MN: How would you describe Ellis Island Tea to a person who’s never heard of your business?
NE: Ellis Island Tea is made with a unique blend of herbs that contain an abundance of health benefits. The tea is made with 100 percent natural extracts. The herbs we use are blended with high concentrations of antioxidants and vitamin C and have been known to assist with lowering high blood pressure, weight loss, easing menstrual cramps, digestive programs and more.
MN: I read the story on your website about your initial inspiration, but was there anything else that drove your entrepreneurial desires?
NE: When I was 10 years old, the principal of my elementary school told me the definition of an entrepreneur, and ever since then, I knew it was my destiny.
I also know that I just couldn’t spend my life working for other people. Working for other people makes me feel trapped, and restricted. I wanted to be free. Instead of being on someone else’s clock, I wanted to be on my own.
MN: Are you running Ellis Island Tea full-time?
NE: Yes. However, I also have a part-time job. Twice a week I work as a staff assistant to Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).
MN: How many employees do you have?
NE: I currently have one employee, who has been with the company for about two years now. He’s the director of operations.
MN: How did you fund this venture?
NE: When I launched Ellis Island Tea, I had no investors. I literally started out with a dollar and a dream. I asked my mother for $50 and had to make that work. I purchased a pot, a spoon, and some tea bags, and from there it was history… It took about a year of brewing the tea every day to get the recipe right.
MN: Is your business family-owned? Or, are you the only member of your family working at Ellis Island Tea?
NE: I am currently the only member of my family working with Ellis Infinity, however I do have aspirations of turning it into a family business.