I’m really excited to have recently discovered TEAPRINTS. I mean, how can you not possibly not love a t-shirts design that proudly displays: “KEEP CALM and GAIWAN ON” – brilliant! And, a great way to strike up a “tea-conversation” when out in the wild.
Rosanne Muncy, CEO and Founder of TeaPrints, took notice of my love for this particular t-shirt and was kind enough to send me one. I really like the simplicity of the design, and the high quality of the t-shirt is definitely noticeable. My TeaPrints shirt arrived pre-shrunk, which I prefer, and has a comfortable classic fit (note: the women’s t-shirts are more form-fitting). TeaPrints also has a 7-day return policy, and a great FAQ page on their website to help you determine the best size and other details and answers to frequently asked questions.
TeaPrints currently offers a collection of T-Shirts, Hoodies, Totes, Posters and Gift Cards. TeaPrints also has a blog with frequent posts on useful information for tea folk, along with active social media channels (see links at the end of this post).
I’m really impressed with Rosanne, along with the origin story of TeaPrints and where she is taking the brand. To learn more, check out my Q&A with Rosanne below.
Q. Tell us a little more about yourself (especially about your time living in Morocco). And, how did you come up with the idea to build and launch TeaPrints.com?
A. I am a tea lover, organic gardener, and a nature lover. I became a tea lover at the age of eight when my family lived in Morocco for many years. I was a tomboy and spent a lot of time with my dad. My dad was friends with the Berber tribe leader and local hero, so I was able to experience Morocco in a unique and in-depth way.
I distinctly remember the first time I experienced Moroccan Mint tea. I can even smell it every time I close my eyes and reminisce. We were in a large tent, lots of people were milling around, there was an exhibition of horsemanship and shooting, but all I could focus on was the delightful aroma of the tea. It was fascinating to watch them prepare the tea and then pour it from many feet high into the beautiful tea glasses. The taste was just as exquisite as the aroma and as beautiful as the teaware. I fell in love!
In 2014 I opened an online tea shop, Tealated, and quickly realized that I enjoyed promoting tea much more than selling it. Tea is so diverse and can transcend obstacles between different people and cultures. It is an excellent way to make new friends, it helps to maintain health (especially if you use tea to replace toxic habits like soda addition, cigarette smoking, etc.), and it is delicious! I decided to close my online tea shop and focus solely on promoting tea and tea culture. TeaPrints is all about having fun while enjoying tea and starting a conversation about tea with others.
Q. Where do you get your inspiration for your designs…tell us a bit about your creative process.
A. My designs are pretty basic. I had to teach myself Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator in order to create designs. There is no better way to learn something than just diving in and doing it. I am still a novice but I just keep learning more each time I try. I start with the saying I want and then add a design. I have a list with over 100 ideas of designs that keeps growing. Of course, I will never get to all of them, but it is fun to think of new ideas.
Q. Do you have a personal favorite TeaPrints t-shirt, hoodie, or tote?
A. Yes, I admit to playing favorites. ☺ I actually have three. “Tea Freak” is my favorite t-shirt design, “Brew. Drink. Repeat.” Is my favorite hoodie, and “Life is Better with Tea” is my favorite poster (new product).
Q. It’s great to see that you donate your excess product to the Red Cross to help clothe those in need. Has social responsibility always been a part of your business model, and what advice do you have for entrepreneurs when it comes to partnering with non-profit organizations?
A. Giving back has always been a priority for me. When I lived in Morocco the extreme poverty I saw out in the country had a deep and lasting affect on me.
My first business was an organic soap company and I donated my ugly soaps to a company that recycled the soap and distributed it to those in need. Soap is extremely important, especially in third-world countries, because it helps to fight the spread of disease.
For my tea company, I donated 3% of all sales to Water.org. Water.org creates solutions for clean water and provides sanitation for those that need it. Clean water and the dignity of a toilet can transform lives.
For TeaPrints, it was an obvious choice to donate the “oops” t-shirts and hoodies to the homeless or people in need after disaster strikes. Giving someone in need new, clean clothing is our way to show that we deeply care about others and want to show them that they are loved.
Q. You have a lot of great content on your TeaPrints blog. Tell us about one of the blog posts you are most proud of. (Personally, I found your 2015 gift guide to be a great resource).
A. I had fun making the gift guide and am glad you liked it. However, this is a tough question for me. I try to write posts that people might find helpful. I have a passion for people to be healthy and happy, so I would have to say that my post on “Drink Tea and Let It Be” that discusses slowing down and taking time for oneself would be it. Also, my post on “How I Quit Diet Soda” is important to me because hopefully it will help others to quit ingesting toxic soda and replace it with tea.
Q. What is your favorite thing about the tea community?
A. The LOVE! Really, the love in the tea community is amazing!
Q. Do you have any tips of suggestions for anyone looking to start a tea business?
A. Yes! I say, “just do it!” Planning is great, but implementing is better. Decide what type of tea or tea product you want to offer. I believe that having a narrower focus as opposed to a broad offering is best. For example, offer only matcha, or only Taiwan tea, or just hand-made teaware. Also, if you are stuck with one aspect of the business then it is important to outsource. You may be great at tea but maybe not at accounting. Outsource it. That frees you up to do what you are best at and creates a job for someone else.
Q. What are you future plans for TeaPrints? Are you looking to expand the product line?
A. Always! I love coming up with new ways to share the tea love. We recently launched posters and will be coming up with a LOT more of those. In addition to posters, we will be adding mugs, leggings, and maybe even cell phone cases!
Q. What are your favorite types of teas at the moment?
A. I am exploring the world of pu-erh tea. I have joined a few tea clubs that ship tea to my home every month and I am excited to try new tea. That is one thing I love about tea – There is always something to learn. Tea can take you on a journey of discovery that lasts a lifetime.
Q. Other than TeaPrints, what are some of your other hobbies and interests?
A. I live out in the country and have a huge organic garden. My garden is my happy place. I also love nature and enjoy hiking in the nearby Rocky Mountains with our large family. It is fascinating to see nature through the eyes of my children because they see more than I ever do.
Thank you Rosanne for all you do!
You can learn more about TeaPrints via the links below: