A Purposeful Journey
I often get the question, “Why did you start Purpose Tea?” It’s a good question and one that is easily answered in my mind but maybe not so obvious to others. Why in the world would I leave the security of a wonderful career and venture into the unknown?
The first reason is gratitude. I am thankful for the opportunities afforded to me and am determined to ensure others have access to opportunity as well. When we do, everyone benefits. It’s as simple as that. We are a product of our experiences and my family’s experience starting a new life in America after fleeing communist Viet Nam in the 1970s was a defining moment that shaped who I am today. With opportunity and good old fashioned hard work, my family and I were able to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. Every day, I was reminded that anyone can improve their life with hard work and dedication if they are given the opportunity and tools to make that possible.
I founded Purpose Tea last year with a vision to do just that: We aim to lift people, especially women tea workers, out of poverty by empowering them with training, education and access to land.
Have you heard the phrase, “it takes a village?” Well, my second reason for starting Purpose Tea is anchored in this concept: that we are all in it together. I believe that is true about achieving any positive change in the world, a strong belief in how all of us have a responsibility to drive change even in the smallest of ways. I believe that for-profit businesses should and can focus on eradicating poverty by employing folks at home and/or ensuring fair and dignified practices with partners in their supply chain. At Purpose Tea, I try to instill a triple bottom line approach to our business: people, planet and profits. I believe we can make money without sacrificing doing what’s right.
Behind every bottle of our purple tea, there is a female tea picker whose life is changing in remarkable ways she probably couldn’t have imagined.
In a world where women perform 66 percent of the world’s work but earn just 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property, these data points inspire me to make a difference in the lives of these women and subsequently their families, communities and the world. When women are empowered, there is a ripple of positive change.
Thanks for joining us on this journey and I am grateful that you and I can do something remarkable together, one tea bottle at a time.
In closing, I'd like to leave you with this quote from leading philanthropist and business leader, Melinda Gates. I have long admired her commitment to empowering women and girls around the world, and I continue to gain inspiration from her. She recently sat down with LinkedIn's Caroline Fairchild to discuss the Gates Foundation dedication to empowering women.
"I see the difference that empowered women make all over the world. If they have their voice, if they can make a decision, if they are empowered - even a little bit - economically, they will lift up their families. And once they lift up their family, guess what, all those families together lift up a community. And guess what, a community lifts up a nation." - Melinda Gates, February 2018
All the best,
Purpose Tea Founder & CEO