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Tiffany Mulan The "HOTTEA"

BY: JADE LEONARD

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DANTE WYNN

 

She's giving black girl magic covered in honey and serving Tea! Tiffany Mulan is the CEO and founder of PersonaliTEA, an eco-friendly customizable tea company with over 15 different herbs to choose from. 2020 is when she took the leap into entrepreneurship and has been brewing ever since.



Tiffany Mulan was born and raised in the Bronx then moved upstate. Growing up Tiffany was a regular kid who always wanted to be a part of the arts, with creative aspirations. She wrote a lot of poetry, constantly wanting to rhyme and put words together which helped her become who she is today. Her family calls her a ‘Renaissance Girl’ because she’s always doing a couple different things at once, which includes acting in her spare time.




Tiffany initially went to Mount St. Mary College to study nursing, “everyone thought I’d be great in nursing because of my mom, but it wasn’t for me”. Then she transferred to the University of Albany to major in English and minor in Communications. “January (2020) is when I started seeing a lot of black business owners on my feed”. She tried network marketing but knew it wasn't the industry for her yet wanted to do business and put something in the world that she loved.



Tiffany is UpNext because she’s a young, creative black entrepreneur who is actively following her passion and committed to success while helping others. She went against the grain and chose her own path despite what everyone thought she would do or be good at. She’s not afraid to try new things and overcome challenges to discover what’s the best for her journey.


The UpNext: Why tea?

Tiffany Mulan: “In the Caribbean household, tea is something that’s useful; we always use tea anytime you're sick. They hear one cough and they tell you “to go drink some tea”, so tea was perfect. But where to start? What would the name be? I wanted something witty. I’m a person of puns so I came up with PersonaliTea in January 2020, then left it untouched for a while. On Oct. 13, 2020, I officially launched with no plan.


The UN: What kind of prep went into the concept from January to October?

TM: After feeling sure and certain, I made the move to order the herbs, packaging, tea products, and the boxes. Saving up, budgeting and understanding how much I’ll be spending is what it took to get here.



Listen to your customers…

At first it was only DM to order on Instagram, but after a customer reached out to say they’d feel more comfortable ordering through a website, this customer made her see that this could be something bigger, and that she shouldn’t limit herself by thinking so small, then made the move to build her website.


The UN: Congratulations on being a vendor in Atlanta's Farmers Market. How was the experience and what did you take away from that experience to help you improve your business?

TM: It was a really dope experience to get out of what I was used to. I did a lot of pop-ups in Queens, The Bronx and upstate New York. Going to Atlanta I didn't know what to expect. Everything sold out, I got to see new faces, and the experience to branch out more.


I am part of a girl’s network group called Gurl2Girl, with business and brand owners. They have an Atlanta chapter and a New York chapter with different meetups, and said they had a market at the end of the month. I just so happened to have some JetBlue points saved and used them to head out there with family by my side.


The UN: What's your Why?

TM: Being able to show my creativity through anything I execute. I've always been a person of multiple lanes, variety, and diversity. I think it's important to contribute anything related to health and wellness related to the black community as well. I love for people to have fun and to have choices.


The Pinkberry of Tea…


The UN: What makes your custom tea service stand out from others? How does the customer personalize their tea bag?

TM: The ability to create. When I go shopping at Walmart or Target, the tea brands don't have storefronts where you can mix and match their tea. I think of my company as the Pinkberry of tea because you can mix flavors and choose whatever toppings you want. It's a really dope concept to add personality to your tea bags. I don't know what a person’s personality is like but I could see it through the choices of their tea. The ability to choose whatever herbs you want is what helps my business stand out.



The UN: Talk about your environmentally friendly focused brand!

TM: I aim to make sure everything is as environmentally conscious as possible, in terms of the tea bags, they are biodegradable; the boxes, and everything is organic for people to consume.


The UN: In your Carvdnstone interview, you mentioned carefully picking your herbs and wanting customers to enjoy the health benefits. Why are high antioxidants and elasticity of the arteries important things to consider, especially for the black community?


TM: They’re important because of how a lot of us are raised. Speaking from personal experience, coming from a Caribbean household everything was red meat, curry goat, oxtails, fried chicken, and baked mac and cheese, some of my favorite dishes. Those foods have a lot of oil in them and add to some of our health issues in the black community. I know for a fact that high blood pressure and diabetes runs on my dad's side. When I went to my doctor before I started Personalitea, he told me my blood pressure was going up and I needed to do something about it because “you’re young”, and I realized I needed to consume more things to better my health, emotionally, mentally and physically so I started doing my research on what herbs I could start with.




The UN: What are some of the herbs associated with health in tea?

TM: Ginger, lemon peel, hibiscus, vanilla, and lavender, good for anxiety, something I also deal with.



The UN: I noticed your blends were caffeine-free. Which blends, if any, do you recommend to help wake you up?

TM: Hibiscus and lemon peel because of the zest in them. Add sea moss, oil of oregano and turmeric too. A lot of PersonaliTea blends are peaceful or calming.



The UN: Tell us more about your new feature, the Afterpay, shop now, pay later.

TM: [Personalitea] is now an Afterpay merchant. I know how it can be paying for things that are a little pricey; I thought it would be great to incorporate an alternate payment method. You’re able to make your purchase through 4 INTEREST-FREE installments on our site!


The UN: Tell us more about Classified Detox Survival Guide.

TM: The detox survival guide is the Ebook I have for everything about what it takes to detox through natural tea. I would get a lot of questions about losing weight through tea. Customers noticed the weight they lost in addition to working out and eating healthy. A friend said she drank the Vanilla Mon (vanilla and cinnamon) flavor with her breakfast and went from 168 to 155 pounds. I don't want to promote my tea as a weight loss solution, but the education behind it, personal standpoint on my health and more.



The UN: Anything else you’d like to add?

TM: The best thing I came up with is seasonal items. Right now there's EntangleMint, peppermint, moroccan mint, and meringue mint all entangled into one, to give you that winter time flavor. Available Dec.1 to Dec. 31st, 2021. Right now there's ice tea too. There's LitTEA, a nod to Long Island iced teas, which is alcohol infused and chamomile, honeybush, and blackberry leaf based. MinTEA, which is mint based, TasTEA is hibiscus based, and LL Cool Tea which is lavender based. The PersonaliCed Teas are available every June 10th through September 22nd.


I boil them downstairs in my house, cool them, and infuse them. If they require honey or lemons, I squeeze lemon juice into them.


COMING SOON! In February, Tiffany will host a find your cup of tea, speed dating event, and there's still more to come!

 

Follow PersonaliTea on Instagram & Facebook

Visit www.personalitea.biz to customize your own tea bags today!

Shoutout to Dosso Beauty, which is how Tiffany Mulan discovered us!


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