Mother-son duo looking to help change the world one bag of tea at a time
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A construction worker, Aureal Ojeda has witnessed both the resurrection and destruction of buildings around the city of Milwaukee. She's also experienced the impact we as humans can have on Mother Earth.
"I wanted to make a difference," Ojeda said.
Ojeda wanted to help inspire others to make change using an item important to her own health journey, tea. It was this inspiration that led to the construction of a new business, Outwoken Tea.
"I started the business, originally, during the pandemic," Ojeda explained. "The date it was announced for the mandatory shut down was my launch date. We were able to pivot and keep going and re-crunch the numbers and open back up on June 1."
Ojeda began selling cups of tea imported from small farmers in developing countries at local farmers markets with her eighth-grade son, Morello King. Now, the two travel to markets and shows in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas, selling their tea bags and sharing a message of sustainability with their customers.
"Everything down to the tape, the packaging is all home compostable. Our boxes are 100-percent consumer use. The ink is algae ink, so it's plant-based ink. Every single aspect, even the shredded paper in the box has seeds so it will grow flowers," Ojeda said. "We definitely try our best to make an impact with what we have and lead by example and to show people that 'Yes, even though you're small, you do make a difference and you do count.'"
At just 14 years old, young Morello is proud to not only be helping his mom, but the planet.
"Every purchase that we sell, we plant a tree in somewhere needed like Australia when they had their (wild) fire," Morello said, explaining the company's partnership with One Tree Planted, which has led to over 2,500 trees planted around the globe. "It feels good to know that you're helping people."
Helping people and leading by example, an experience Ojeda is proud to be sharing with her son.
"He's been there since day one," Ojeda said. "I think he definitely knows more than the average 14-year-old about entrepreneurship and owning a business but I'm happy we could do it together."
While it can be a challenge to run a small business out of her home, Ojeda is grateful for supportive family and friends, including Trevor Danielsen at Stack'd Burger Bar, who allows her to package her products in the restaurant's kitchen on weekends.
"If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be started," Ojeda said. "I'm truly grateful."
She's determined to continue to grow, and continue to change the world, one bag of tea at a time.
"Nothing's guaranteed. You just do the best that you can, you put it out in the universe, and you just keep going," Ojeda said. "Definitely proud to do a business in Milwaukee."
Outwoken Tea is hosting several tea tasting events for the community to try the product. You can visit the company's website to purchase tickets: https://outwokentea.com/events/