Hey beautiful souls ?
I’ve decided to add a new series to my blog called:
I’ll be inviting & interviewing wonderful peeps on my blog to share their beautiful journey. ?
Why tea and not coffee, you asked? ?
Because, I’m a tea lover ?☕ Coffee doesn’t do well on my brain & body. I’ve stopped drinking coffee since almost a year now. But, I take tea & infusions almost 2-3 times per day!
For the first interview series, we’ll have a chat with Zaira who is the founder of myteabox.mu ?
myteabox is the first subscription box in Mauritius
Hello there! I’m Zaira ?
?️Born and raised in Reunion Island, always been an island girl, love the beach, love nature, love the sun (wish it was less hot though) – I only like winter in Europe because you can dress-up haha.
??After high school, I studied International Business in France for 2 years then had an exchange program and did my Master in International Relations in Australia for another 2 years. Graduated in 2011, so as you can guess, I am an old woman now haha.
??Despite my field of studies, life took a funny turn, I came back to Mauritius in 2012 and started working as a Web Content Manager the next year. Since then, I’ve always been in the world of Digital Marketing, owning my skills in SEO Content Writing & Social Media Marketing. I’ve actually been taking on freelance gigs here and there for the last 3 years.
?I speak French and English mostly – I do know creole (Réunionese and Mauritian) but I feel so awkward speaking it!
They say there’s usually one side of your brain which works more than the other, either the creative one or the logical one. For me, it’s both. I am not saying it’s 50/50 all the time, of course, it varies based on what I am doing.
I am practical most of the times, an overthinker, really, who’s faced burn-outs and anxiety for years; and these stressful situations have led me to let my creative side take over when needed.
?I’ve always been passionate about art and crafts, but until 2 years ago, I hadn’t really focused on creating anything. It initially started as a meditation / relaxing method to do any DIY; but today, this is a full part of who I am.
?Whenever I feel overwhelmed and need my brain to just “shut up”, I focus on creating something new… be it painting canvas with motivational quotes or landscapes, drawing mandalas (absolutely love how soothing this is!), creating hand-drawn wishing cards, hand-sewing felt decorations… the list of DIYs I love doing is endless!
??I’m also a real foodie! I LOVE food and eating (lol) and discovering new dishes or new places to grab a yummy bite… any of my closest friends will tell you, I’m always hungry!
☕?I’m obviously a tea-addict: Arshad, my husband and Founder of myteabox.mu, is the one who actually made me give up tea with sugar (like how did I even do this before? Lol), and today we have I think +80 different types of flavored teas from South Africa, Europe and of course, Mauritius, in our cupboard.
So, the genius behind myteabox.mu is Arshad ? I won’t speak for him, but I believe it’s always been in the back of his head somehow.
?We’ve both tasted so many flavored teas from so many different brands (well-known or not) in the past few years and we’ve realized that some of these flavors are not available in Mauritius, or very rarely.
We’ve never stumbled upon a tea with cotton candy flavor in the supermarkets here for instance, which is what has led us to create myteabox.mu: we want to bring this kind of flavored teas to our fellow tea lovers in Mauritius.
“We’re just a couple of people doing something we love and trying to connect with like-minded individuals through a product we’re passionate about” ~ Arshad
I think all our customers can tell you that we really value our relationship with them, we’re looking into creating a community.
Myteabox.mu has been a long time coming. We both left our 9 to 5 jobs in 2017 as we wanted to create something of our own. Our first venture was an online store selling novelty gift items, which didn’t work that well.
It took a couple of years for us to test and try new things, and finally, Arshad decided to use his passion for tea to bring something new to the Mauritius market: MTB was born in October 2020, after a lot of research and tea-tasting (some of our initial blends were awful haha!) and today, we’re celebrating our 6-months anniversary, how crazy is that?!??
??My parents! They’re both retired and cannot spend a day doing nothing. Ever since we’ve started myteabox.mu, they’ve been a real help to us, supporting us and helping us every day, and we cannot thank them enough for it.
?They have so many skills, which they’ve passed down to me (some of them at least haha), like hand-crafting packaging boxes or hand-sewing reusable teabags or coasters. It really is a blessing to be able to work with Arshad and them on myteabox.mu.
Ok, so for the record, I where to purchase disulfiram LOVE traveling, but well, haven’t really had many chances to do so in the past few years.
When I was living in Reunion, I would often come to Mauritius for holiday with my family (at least once a year, for as long as I can remember).
✈️I did a family road trip when I was still in high school, which was absolutely amazing! We’ve landed in Paris first, then went to the South of France before crossing the borders to go to Italy. Visited a few cities there, saw the Colosseum and the ruins in Rome which was such a crazy experience for me (I love mythology – kinda my dream to go to Greece and Egypt haha). We then came back to France, stayed in Montpellier for a bit, then went to Spain. Summer in Spain is just an adventure on its own! We ended up in Belgium for a few days, then to London where one of my brothers lives. It was a full month on the road and summer I will never forget.
?️I also had the chance to go to Germany for a school trip when I was in high school, we stayed two weeks there and if I have to choose a place to talk about, it would probably be the concentration camp in Potsdam. It was winter, I saw snow for the first time in my life during that trip, and being there, in such a historical – tragical place, all covered in white was just… I doubt there are any real words to describe the feeling. It was a painful but beautiful experience to witness what has happened and to walk throughout History.
?Now, on a much more joyful note, I stayed in the Netherlands for a few days, visited The Hague (Amsterdam is still on my to-do list! ?), and I had the opportunity of studying in Australia for two years, in Gold Coast and Brisbane (the East coast), which was one of the most amazing time of my life. Travelled a bit around this beautiful continent: Sydney, Melbourne, the Whitsunday islands and Fraser Island (heaven on Earth). Australia is a beautiful country to visit, I am dying to go back there!
I also stayed in Dubai for half a year, living with one of my brothers, which was also a great experience as I got the chance to visit Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al-Ain, Hatta, and Muscat and Nizwa in Oman.
?My most recent trips have been to South Africa: Cape Town in the early winter (cold cold cold but I still jumped in the pool!) and Johannesburg, very briefly. I had the chance to go to Botswana, where Arshad grew up ? We also had a family road trip to Kasane where we did one of the most insane Safari and from there crossed the borders to go to Zimbabwe and saw the incredible Victoria Falls. There was this bridge hanging high between two mountains, and when you reached the middle of it, there is literally a sign telling you that you are about to enter Zambia! Going there is really a must!
That covers it haha… But I cannot wait to be back on a plane and discover new countries, new cultures and traditions… and food of course! ?
?I’ve recently made a live video on Instagram for International Women’s Rights Day and my message there can be applied to anyone, men and women: if you want to do something for yourself, just do it. Go for it, don’t wait for tomorrow to come, forget the advice of the people who believes it is too risky to not follow the traditional work path. Take that leap of faith and just TRY. The ones who told you “you cannot do it”, are the ones who’ve never even tried to do anything for themselves.
And if you end up failing, keep this in mind: at least you’ve tried. We all fail from time to time and that’s completely OK, it’s part of being human. You simply need to pick yourself up and keep moving forward. Failing is part of growing, you will always learn from your failures – I certainly have.
☘️There is something else I would like to talk about here, Neha: in this new digital world where we’re all surrounded by technologies, always online, always present for everyone and anyone, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Because of it, a lot of us suffer from heavy stress, anxiety, depression or burn-outs at work.
?To you guys, I would like to tell you that it is OK to feel this way sometimes, but – and that’s what really important – you cannot let all this negativity get the better of you. Take some time to focus on yourself, disconnect from your social media, take some days off at work to rest (yes, we’re all workaholics who believe missing one day of work shows we are not dedicated enough – WE ARE!), go on a retreat to reconnect with yourself, do something you really love whether it is reading a book, going to a SPA, working out, baking or gardening. Just take the time to feed and heal your soul so you can face tomorrow with a healthy mind.
Self-care is a must. So be selfish and do something for yourself whenever you feel that you are about to drown again in this pool of negativity. Who cares what others think!
So, that was the wonderful story & journey of Zaira.
Being a tea lover, it came as a nice surprise when I received my surprise box last year ?
And, yes.. it was love at first sip! ?
I sincerely think that myteabox is an amazing and unique concept for all the tea lovers out there. You never know what flavors you will receive every month!