Sometimes, businesses come up with a name that is meaningless, just a thought that popped into someone’s head, and turned into a name. With our tea company, a lot of thought went into our name, along with memories. I knew who Nana Rosie was from a few stories that Amy had shared with me, but had no idea of what a wonderful inspiration she was. After reading this (through tears), I couldn’t be happier with our decision to name our business venture after Nana Rosie. Grab some tissues before you start reading! If you know Amy at all, then you will know Nana Rosie. ~Tiffany
In the back of my closet, I have an old, turquoise garment box. I rarely open it, but I can tell you exactly what’s inside of it. There’s a hand-stitched table runner, a ceramic spoon rest in the shape of a cat, a little box with some old assorted jewelry, a white wool sweater and a change purse in the shape of a shamrock. I think I’ve only opened it one or two times in the past few years. It’s not that I don’t value these objects. In fact, if you robbed my house, I would rather you take my laptop or my car than this small box. I don’t open it because it’s the only thing left on this Earth that contains my favorite scent: Nana Rosie. These things all once belonged to the person I admire most, and each time I open the box, it loses it smell a little bit.
I grew up in a house with 3 ragged, crass, roughhousing brothers. Not one of them could be described as “sentimental,” but there was one person who had the ability to slow them down; warm them up. There was something very magical about our Nana. She made us feel something that was different from any other feeling. She was always smiling. She never said a single bad word about anyone else, or about herself. She never seemed to tire of us, even in her old age. There was a certain gentleness about her that exuded peace and warmth. As long as I can recall, her presence was accompanied by this certain beautiful scent, which like her, was too unique to ever be replicated. While I could never do it justice with my words, the closest I can think of to describe it is kind of a combination of vanilla, cinnamon, cookie dough, cotton, lavender and that smell you get when you open an old book that’s been kept away for a long time. I’ve never smelled it anywhere else, except when I open that old box.
When Nana passed a way a few years ago, I was devastated. I had lost my role model, my pen pal, my comforter and my dearest friend. I knew, though, that she was too strong a spirit to be really gone. She has influenced every part of my life, and I think about her every day. As I strive to be the best person I can be, I use my Nana Rosie as my goal. Her passion for a healthy, natural lifestyle lives on through me, and I delight in knowing that would make her proud. She taught me about whole foods, and gardening and spices, and herbal teas, and I enjoy incorporating those same ideas into my home, with my family. Nana never had the chance to meet my daughter, or even my husband. To try and show them who she was, to make sure they get some small dose of her magic, I simply remember her. I remember the way she listened to me, and comforted me. I remember the way she made ordinary things feel special. I remember the way she made me tea in fragile, little, china teacups, and used the same bag to make hers. I remember these things, and hope that if Nana Rosie were still alive, my husband would say that I remind him of her.
So, I make tea. I make tea because it reminds me of my Nana. Something done in her honor should only be done perfectly, and I wouldn’t stamp her precious name on anything that isn’t Although I wish more than anything that I could join her in a cup of tea today, I can’t. As I sit at my kitchen table, though, pressing “Nana Rosie Teas” stickers onto these little, brown boxes of tea, I am comforted by the thought that this is another way to keep her memory alive. While I am surrounded by the sweet smells of the tea going into these boxes, I find myself hoping that each person who opens one up will feel a little bit of what I feel when I open up that tattered, old turquoise box in the back of my closet; peace, comfort and Nana Rosie.