Small Business Spotlight 2022: This Washington Tea Company Wants To Help You ‘Heal and Feel Better’
Several decades ago, Susan Lautner’s husband, Daniel Muffoletto, created a unique signature flavor of tea designed to help musicians. This tea became one of four flavors that make up the Psychic Teaz brand. Lautner is the co-owner of Psychic Teaz, an herbal tea company based in Maple Falls, Washington, that specializes in great-tasting tea flavors and is on a mission to help people everywhere “heal and feel better.”
In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, Lautner joins us to share how Psychic Teaz got its start, the company’s commitment to thinking globally and acting locally and why helping others, and lifting spirits, is their greatest motivator for being in business.
How long has Psychic Teaz been in business?
Technically, Psychic Teaz was created seven years ago. The signature flavor of Psychic Tea is an original product designed by my husband, Daniel Muffoletto, N.D. (aka “Dr. Brains,” according to Oprah Winfrey), to help musicians remain mentally alert and physically balanced while they toured the country and partied heartily. That flavor is an original product of Dr. Brains Herbal Alternatives and has been around for decades.
About 22 years later, with new packaging, logo recognition, retail placements in several states, a stellar TV commercial, four flavors (including Psychic Tea, Detox Chakras, More Love and Champagne) and high spirits, the Teazer team launched the Psychic Teaz company to the stratosphere at the 2017 World Tea Expo in Las Vegas. By this time, after years of me tweaking the recipes based on feedback from customers while vending at concerts, festivals and owning a retail store, I knew I had created teas that were not only great tasting but helped people (according to their own testimonies) heal and feel better.
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Where does the name ‘Psychic Teaz’ originate from?
The naming of Psychic Teaz involved a few thoughts. The alternative spelling of teas attempts to add playfulness while also indicating an alternative product. The word “psychic” is rooted in the Greek word psychikos and means “of the mind” or “mental.”
In Greek mythology, the maiden Psyche was the deification of the human soul. We think Psychic Teaz is a perfect name because a theory is that humans are actually earthbound souls distracted, or teased, by their minds and senses.
How did you and Daniel prepare to enter the tea industry?
Prior to the official launch of Psychic Teaz, Daniel and I had acquired knowledge about and experience in the holistic and health food marketing arenas. Whether from having booths at the Whole Foods and Products Expositions in Baltimore, Anaheim and Boston, our retail store in Seattle and Ellicott City or from our international travels, we were aware of and prepared for the necessary marketing steps.
I place great importance in helping people. This is my inspiration and why I hope to reach millions. Herbs from nature to cure what ails ya: This makes a lot of sense to me! It is my belief that we are here as humans to love and help. The positive comments from customers are extremely rewarding to me and inspire me to persevere.
What makes Psychic Teaz vital to the Maple Falls community?
In the last decade, Psychic Teaz has been based in Los Angeles, Oakland and Bellevue. As of four years ago, we are permanently based in Maple Falls. We practice the tenet of “Think Globally, Act Locally” often and we’ve vended at and donated partial proceeds to our local Bigfoot Festival here in our small Maple Falls community.
Psychic Teaz has also donated to Ava’s Heart, Fuller Gordy, 100,000 Cows, the Beverly Hills Lions Club and The Enlightenment Foundation. We also perform many random acts of donations for families, animal rescue and our local East Whatcom Regional Resource Center. Our company knows no boundaries and is never relegated to positively impacting local areas only. Ours is a global community, and it is in this that we can mention our efforts to be supportive, inclusive and universally compassionate and generous.
What has running Psychic Teaz been like amid the pandemic?
Compared to the loss of life, our COVID-19 challenges were minimal. In November of 2019, we had massively increased inventory and production due to high demand and future prospects. We were sure our business was expanding and enthusiastically employed the “reinvest profit back into the business” model, which unfortunately proved to be extremely detrimental. Three months later, everything changed.
I would hesitate to claim that we have overcome the challenges; however, we continue to give our tea away. Our goal is and always has been our top motivation: to help others first.
How has inflation affected your business?
We have had to keystone (significantly raise) our prices. Sales have dropped by 90%, causing us to cut budgets in all departments. We cope with hope and trust our good intentions will continue to provide.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
The most valuable advice we can give to anyone is to follow your heart. The most rewarding aspect of owning Psychic Teaz is that we get to follow our hearts.
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