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How I’m working to bring health and wellbeing to BIPOC communities

For Melisa Jones and Rianna Drake, the evolution of Tea & Me promotes living a more organic lifestyle, but also their journey as women of color in the wellness industry.

How I’m working to bring health and wellbeing to BIPOC communities

Photo by Rianna Drake and Melisa Jones

Photo by Rianna Drake and Melisa Jones

The journey of managing my health and well-being has been an eye-opener. As a young adult, I enjoyed working out, was an avid foodie, and created a routine for myself. However, at 19-years-old, I experienced one of the most challenging times when I became acutely unwell. This affected my ability to be outgoing as a young university student, impacted my mental health, and caused me to become more recluse.

I knew that I had to be more conscious of how I could be preventative in what I consumed and how I lived my life. I won't go into the details of my health, but all I will say is that I wouldn't wish what I went through upon anyone. The journey has not been perfect, but the positives outweigh the negatives. There was a shift in my priorities and how to be more conscious of my health choices. Fortunately, most of these health issues have been resolved through lifestyle changes. However, it required a complete overhaul of what food I was consuming, managing stress, and ensuring I got enough sleep.This experience allowed me to educate myself, on different ways to aid health ailments I have encountered.

It comes down to accepting that my life is mine, and I can only keep up with myself and not others. I fell in love with fitness again, and I feel better equipped to improve my health every single day. I'm still learning and continuously encountering aspects of my life where I must be more conscious of what I can do to help myself. Whether that's practicing meditation, drinking water to stay hydrated, or taking a long walk, I have found balance with my job, social life, and routine.

If the last eight months have taught society anything, it's that our health is what matters. The global pandemic has given us our time back, allowing us to rewrite old behaviours and learn new ones! I have found greater peace and become grounded in my approach to leading an intentional lifestyle. More importantly, I have rediscovered true joy connecting with my family and friends.

Health and well-being in the Black and ethnic communities can sometimes be overlooked or not understood. Hence, older generations are advocates of natural remedies or referring to what their parents or grandparents have used to support their families. After my own health experiences, I wanted to create something that would aid my community and bring all individuals together.

With this in mind, my business partner, Rianna, and I decided that we were ready to launch a business that could resonate with everyone in a welcoming, intentional, and purpose-driven way. Tea & Me is a health-conscious tea brand, born out of a love of tea between two friends. We aim to create delicious infusions that promote a healthy lifestyle while being a key part of someone's day-to-day routine. Over the last few years, loose-leaf tea has become more of a household staple, with a wide range of different blends available to consumers.

We want to become a part of the growing tea and hot beverage industry, with a fresh approach to how tea can bring people together. In many cultures, there are different rituals and attitudes towards tea. For Tea & Me, it boils down to how our tea can be part of a healthy lifestyle while growing a community.

When we launch in October, we will be bringing four signature blends to the market, with one limited edition available throughout that month. To find out more about Tea & Me, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook; or check out our website, which will be launching this Autumn.

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