Gwyneth Paltrow is a big fan, and many others are also loving Danish Cocoon Tea Artisans’ wonderful organic teas. Tina Hueg is the mastermind behind the company; three years ago she left her permanent job behind with nothing more than a love of tea and a passion to pursue her dream. She managed to create a success story based on a clear recipe that’s not just about tea, but also about passion, a love of others and always about giving more than you take.
Founder of Cocoon Tea Artisans
My passion for tea was born from that lovely feeling you get when you sit together around a table, with great conversation and the sort of calmness that allows people to take the time to listen to one another and reflect on the day. When I was a child and I came home from school, my mother always had a pot of tea ready on the table, which drew everyone together, even those who didn't drink tea. I've always been very passionate about the tea plant. I’ve read a lot about it and followed international research because I'm really interested in what the tea plant can do. Just think that it began as a medicine that you ate in order to get well. That's one of the things I want to prove you can do - it's not just about drinking the tea, but also about eating it, which means there's no food waste because you use the entire product.
I never believed that I would start my own tea company one day, but then I met a business coach who had a more spiritual approach to business. She was a big reason as to why I then felt brave enough to take the leap. I had long wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I never really had the courage to do anything about it. Now when I look back, I was probably always the one who wanted to start up a new department, which means I've probably always had it in me. But actually, starting your own business is something else entirely, and it's a big decision taking that first step and leaving the job market, especially when you've been a part of it for 20 years. It was like jumping off a tipping seesaw, and I thought to myself, this is completely crazy. But I also remember thinking, what's the worst that can happen? You can always go back and get another job, but you shouldn't lose out on all those opportunities that might be out there. I think there are opportunities out there for most women, and I think many of us have something unique to offer if you just check in with your gut feeling.
Before I started this project, I contacted the buyer for Magasin, which is where I used to buy my tea. I wanted to present my idea because I knew I wanted to sell my tea in their store. I didn't have any packaging or product identity. All I had were my ingredients and my idea, which I explained to them. Sitting there with my ingredients and realizing that they bought the idea based on my background, that was the first magical moment for me. Shortly after, it was Goop in America, founded by Gwyneth Paltrow, which started to place large orders, and then I had to focus all my attention on adding more ingredients and products and expanding worldwide. I have some amazing customers today and some great suppliers. That's probably the most important thing to me, having so many wonderful people who support me and my little project.
I’ve always preferred spending time with people who want to give more than they take. I think there's something lovely about wanting to give without knowing if you'll get something in return. I only seem to meet nice people. I believe that the most important thing is to be a good person, to spread good energy around you and to remember to be grateful. Here tea is a great excuse to stop for a moment and take some calming time out, because we're all so busy and we often forget to stop and think about a person we might have met or something nice that's happened that day.
I'd like to inspire other women to become better at helping each other and I think that we could actually learn something from men here, as they are better at supporting one another. Some women are good at this, but others aren't. You need networks and good people who support and help each other. We need to get better at this, and I love it when we do!
MASAI STORIES are portraits of women's lives, presented through thoughts and reflections from a group of dedicated and passionate women. The stories reflect on diversity, openness, courage and, not least, the freedom to be and want to be yourself. Through meetings these women, who all inspired us with their life choices and creativity, we wanted to create a special insight into women's lives. Our stories portray the strength and beauty that emerges when your life passions are allowed to blossom, and when you choose to listen to yourself and pursue your dreams.