Teami Blends CEO Adi Arezzini on Building a Business
Adi Arezzini is the co-founder and CEO of Teami Blends, a wellness brand that now has close to a million followers on Instagram. I love how incredibly persistent she is and that she is someone who can do anything she sets her mind to. We sat down to talk about being in the Israeli Army, how she started a brand around her own digestive issues, and why she’s now making skincare. Listen to the full story on this week’s episode of Long Story Short.
On being in the Israeli army...
It was the best experience I’ve ever had. I was in a group of 120 girls all drafted in the same position: fitness instructor for combat soldiers. We had to audition for it. I wasn’t at the top of my game, but I was interested in sports. Our job was to train them to pass their physical fitness test adn obstacle course training at the end of their four month bootcamp. We went through our own bootcamp to learn all about human anatomy, the muscles, how to create running programs, how to create nutrition programs.
When I was in the army, I had really bad digestive issues. The food I was eating in the army was not working with my digestive system. After my first year, I looked like I was five months pregnant and I wasn’t. My stomach was hard as a rock. I started drinking coffee and became addicted to coffee because it was the only thing that would stimulate my digestive system. Eventually that stopped working. I started drinking more water, eating foods with more fiber. I started reading a ton of books about digestive health and colon health.
I didn’t want to wait for someone else to give me the opportunity, I wanted to take the opportunity for myself.
On making her first tea blend...
I needed to solve my own problem. I went around and bought tried all these other teas that had these claims of a detox effect. I tried all these teas and none of them worked on me. I thought, let me try to make this on my own and make something that works for me.
My mom has a tea garden, and I started taking ingredients and putting them together. I started ordering ingredients from overseas as well and I stared blending these ingredients. I would find one and say, that one tastes really good but wasn’t effective, or one that was effective but didn’t taste very good. I started reading up on ingredients and what each tea does until we came up with the formulation for our 30-day detox program, which was our first product.
On promoting her brand on Instagram...
I didn’t want to wait for someone else to give me the opportunity, I wanted to take the opportunity for myself. Instagram was just starting to blow up and I recognized there were people called ‘Instagram Influencers.’ I started a brand page and started posting. I realized I could reach out to customers and started doing that.
Then I [realized] people may come to Teami Blends and say, “Who is this company? Are they legit?” I needed to partner with influencers out there. I didn’t have money for paid partnerships, so I started working with micro-influencers in the beginning. I created my own software to track performance of each influencer.
On launching skincare...
In 2017, I decided to add skincare to my product line. It’s based on the natural benefits of tea and using it for your skin topically instead of just ingesting it. It was a huge move for us. I surveyed my customers and said, “What do you want to see us sell?” I heard skincare over and over again. You guys asked for it, I’ll make you some skincare. I made a matcha green tea mask and facial scrub. I found a local manufacturer, it took me over six months to make those two products. I had to do a ton of research. It was a lot of trial and error. And in March 2018, we were picked up by Ulta Beauty nationally.