We had the good fortune of connecting with Katea Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katea, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
BALM Tea Co. was literally birthed out of passion and intuition. Growing up, I remember my grandmother enjoying tea at some point throughout her day and that piqued my interest in tea. Initially, it was an interest in bagged tea (which I occasionally still enjoy), but I eventually found a true love for loose leaf tea. For several years, I toiled with and meditated on the idea of creating a loose leaf tea line – researching tea and experimenting with making blends for myself and friends! My intuition was the driver for my company name and even how I developed my initial three tea blends. One morning I woke up and BALM Tea Co. was the name of my business. A BALM is something comforting and soothing – everything I wanted my tea to embody!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
BALM Tea Co. is a boutique loose leaf tea company, specializing in curating original tea blends. BALM believes in the comforting and soothing effects of tea. So, whether for physical or mental benefits, our blends are designed to SOOTHE & HEAL the soul. Additionally, BALM takes pride in the fact that each blend includes certified organic, kosher and/or wild-crafted ingredients, some of which are Fair Trade Certified. The discovery and developmental stages for BALM Tea Co. were challenging, but still remained fundamentally intuitive. The biggest challenge was not related to developing each blend, that was actually the most fun and easy part because I created a base line for what I will be incorporating in every BALM Tea blend and from there I would experiment with the flavor profiles and herbal benefits. ‘Analysis Paralysis’ on the administrative elements was actually my biggest challenge. I’m very big on the visual aesthetics of products and branding, so I would get stuck and caught up in the minutia of packaging, logo, etc. I also had to take time to learn the e-commerce platform that would host my store. So through active-stillness and determination to launch my product, I pushed forward to a point where I was satisfied with all of the elements and in June of this year, BALM was officially launched! Of course the challenges of running a newer business still show its face, but all of my determination to make this business a true success propels me to move forward, create new approaches and pivot as needed. If I had one thing to share with the world, it would be that BALM Tea Co. is simply the result of my passion along my desire to share the experience of tea with others!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being from the East Coast, I often have visitors and I love when I do! The itinerary would definitely include a brunch and beach day (or two) down in the South Bay, Santa Monica or at Belmont Shore Beach, a morning hike at Runyon Canyon or Culver City stairs, a spa day, more brunch dates (because that’s my favorite meal lol) and dinners throughout the city, a visit to a local museum or the Art District, an afternoon on Melrose, going to game or concert, etc. If we had enough time, a winery visit would also be on the itinerary!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this Shoutout to all of the women in my ancestry and lineage!