At the age of 19, I decided to leave my life in Florida and join the Israeli Defense Forces. At this point in my life, I was working at a postcard company and knew that I didn’t want to keep doing that forever. I was looking for something that gave me more purpose.
I had no idea what that would be, so I decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone and join the army! I was selected to be a Combat Fitness Instructor for Artillery soldiers and I loved every minute of it! Although I was in the wellness field in the army, my inner gut health was not on the same page. I suffered from terrible digestive issues, leaving me bloated, fatigued and uncomfortable most of the time.
I wanted to treat my digestive issues naturally, and not with conventional medicine. I started reading books about herbalism, gut health and decided that I wanted to see if it worked for me personally! So I started Teami Blends, with our first product being our 30 day detox program which helps naturally support a healthy digestion by drinking 2 specialty blends, one in the morning and one at night before bed. The natural cleanse is simple to do and can be combined into anyone’s daily routine!
We are 100% bootstrapped! My partner and I had about $5,000 in our savings and we used it to make the first round of teas that we formulated.
Sometimes we get customers that email us or DM us on Instagram that just ask for the products for free, which I always thought was so funny! Would you go to a whole foods and ask the employees there if you could have something off the shelf for free? Probably not!
How did you get your first three sales?
We spent about 4 months creating our website, which wasn’t that pretty at the time. But we got it up and running. I started posting about our different tea blends on Instagram and that is how the first 3 sales came in! My bedroom was my office/fulfillment center. I would pack and ship every single order myself in the beginning!
Do you feel being a young founder has helped you?
I think that being young myself, I was able to allow other young employees to have the opportunity to prove themselves. Millennials can feel that their age is working against them because they don’t have enough experience or that their bosses don’t think they have what it takes. I give everyone that works at Teami the same opportunity to prove themselves, take on more responsibility and be in key roles!
Who is your target demographic?
Women that are looking for natural solutions to their wellness and skincare routines. We want to help people that are looking for a CHANGE in their lives! Our customers, which we call our “Teami Communitea” want to be part of a group of people all toward self-betterment through using natural products!
Where did you meet your cofounder/founding team?
We actually met at a random get together in Miami! I had never met him prior to that but we got to chatting and saw we had a lot in common! He called me a month later and that is how we started meeting up and creating the concept for Teami!
Any tips for finding first employees?
I would recommend posting on your social media pages! Your friends might know someone who would be perfect for you! All the regular channels of websites like Indeed.com, etc. are great as well.
I would ensure that you truly vibe with the people that you hire, since you are going to spend 60% of your day with them!
What sells best?
We have a few best-sellers right now! Our Detox Starter Pack, Butterfly Beauty Elixir, Green Tea Detox Mask, Hibiscus Vit-C Serum and Skincare Fridge.
Did you run any companies prior?
Nope! First time for me, I started Teami when I was 23 years old!
What were your family and friends' first thoughts on your company?
Honestly, I only told my CLOSE friends and my mother. I did not want to get anyone’s negative feedback to cloud my judgement. I wanted to see if I could make it work and if it did, then friends and family would see my success for themselves.
What motivates you when things go wrong? What is the end goal?
Things go wrong every single day! I’ve made more mistakes than you can imagine. It’s wild how much business owners have to deal with - employee issues, marketing issues, financing issues and so much more. What I keep in the forefront of my mind is that it is normal to mess up… that is how we learn.
The end goal is to have Teami products being distributed through great retailers and become a true household name for health and wellness.
What is stopping you being 3x the size you are now?
Honestly, I think we just need to learn more about the digital marketplace right now in order to reach more customers online. There is a lot of untapped potential because we do not know each market inside and out. So we either have to test and learn new platforms or hire professionals who can help us get to the next level.
How do you protect yourself from competition?
By committing to our core values. We make products that are infused with natural teas and that has a lot to do with our messaging. Sticking to our core values is what differentiates us from the rest.
What are the top apps your business could not run without?
Trello: We use this for planning our email marketing promotional calendar. It’s a free tool and is great collaborating with a team!
Asana: This is a task management tool, similar to slack or basecamp, that we use to assign tasks that need to get completed between the team. We couldn’t live without this.
Shopify: This platform really has so many amazing features and plug-ins that make our website function faster and better. We had a custom built site before which really limited what we were able to do.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
I see our brand expanding into more skincare and wellness products. We see that our customers really love it when we expand our line so focusing on that is very important to us.
Aside from product development, I see our brand in more major retailers, as well as having a bigger online presence in order to reach more customers and make them part of our Teami Communitea!
Currently I am working on more skincare products for our clean beauty line- a green tea cleanser and moisturizer to be exact!
Would you ever sell?
I think that if there was a good fit with a buyer, I would consider selling. I definitely want to grow the business to greater heights before I consider selling, however, I think that getting acquired by a bigger brand could be great in the future!
You can find me on Instagram here: @adiarezzini and the Teami Blends page: @teamiblends