Total loan: $8,500
Seattle, WA, United States / Services
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A loan helped me to pivot in response to COVID-19.
I spent my childhood in a small town in California restoring a house that should have been condemned. Through hard work and, my family and community succeeded in transforming it into a bastion of warmth and togetherness. Through all the transition in my childhood, one thing remained constant: we always had a large tea cabinet, it was always full, and my family made a ritual of trying new teas together. When I moved to Seattle at 22 to experience life in a larger city, it seemed only natural to find work at the Perennial Tea Room in the historic Pike Place Market. What began as a part time gig while I pursued coursework in jewelry and printmaking quickly became the central force in my life. Over the last five years, I have become completely steeped in tea, discovering new passions for its history, chemistry, and accompanying rituals along the way. In April 2019, I put my educational pursuits on hold to purchase the Perennial Tea Room and invest all my energy in learning how to run a business. The process of restoring my childhood home, though painful at times, taught me to take pride in quality craftsmanship, whether I was building functional artifacts or meaningful relationships. I apply that lesson daily in the Perennial Tea Room to foster an environment that creates space for emotional connection between people and tea through social and architectural openness. Knowing that my purchasing decisions directly impact others, I prioritize ordering tea from family and fair trade farms to ensure that tea can be enjoyed by everyone involved in the supply chain. I’m proud to grow Seattle’s tea community by offering a nonjudgmental place for people to learn, smell and taste new things, and find their cup of tea.