In these installments of Meet the Artists, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to the artists and small businesses that we’re featuring in our January “Pamper Me” monthly subscription box.
A Handmade Hive subscription box is a unique monthly lifestyle box that curates a variety of locally-sourced handmade items from artists and small businesses around the country. Each month, the contents of the box will be a surprise to you, but they will center on a specific theme and contain a piece for YOUR HOME, YOURSELF, YOUR WARDROBE or YOUR STYLE. The primary emphasis of what you’ll find from month-to-month will be items in art, personal-care products, stationery, home goods, edible treats and so much more. Our goal is to help you experience deeper connections with the small-business community of artists, designers and makers while also making a difference in the world around us.
January’s box is all about starting off the New Year by renewing, rejuvenating and pampering yourself by taking a bath or sitting back, relaxing and enjoying a cup of organic hand-blended tea.
Today, we’re featuring Andy Hayes from Plum Deluxe! I found out about Andy and Plum Deluxe from one of my favorite podcasts hosted by Tara Gentile called Profit.Power.Pursuit where Andy and Tara spoke about the windy road he took to finally find the business idea that would work, what he’s learned growing a business with a physical product, and the unusual way he’s finding new subscribers. You can listen to Andy’s inspiring interview with Tara here.
In a world of overstuffed inboxes, I actually love getting and reading through Plum Deluxe’s weekly newsletter – the Plum Deluxe Blend. Inside each issue you’ll find inspirational quotes + mindful message from Andy, fresh ideas for living the good life, and sneak peeks and special offers on their line of products.
We’ve featured three of Plum Deluxe’s organic, loose-leaf, hand-blended teas through their Tea Tasting Flight (tea sampler) to pamper yourself or a friend with: Self Care Herbal Tea, Relaxing “Spa Blend”Herbal Tea and Inner Calm Green Tea. My favorite is definitely the Relaxing Spa Blend!
Let’s meet Andy:
“My name is Andy Hayes, and I’m the founder of PlumDeluxe.com, the website that helps you create moments that matter. We are well known for our tea of the month club community, as well as our creative loose leaf tea blends. I am also a published author (currently in the works for another book) in addition to my regular blog writing and my weekly email newsletter. Baking and hiking are two of my ‘outside work’ passions. I am based in Portland, Oregon.
The name of our company ties back to the historical definition of “plum” – which means something lucky, something special, something hard to find. Deluxe implies an upgrade or the best version possible. I thought it tied in nicely to my own personal pursuit of creating a life of meaning and purpose after leaving an unfulfilling career in technology. Our company started out just as a blog and newsletter, and we launched the products after we had a following.”
Andy’s background is in technology and he also has a degree in organizational leadership. He’s always felt that his zone of genius is understanding how ‘to put all the pieces together’. So being a tea blender is a perfect fit.
Before he got a mentorship to make his own teas, Andy was more in the “parties/entertaining/mindfulness” space and helping encourage people to slow down and connect with themselves and others around them. From there, promoting tea and related items of others, he realized that he could make a much bigger impact having his own products.
Andy has had his own exclusive line of items for the past 4 years and continues to push the envelope in terms of what his company creates for their community.
He believes in the importance of creating unique flavors and pairing them with specific moments in our lives. For example, what is the perfect thing to drink while reading or writing in your reading nook? What would you sip before bedtime, or pair with meditation?
This past holiday season Plum Deluxe extended their niche of comforting beverages into hot chocolate and other tasty mixes.
I’m always intrigued to know where the artists and small businesses that I feature get their inspiration from and what was or who has been influential in their career. I believe that there is inspiration all around us if we’re willing to look and for Andy, his primary inspiration is from the food world.
As a foodie, Andy says that he always pays attention to what flavor combinations are at play both online and in cookbooks or local restaurants. This doesn’t always translate exactly to the tea world, but it does provide some interesting insights. He is also inspired by the colors and the scents of nature.
Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” was an essential resource in the beginning of Andy’s career – particularly her artist date concept. Andy says, “I still do morning pages, but I do them in the evening..Evening pages I guess?!?! I’ve also found travel as a wonderful influence to my own personal beliefs and creativity; much of my work is inspired by a blend of the café culture ethos in various places around the world.”
Andy hopes the next 5 years give him the opportunity to see the Plum Deluxe team expand to several full-time staff to accommodate “our ever-growing tribe of like-minded souls and relaxing into various new expanded product offerings” while still enjoying their wonderful house that they just bought…renovations complete!!”
In wrapping up, Andy explained to me what “handmade” means to him:
“Making things by hand means that they are infused with personality and a thoughtful attention to detail. Being an artist gives me the ability to create something new into the world and the opportunity to see my work have an impact on others in the world. It’s a magical feeling. This “handmade life” that we creative entrepreneurs live is not a destination, but a journey. That’s not a cliché – it’s just to reiterate that it is a constant evolution. And, there’s no going back: the handmade life will pull you in and you won’t ever want to escape!
In almost every product, you can find an opportunity to support a small artisan business. And in many cases, you aren’t paying any more, and may end up with a better quality item that will last longer and be more enjoyable. The more that we all support artisans, the more artisans can support other artisans and create opportunity for even more artisan products in the world. Isn’t that a future that you want to be a part of?
I’d like to end by extending gratitude to the Handmade Hive and the work that you do highlighting the hardworking crafters and designers out there in the world. It’s an honor to be seen and be appreciated. Thank you.”
We are so thankful to have the opportunity to get to know Andy and be able to share Plum Deluxe tea in our subscription box.
These, along with most of the other individual items in our box can be purchased online through Handmade Hive’s Online Marketplace in one of two ways.
Monthly subscribers have the benefit of being able to purchase products, while supplies last, from each month’s box at a 10% discount before the 20th of each month.
After the 20th of each month, the products will be available for anyone to purchase at full retail until supplies last.
These options allow for you to purchase more products for yourself before you run out, share with your friends or give as a gift to someone you love!!
We have single box and monthly subscription purchase options available and if you use coupon code: PAMPER, you’ll get your first box at 50% ff, upon subscription (does not apply to single box or individual item purchases)
So…How About You?? Have you purchased from Plum Deluxe before? What’s your favorite blend and why? Give them some love in the comment section below.
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Be sure to follow our blog, as well as our Facebook page so you don’t miss out on any of these features. Our next installment is going to on The Bread Box and Bakery – the supplier of the De.Li.Cious Chocolate Chips Cookies that we’ve pampered you with in this box. They are BUCKS COUNTY’S 1st and only Community Supported Bakery (CSB), with a focus on Artisan Breads and Pastries made with local products and ingredients.