Our women empowerment series continues with a beautiful woman who I have had the chance to meet through my journey as a blogger. Maria Uspenski is the founder of The Tea Spot and Author of Cancer Hates Tea. While speaking to Maria on the phone, I was over joyed with learning about her journey to self-love, her awesome team at The Tea Spot and the genuine person she is. Not only did I love learning about each of these items but I am overly jealous of the life she has in Colorado (I may or may not be a huge fan of that state).
So want to learn what tea, cancer and women empowerment have in common? Check out my amazing interview with Maria below.
Maria, I absolutely loved getting to know you on the phone, you have such a wonderful background and I would love for you to share with our followers more about your experiences (ie work, etc)
It’s my pleasure Lisa! Thank you for having me in your community. I’m a firm believer that self-care is non-negotiable. I find this to be especially important for women, who can sometimes get really caught up in only caring for others!
Can you share why you decided to start The Tea Spot?
It was difficult to deal with my own health issues, and even more difficult to lose both my parents (at about the same time) to illness, and to see my mother succumbing to disease. The realization that our daily food choices and routines were so critical to our health is what drove me to want to choose one simple thing which could affect people’s overall state of wellness. Not being a cancer researcher, but having a background in mechanical engineering and product development, led to me the premise on which The Tea Spot is founded. Now I devote myself to sourcing, designing and building tools which facilitate whole leaf tea, so everyone can make it a part of their everyday lifestyle.
When do you feel you started to feel you were doing your purpose in life and what advice do you have for someone trying to find it?
This one makes me laugh. I think I’ve never not thought I was doing my purpose in life, even as a toddler! I love life, and my purpose is to be the best I can be, each and every day that I’m blessed to be on this planet, whatever it is that I may be passionate about at the time. My guess is I thought my alphabet blocks were a pretty important purpose, once upon a time. I can still remember their feel and their wonderful wood smell!
How did you start to have confidence and self-love?
I think age has a lot to do with gaining confidence. Everyone says you have to have self-love before you can love anyone else, but in my case, I think I was able to hold myself in better esteem after I had my daughters – no matter at what age they were. They’re now 27 and 30 year old women! There were many moments in their development that I could sense from them a direct line to my mother and grandmother, and at those moments, I knew that I was a part of something that was pretty amazing.
As you know Self Love Beauty is all about empowering women to share their stories, can you share more about the book you wrote and how that relates to your experiences in life?
The actual experience of writing a book was super empowering for me. Before last year, I really didn’t enjoy writing, hell I didn’t even really know how to write a book yet… but I don’t mind talking, and I’m always happy to share whatever I’ve learned about tea. When the opportunity to put this into a book project came around, I felt excited, intimidated and challenged all at once! Once I signed the author contract, I had five months to get it done. At times, I’d barely get a paragraph done in a week, but at other times the words would just fly off my fingertips without even really thinking them. Revisiting and sharing what went through my head years ago when I was actively dealing with disease and making what felt like huge choices was therapeutic, to say the least. The first few times I read people my intro to the book, I couldn’t get through it without teas, because reconnecting that time and those emotions was very raw.
So a little more about The Tea Spot, I love your teas…especially the matcha and detox, what seems to be your favorite and why?
This is such a difficult question for me to answer! I’m very fickle when it comes to favorite teas. That can change for me several times in a week. These days I’m finding myself drinking fewer black teas and more green and herbal blends. The teas that I’m stocked up on (at the moment!) are our Japanese Orchid Green, 88th Night, Turmeric Tonic and Wild Chicory Joe (an herbal coffee replacement). PS: Matcha and Detox are both great choices, Lisa!
On your site I also know you give back to cancer wellness programs, why did you decide this and how could someone work with you on this?
Because I got into this business with the vision of promoting wellness through tea, we’ve incorporated a culture of giving as we grow, donating 10 percent of every sale as in?kind donations. We do this to ensure a constant commitment to actively support the cause that fuels our passion: maintaining the on?going wellness of cancer survivors and facilitating healthy habits to decrease cancer risks. Anyone should feel free to contact us (email@example.com) to learn more about how their wellness organization can be a part of our donation program!
Now onto something different, what is your favorite past time activity when you are not working?
Living in Colorado, we are graced with some of the most beautiful nature and vistas in the world! So it’s not a surprise that what I love to do is spend time outdoors – hiking, cycling, or just taking a walk, talking and connecting with someone! My brain seems to work better when I’m moving, so it’s important for me to get outside every day.
Thank you for reading!
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