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Adii Pienaar

Family man, seeker and learner. 3X Founder: Cogsy + Conversio (acq by Campaign Monitor) + WooCommerce (acq by Automattic). Ex-Rockstar.

Ep20 - Silvia Mella | Rediscovering Passion With Green Tea

Summary

Silvia Mella is the founder of Los Angeles based tea company Sorate. In this episode, Adii and Silvia talk about designing personal alignments in life, finding true calm, and the trip to Japan that would set Silvia off on a quest to found her own green tea brand.

Alien in the Fashion Industry

When someone asks Silvia where she comes from, she tells them she is from Mars. She finds this produces a wide variety of reactions, but it always seems to spark some interesting conversations. This also allows her to separate her business identity from her personal identity in social situations.

Silvia studied marketing, public relations, advertising, and psychology. But when she was in Milan, she did an internship at a fashion magazine. The creativity of the job invigorated her and she fell in love. She would go on to work for Conde Nast and even started her own publication at just 24-years-old. Despite finding success with some big brands, after a year her magazine would close and she would begin working in e-Commerce and Advertising. Soon after, the passion she once felt for her job would fall away.

A (Tea) Journey

Something had to give. Silvia decided she would take a solo trip to Japan to get away from everyone and everything familiar. And it just so happened to spark a whole new quest in life.

“I was walking around Japan and I cried out of happiness, “The energy! I got my energy back!”

While in Japan she picked up on many of their traditions, most prominently, the ritual of drinking green tea daily. When she returned to the United States, she sought out tea to fuel her new habit, only to find that no one seemed to be selling what she was looking for.

It would take her two years of research and exploration to perfect her business plan and launch her company, Sorate.

Staying Dreamy

“We are so bombarded by content that you don’t have the time to do something that is completely dreamy, or stunning, or exciting...The way we sell products is different.”

It can be very hard to keep the creativity and passion in work. It’s not really possible, Silvia says, to keep every aspect of a company or project totally creative. There will always be facets of any company that are a bit boring, but it’s up to you to bring the passion to make up for this.

If she was not excited about tea, she would sell the company, Silvia says. Because if she was not excited about her company and her products, her customers would know. Excitement and love are key ingredients in any good product. Without that, it becomes just another item on the shelf.

There are so many products available on the market, Silvia says. But Silvia doesn’t want to just create another product, another tea, to add to the shelf. She wants to provide a product that is inspiring, that can actually change someone’s life.

Create Space to Rediscover Passion

“Every single brand, or magazine, or whatever can be exciting in a way. It’s just a matter of finding the right way to do that.”

While in Japan, Silvia says, she felt like she was a child riding her bike around, playing and exploring. This offered her a clean slate, where she took herself back to the basics to explore what she was truly passionate about. Two years later, Sorate would be born from a collaboration of dreams, creativity, and passion, but also intense preparation and research.

For anyone interested in making a change and creating new energy in their life, Silvia suggests taking a step back and finding courage to move out of the situation you’re currently in so that you can push yourself into a place you want to be.

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