March 2019 - Meet My Network: Linda Appel Lipsius
Here are two fun facts you might not know about me.
I love tea, mostly herbal types but I don’t discriminate.
I try to support women owned, local businesses as often as possible.
I’m sharing these random facts with you, because today I am thrilled to introduce Linda Appel Lipsius with you all who also loves tea and has a blended multiple businesses that support women both locally and internationally. Linda is a leading voice on topics including entrepreneurship, women in business, sustainable business practices and clean food. Named one of Fortune’s 20 Most Innovative Women in Food & Wine, Linda is the Co-Founder & CEO of Teatulia Organic Teas and Co-Founder and CEO of the mama'hood. Linda was also named one of Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business in 2018.
Prior to starting her own businesses, Linda had a successful career in the corporate world serving as Vice President of Orange Glo International. Linda has now built a brand with a reputation for doing things better.
In a world focused on the bottom line, Linda has managed to use her business acumen to do more. She has said that her business is selling tea, but her passion is changing the world. She has taken a region in Bangladesh and helped transform it from the ground up. Teatulia is proud to employ over 600 workers, and support more than 1,700 community members through its co-op. The co-op provides education, health, and cattle-lending programs specifically designed to help families out of poverty.
Are you ready to try some of this delicious tea? If you’re in the Denver area head on over to Teatulia, which is located on the corner of 29th and Zuni or you can find Teatulia Teas in leading retailers (Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Wegmans, etc.), multi-unit restaurants (Tokyo Joe’s, Garbanzo, Illegal Petes, etc.) and Colleges (University of Colorado, The University of Michigan, Dartmouth College, etc.).
Linda also started the mama 'hood, a resource for new & expecting moms & their families. She along with her Co-Founder Amanda Ogden have built a true gem for moms, dads and babies. I speak from first hand experience that the staff, classes and resources offered at the mama ‘hood are incredible. When I was 6 days post partum I found myself at a breastfeeding support class where I felt 100% welcome, supported and nurtured during what was a very difficult time in my life.
The knowledge and kindness that is mama ‘hood is second to none and Denver is beyond lucky to have such an incredible resource in our backyard. To check out the various classes, workshops and resources offered, click here. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
As if Linda couldn’t get any cooler she is also a Denver native, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree from Columbia University in New York City and her MBA in finance from New York University before moving to London, Los Angeles then back to Denver. She now lives in LoDo (Lower Downtown Denver) with her filmmaker husband, Adam, and her 12 & 10 year old Dorothy & Eli. In her spare time, Linda hangs with her kiddos, escapes to the mountains, devours movies & books and runs or does handstands.
Now, it’s your turn to experience Linda in her own words. I could easily continue sharing how wonderful she is but enjoy reading her responses below.
1. Why do you do what you do? Aka how do your values align with your work on a day to day basis?
I love what I do. My work is totally aligned with my values and I am I the fortunate position to be sure that they stay true to those values every day. My work has also helped to form and solidify my values.
At Teatulia we cultivate and sell finest-quality, ethically-sourced tea, but it is about so much more - empowerment, transformation, regeneration, community and, ultimately, clean food.
the mama ‘hood is about exactly the same things but we focus on mamas, babies & families. Our mission there is to help families find joy in the parenting process.
2. Tell us a bit about your journey that has helped you get to where you're at today?
Grew up in Denver then went to NYC for college & business school. After some time working for non profits and an ad agency, I went to work with my family business where I spent 5 years. Learned almost all I know from my tremendous family. We sold our company when I started working with a good friend who’s family had started a tea garden in Bangladesh to import their teas - that was 12 years ago… mama ‘hood came about because I had my first child in LA where there were fantastic businesses that supported my fully - community, yoga, education. I had my second child in Denver and was stunned by the dearth of similar resources so I decided to build my own. I had the good fortune to meet my tremendous partners along the way and the mama ‘hood was born
3. How has networking, both personally and professionally helped your business and/or career?
INVALUABLE. Everyone you meet can help you if you are open to it or listening for it. I have so much to learn every day and anyone who will give me their time and share their experience and perspective and their connections helps me look at things differently and expand my network and uncover a new opportunity. And the beauty of living in Denver is that we are inherently collaborative - this is a culture of abundance, instead of zero sum. Help grow our thriving community and the community thrives.
4. If you had to pick one networking tip, tool or strategy that's increased your confidence what would you say it is? (ie: utilizing body language, perfecting your elevator pitch, having a strong mental game, knowing the 'right people', following up etc.)
Doing my homework. You need to show up to every interaction (business and otherwise) ready to play, ready to handle the curveballs and ready to win. I research every company and person I meet with beforehand, talk to folks they know or who have done business with them and experience their product or service for myself (if possible) so I arrive knowing what I am talking about and ready to capitalize on the situation, but, almost more importantly, demonstrating that I care about their business and invested the time up front to understand it.
5. What specific strategies or tactics do you utilize to maintain your various networks?
Keep in regular touch. Give shout outs when they get mentioned in the media or have a win. Stay top of mind and find ways to interact that don’t involve you asking for something.
6. What challenges or obstacles have you faced along the way and how have you overcome them?
So many! But those are the puzzles in life - our challenge is to solve them… My biggest challenge has been getting the right people on the bus as I’ve grown my businesses. Having the wrong people can hold you back, slow you down or outright harm your business. As a small company with a limited budget, limited track record and limited networks, it can be hard to build the A team. BUT you learn, you adjust and you take lots and lots of advice and it gets much much better.
7. What are your 'secrets' to success?
- Stay light and laugh.
- Show your vulnerabilities.
- Only do what you love and let your passion shine through.
- Always, always, always ask questions, seek new angles and keep learning.
8. Where can people find you online or in networking situations to meet you in person?
Linda, it is such a privilege to know you and I’m pleased to recognize you for your outstanding dedication to building better businesses for women, kids, families and communities in need across our world.