She's Empowered Spotlight: Lauren Purvis, founder of Mizuba Tea Co.
Tell us a little about you!
Hi! My name is Lauren and I really, really love tea. I spend my time in Portland, OR and Santa Barbara, CA. If I’m not thinking about tea then I’m talking about food, checking out new coffee shops, and spending as much time as possible outdoors with my husband, Dan.
What do you do for work? Tell us about your professional journey.
I found a deep passion for tea at the age of 11 and never looked back. I don’t remember the exact moment I said “yes” to starting my own business and I wasn’t planning on running one at all – shoutout to my fellow English and Journalism majors. But in 2013 I visited a friend living in Japan and happened to connect with a matcha producer in Uji, which is the most highly regarded region for growing matcha. I fell in love with the world of Japanese tea and my vocation became supporting its heritage and the farmers that make it. We focus on Uji Matcha and some lesser-known styles of gorgeous Japanese loose-leaf teas (get excited about kamairicha and kyôbancha!). Mizuba has been my greatest gift. We can drink some the best tea in the world, but I never enjoy it more than when I share it with others.
How do you stay motivated?
The relationships I make by sharing tea with people really motivates me and it’s what I most enjoy. When I see others getting excited about tea it helps me remember why I continue to steward the business side of things, and it helps me get through the minutiae of the day to day.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in starting a business?
It sounds simple but be a phone person. A lot of folks avoid the phone and stick to e-mail but I’ve benefitted so much from simply picking up the phone to make a call and say hello. I also find taking the time to personally call builds relationships, gets answers faster, and allows for more insight when you’re actually speaking with someone.
What are your favorite ways to #spreadgood in your community?
Love this question! As Mizuba is built on relationships we’re passionate about how we can serve our community. We support a nonprofit called DollarFor. DollarFor helps eliminate medical debt for those in need and they do an amazing job.
Who is one person who inspires you and why?
I’ll have to say two people -- my parents! They are so full of joy and know how to live a balanced life.
How do you work to stay centered and practice self-care in your busy day-to-day reality?
I reflect on this question daily. Running your own company *and* being passionate about what you do means that it’s all too easy to continue to work on the endless to-do list when you truly need rest. I’m consciously making the choice to say no to “work things” after business hours. Protect your weekends! I like starting my morning with devotionals, working out, and making my own cup of tea at home before heading to the office.
What do you like to do for fun, when you aren't working?
We’re big SUP (stand up paddle board) fans and any chance to be by or on the water I’ll take it. Otherwise, you’ll find me on the tennis court or hiking with friends.
What are some of your favorite recipes with Ground Up?
99% of the time I’m eating the Mizuba matcha latte nut butter as is (which is a triumph of a recipe in and of itself). But I would say it was a pretty genius idea to use Ground Up as a spread in S’mores! We also love using the matcha nut butter in chocolate cups – check out our recipe here!