Submitted by GoDaddy
KaShala Smith, the co-founder of Steeped Pearl Tea, is not just a tea enthusiast; she’s a visionary entrepreneur who turned her love for tea into a thriving business. Steeped Pearl’s origins trace back to a college dorm room, where KaShala and her co-founder Dominique Todd-Shumate, both avid tea lovers, created the concept with a shared Pinterest board.
KaShala’s entrepreneurial spark ignited during her time in the U.S. Army. Inspired by friends launching their businesses, she found the courage to transform the tea concept into a tangible business. The launch of Steeped Pearl marked the realization that a simple concept could blossom into a successful venture.
Steeped Pearl is About More Than Just Tea
According to KaShala, Steeped Pearl in concept is not just about tea. Instead, it’s an elevated, curated drinking experience. Established in 2019, the loose-leaf herbal tea brand emphasizes being chemical-free, offering a unique blend of flavors that narrate stories. KaShala passionately describes it as “tea by tea lovers for tea lovers,” catering to a versatile tea community. And each blend weaves personal and familial stories into the fabric of Steeped Pearl.
For example, Elder Elixir, a customer favorite blend recently featured in GoDaddy’s 2023 Gift Guide, reimagines one of KaShala’s childhood memories. As a little girl, KaShala’s nightly ritual incorporated drinking a cup of tea made by her father to help ward off illness. Crafted with meticulous detail, KaShala describes today’s Elder Elixir as “a generational cup of healing from my father.” The blend infuses elderflower, dandelion root, lemon balm, eucalyptus, and fresh ground ginger.
Steeped Pearl’s Evolution: Challenges Turned Triumphs
Reflecting on her journey, KaShala acknowledges the initial challenge of identifying their target audience and selecting the right events to participate at. The shift toward strategic event choices, such as art shows and crafting events, demonstrated a profound understanding of retail goals – meeting customers where they are and when they want.
Participating in the Empower by GoDaddy program was a pivotal moment for Steeped Pearl. Launched in 2017, Empower by GoDaddy is a global social impact program equipping entrepreneurs in underserved communities with training, tools and peer networks to accelerate their journeys.
KaShala, a graduate of the program that operated in partnership with The Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) of Ohio, acknowledges the invaluable support received through her participation. Outside of networking, Empower by GoDaddy offered KaShala tailored business training, investment insights and a launchpad for Steeped Pearl’s website.
The GoDaddy Point of Sale (POS) system proved transformative, catapulting Steeped Pearl into streamlined inventory management and cashless transactions. Empower by GoDaddy enabled KaShala and Dominique to strategically plan their business, enhancing both efficiency and customer experience.
Generational Wealth and the Entrepreneurial Spirit
KaShala’s journey aligns with the broader trend of Black women being the fastest-growing population of microbusiness owners in the United States, which GoDaddy’s Venture Forward research initiative captures in its latest reports. She views entrepreneurship as a pathway to accumulating generational wealth, providing a more substantial foundation for future generations.
Steeping Success with Gratitude
Reflecting on KaShala’s entrepreneurial journey, one thing is clear – Steeped Pearl is more than a tea brand; it’s a labor of love, a commitment to community, and a vision for the future. KaShala’s gratitude for the Empower by GoDaddy program echoes the mutual appreciation between a business and the support systems that propel it forward.
With the start of a new year, Steeped Pearl’s journey is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that GoDaddy aims to foster. 2024 is the perfect time to launch a new business idea. GoDaddy encourages budding entrepreneurs to visit godaddy.com/resources for tips on getting started.
Empower by GoDaddy Spotlight Series: By partnering with diverse local nonprofits and community organizations around the world, Empower by GoDaddy aims to reach those who haven’t otherwise had access by offering skills training, resources, and mentoring to help accelerate their business journeys. This article is part of the Empower by GoDaddy spotlight series that shines a light on the individuals who make this unique initiative possible.
GoDaddy is empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools to succeed online. GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers, sell their products and services, and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. To learn more about the company, visit www.GoDaddy.com.
GoDaddy focuses on making opportunity more inclusive for all in the communities where we work, live and play across the globe. We rally behind inclusive entrepreneurship and other critical local needs that empower people to succeed through philanthropic and in-kind donations, volunteerism, strategic partnerships and advocacy.
Empower by GoDaddy is GoDaddy's global community and philanthropic program equipping entrepreneurs in underserved communities with training, tools and peer networks to accelerate their journeys. GoDaddy rallies behind entrepreneurs in underserved communities by building their confidence and skills to strengthen their small business’ digital presence. Entrepreneurs engage in customized learning experiences, work 1-1 with GoDaddy volunteer coaches and local mentors, and gain access to wrap-around services, in-kind products and networks boosting their small businesses success.
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