Scenes from the Coffee and Tea Festival NYC

So many people enjoying the wonderful offerings by quality vendors.
So many people enjoying the wonderful offerings by quality vendors.

BY AJUA HAWKINS
An important aspect of being an entrepreneur is staying up-to-date on trends in your industry. The tea industry is currently experiencing a surge in product innovation so I must stay on top of new ways to steep teas, create tea blends and serve teas. The Coffee and Tea Festival NYC (Brooklyn) was a perfect place to do just that! I learned so much and got to hang out with one of my favorite people, craftor extraordinaire Linda Sim. We had a blast while getting totally buzzed on cool new beverages.

Magnificent pu-erh cakes.
Magnificent pu-erh cakes.

(Click on the header or the link below to see more pictures from the festival!)

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Heirloom’s Very First Independent Pop-Up!

Photo credit: Just Joy Photography.
Photo credit: Just Joy Photography.
Photo credit: Just Joy Photography.
Photo credit: Just Joy Photography.

BY AJUA HAWKINS
We are excited to share pictures from Heirloom’s very first pop-up! A special thanks to Just Joy Photography for doing such a fabulous job. For information regarding future pop-ups or private tea parties, please contact us at HeirloomPhilly@gmail.com.

Heirloom’s evolution is a wonder to behold and we thank you all for your support. Peace and blessings!

(Click on the header or the link below to see more amazing pictures of Heirloom’s first pop-up.)

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Tea Love: Homestead Apothecary

I stocked up on some herbs for tea blends. Yippee!
I stocked up on some herbs for tea blends. Yippee!
Magnificent crystals dotted the store creating a beautifully magical ambiance.
Magnificent crystals dotted the store creating a beautifully magical ambiance.

After a trip to San Francisco last year, I read an article in “Fresh Cup” about an herb shop called Homestead Apothecary. I was a little bummed that I had missed an opportunity to check it out for myself. So of course, I made it a priority to get over to Oakland on my trip to Cali last week. I was not disappointed!

(Click on the header or the link below to see more amazing pictures of Homestead Apothecary.)

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Uhuru Flea Market | May 16, 2015

Yay!! Heirloom herbal tea blends are finally available! Pick up your bottles this weekend at Uhuru Flea!
Yay!! Heirloom herbal tea blends are finally available! Pick up your bottles this weekend at Uhuru Flea!

Good day beautiful people! Heirloom Bohemian Boutique will be selling vintage clothing, spiritual and inspirational books, meditation tools, exotic jewelry and new tea blends this Saturday in Clark Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can check out featured products here. We hope to see you there!

Today’s mantra: my heart chakra is open to love.

Copyright 2015 Ajua Hawkins

Pop-Up Tea Lounge Phase 3 Renovations

Our beautiful friend Linda Sim created these gorgeous cupcakes for our customers.
Our beautiful friend Linda Sim created these gorgeous cupcakes for our customers.

So much work went into our first pop-up with the help of some amazing people. I want to start off by thanking Omar Hawkins, Juraee McNeil, Cheryl Moore, Linda Sim, and Claudia Hawkins for being such stars. Without them, the event could not have happened and been such a success. I would also like to thank Joy Pinkney-Davis of Just Joy Photography for the beautiful pictures of the pop-up store, which I will share with you in the next pop-up related post. The pictures below are the final stages of our process before our first customers walked in the door. I am so pleased…

(Click on the header or the link below to see the renovations in progress.)

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Germantown Flea at Grumblethorp | April 25, 2015

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Good day beautiful people! Heirloom Bohemian Boutique will be selling men’s and children’s clothing, spiritual and inspirational books, meditation tools, exotic jewelry and new tea blends this Saturday at Grumblethorp from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can check out featured products here.  We hope to see you there!

Today’s mantra: I am the master of all I survey.

Copyright 2015 Ajua Hawkins

Pop-Up Tea Lounge Phase 2 Renovations

The theme for this pop-up is an enchanting North African tea room and garden.
The theme for this pop-up is an enchanting North African tea room and garden.

So our first solo mission pop-up is in a mere six days!! Yes, daily meditation will be essential for keeping calm because there is so much to get done! Ack!! I will not even go into all of the unforeseen headaches that have popped up in the last week offering up a plethora of distractions and inviting self-pity. But, Omar and I are like two determined work horses feeling the weight of our future on our backs. Don’t stop, won’t stop. This pop-up will happen and it will be a success for the heavens have ordained it as our purpose in this moment. Of course, as always, we share with you our journey.

(Click on the header or the link below to see the renovations in progress.)

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Uhuru Health Festival & Flea Market | April 18, 2015

Don't miss out! Join the fun at the 2015 Uhuru Health Festival!
Don’t miss out! Join the fun at the 2015 Uhuru Health Festival!

Good day beautiful people! Heirloom Private Tea Lounge & Bohemian Boutique will be selling vintage clothing, spiritual and inspirational books, meditation tools, exotic jewelry and new tea blends this Saturday in Clark Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can check out featured products here. This year we are a proud sponsor of the event so please come out to support the good work Uhuru continues to do for the Philadelphia community. We hope to see you there!

Today’s mantra: everything I need to succeed flows easily to me.

Copyright 2015 Ajua Hawkins

Pop-Up Tea Lounge Phase 1 Renovations

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Our sidewalk sign insert for the pop-up created by Signs Now in Beaufort, SC.

Every moment not spent working at the tea store job and not sleeping is spent on building my business, cultivating my baby – Heirloom. Omar and I spent the last year selling at markets and joint pop-ups. Now we are focusing on building a prototype tea lounge in our home. The test pop-up event takes place in about a month and we are full speed ahead with renovations, product development, and marketing. So much to do but so rewarding when it is all for your future. I wanted to document our journey through it all. We are currently in phase 1 of the transformation and all is on track for a wonderful bohemian boutique, tea lounge experience. Excitement growing…

(Click on the header or the link below to see the renovations in progress.)

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The Art of Tray Setting

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IMG_0852So, I didn’t even know that “tray setting” was an actual term until I decided to write this post and look it up. Wow, so many beautiful trays in Google images. Well, even though I didn’t know it was an actual thing, I’ve been practicing for a few months now and loving the artistic nature of homemaking. My husband and I rarely sit at a table to eat. We are usually at our desks, on the couch or in bed. As I’ve been getting more into tea culture on Instagram, I’ve noticed the beautiful creativity that goes into arranging the trays. I am inspired deeply by this creativity and now dress my own trays for tea time and meals taken not at the kitchen counter. The entire process makes eating much more meditative and satisfying. Ommm.

(Click on the heading or below to view more of my lovely tray settings.)

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Medicinal Tea: Infusion vs. Decoction

Chamomile Flower Infusion

I drink tea every day.  It soothes and calms like no other beverage and I appreciate the ever-increasing variety.  Part of my love for tea flows from the preparation ritual.  Watching the flowers and leaves unroll, swell, and bloom lifts my spirit and makes me smile like a child watching the transformation take place for the first time.  Besides fixing the daily morning wake-up cuppa and sipping on Sleepy Time or fresh chamomile tea before bedtime, I never thought much about the science of making tea until we discussed it at an Herbiary Apothecary Garden class.

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