How We Started Rich & Pour During the Pandemic

Shirley and I first started hanging out in the fall of 2020, and right after Thanksgiving, I tested positive for Covid-19 right before a work trip. Shirley offered to quarantine with me and we spend basically every day together. During the process, we got to know each other a lot more and realized we both love tea! Shirley grew up drinking tea and was particularly drawn to teas with health and better skin benefits. I preferred bold flavored tea that helped me get over my addiction to soda and other sugary drinks. One time, Shirley made me a tea blend that she created and I was really impressed at how good it was! I jokingly said that she should trademark that blend. Then thought came to my head and I asked Shirley, "why don't we just start a tea company?" For me, it's been my dream to start a tea company and source my favorite tea blends from all over the world. Shirley also was headed to business school. I encouraged her to start getting real-life experience running a business through doing the tea company. She said yes and we were on our way! 

So we started finding suppliers and tasting different tea samples. It was exciting curating so many tea blends, discovering all the possibilities that tea has to offer. Our biggest challenge was narrowing down hundreds of tea blends to three. We finally settled on our first three blends - Strawberry Green, Vanilla Black Cream, and Peach Rooibos. We wanted to have a green tea, a black tea, and an herbal tea to start with, and hopefully expand to other types in the near future.

rich and pour strawberry green tea

We built everything from the ground up. We learned how to set up an e-commerce site on Shopify, packaging and shipping logistics, and everything else (small and big surprises) that come with running a business. It was helpful that we already have a social media and content creation background, so we were able to create content naturally. Shirley's also amazing with finances, logistics, and sourcing. We just love to be able to complement each other in so many ways.

rich and pour tea founder shirley ye

It has been a wonderful start of our journey. We learned so much and continue to grow. We would like to thank our earliest supporters as well, who gave us feedback and/or contributed to our first sales ever. We are so excited to continue to share the next chapters in our journey.

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