Episode 84
December 14, 2021

The Art of Truth and Tea

with Steve Schwartz, Founder and CEO of Art of Tea

About this episode

Today, Lee is joined by Steve Schwartz, the Founder and CEO of Art of Tea, an award-winning tea brand based in Los Angeles, that hand blends and custom crafts, the finest organic teas and botanicals. Steve shares with us his entrepreneurial journey, talks with us about the difference between truth and a belief, why being decisive is more important than being right, and how he self-funded the business by blending and packing tea from his living room.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • What it was like growing up with his parents, brother, and sister in California, to going through his parents long divorce at age of 10, to moving in with his brother at the early  age of 14
  • How living with his brother at 14 taught him a lot about life and helped him grow up faster with having to pay for his own food, clothes, and other expenses
  • How losing his mom to brain cancer ignited his passion for health and wellness
  • Why he loved the idea of helping others and helping them create an experience and ritual with tea
  • What led him to creating Art of Tea and paving the way in DTC but also B2B with a partnership with Wolfgang Puck 
  • How COVID affected Art of Tea, how they grew from it, and altered the way they do B2B
  • Why being a little afraid to start something while also being excited means you’re doing the right thing

To Find Out More:



“Ayurveda is a form of preventative medicine based out of India, and there's a school in New Mexico that I really fell in love with the alchemy of herbs and teas and botanicals. I ended up going there for a few years and really became advanced in my studies and continued my path beyond that.”

“Tea for me became this way of seeing people connect with it not just because it tastes good, but because there's a ritual behind it, there's ceremony behind it.”

“Tea is a way for people to connect regardless of age and religion and gender, and it's powerful, just leaves and water, but extremely powerful.”

“But really good tea can allow you to mess up a little bit. You can go a little bit over a little under on measurements and heat but it's still delivering an amazing tasting experience.” 

“What we source at Art of Tea is whole leaf tea. We do whole leaf teas and these beautiful corn based microplastic, free sachets, which are stunning and gorgeous. But what we're sourcing as the top 2% of all the teas that are produced in the world are direct from origin, blended and crafted here in our facility in Los Angeles, and shipped out to be of the freshest bioavailable tea in the market.” 

“My number one reason at the time was I had a child on the way. So I was like, okay, I feel like I can kind of reach my max, my threshold, if I go down this job offer path, or I can do the stupid, crazy thing, and start my own company.”

“I really believe over 80% of your success can just be just showing up.”

“So I think what happens is that there's a difference between truth and a belief. What permission do we allow other people that are holding us back in our world? What power and what permission do we have?"

“As a leadership team, we come together, we ask is this a great cultural fit? Is this person a team player? Are they meeting our core values? And if the answer is yes, then all right, we can keep moving in the right direction. If  that the answer is no, we need to be able to make faster decisions. And sometimes it's very challenging.”

“Be really clear on who you want to surround yourself with and who you want on your team.”

“One of the most important lessons is you have to repeat yourself over and over and over again until you start hearing what you're saying back to you, you start sharing the core values, you start sharing the why, you start sharing the what we're doing and how it's gonna impact our website, our customers, our staff, our team over and over again.”

“Take time out to listen to your gut and trust it. Surround yourself with wise people around you. And last is, you talked about being freaked out if it scares you, but if it excites you just a little bit more than it scares you, then you're doing the right thing.”

Read the transcript

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