Connect with us
The Hustle

Name: Ashley Haywood (Embrew)

Posted By Bill DeYoung

Embrew makes pre-sweetened tea bags, sourced directly from farms or through direct traders, and the flavors available will tell you all you need to know about Ashley Haywood's business: Creamy Honey Oolong, Jasmine Honey Green, Lavender Chamomile Kick, Lemon Candied Ginger, Orange Spiced Green, Peppermint Earl Grey, Strawberry Yaupon Hops ... each hot tea and cold-brew tea blends are wrapped in biodegradable packaging -"giving you a piece of mind so that you can focus on how good the tea tastes," says Ashley.

Years in Tampa Bay


Hustle (job)

Founder and CEO of Embrew Tea

What do you do?  

I give people amazing tea, faster and easier with the creation of the first ever sweetened artisan tea bags.

Why do you do it?

I have a really hard time prioritizing myself. I have a bad habit of filling my time with tasks and spending my day doing things for others, whether for work or at home. Rarely do things make it on my to-do list that are specifically for me and what I want to do. But, there has been one thing that is a constant. One thing that does bring me back to myself, my joy, my happiness: Tea. Picking up that warm mug with both hands, letting the steam hit my face as I take the first sip that brings me right into the peaceful center of the present moment. I am giving tea drinkers literal minutes back in their day – oh, and an unforgettable mouthgasm.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

As a long-time tea drinker, I’ve never been into the whole setup and clean up required for loose leaf tea, because it always took too much time. Between trying to figure out the blends I liked, how much sweetener and what type was just right, most times it was too much of a hassle so I ended up settling for an “okay” cup of tea that came from a grocery store tea bag, because it was easy. But then, 13 years ago, it dawned on me that if there were just tea bags with the blends I liked that had the perfect amount of sweetener already in them, I could have a great cup of tea in record time with no clean-up! I remember thinking with tea being the most consumed beverage in the world and sweetener being added to it for hundreds of years, there must be a company making a sweetened tea bag that puts it all together for me. So, of course, I went to Google to find one for me. And I couldn’t believe that there was nothing there. Absolutely nothing. I had stumped Google. I kept checking back for years after that eureka moment, thinking that one of the big tea brands would come out with something. But they never did. Then, I got married, moved out of the country for a few years and then moved back, had two kids, and found that my life looked a lot different. I was still working full time, wiping lots and lots of noses and butts, feeding someone pretty much all the time, oh and the screaming and whining. Oh yeah, and trying to remember that my husband even existed. At that time, all I wanted was to drink a FREAKIN’ cup of great tea before it got cold.

I was starting to feel like I was going insane. I felt like I lost myself in this new life. Except when I had those first few sips of an amazing tea, I felt like I belonged there.

Then, my husband bought me Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book at the time called “Big Magic.”

It’s about how the universe puts ideas out there for us to grab and run with. And if we don’t grab them, someone else will. This is why so many good ideas are taken by others, because you didn’t act on it.

That sweetened tea bag was my Big Magic and I was not going to let the universe give it to someone else.
THIS was the part of me that had been missing. I had my purpose and I couldn’t wait to make tea for everyone I knew.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

As the most consumed beverage in the entire world (after water), tea has had a strong history of oppression, the supply chains are long and cumbersome, and tea farmers make pennies when you buy from a large supplier. I’ve been able to source directly from farms or through a direct traders to ensure the freshest, most eco-friendly and socially-responsible business practices are kept.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Finding the best way to educate tea lovers on the existence of a lightly sweetened tea option that makes brewing tea super easy without the hassle of an infuser or being stuck with mediocre grocery store tea bags.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Trust in the process and stick with it. Seth Godin’s new book called “The Practice” is teaching me to be less focused on the outcome and trust in the process of creating when it comes to all aspects of my business (product development, content creation, digital marketing, customer service, etc).

How can the Tampa Bay community help support Embrew Tea?

1. Learn more about the product assortment at embrew.com2. Sign up for our emails, to get a regular dose of quippy knowledge and we promise it’ll be an email to look forward to.3. Find our teas around town at Datz, Dough, Left Bank Bistro, The Merchant St Pete, Wild Roots St Pete, Brick Street Farms, etc.4. Ask your favorite organic food store if they have heard of or will carry Embrew Tea.

More Hustle

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us:

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Enter the details of the person you want to share this article with.