American Made Since 2013

Sashee Chandran

Los Gatos, California
TeaDrops are morsels of fine tea that reduce the complications of making a great cup of tea. Simply add one to your cup, pour hot water, & stir.
Food, Dry Goods

Tell us about your business.

Tea has always been a pivotal ritual in my life. With a father from Sri Lanka and mother from China (two of the largest exporting countries of tea in the world), becoming a tea lover was a really hard destiny to avoid. To me, tea is like a hug in a mug, and I've tried to share that same outlook anyone I meet. However, I've across many that don't drink tea because of the huge ritual involved from understanding loose leaf teas to steep times. TeaDrops was the result of my sheer passion for tea and desire to simplify the tea experience, so that it can be made accessible to as many people as possible. My hope is not just to provide an awesome experience to regular tea drinkers, but to also break down the barriers that prevent so many from giving tea a try. Without sacrificing the use of fine tealeaves or taste, these little compact shapes are a jet plane route to enjoying the perfect cup of tea with minimal effort. If you can boil water, then you can enjoy an amazing cup of tea.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

I work out of a Cottage Food licensed home kitchen. I love the comfort of this kitchen in my home where I can truly "homemake" TeaDrops for my customers. My KitchenAid mixer and spice grinder are my best friends in mixing the different tea blends and experimenting new tea frontiers. I love working in my kitchen, embedding new spices and flavors with traditional teas to deliver new tea creations. It's magic, really! I believe the source of all products matter, it establishes the energy of a good or service that gets passed on. I am lucky that my creative space for tea production is also my home - which I truly consider to be my place of peace. I believe it allows all of the teas I produce to have that same energy of peace & tranquility, which my customers get to be happy recipients of.

What inspires you?

People, travel, and history! People: Individuals in the tea world inspire me, they make me realize how much I don't know about tea, encouraging me to keep my curiousi(tea) alive. There is so much to learn! I'm also inspired by those who are not in the tea industry at all, but who are simply excellent in their craft and pursue perfection. There is nothing more inspiring to observe. Travel: Traveling always gets me inspired to experiment with new tea blends. The other month I was in Savannah, GA enjoying some famous southern Sweet Tea on a bench - it had me daydreaming about creating a Sweet Tea TeaDrop and naming it Savannah. Inspiration is everywhere for me! History: Some of my favorite mantras I acquire from amazing men & women of history. Want to be inspired? Read this quote by Calvin Coolidge: "Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Genius will not. Education will not. Persistence and dedication alone are omnipotent." I'm fired up!

What makes your business stand out?

What makes TeaDrops stand out is its simplicity. From the packaging to the product itself, it is something that both new and experienced tea drinkers can truly grasp and enjoy. We make it clear that a great cup of tea is only a TeaDrop away. Beyond tea, we embody a life philosophy grounded in simplicity and personal evolution. You may notice through our social touchpoints, that we champion posts and content that helps bring out the best out in our TeaDrops community by constantly sharing recipes, motivating advice, how-to's, to beautiful photos of everyday life. Our TeaDrops Ambassador program is the most tangible example that brings our Mission to life. We have tea members across America who not only spread the love of tea, but also engage in photography, writing, and service projects. TeaDrops is a platform for tea lovers who share a common drive to live the most awesome life possible!

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

There is so much talent in the world, but I find there is one distinction that separates hobby artists from creative entrepreneurs - and that is "grit." I refer to the quote I stated above from Calvin Coolidge for a better description of grit. "Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Genius will not. Education will not. Persistence and dedication alone are omnipotent." If there is one thing you take away, it is this: Never, ever, ever, give up!

What does American Made mean to you?

American Made is a quality standard built upon the diverse tapestry of people, cultures, and artistry that make up this country. America’s people represent a diverse melting pot of individuals who settled in this country while bringing their best creative ideas, cultural traditions, work ethic, and perspectives with them. Though I was “Made in America” (USA born), that is not my whole story. I am the daughter of a father from Sri Lanka and mother from China. It is only through my parents’ journey that my Tea enterprise is possible. While TeaDrops is American Made – it is built upon the cultural influence of my ancestors and heritage. I notice that nearly all “American Made” stories are similar – born from diverse cultural influences and traditions, yet bounded together by fierce work ethic and high quality standards innate in the fabric of this country.

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