Get to know Theann, co-founder of Fusion Teas!
“My favorite part of the day is when customers come in looking for something specific and then sharing in their excitement when we have just what they want.”– Theann Egbert
Husband-wife team Thomas and Theann Egbert founded Fusion Teas back in 2010. Since then, Fusion Teas has grown into a flourishing online and retail business. Thomas and Theann’s passion for high quality tea and the tea lifestyle infuses each of the 130 teas they offer.
We sat down with Theann to learn a little more about where she gets her drive from, and about her journey with Fusion Teas:
Why did you decide to start Fusion Teas?
When Thomas and I met almost 20 years ago we were both working at a 24-hour diner. Over the next 10 years we fell in love, got married, had a fur baby, bought a house and then started a family of our own. We did this all while continuing to work at restaurants, with a certain level of stress and anxiety that comes with the restaurant business. This can start to take a toll on many people and we were surely part of that. We would come home frustrated, and realized, with our second baby arriving, we needed a change.
Tea was that change for us. Tea was something that we both loved, it calmed us and brought us closer together. Thomas would stop and pick up tea for me while I was working. It was his way of showing me he was thinking about me. In the morning before we headed off to work, I would make a cup of tea for him or he would make one for me. It was a great way to start off our day. With the fast pace of life it’s easy to forget to do kind things for those we love. The simple gesture of making a cup of tea was all I needed from him to let me know he cared.
Fusion Teas was started as a way to bring Thomas and I closer together while enjoying something we truly loved. I knew I wanted to be able to provide that experience for others.
Who has inspired you along the way?
Thomas has been my inspiration! And my family, has been my motivation. Thomas is the most diligent, self-motivated, hard working person I know. His ability to educate himself, learn the ins and outs of the online business world with little to no help amazes me. He does not let anything stop him from gaining success and building our brand. Through emotional exhaustion, physical pain, and mental defeats he still manages to wake up every day fresh, go to the office and work harder to achieve our goal.
What’s your favorite part of the business?
I am a giver by nature and take great joy and pride in helping others. Naturally, this carries into my work life. My favorite part of the day is when customers come in looking for something specific and then sharing their excitement when we have just what they want. It is also great when I am able to introduce a new tea that will quickly become their favorite.
What has been one of the biggest challenges?
My challenges have changed over the years. When we were in our start-up phase I was working 50+ hours a week at a corporate job, then went home and worked with Thomas to execute festivals and develop and source our tea selection, while tending to the needs of our two little kids not yet in school.
As time went on and our third child came, my challenge became just as much emotional as it was physical. I was exhausted all the time yet never felt like I was contributing enough to build our brand. Thomas was forced to carry the load until I could finally leave my corporate job and focus on Fusion Teas and our family.
Now, I find the biggest challenge is how to grow our small business into something bigger. As I mentioned, Thomas is a self-learner and I, on the other hand, do my best work after first seeing and experiencing successes and failures. When working independently on our own business, clear direction can be a bit, well, not so clear.
What would you say makes Fusion Teas unique?
Quality, variety and customer service. In the beginning, our journey focused on herbal blends as we saw that area lacking in variety in the online community. As our understanding of the traditional Green, White, Black and Oolong teas and its benefits grew, and we added them to our offerings.
We take great care in all we do, from sourcing to shipping. We have promised every package that leaves our warehouse does so carefully packed, inspected and with the best presentation for our customers.
Do you have a daily tea ritual?
I have my first cup before I take my kids to school in the morning. Tea at the office is a must. When I get to the office, I start up my computer and head straight for my kettle and get the water rolling. Each day lends the opportunity for all 130+ of our teas to be selected and enjoyed.
And lastly, what are your favorite teas?
Here are my top 10 (because it would be ridiculously impossible to narrow it down to just one!):
- Chocolate Dipped Raspberry Black tea
- Tulsi Chai Black tea
- Roasted Cocoa Yerba Mate
- Strawberry Ginger Herbal Tea
- Apple Mango Hibiscus
- Exotic Pomegranate White Tea
- Strawberry Melon Green
- Organic Genmaicha Green
- Orange Grapefruit Herbal Tea
- Monkey Picked Oolong
To find out the other half of the story, read our interview with Theann’s husband and Fusion Teas co-founder, Thomas!