Oakville’s Tracie Michaud is providing liquid therapy to the local community and beyond.
Tracie was working in the corporate world for 30 years, leading teams in the financial services industry, before she decided to make her quality of life a priority and pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
“Before Tea with Tracie, I spent 30 years in senior positions within the financial services industry, leading sales teams across Canada. I’d been living a very stressed-out and overwhelmed life in the corporate world and for years it had been taking a significant toll on my emotional, physical and mental health,” said Tracie. “So I was craving more calm and simplicity in my life, but it always seemed out of reach because I was so busy with work, travel, kids and all their activities.”
Reflecting on those simple joys in life that provided her with a feeling of comfort and calm, tea was always the first thing that came to mind.
“I’ve been a lifelong tea drinker (never had a cup of coffee!), and drinking tea has always been my liquid therapy. “Tea breaks” were the calm and relaxing part of my day that gave me the stress relief I needed,” said Tracie. “That was the initial vision for starting my business. I wanted to share that same feeling with other stressed out and overwhelmed women. I’d always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so I starting designing the life I wanted to live, and everything just seemed to fall into place to create Tea with Tracie!”
So with that realization, Tracie set out to become a certified tea sommelier and turn that simple joy into a dream career.
“One of the first things I did was become a certified tea sommelier through the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. I wanted to be a tea expert so I could learn how to help other women find liquid therapy in their teacup.”
By 2017, Tracie officially launched Tea with Tracie and began sharing her luxury liquid therapy with the local community and beyond, providing the perfect tea for every craving, mood and festivity (hint: the holiday season!).
What do you enjoy most about being a small business owner?
I absolutely love the freedom to make my own decisions, and try whatever I want within my business! I love being creative with new ideas, trying new things to see if they work, and then pivoting if they don’t. And as we’ve grown quickly, I’ve been able to easily shift priorities to make sure the business continues to make sense for our family. I also love being able to give back to causes within our local community that are near and dear to my heart, like my Think Pink fundraiser.
Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you along your journey?
I’m blessed to have a very supportive family. My parents, kids and husband are my biggest cheerleaders, and they’ve encouraged me every step of the way to follow my dreams. It takes a village to raise a family (and start a small business!), and I couldn’t have done this without the help and sacrifice of my kids, husband and parents.
Next to me, my husband Mark plays the biggest role within Tea with Tracie as he’s actively involved in the day-to-day decisions and operations. Mark, my dad (Bill), and son (David), also manage our local deliveries each day, and shipments across Canada and the US. Our daughter Faith also helps me out a lot so I really appreciate everything she does for me, especially keeping my tea cup filled throughout the day. And my Mom, Carolyn, is my constant voice of reason so I’m always running ideas by her to see what she thinks!!
What’s some great feedback you’ve received from happy customers?
We’re known for our great tasting tea and personalized customer service. I think in a world where people are used to ordering online from faceless companies, customers are always shocked when I email them to say thanks, or respond to a question directly. My favourite feedback is always individual notes I receive when I’ve been able to help someone find a tea that fits what they were looking for. Often it’s because they can’t sleep, or they’re feeling stressed and anxious, and they need some personal recommendations. I love being able to assist when people are seeking comfort in their cup.
What are your most popular teas? What are your personal favourites and why?
Our most popular teas are:
My personal favourite is Morning Hustle, as that’s the one I drink the most during the day. I always mix it up in the afternoon with Beauty & Brains and different naturally flavoured blends like Velvet Earl, and I stick to naturally caffeine-free herbal blends after dinner, so it won’t impact my sleep.
I also love doing my Tea Appreciation workshops, and helping people understand how to purchase, prepare and enjoy a great cup of tea!
What’s been your biggest Tea with Tracie accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment has been starting my business at the young age of 49, and growing it organically to where it is today. During the past three years, we’ve built an incredible Steeping BeauTEA community, and have the most loyal and supportive customers you could imagine. I’m really proud of how hard we’ve worked, and how much I’ve had to learn and grow as an entrepreneur. I’ve never worked harder, but love every single minute of it.
Future plans for Tea with Tracie?
Our priority is to continue growing locally, while expanding our brand throughout Canada. I also recently launched a Perpetual Daily Tea Calendar, celebrating tea, women & self-love. It’s filled with tea quotes, funny sayings, info and inspiration. I’m very proud of having it Made in Canada, and supporting 3 other local businesses in the process.