. The more I learned about loose leaf teas, not tea bags, the more I was convinced the catechins and other properties in tea were what my body needed.”
What are some aspects of your business that you are working on?
As far as my tea biz is concerned, I recently purchased a stand–up bag “sealer” in place of my former “hand–held” version. It allows me to pack teas more quickly. Since I’m a small new biz, I organize my teas in small batches and do not actually package them until someone orders. I prefer the teas to be super fresh when the customer opens them because, to be honest, I don’t have a lot of bells and whistles where my packaging is concerned. So the only wow I can truly count on is when the customer opens the package of tea and they hear and smell freshness from inside.
I recently was able to afford to hire a college guy, Colby, who assists me with all things creative and tech for 10-20 hours a week. He is now beginning to take over the website from my sister, as that is a huge project – larger than we ever anticipated! Colby is in the process of editing some “how to” tea-torials (educational tea videos we’ve been shooting the past few weeks.) He will upload them to our soon–to–be Youtube channel soon, as well as add them to our website.
We recently added an online tea party ability to our website to hopefully encourage friends, family & co-workers to order their teas and then the hostess/coordinator will receive free teas or tea credits on their personal purchases.
Describe a typical day for you.
I work 5 days a week on average. I rise at 3am for my daily workout, get ready for work, get home around 4pm, pack teas, have dinner, sports/activities for my children, homework if help is needed, pack teas if new orders come in, stack and schedule outgoing tea packages for pick up, read for 30 minutes – although it’s been 3 months now with no time for reading.
Do you have any app recommendations?
Do you have any book recommendations?
I have only read business or motivational books the last few years.
What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day?
When the weather permits, I enjoy a long bike ride with my son, Hunter.
What is your dream vacation?
Any place warm! Maine winters are long and cold. As a single mother, I do have to juggle my children’s schedule with their father, who lives an hour away and it hasn’t worked out for a getaway in several years, so we generally take day trips to friends lake cottages or the Maine coast for lunch and to hike seaside trails.