In this question-and-answer series, you’ll get to know the incredible entrepreneurs Wacif has encountered in our community. We are thrilled to share their stories and encourage you to connect with and support them!
We’re kicking off this Q+A series with Ayisha Lockett, the first 2023 Cultivate Summit Grant winner and Wacif Enterprising Women of Color grant recipient!
Q: What is your name?
A: Ayisha Lockett
Q: Where are you from?
A: Philadelphia and South Jersey
Q: What is your business and who do you serve?
A: At ParNecessiTeas, we are all about crafting premium, handcrafted tea blends that are blended with love and carefully curated using the highest quality ingredients. Our teas cater to specific moods and health needs, such as our “Quiet Tummy Tea” and “Hey Love” blends.
We serve a diverse community of tea lovers, wellness enthusiasts, and individuals who appreciate the art of tea blending and the benefits it brings to their lives. Our products are created with the intention of promoting overall well-being and elevating tea-drinking experiences.
Q: What is your company’s mission?
A: At ParNecessiTeas, our mission is to offer the gift of a soothing and healing cup of tea to every individual, regardless of their background. We firmly believe that true health and wellness encompass both internal and external aspects of well-being. Our vision extends beyond tea; we strive to create a platform for meaningful conversations about various aspects of life, including health, happiness, challenges, and self-reflection. With each sip, our teas become a vessel to promote healing, laughter, and a moment of tranquility in the midst of life’s journey. ParNecessiTeas aims to nourish not only the body but also the soul, fostering a community where tea becomes the catalyst for connection, growth, and joy.
Q: When did you start your business?
A: Although I have been crafting loose tea blends and sharing what I fondly call “Eash’s Brew” for decades, the inception of ParNecessiTeas in February 2021 marked a special milestone. It became the perfect medium for me to express my love language (tea brew) with others through thoughtfully curated loose tea blends.
Q: What inspired you to start your business?
A: The inspiration behind starting ParNecessiTeas was a combination of family encouragement and a serendipitous moment during a business strategy meeting with my DC SBDC business coach, Stefanie Magness. While discussing my technical consulting company, she noticed my lack of enthusiasm and asked what truly brought me joy in life. With a beaming smile, I shared my passion for crafting delicious, brewed tea blends that were a symbol of love for my family and friends, complete with health-boosting elements like probiotics and superfoods.
That conversation sparked a new path, and I embraced the challenge of creating a tea business to share my tea blends with others. With limited space as a home-based business, I decided to offer the blends in loose form, with dreams of eventually expanding to include brewed options. The creative process of blending herbs and teas also inspired me to explore infusing honey, body butters, and soon, shower steams and bath bombs – all contributing to a wellness-focused lifestyle.
Building ParNecessiTeas has been an incredible journey, fueled by my passion for wellness and a desire to share the love and benefits of tea with the world. Each step, big or small, has brought me closer to my vision of creating a tea empire that nurtures and enhances the well-being of our community.
Q: What’s your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A: My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is the sense of empowerment and fearlessness it brings. It’s not about waiting for the “right time”; it’s about taking bold steps forward, even when faced with challenges that may seem like pebbles turning into boulders. I embrace the process wholeheartedly, from building a website to finding the perfect label and logo that truly represents my vision for the brand.
As an entrepreneur, I am driven by the freedom to create my path to financial independence. The idea of residual income through the product of my passion is a dream come true. It’s incredible to witness my vision of a product crafted with love come to life and resonate with others.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome as an entrepreneur?
A: Being an entrepreneur has taught me the importance of taking mental breaks. Amid the hustle and bustle of building and creating, I make sure to pause and center myself. These moments of quiet introspection allow me to refocus, find clarity, and determine the next steps on this incredible journey. In the end, being an entrepreneur is not just about the destination; it’s about embracing every aspect of the journey, growing through challenges, and creating something that brings joy and healing to others.
Q: How do you keep yourself motivated?
A: I keep myself motivated by constantly reminding myself of my passion and purpose as an entrepreneur. Every day, I reflect on the deep love I have for crafting exquisite tea blends and the positive impact it brings to people’s lives. This unwavering passion fuels my drive to overcome any obstacles and challenges that come my way.
Additionally, setting clear goals and milestones keeps me focused and determined. I break down my larger vision into smaller, achievable targets, celebrating each accomplishment along the way. This sense of progress and achievement gives me a continuous sense of fulfillment and motivates me to keep pushing forward.
Surrounding myself with a supportive network of family, friends, and fellow entrepreneurs is also instrumental in maintaining my motivation. Their encouragement, feedback, and shared experiences provide invaluable inspiration and help me stay grounded.
Finally, I believe in the power of self-care and taking mental breaks when needed. By allowing myself moments of relaxation and rejuvenation, I recharge my creativity and energy, ensuring that I approach my work with renewed enthusiasm.
In the end, my motivation stems from the deep love for what I do, the pursuit of my dreams, and the desire to make a positive impact on others’ lives through ParNecessiTeas. These factors work together to keep me driven and excited about the journey ahead.
Q: What do you feel is the biggest strength of your company?
A: Undoubtedly, the biggest strength of our company, ParNecessiTeas, lies in my profound love and passion for all things tea. Tea is not just a business venture for me; it is a way of life. People can sense my genuine enthusiasm and knowledge when it comes to tea, and it sparks delightful conversations with tea lovers and enthusiasts alike. This genuine connection fosters a strong sense of community and trust as we share our love for tea, exchange stories, and create memorable tea experiences together. The power of this authentic connection is truly the heart and soul of our company.
Q: How has the Cultivate Summit impacted your business?
A: The Cultivate Summit has not only empowered ParNecessiTeas with vital resources but has also ignited a sense of camaraderie and support within the entrepreneurial community. I’m immensely grateful for this life-changing experience, and I’m excited to see ParNecessiTeas continue to flourish and make a positive impact in the world of tea. The Cultivate Summit has had a transformative impact on ParNecessiTeas, one that I can’t begin to describe! Winning the “Emerging Woman of Color” grant at the summit felt like a divine validation of all the hard work and dedication I’ve poured into my tea business. The grant has opened doors to boundless opportunities for growth, allowing me to expand my business without taking on the burden of a loan.
With the support of the grant, I’ll be able to restock essential supplies and products, ensuring a smooth flow of operations and paving the way for future growth. This injection of resources is a game-changer for ParNecessiTeas and allows me to focus on what I do best: crafting exceptional tea blends and creating memorable tea experiences.
One of the most significant takeaways from the summit was the chance to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs. I still keep in touch with the first three entrepreneurs I met at the event, and our ongoing communication has been a source of inspiration and encouragement. Moreover, I am eagerly looking forward to becoming a part of the WACIF family, where I know I will find a nurturing community of fellow business owners.
The Cultivate Summit has not only empowered ParNecessiTeas with vital resources but has also ignited a sense of camaraderie and support within the entrepreneurial community. I’m immensely grateful for this life-changing experience, and I’m excited to see ParNecessiTeas continue to flourish and make a positive impact in the world of tea.
Q: Can you share a story or experience that you think exemplifies entrepreneurship?
A: Entrepreneurship exemplifies the art of creating and realizing a vision, idea, or thought by infusing it with passion and determination. It is about breathing life into a concept, navigating through obstacles and challenges, and ultimately producing a tangible outcome – be it a product, service, or even the fulfillment of a task.
At its core, entrepreneurship is a journey of self-discovery and growth. It involves self-appreciation and self-validation, as entrepreneurs must believe in themselves and their ideas to persevere through the ups and downs of building a business. It requires embracing risk and uncertainty, making calculated decisions to mitigate potential challenges, and taking proactive steps toward success.
Moreover, entrepreneurship transcends individual aspirations, extending its impact on the broader community. Successful entrepreneurs embody a deep love for their community. They become connectors, bridging gaps between people and opportunities, fostering collaboration and growth within their community.
Ultimately, entrepreneurship is a multifaceted journey of innovation, leadership, and service. It reflects the power of the human spirit to turn dreams into reality and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others and the world at large.
To learn more about ParNecessiTeas, visit the website at www.parnecessiteas.com or contact Ayisha at or . You can also follow the brand on Instagram @parnecessiteas.