tea time finery, my fayevorite things, faye fitzgerald, set to a tea, kathleen rogers, tea party, consultant, direct sales
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From time to time, The Tea House Times will share an interview with one of our regular advertisers, circulate the interview to our email list and post here at our website. 

This month we are interviewing:



This month we are interviewing Faye Fitzgerald of Tea Time Finery and Kathleen Rogers of Set to a Tea.  Tea Time Finery specializes in beautiful aprons and recently introduced monogram design aprons and totes.  Set to a Tea is a Tea Party Hostess business and offers consultant training and a very special product line.  Both of these wonderful business owners will be available to chat with you and showcase their products in The Tea House Times’ Tea Bureau Booth 509 at World Tea Expo May 2-4, 2009.  Other member products shown in the Tea Bureau booth will be Grandma Rae, Granny’s Tea Cozies, Marmaladys, Moments in Thyme, Penguin books, Tea Dyed Tees, a teapot bank from Oregon Street Tea Company, Shabby Lane Shops directory, and a directory to other Tea Bureau member businesses, Tea Rooms, and Tea Speakers Bureau members.



GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Faye, your aprons have always caught my eye for being very unique and stylish.  The fabrics are beautiful and certainly fit the name Tea Time Finery.  Are your aprons handmade and do you offer custom fabric choices?


FAYE FITZGERALD/TEA TIME FINERY:  Yes, my aprons are all hand made in my downstairs sewing/work room.  I started out by choosing fabrics and color palettes that caught my eye while always searching for something festive enough for a tea party yet suitable for a tea room.  Along the way, I was disappointed to find that there weren’t many tea-themed fabrics available.  Recently, however, I discovered several “Afternoon Tea” fabrics and will have this new line of aprons available at the Expo.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  I see you recently introduced a granny style hat.  Tell us about this.


FAYE/TEA TIME FINERY:  The granny-style hat actually came about by a request from a tea room owner.  The hats are made from the same “Afternoon Tea” fabrics to coordinate with the aprons.  They are gathered and trimmed in lace and bring a fun yet nostalgic look to the ensemble.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Your adult bibs are great!  Especially the unique fabric choices available for women AND men!  What made you decide to offer adult size bibs?


FAYE/TEA TIME FINERY:  Well, there are so many adults who are “shut-ins” or wheelchair bound.  Often at mealtime, a dull-looking towel is placed on them.  I got to thinking about how nursing homes and other organizations have tea parties for the elderly, so why not give them some tea time finery, too.  They should feel special and look pretty.  So I am making the bibs in tea-themed fabrics, but they are available in a variety of fabrics to suit both men and women. 


But they’re not just for the elderly.  How often do all of us grab a bite to eat on the run…so they’re very handy to keep in your car or desk so you can protect your clothing!


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Tell us about some of the other products you have created such as tea cozies, etc.


FAYE/TEA TIME FINERY:  I haven’t done too much with the tea cozies.  I have requests for them, but they’re on my “back burner”, so to speak.  I have also made fabric tea pouches.  These are made from a variety of fabrics and are small enough to hold a tea bag.  They are embellished with a tea charm and gift tag.  They are great for gifts, tea party favors, or just to keep in your purse.  Also, I make lavender sachets.  These come with an attached card with suggested uses.  And I have a spa line which I’m always working on, including herbal spritzers and other items which are in the development stage. 


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Your most recent addition - to be introduced at World Tea Expo - is your new line of monogram design aprons and totes.  Tell us about this.  What are the fabric choices and colors.


FAYE/TEA TIME FINERY:  I guess you could say the embroidered aprons and tote bags are my personal contribution to help the environment.  Let’s face it – we’ve all heard the horror stories of those pesky plastic bags clogging up landfills.  Everywhere you go nowadays, grocery and department stores – even our local library – have recyclable tote bags available.  I felt the tea industry needed to go green, too.  So I started my own line of embroidered tote bags.  These are medium-sized canvas totes.  They have a teapot on them and your choice of the following words:  (1) Go Green Tea; (2) Hospitalitea; (3) Serenitea; and (4) Tranquilitea.  They are fun to take to tea or shopping!  The aprons are full bib aprons currently available in white, green, blue or tan, embroidered with the teapot and same choice of words as the tea totes.  You may request any thread color.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Can a tea room order a custom monogram of their business name or logo for the aprons or totes?


FAYE/TEA TIME FINERY:  I have done some custom totes for tea rooms as a special order.  However, not all logos work well in embroidery.  These would be considered on an individual basis, and there is a one-time digitizing fee.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Stepping back a little, tell us how you first got involved with the tea industry through your book and greeting cards and how this led to Tea Time Finery.


FAYE/TEA TIME FINERY:  Being a native of Florida and raised a “Southern Lady”, tea is in my roots and carries special childhood memories.  My mom was famous for her sweet iced tea, and both of my parents were well known for their Southern hospitality.  But it was not until my children were grown that I found the opportunity to pursue my passion for tea.  A few years ago, I started my business called “My Fayevorite Things”.  It included having tea parties in my home as well as hosting tea parties for others, making cards for my guests with a tea bag and a tea saying.  Eventually, I put those sayings into book form, published with the title, “Life is Like a Tea Bag”.  The tea cards have blossomed into 6 different lines of cards.  I have also started a line of garden cards, and each card has a vegetable or flower seed packet.


I am blessed to have a husband who shares my passion for tea.  We love to travel on tea-related excursions and explore new tea rooms.  It is within the walls of a tea room that my soul truly finds inner peace and contentment.  It is in peering into a beautiful cup or glass of tea that my mind finds both rest AND inspiration.  And so it was in our tea room adventures that the “fashionista” in me started noticing what tea room employees wore, as well as what people wear when going to tea.  That’s where I found a niche waiting to be filled.  And that is how Tea Time Finery was born.  I have started with vintage-look and embroidered aprons, granny hats, tea tote bags.  The journey has just begun!

I would like to personally invite all of you to please come visit my husband, John, and me at the World Tea Expo, Booth #509.  See our exciting new products and enter the drawing for free merchandise.  We will have some great show specials you won’t want to miss!  We love meeting fellow tea enthusiasts, and we’re always open to your thoughts and suggestions.  Hope to see you there!


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Please visit with Faye at World Tea Expo Booth 509, May 2-4, 2009 at World Tea Expo. 

Visit www.teatimefinery.com for online shopping or contact Faye for wholesale information.  Faye Fitzgerald, Tea Time Finery, P. O. Box 822, Mt. Dora, FL 32757, (352) 455-2345  email:  Faye@teatimefinery.com




Set to a Tea is a Tea Party Hostess business and offers consultant training and a very special product line. 


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Kathleen, I have been watching your business grow and am impressed by the quality and quantity of products you have made available to your hostess/consultant team.  The product packaging is elegant and unique and brings the entire line together beautifully, making it easy and attractive for consultants to present and sell through home parties.  Why would someone want to become a Set to a Tea Consultant? 


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   Sharing your passion for tea is the most important reason for beginning your tea business. We offer one of the best and easiest opportunities to do this and add to your income while enjoying yourself.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  What do you offer in the start up kit for consultants?  Is it full of sales tools and helpful information? 


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   Our Start up Package is really 2 kits in one! The business kit is full of the tools (order forms, catalogs, etc) and training guides that you need to be a successful business owner. Our Retail kit provides you with the best selling products from our signature line; giving your "tea shop" a beautiful presentation.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Tell us about some of the training you offer your consultants. 


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   Training is a key component to a consultant's success. We offer weekly and monthly phone conferences as well as monthly tea trainings. We are very excited to announce our new education program with TeaCourse.com for our TEAm!


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Share with us how you plan to make use of TeaCourse.com to help educate your consultants about tea.


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   Serving your customers properly means that you continually grow as a tea consultant. Our new TeaCourse membership will allow our consultants to enjoy the wonderful world of tea as they learn more about it!


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Your product line includes all of the beautiful things one would expect to see at a fine afternoon tea gathering.  You also sell tea and other food products to complete the perfect experience. Tell us about your products.


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   Our signature product line is a fabulous blend of tea and teaware. First, we offer whole leaf gourmet teas as well as unique items to prepare the tea. We design and produce our own line of tea cosies, table cloths and napkins. Coordinating tea pots, tea cups and serving pieces make it easy for our customers to set a beautiful table. Pantry goodies help our customers serve treats as well as tea. Finally, we have selected wonderful gift items for our tea lovers.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Can anyone purchase products at your website, or is it only available for consultants ordering to fulfill party sales? Or - both?


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   SettoaTea.com offers easy online shopping for our retail customers. Our Consultants have their own online ordering system called the "Consultant's Workstation"


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Do you wholesale any of your products?


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   Our products are offered through our Consultants exclusively. Even when you order at the website, a consultant is given the contact and credit for the retail sale. We take pride in our Consultant TEAm and will always support them, never compete with them.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  What kind of person do you see fitting the Set to a Tea Consultant team?  Where should a consultant live and do business?


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   A consultant for Set to a Tea has a passion for sharing and learning about tea. She must have a desire to serve others as she grows her business. Our mission is to offer hope, joy and encouragement to others through the experience of Afternoon Tea. She must hold to this purpose also. We are excited to serve consultants throughout the United States. Each consultant has the opportunity to work from home and enrich the lives of their family as well as their new hostesses and customers.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  If I were to have a Set to a Tea party in my own home, what would the benefit be to me as the hostess? 


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   Our Hostess Program is one of the best in the business! The experience begins with a tea party and an intimate group of friends/family. For sharing her home and her guests with us she is rewarded with generous free gifts and awards.  The best benefit however is, the tea party experience with our tea and scones and your friends!


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  If I were to become one of your Set to a Tea Consultants and I set up a party with any number of hostesses in their homes, what is the benefit to me?  Why should I become a Set to a Tea Consultant?


KATHLEEN/SET TO A TEA:   Consultants will benefit from our turn key retail system. They can open their shop doors immediately and realize a profit right away. We have a tea party guide that will show you how and keep you on the right path to success! We've taken out the guess work so that you can turn your passion for tea into the business you've always wanted.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Looking to start a tea business?  Please visit with Kathleen at World Tea Expo Booth 509, May 2-4, 2009 at World Tea Expo (FYI - the expo offers New Business Boot Camp classes prior to the expo).


Contact: Kathleen Rogers, Kathleen@settoatea.com, 201-315-8726, www.settoatea.com  or visit the Set to a Tea  new store/product showcase at 1616 Union Valley Road, Bearfort Village West, Milford, NJ 07480   (Call for hours 973-728-3300)


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