Five years ago, as I wandered around my local health food store, I spotted a new tea called RUNA. I was attracted by its tag line‘Clean Energy.’ I had been looking for an alternative to black tea – something that might preserve my morning caffeine ritual but without the down sides of stained teeth and jitters. I bought a box of RUNA.
Since then, I have become a RUNA addict.
The day after I discovered RUNA, I landed on a YouTube interview with Tyler – the company’s co-founder. Tyler has a hip, millennial can-do demeanor specific to a particular class of entrepreneurs who radiate a profound belief in their capacity to make positive change. He described the multi-pronged nature of his visionary company; health, ecological sustainability and social change. I was inspired.
I am different kind of entrepreneur. I design jewelry and own a small artisanal jewelry company based in Western MA. I work with two beloved silversmiths in Bali who painstakingly create each jewelry design by hand. I then sell my designs at high-end craft shows and online. But despite the modest scope of my business compared with Runa’s, I feel I have something in common with Tyler. Like Tyler, I have built my company on strong life-affirming values. I care deeply about the natural world, so my designs echo the movement, balance and beauty I see in nature. I care deeply about supporting skilled artisans, so we provide a sustained livelihood for our silversmiths. And I care deeply about relationships, time, and quality of life, so we keep our business small and engage consistently and authentically with our customers.
Last fall, I decided to align my business with Runa by donating $1 for every piece of jewelry I sell to the Runa Foundation. I also send a sachet of Runa tea with every online order in the hopes of turning others onto this delicious tea. I am thrilled to support and celebrate Runa – this company that has so inspired me, and whose delicious tea I enjoy every single day.