Tea Interview: Mary, Jazz Musician and Tea Entrepreneur

Happy holidays everyone! As part of my ongoing tea community interview series, this week’s is from Mary of @teaandjazz. She’s in the process of founding her own tea business and has been learning from the community along the way.

It’s pretty amazing that we are surrounded by such talented people in the tea community 🙂 Keep reading to listen to some of her amazing music and get to know her better.

1. Who is Tea and Jazz? Tell me about yourself.

I am a little country girl with city know how, from Solomons, Maryland, but currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, married for 20 years, and a preacher’s daughter. I love to entertain people and make people laugh with everyday situation humor. I’m very laid back, a lover of Jazz and Tea. I love trying all types of foods. I love to try anything twice, why twice, that way I know if I like it or hate it for sure. I am both a geek and a nerd, and proud of it. I’m also a gifted musician.

2. What inspired you to start the Tea & Jazz tea business?

I decided to start The Tea and Jazz House because there is nothing like it here in the Baltimore Area. I was looking for a good Jazz House to go to, and every time, I would run into a dead end. Then when I wanted to have decent teas, the only thing that is available is British and Victorian Tea Houses, and to be honest with you, that is not my style. I’m very laid back. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great to have a place where you could listen to Jazz and enjoy decent teas day or night? Some place where you can hear Jazz artists you never heard before, while drinking teas you have never heard of or tasted before. Some place where you can just chill, relax, read and mingle a little, or just enjoy the Jazz concert on the flat screen monitors while sipping great tea. So I decide why not, I am a Jazz musician, composer, and producer; along with owning JazzticFuso Productions, LLC, why not combine the two things I love, Tea and Jazz.

3. In the journey to starting your tea business, what advice and learnings would you share with other would-be tea entrepreneurs?

I’m going to keep this as simple as I can. But remember this; a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. If you have something you would like to do for the rest of your life, something you really love, I suggest you do it. Confucius says, do a job that you enjoy, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Listen to those who have knowledge of what it is you’re trying to do, and take notes. Follow through, and set little goals until you reach the big one. Find a Mentor/Coach/Consultant to help you get up and running. Someone who believes in what you are trying to do, they are full of knowledge and can keep you from falling short and feeling alone when you feel overwhelmed. Yes, you will feel overwhelmed. I have a wonderful Mentor/Coach/Consultant via Twitter Tea Community – MayKingTea (Thank You), plus all of my Twitter Tea Family, they can be a great help with feedback and advice as well.

4. What does tea mean to you? Describe a meaningful tea moment.

Let me just give it to you this way, when I want to calm down and relax my mind, body and soul, I drink Tea. When I want to treat myself to a healthy beverage that is all natural, I drink Tea. When I’m not feeling well, and I want to feel better, I drink Tea. So I think you can see where I’m going with this. Growing up poor introduced me to a lot meaningful things in life; simple and wholesome things, peaceful things. My mother introduced me to tea at an early age, when I had an upset tummy, and also when I had a cold. The tea she gave me settles my tummy and made my throat feel better, so I never forgot that. My mother use to say tea is good for your insides. We had more tea in the house than coffee beings my mother had hypertension, tea was better for her and now it’s better for me.

5. If there’s one tea you could recommend to everyone, what would it be and why?

Well right now, the only thing I can recommend is Wild Orange Blossom by Teavana. I’m still very new at the tea business, but I can tell you this, it is easy on the palette, full body without being heavy, and refreshing.

6. Where can we listen to your music?

The link to my music is the following: