Elen RamosFounder, Grateatude
SOUL STORYThe Making of Grateatude Tea An interview with Founder, Elen Ramos.
Q: Tell us about your journey. What did you do before launching your tea brand, GRATEATUDE?
This amazing journey has come full circle. GRATEATUDE is the culmination of many years of experience in Corporate, Floral Design and Interior Design. Fifteen successful years of corporate life provided foundation and structure, but towards the end, caused frustration and unhappiness. Those dark days lead to deep soul-searching, where I discovered my gift and passion in design and art. It felt like freedom! Within months, I became a flower shop owner, with zero business experience and zero floral design experience!
Q: Wow! What was that like?
It took lots of hard work and commitment! The floral business was the beginning of a new, exciting journey, and was a great success, with the help of many people. It gave me joy, sense of fulfilment and contribution to be doing what I love each and every day. My wish was for everyone to do what they love to experience the same. One big aha was anything can be accomplished with passion, commitment and willingness to learn.
Q:How long did you pursue the flower design shop?
For years, we were the “go to” florist in our community, supporting the local schools, churches, and businesses. After ten years, it was time to sell the business. This gave way to pursue my number one passion, Interior Design. It’s now been over ten years since Interior Design Solutions was created to do commercial and residential design projects. It has been a huge success and again gave a deeper sense of fulfillment.
Q: What do you love about Interior Design? How does design inform your mission with GRATEATUDE?
Life has been so fulfilling and work doesn’t feel like work. In doing interior design, I found a higher mission: to make people feel better in their environment. I figured, if people feel good, they’re less grumpy and are kinder to others. Imagine the ripple it creates! It also feels rewarding to indirectly help the clients, mostly business owners and professionals, financially, professionally, and personally through good design. Knowledge of design comes in handy in products as well, such as tea.
The flower shop opened the opportunity to touch people’s lives, while interior design expands the reach to impact more people. Now, I’ve been equipped to extend that reach even bigger through GRATEATUDE, with a vision larger than me.
Q: What was your core motivation to found GRATEATUDE?
GREATEATUDE sprouted from a seed planted by Dad at an early age. Every day he brought home fragrant jasmine garlands we called sampaguita. He would buy from every street child vendor (age six to nine) to help them put food on the table. My siblings and I were always reminded how blessed we were as we drove through the streets of Manila, seeing kids our age selling sampaguita to make a living. Dad instilled in us the spirit and joy of giving to express deep gratitude for all our blessings.
Q: Sounds like you and your father are creating a legacy?
Yes. Early on, I embraced this, quietly giving in my own way – time, resources, talent, spirit, wanting to spread kindness, encouragement, joy, and hope in a humble way, as I saw in this great man I admired and loved so much. I recognized at a young age that Dad and I were kindred spirits, engaging in deep conversations about life’s purpose. I was 15 when he was called home at a young age of 43. It was a difficult time for all of us. Later in life, everything made sense. My vivid dreams upon his passing, the gifts, talents, skills, and life experiences I’ve been blessed with point to the WAY OF GRATITUDE, expressed in the WAY OF TEA.
Q: How does it all tie together?
I feel that my life is like sampaguita, with each flower representing the skills, knowledge, experience I needed to go through to prepare me for this big vision. With strong background in floral design, interior design, and knowledge and love of tea, GRATEATUDE was created, offering premium quality tea, teaware, and enhanced tea experience. And most importantly, the message of gratitude, generosity, and kindness.
Q: Why tea?Tea makes the perfect vehicle to spread the message, as it brings with it four important virtues: HARMONY, RESPECT, PURITY and TRANQUILITY, leading to Enlightenment. My familiarity with flowers and herbs as a florist also influenced my early decision, as well as the known health benefits of tea. I fell more and more in love with tea as I got to know more during many years of studying through tea conventions, seminars, tea mastery and other courses, and participating in tea tours to the major tea growers in the world. It is now time to share GRATEATUDE with the world.
It is our mission to put GRATEATUDE tea in every home and every heart. Our wish is for people to experience true happiness through simple joy as sipping tea, giving a gift of tea, celebrating with tea. As the cup gets full, so does the heart. GRATEATUDE tea is a reminder to be grateful always no matter what.
Q: What is GRATEATUDE’s biggest message?
GRATEATUDE’s biggest message is its vision: Cup overflowing onto a ripple of kindness.
The ripple begins with the SELF, to the COMMUNITY, to the WORLD. The practice of tea nourishes the SELF, in the form of ritual, meditation, self-care, yoga, retreat, and other personal wellness modalities. As awareness grows, the sense of Gratitude is heightened, giving way to a sense of COMMUNITY. Generosity then comes into play, giving time, talent, resources, participating in events that transform lives, and being of service to others. The ripple becomes complete when the WORLD practices Kindness through missions, non-profits, foundations, contribution, and impact. All of which, GRATEATUDE tea will be a part of.
Q: How do you envision giving back to the global community through GRATEATUDE?
Like sampaguita, this journey has come full circle, honoring Dad who planted the seed of gratitude, generosity, and kindness. His memory lives on through GRATEATUDE’s contribution of ten percent of its profit to support causes serving children in need, and livelihood programs, bringing hope and spreading kindness for a better world.
Share with us your experiences with Grateatude tea! We love to hear from our community, share wisdom, and collaborate. Say hello, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on social media for more musings and tea notes www.instagram.com/grateatudetea | www.grateatude.com #alwaysgrateful