When I opened Island Tea Company in 1998, my youngest son, William, was preparing to start kindergarten. That little boy is 17 and 6′ 5″ tall. (He’s the tall one in the photo above.) Both of my boys have grown up with my business and I’m delighted to say both Jamie (23) and Will know and enjoy tea! Five years ago, I promised my family and myself that I would be home before Will’s senior year of high school and I will be honoring that promise. I wish to be available to help with college applications, to visit campuses, and to just be present. I cannot go back in time and give my sons a “stay at home mom” but I can give Will this next year. As my youngest said, when I told him about my plans, “I’ll remember this year, Mom” and so will I.
So, this spring Island Tea Company’s shop on Whidbey Island will close and the business will go totally online. All will be business as usual through March and then in early April we will begin an inventory reduction/streamlining sale. Our last day of business in the tea shop will be Saturday, May 29. After that you will find all of our teas, basic teawares and many of our gift items in our soon to expand website. I have no plans to discontinue any of our favorite teas, in fact, we will most likely add new ones. Items and gift lines to be discontinued will be what you will find on sale in April.
Starting and nurturing a successful shop has been a dream come true. It has truly been a wonderful twelve years filled with learning, growing, and much laughter. I will miss my sweet little shop and seeing my customers, so many of whom have become dear friends, but home and hearth are calling me, and my retail journey will continue from a lovely office and studio waiting there!