The Tease Tea Founders Fund Finalists Are Making Waves, And Here’s How


Author Aly Dort / Category Lifestyle / Published: August 2019

We’ve covered some of the amazing ways in which Tease Tea is empowering and giving back through our ChariTea program. Today, I want to dive deeper into one of our ChariTea initiatives, The Tease Tea Founders Fund, and explore how our five finalists are giving back through their work.

One of the incredible things about empowerment is that it’s a gift that continues giving. Instead of gifting the fruit, empowerment is the seed that grows and eventually feeds many. A true metaphor for community.

It reminds me of the quote; “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” - Lao-Tzu

These women and their teams are all passionate, hard working individuals who are dedicated to making an impact not only within their community, but beyond.

Blume 

Beautiful latte blends with simple- but mighty- ingredients

From the business name to the branding to the packaging, it’s clear that Karen Danudjaja and Ella Dalling know exactly what we Millenials want. Their collection of latte blends are simple, versatile and functional, appealing to well... pretty much all of us. Not only do they make it very easy for us to fix up a beautiful, functional latte blend, but you can use their blends for baking, in smoothies, oats, and more.

The two powerhouse entrepreneurs say they want Blume to support a lifestyle that is “open, vibrant and lived fully”, and having easy to use, nutritious products like Blume helps empower us to do just that.

Scoria World 

Playfulness, Imagination, Story Telling

These three simple, yet powerful, principles embody the work that Yara Komal is doing with Scoria, and it’s bound to resonate with many of you.

After falling into a Depression, Yara delved deep into researching the ways in which children’s play, thinking and creativity could help promote wellness and soon discovered a drastic improvement in her well-being.

Yara is now on a mission to inspire us all to reconnect with the “playful, creative & imaginative qualities we had [as] children.”

A quick peek at her website will have you fawning over beautifully illustrated, cork yoga mats and accessories, but look a little closer, and you’ll notice the playful touches dusted around Scoria’s website and social media accounts. While practicing yoga can certainly feel inaccessible and anxiety-provoking, Yara has managed to make it feel approachable and fun, without the pressure to practice a particular way. They even carry a play-mat version for kids!

Beyond yoga, Scoria has partnered with Feeding Children Everywhere, a Non-Profit organization providing plant-based, sustainable meals to children in need. Every purchase of a yoga mat donates 10 meals to the organization.

All around, embracing playfulness and creating is something I think all of us should be leaning into, and Yara and her team provide such a great reminder that being silly and playful can be an important tool for self care.

Indig Inc 

Heather Abbey is creating space for Indigenous artisans and small business owners with her online marketplace, Indig Inc. Heather is an award-winning Cree entrepreneur from Little Pine First Nation who has been making waves in the world of entrepreneurship and small businesses.

Now, she is passing the torch and carving paths for other Indigenous entrepreneurs to follow suit and find their own success.

Take a peek at Indig Inc’s instagram, and you’ll relish in the vibrancy and culture of traditional indigenous craft. The celebratory nature of Heather’s platform is such an empowering one, demonstrating the need for Indigenous-lead small businesses while raising awareness for the barriers that indigenous women face within their entrepreneurial journeys.

As an ally, Indig Inc provides a dedicated platform to learn more about businesses lead by Indigenous entrepreneurs and celebrate the incredible and intricate work of the Indigenous arts- which are some of the most detailed, incredible works of art I’ve seen!

Be sure to check out their Instagram account to stay up-to-date on how you can best support these amazing artisans!

Backcountry Wok

What began as a week eating bland, plastic-wrapped backpacking meals begged the question “why are we contributing to plastic waste while we’re outdoors appreciating nature?”. A powerful reflection I think many of us can relate to.

From there, Melanie Ang, Founder of Backcountry Wok, began a journey to completely re-think backpacking meals all-together. She and her incredible team were determined to integrate three values into their meals:

(1) Eco-Friendly,
(2) Multi-cultural and
(3) Locally Sourced.

Not only were dehydrated meals on the market wrapped in layers of wasteful materials like plastic and aluminum foil, but they didn’t reflect the diversity of individuals exploring the outdoors. This small business with a mighty mission is tackling all of this head-on.

Not only have they introduced three dehydrated Asian meals to date, but they’re vegan, too, appealing to a wider demographic. Their packaging is 100% compostable, setting the stage for others to follow suit and showing that it is, in fact, possible.

Sourcing their ingredients locally also means supporting their community and preventing food waste by using food that may otherwise be discarded.

 

Codezilla Kids 

“Kids should learn how to code [along] with the alphabet!”

When I think of real, powerful change, I think of those who occupy the younger generations, and I feel an important responsibility to give them the tools they need to make a difference.

Sherri Allian and her incredible powerhouse of a team are making amazing waves in youth education by teaching STEM and coding skills to children as young as 4 years old! The fun and educational programming Codezilla provides encompass a plethora of age groups and teach these often-intimidating skills in an empowering and approachable way.

They host coding parties, camps, after school programs and even STEM nights, and are working hard to make learning imperative skills like coding as accessible as possible. Currently, they’re offering subsidized spots within their programming and teach their programs in elementary and middle schools all across the Greater Toronto Area.

As our world becomes increasingly tech-centred, creating accessible programs in which children- and especially young girls- can learn STEM skills is important for their success.

Consistently inspired by her two young daughters, it’s evident that the innovation and approachability of Codezilla’s initiatives are far-reaching, and will continue to grow across Canada.

Aly Dort is a freelance illustrator and stationery designer living in Halifax, N.S. She is passionate about mental health, social sustainability and empowering those around her.


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