Cultivating Community, One Tea Leaf at a Time
We are thrilled to finally share with you “Loose Leaves,” a short film created by our cinematography team to tell the story of My Cup of Tea in Memphis, Tennessee.
Providing an important lifeline to the Orange Mound community, My Cup of Tea invites women in who are thirsty for life, justice, and hope. They employ women by teaching valuable life skills as they order, label, bag, market and ship over 30 varieties of world-renowned tea. In addition to being the only Memphis-based tea company, My Cup of Tea’s impact from there is not done. These women, with a newfound sense of pride and accomplishment begin to impact those around them, including the next generation of their family. The women earn wages that can create a real difference in their lives.
We began a partnership with My Cup of Tea in 2015 to curate their digital marketing content and get the word out about their mission. We then created their website, equipped with an eCommerce storefront, to allow people to understand the cause they were giving to, as well as easily purchase from the many varieties of tea options.
Originally, the women began just making tea. Now they have hair styling, woodworking, furniture refurbishing, embroidery services and even a wig shop. Over the summer, they decided that their website needed a new “About Us” video. While this is a pretty routine task for our video team, the initial meeting left us feeling like there was a much bigger story to tell. In June, our video team set out to showcase all that My Cup of Tea has to offer. After three days of filming and a week of post production, we presented them with the “Loose Leaves” video that would live on the homepage of their site.
Ty Stinson and Jordan Dudek, Speak’s cinematographers, led the video production from start to finish. “The memorable moments were just hanging and getting to know the women that work there. There is so much history amongst them and since it is generationally diverse, that made it awesome to see the stages of growth they have gone through,” Ty said.
“We have loved getting to work with My Cup of Tea for the past 5 years because the work of their operation is so meaningful. The passion, pride, and determination of those ladies to not let past mistakes define them pushes My Cup of Tea forward – and is why so many are drawn to them,” Cody Gross, a brand strategist here at Speak, said.
Our biggest goal was getting these women’s stories out to the Memphis community, because it was obvious that a large portion of Memphians didn’t know about My Cup of Tea or what these women are doing for their community. Speak’s project manager, Devon Haines, said, “We quickly realized there was no better way to get Memphis citizens in the know than by submitting ‘Loose Leaves’ to the Indie Memphis Film Fest, which has a global audience. This was a powerful story that needed a bigger, grander, more artistic approach to grab the audience and bring them into the world of these women and see what good they are doing in the community.” Our film was a finalist in the “Hometowner Documentary Short Competition” category.
Anyone can purchase tea at a grocery store, but those who purchase from My Cup of Tea are buying into the mission of empowering these women, employing these women, and offering opportunity. With each purchase, you’re furthering their mission. My Cup of Tea is dedicated to the renaissance of historic Orange Mound, the recovery of neighborhood hope, and the respect each of their courageous employees have earned. We are honored to walk alongside them as they live out their purpose to be a “thriving, sustainable enterprise, providing living wage jobs and reliable income for hundreds of Orange Mound families.”
Do you have a story to tell your city? Do you feel like your videos aren't captivating enough? We’d love to chat about how we can provide you with compelling expert videography for your business.
GET IN TOUCH