Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Allison Ullo, Founder and CEO of Leaves of Leisure, located in New York, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Leaves of Leisure tea is a luxury herbal tea and botanicals brand created to bring peace and pleasure to ordinary days without caffeine through nostalgic memories and beautiful, thoughtful packaging.

Tell us about yourself

Almost a decade ago, I stopped drinking caffeine after my doctor attributed my mood swings to the amount of caffeine I was consuming. To be fair, at the time, I was working full time during the day and then working a second job waitressing at night till 4 am, and coffee was my crutch. I dove head first into finding an alternative beverage that would leave me feeling refreshed and uplifted without the anxiety or false sense of energy. Tea became my go-to, specifically herbal tea, but finding herbal teas that felt exciting and trendy was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Most herbal tea is marketed as helping you on sick days, cold days, tummy aches, or other ailments. While herbal tea is full of medicinal benefits, that doesn't mean that it should only be consumed as a sick aid. In fact, my energy level increased after I cut caffeine out of my diet. My journey led me to launch a collection of 6 teas. Each tea is based on leisure activity and is full of detoxifying, mood-boosting, and over wellness, ingredients made to curate a sense of nostalgia and joy at any moment of your day. Leaves of Leisure tea was created for people looking to cut back on caffeine but still be able to partake in morning and afternoon pick-me-ups in a way that feels authentic to them. We are bringing balance and inspiration from the first glance to the last sip.

As one of the only tea brands that offer ONLY herbal tea and no caffeine teas, I am motivated to offer a solution for those struggling with their relationship with coffee and redefine what herbal tea can do for you.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment to date as a business owner is connecting with people I have never met and helping them find a new routine without or with limited caffeine and hearing about the energy shift they get. My goal with the company was always to help others and to share something that helped me transform my mood and energy levels. Nothing makes me happier than hearing someone else's life has improved because of a product that I created.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

I am a solopreneur, so the hardest thing that comes as a business owner is managing everything on a daily and weekly basis and balancing my schedule to be able to get it all done.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Learn to habit stack. The only way you can take care of yourself and get everything you need to get done for your startup is by learning to stack the things that are most important into a routine that works for you.
  2. Don't let the frustrations get you down. We all imagine that our growth trajectory will be a straight line upward, but the truth is it takes a bit before that line starts to move upward. Be sure to find gratitude and excitement even with the 1% gains.
  3. Learn to Pivot. Not every tactic you try will work. Learning to be nimble and easily pivoting what you are doing is really important to your growth.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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