We had the good fortune of connecting with Talesha Savage and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Talesha, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I remember when I was living the dream I had dreamt since I was a little nine-year-old girl. I was career-focused, educated, and a super mom in the truest way. I attended all my eldest son’s games, activities, and paused to care for his feelings. I was definitely “a mom of the year” type of mom. LOL.
But then, something happened one day as I was preparing my kids’ favorite breakfast: oatmeal with bananas, cinnamon, and dried cranberries. I started to slowly realize that I was stuck in a dream that I thought I wanted to be a part of, but the main character was missing. ME. This slow realization caused a panic attack with uncontrollable tears. But in true “mother-fashion” I did not want to alarm my family so I just forced myself to sit quietly on the bathroom floor until I was able to calm myself and it passed.
After several weeks of reflecting, I realized, I wanted someone to notice and acknowledge the amount of unrealistic pressure mothers are placed under. We are expected to be all things for all people (especially our little ones) without much attention to ourselves. So the minutes I sat on my bathroom floor were the beginning stages of me grieving the loss of the idea of what the “American mother” was “supposed” to do and be like.
And so, I decided to merge my passion for holding space for people and facilitating personal growth with my love of tea to create Mothering Tea, the wellness-focused loose leaf tea company that helps moms replenish themselves with empowering tea rituals that help aid in discarding things like mom guilt so we can all have a little more calm and happiness with the people that matter most.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a former educator who has witnessed countless moms grind for their kids, jobs, relationships, and all the things, I have seen firsthand how much moms give. Dads give a lot too. I was raised by a single dad after my mom died of cancer. I am drawn to moms because I am her. She is me. Early in my career, I was very focused on climbing the educational ladder (so to speak) and wanted to help change the trajectory of a community. At every school I worked I got closer and closer to achieving that goal full scale/school-wide. In my last school, we were able to do just that for the entire building. It was one of the most rewarding experiencing to witness sheer dedication and commitment from an entire school community to go from a failing school to one of the best (by our measures and the Georgia Department of Education).
But with all of that hard work, there was an equal amount of exhaustion that I did not even realize I was carrying. It is this exhaustion coupled with me doing all the things to be the best mom imaginable, that caused me to realize I had left myself sitting on the park bench alone.
This realization caused me to reshape my mindset, focus on my overall wellness, and reconnect with my love of tea.
I had been using tea medicinally for years but had started to not drink tea with the intention of resetting or healing. I was simply consuming it because it was just routine (I don’t enjoy coffee unless it is full of sugar and milk). My life had become so routine. So, I understand where mothers are. I understand the desire to be present for our families and loved ones. I understand the desire for the grind and the need to suppress our feelings and desires because, for many of us, it is just easier to go along to get along.
Making shifts to accommodate our needs and desires takes a lot of courage, sacrifice, and time. That is why I enjoy holding space for moms to share what they are experiencing because we are all in different places and find inspiration in our stories.
Along the way, I am continuously learning that making small commitments, shifting our perspective, and reconnecting with the parts of us we left sitting idly are the missing links to the happiness we desire. I truly believe that the more we share our journey as mothers, the more we connect and support one another.
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?
Girl, we would chat for hours, enjoy lots of rest and relaxation because we are super busy professionals who need moments…well days to recoup. After enjoying a day or so of doing nothing but connecting and resting, we would head out to enjoy the city with a tour, being sure to catch a few good eats and drinks at Ponce City Market (Bar Vegan specifically). At least one of our days would be spent enjoying Piedmont Park with charcuterie from The Bougie Grazer or Atlanta Catering Designs and of course tea from Mothering Tea.
I would leave at least two days to explore based on places that we rode past or saw that seemed interesting. I love a little wonder in my life.
I also love a good bike ride. So, we would also explore the city even more on two wheels being sure to ride the Beltline.
We would end our week-long trip with more rest and relaxation before going back to our busy lives. As you can tell, I am all about slowing down and chatting because connection is key.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well, there are so many that really inspire me and I love a good book, so this is definitely a hard question. For starters, I have to say I inspire myself. I am always setting a goal and seeing it to completion. So, I am like Snoop, “I’d like to thank me for believing in me…” and pushing past the doubts and fears to create something that truly inspires other moms like me to pause and shift their mindset. My dad was the first entrepreneur I ever knew. He taught me that quality is always better than quantity and that little nugget has stuck with me in this venture. He encourages me to take risks and never give up.
I also have the most supportive family, friends, and line sisters a woman could ask for. They all provide so much encouragement and guidance. Mothering Tea is my first full-time business and those who have their own businesses have been such gems as they provide insight that I would not know.
I would be remiss if I did not shout out my eldest son (my baby can’t quite articulate this just yet). Every day he asks what I am doing for the business, how I am helping people, and what my next steps are. He even gives advice he is learning in his middle school business class.
As for books…I read quite a bit. The most impactful books I have read that have shaped my motherhood mindset are Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Tawwab Glover, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Woman Evolve by Sarah Jakes Roberts is an amazing book that has also helped me be even more compassionate with myself and others. It is definitely a must-read for ALL women.