We had the good fortune of connecting with Kamia Allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kamia, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I came up with the idea to create loose-leaf tea blends out of my sheer obsession with tea. About ten years ago I stopped drinking coffee and switched over to tea and became quickly enamored with all of the options. However, as my palette developed I noticed that it became harder and harder for me to find bagged tea that I liked. I walked into a popular store in a mall that sold loose-leaf tea and I was hooked! I started making blends for myself, friends and family first. Then people kept asking me for my blends and I quickly became the “tea lady” in my circle. People would ask me for recommedations or about which teas would be good for certain ailments and I just loved answering the questions and coming up with new ideas for blends. I dove head first into educating myself about all kinds of tea from all over the world. During the pandemic, like many people, I had lots of extra time on my hands so I decided to just go for it and make it an official business. The ideas for new products is non-stop and its been so fun sharing my passion with others.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I absolutely love what I do. I jumped into it blindly, which was a blessing in disguise. I say that because had I known the details on how intricate entreprenuership is and how many roadblocks you will inevitably run into, I would have probable delayed it again. Just because that’s my nature. I like to research, plan, then execute. Doing those things are great but it can cause you to stay in your head and never actually move on your dream. I’m proud of myself for taking a chance on myself and being confident in my product, even when I was still learning (and still am) how to make this all work. I feel like my company is unique because of the creativity and thought that goes into every product I develop. I’m never afraid to be a little different with my blends. Throughout this process I’ve really learned that sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t, but never give up on yourself. Pivot, adjust, process, take a break, but don’t give up. What I want people to know about 77+Sunny is that this business will never not operate in a loving space. The whole process of making tea and drinkng it is centered in wholeness, wellness and intentionality. I will always honor that and be mindful of it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Atlanta has so much to offer! I’m a California native but Atlanta has always felt like a second home, even before I lived here. But now that I have for a while, I’ve really found the things that I love about this city. That being said, I definitely feel like I would start with good meal. Depending on the day of the week, I might take a friend to a fun lunch with good food. One of my favorite lunches is from Le Petit Marche in Kirkwood, I’d probably head to nearby East Atlanta Village afterwards for a drink and maybe to listen to some music in one of the bars there. If it was an evening outing, Ormsby is a super fun place to hang out if you’re not into the club scene, which I am not. I think anyone visiting needs to go to Piedmont Park, which I’ve always loved and still do. If they’re into all the tourist-y things, I would oblige and take them to World of Coca Cola and the aquarium. Atlanta is so big and diverse, there’s always something to do. Any time of day, any day of the week!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without the support of my family and friends, I would probably not have the confidence to have taken the big leap and become a business woman. Especially my husband, Harold. He has always lovingly pushed me to become my full self and has always been willing to do what it takes to help me be the best I can be. He has tasted so many teas, given me feedback and been my biggest cheerleader from the very first day.