Why We Chose the Orange Mound Community
Orange Mound is the oldest African American Community in America. In 1895, a portion of the land from the vast Dederick Plantation was sliced into narrow lots and sold to African Americans. Houses were constructed by the same men who had built the finest homes in Memphis, and the neighborhood was complete in every respect with schools, churches, businesses, a library, a fire station, and parks.
Making a House a Home
The House which serves as an office, packaging hub, retail store and as a place of refuge for the women who work there was built in 1902 and stands stoically on the corner of Semmes and Carnes in the heart of the Orange Mound community. At My Cup of Tea, women from the community who have limited knowledge and marginal exposure to home economics, parenting models, and employment are taught valuable life skills such as, job readiness, cooking, sewing, gardening, and other domestic skills as needed or desired.
Cultivating Community, One Tea Leaf at a Time
At My Cup of Tea, our mission isn’t just to provide women in our community with employment; our goal is to provide them with the tools they need to thrive financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We provide financial workshops, adult education assistance, Bible studies, and other programs to equip and empower our team and our community to thrive.
Gardening is a part of what we do, because it provides an opportunity for individuals to enjoy cultivating a living organism that brings beauty and sustenance into the world. Our garden is also the location of many heartfelt conversations among friends. Many of the women here have experienced difficult situations and life circumstances. A garden provides the perfect opportunity to speak to the fruits of the spirit and cultivating a life well-lived.
When an individual becomes part of our home, she also learns a number of valuable skills, like cooking, sewing, gardening that play a vital role in her ability to become more self-sufficient. For those who come to us with marketable skills or aptitudes, we funnel those abilities into micro enterprises to provide additional income for the women. Here’s a look at a few of those enterprises.
Sewing & Embroidery
In addition to tea, we also offer tea cozies, tea towels, and aprons for sale, all of which are sewn and embroidered here in Orange Mound. For our ladies, sewing and embroidering provide an opportunity to not only create unique, locally-made products for sale in our store, but it also serves as a creative outlet. Each fall, Christmas, and Easter, the ladies create new seasonal items that make the perfect gift or decorative item for your home.
One of our newest ventures is an onsite wig shop that offers an opportunity for some of the ladies who are passionate about cosmetology to share their skills with our community here in Orange Mound. We welcome ladies to visit our wig shop for quality hair care and a friendly face!
Furniture Refurbishing and Rehoming
Do you have a chair in need of reupholstering? A wood furniture piece that needs sanding and refinishing? In addition to their gardening, sewing, cooking, and cosmetology skills, ladies have helped complete some phenomenal restoration projects for individuals wanting to provide a facelift for their home or donate an unused item for resale.