Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sweeteas are Touching the South

Hello Mums & Sweeteas,
I have sure been busy these last few months meeting the most precious Sweeteas from the East Coast to Texas. I just returned from Charleston and simply fell in love with the city. It is surely one so rich in history that you would find it difficult to match. I took a walking tour one morning since I have yet to write the individual book about Sunshine, our Charleston Sweetheart, and thanks to my amazing tour guide Jane, I could write a whole series just on Charleston. I found it almost comical to learn that some of the homes had the double staircase entries, because the men weren't allowed to see the women's ankles as they lifted their gowns to enter the home.....my how times have changed!!!! The ankles are the least of our worries today! The weather was beautiful in the evenings, but steamy in the day, however, not quiet the steam that I find in my daily routine here in Mississippi. In the words of the Sweeteas, You certainly need a fan to bare the fainting heat!!

I would love to say thanks to Meghan Porter of Charleston Children's Boutique for inviting me to sign books. She has the most precious shop, and it is filled with such unique items many designed or produced in Charleston. I love to see businesses supporting other local businesses. If you are near Charleston, please stop in to Meghan's and grab a Sweetea Book to share! I also thank Holly Roberson of Go Charleston Deals for such amazing hospitality and sharing the city with me. As I have mentioned before, traveling has lead me to meet some of the neatest women and Holly and I met last fall in Raleigh at a Christmas event. We have become friends through sharing our ideas and inspiration, and most thought we had been life long friends. That is just the Sweetea in us Southern Girls, I suppose. Her sweet friend Nancy made us the most wonderful food, so I have to say between Nancy and Basil....the food was divine!!

Additionally I have seen Savannah, Round Rock, Tx and Austin and several cities in Alabama, and as always have so enjoyed meeting such wonderful women and their Sweeteas. We had such a great time at My Party Place in Round Rock with such darling sweeteas all decked in their hat creations. I should have taken a picture of the mother and daughter pair with their hats made from paper. I should add large brimmed hats!!! Very creative. I also visited with the Glorified Girls of Monroeville, Al, and these 5th and 6th grade girls truly touched my heart. Chris Z who asked me to speak to their group, has even teamed with me to brainstorm on launching our preteen Girls' Ministry Pure Hearts. It is so amazing the women that are so genuinely interested in helping, and that we sure need!!! I also had the opportunity to visit two great customers Wrapsody of Auburn and Wrapsody of Birmingham. Such a neat store in both locations run by fabulous Southern Women!!! I am proud to say they support a good many Mississippi Artist and have everything from decor to gifts and of course, Sweeteas. I plan to be back at the Wrapsody of Auburn for the MSU vs Auburn game this fall, so hopefully I will get to see a few Bulldogs on that trip too!!

So where are we now??? Well, as always we have so much going on that it is hard to focus!! I am wanting to release the first book of the individual books of the Sweeteas, but uncertain of the format we should present it, so we are discussing the options. I am planning on Honey first, because her story is so sweet about loving yourself for being who you are. Honey is our least "girlie" of the Sweeteas, but we love her just the same, and I think it is important for our girls to know that this is not about being prissy, but more about having a good heart! I have submitted He Gave Me Pearls for editing, and I should have it reviewed this month. I am a little nervous about this one, being a book for women. I certainly don't claim to be an eloquent writer, just an inspired one, for children that is. However, I enjoy speaking most of all, and my message really leans more towards He Gave Me Pearls, so it only makes sense that there is a book to compliment the events I am currently working on. There is so much to do with Sweeteas, and I get constant request for tea sets and dolls and bags etc...It is something I have been working on, but with out a doubt need some assistance on, so if you know me, you probably can guess that I am just holding and praying about this now. I do have peace that in its time it will all be as it should.

This past year, we have been working on a Sweetea Club, Mum & Me, in Hattiesburg, MS. The Spirit of Women have been such a great support for this club, and I wish we had them everywhere to replicate what we are doing here. Since we don't, we have decided to put together a Calendar/Planner with monthly themes and meeting ideas for those interested in starting their own club until we have the backing in place to run it as we vision. We are looking for photos of Sweeteas, so please email me if you would like your photo included in our Planner. These we hope will be available in August.

In a time of great need, I prayed for one idea to change my life, and I was given this adorable cast of characters. I have recently moved back to the town where it all began, so it seems only natural to give this back to Him to let him do as he will with it!!! I can't wait to see;)

The next few weeks I will be in Jackson, MS, Richland, MS, Hammond, LA, Athens, GA, Blue Mountain, Tn and Kentucky, so please come out to visit!!

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Been A While.....

It has surely been too long since I have written. It was brought to my attention lately that I haven't blogged in awhile, and to be honest, I was pretty excited to know that someone noticed:) There has been so much going on here that it is hard to still myself long enough to write. I spent much of mid-late last year planning for new Sweetea Products....bags, dolls, tea sets, jewelry...the things everyone seems to email me about. I really became consumed with creating products and I have to admit they are all quite adorable and perfectly Sweetea. It just seems that right now isn't the timing, I suppose. I think my heart is in writing and speaking and the production side of this business really steals me from my "love." So, I pray that if we are to have a line of Sweetea Products that the person who is better equipped to direct those steps appears, because it is surely too much for me alone.

On the other side, I have been speaking more and will begin traveling here soon to some towns that I am very excited about....Charleston, Savannah, Birmingham, Auburn, Monroeville, AL....Louisiana, Mississippi. I love speaking more than writing I believe. I just truly enjoy the opportunity to share my story with others. I really have a heart for ministry, and I believe the time in which we live that it is desperately needed. I just finished my book "He Gave Me Pearls," which is for women instead of Sweeteas for something different. I don't know if it will be published or what exactly I will do with it, but it was on my heart and now it is on paper and that is how Sweeteas began, so we will see. I think I may start a Newsletter with the same title, because I feel that God gives me pearls to share and it would allow me to do so.

I spoke to a group of young ladies in McComb on Sunday. They call themselves the Crown Club, and they were started by a Junior League Member who decided to mentor and create a group of young ladies much similar to the role of the Junior League from Juniors & Seniors from local high schools. The "Crown Club" in turn decided to mentor a group of 6th grade girls, where they have been sharing with them this year the theme "Pretty Is As Pretty Does." So we had several generations of Southern Women together from Grandmothers and Mothers to High School Seniors to 6th Graders all celebrating together the importance of Inner Beauty and Southern Grace. I left with such a sense of pride in knowing that this was taking place in the community from which I grew up, and wondered if other communities were doing the same?? Please share if you are!!!

So this leads me to the pearl for today.......We all have the ability to change lives by sharing our stories and our faith, and by letting our lives be reflections of love and compassion. May we never miss an opportunity to touch someone else in need. I am sure there were many young girls on Sunday that through this mentoring program have been truly influenced. I know the president, Chandler Parker, though a senior in high school moved me by her genuine desire to touch these young ladies and her efforts to make that day perfect for them.....it warmed my heart:)
There is a book I read recently entitled, "Sun Stand Still" by Steve Furtick, and it is about praying audaciously for things we would almost consider miraculous. I would say that is basically what I did 5 years ago when I found my healing and Sweeteas. I personally really enjoyed the book, and I especially loved how he claims that we all are connectors to the Source, so no matter what our job is, we all have the ability to move others to the Source, even with a simple smile or friendly hand shake. So may you be the connector where ever you are!!!!
I love the quote....Bloom Where You Are Planted!!

My precious twins, Houston & Jackson, turn five this week which is really exciting for them because they get to start Baseball now that they are five, but also for me, because five years ago the Sweeteas were born from a heart that seemed failing but now is fully alive:)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

God's Promises Release

Good morning Mums & Sweeteas,

I hope many of you started the morning as I did, seeing a beautiful rainbow that covered the sky. It seems that in the last year I have seen so many rainbows that stretch the sky where you can see it in it's completeness. It gives me such peace.....God Promises Rainbows:)

We are anxiously awaiting our new book, God's Promises to His Lil' Sweeteas. It is a little different from the other books, but surely the most special to me. It is most certainly Sweetea in voice, but unlike the others we encourage you to journal in it things you are grateful for. This is a wonderful habit to form with your Sweetea!!! For those that I have met while traveling with Sweeteas, you know that I am very passionate about my story and sharing how God has truly transformed me, and I hope it encourages others to seek Him and all the joy and love and peace that comes with Him.

I spent last week in the Colorado Mountains. It was beautiful and the weather was amazing. I went with one purpose and that was to hear God's direction for my ministry and for Sweeteas. I learned so much while in the Mountains and I am journalling profusely to capture it all to share with you in my own personal story, but most importantly I learned that you really need to be STILL and listen, because He will speak to you. Most people that know me well would venture not to believe that I could be STILL, but yes, a miracle did happen on that mountain and it was not the only one:) One verse that really spoke to me on the mountain was John 10:10.
His Word says
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
He really impressed upon my heart these words, and knowing that He comes with LIFE.....He comes with fruits of the spirit....joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self control.... you probably know them well and wished you knew them intimately. What greater gift could you give your Sweetea than raising them in the fullness of God surrounded by the "fruits of His Spirit."

God's Promises to His Lil' Sweeteas is just a first step, but it is most certainly a "precious" way to introduce learning and loving God to your Sweeteas. I pray he gives me much more to share with you in the year to come.

You can start pre-ordering now by going to our shopping cart under the Book Shop and you will see the new cover. We should be shipping by November 1st in plenty of time for your Christmas Gifts.

Blessings to All,


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hello, Sweeteas and Mums:)
It's Sunday night, and I am working late as I tend to do once my babies get to sleep. I actually enjoy working late when our home is finally quiet. I have four year old twin boys, Houston & Jackson, so my house is rarely quiet!! My poor daughter Holland is quite an angel, unless they hit her buttons too, and then her nine year old hormones kick in, and we have a nice dose of twin boys on top of hormones....can you imagine:) Some days it's comical and others.....Calgon!!!!

I had such a great day last Thursday in Hattiesburg, and I have been meaning to share it with you since. As you may know by now, we are launching the Sweetea Club in Hattiesburg on September 12th, so I spent Thursday there doing some press and promotion with the Spirit of Women. I have to say that the women there are so amazing that I wish everyone could just share a day with them. It is so wonderful to be surrounded by so many fabulous Southern Women all in one town in Mississippi. I grew up an hour from Hattiesburg, and it seemed a small town to me then. It has grown tremendously since, but I had no idea the people that call it home now. I really don't know how to describe them except for they are driven to the point they could together pull off anything I am confident, yet they are all so charmingly Southern with such great energy, spirit, and very strong in Faith. Exactly what we want for our Sweeteas!!!

I first did an interview with Jo McDivitt from Mississippi Women's Magazine, and though she was suppose to be interviewing me, I was certainly more interested in her:) She wears a hat everyday, and not just any hat, but those that have found homes in museums and come from all over the world. You can look at them and tell that there is a story to each, I am sure. I asked her if we could display them for the Sweetea Launch, and she seemed delighted, so if you are there you will get to view a few of her 300 hats. You should google her, because I found several stories of her myself that I really enjoyed. She exudes the "Southern Lady!" I think she will be a great resource for the club, because she has a wealth of knowledge from her tea library to crushing sugar in rose geranium leaves so that when you take sugar you smell the rose. How charming??? The Sweetea Club isn't exactly about having tea, but it does have to do with sharing traditions which I love!!!

Also, there is Catherine Strange who writes Fearless Entertaining, and is just amazing at pulling events together. She even met me at Channel 7 for the noonday show Thursday, and decorated a little table for my interview. So precious!!! I am so delighted that she is helping with the Sweetea Launch. She has an amazing vision, and I am honored that she is taking her time to make this day memorable!!

Though I was only with her for a few moments, Miranda at Channel 7 was equally charming....sharp and infectious, as they all are.

Of course, the Spirit of Women's Millie Swan is just the icing on the cake. She is without a doubt a marketing genius, but even more, she has a passion for helping others that I have never quite seen. My mother always says I give and do to much........well, she needs to meet Millie, because I pale in comparison. I can not forget sweet Kathy too, who hauled me here and there all day. A sweetheart,no doubt!!! Kathy is with Forrest General with Millie and a list of others who really devote themselves to helping women in the community from their health to Fearless Entertaining:) We should all be so lucky to have such support. It is truly remarkable what they offer their community.

So tonight, I just say thanks to all of you wonderful women!!!! I pray that this business is blessed, and I get to spend my life working with more women like you Ladies of Hattiesburg together touching the world with our Southern Grace:)

They say do what you love for a living and you will never work a day in your life.....we should all be so blessed.

May God Bless You all this week,


Saturday, July 24, 2010

New with Sweeteas

Good morning, Sunshine:) I guess I'm trying to ward off the tropical storm headed our way as I travel north to Shreveport this morning to sign books at Sprout & Company. I haven't written in awhile, and I wanted to just give you a little bit of an update. It is so busy here almost a little overwhelming I have found starting a company is more work than I imagined. We were in Atlanta at the International Gift & Home Show all last week, and we have had just an amazing response to the Sweetea Club. Everyone was so excited, which really shows the need for it. I will have to also say that the people of Atlanta where so welcoming and helpful. I honestly was shocked at how many people offered Doni and I help during our visit. We both continuously commented on it. Us both being small town girls, we had to get use to the Marta and the directions and the loops from 75 and 85 which if your familiar with Atlanta you probably know well, but everyone was so helpful!!!! Thanks Atlanta you sure showed your Sweetea Hospitality:) My favorite thing about shows is meeting new people, because I always meet the greatest people and it is so nice to be surrounded by others that are trying to live their dreams......(Christopher Pop-in-Kins, Glow Bears, Shi Shou Baby) I also was added to Miss Harriett's Showroom and her and her staff are precious, so if you get to Atlanta Children's World please stop by!!

Yesterday, I spent a full day in Hattiesburg Mississippi at Cane Brake Country Club with Spirit of Women Leader Millie Swan and her team and Catherine Strange, author of Fearless Entertaining all planning together the Sweetea Club Launch on September 12. I have to say that these women are amazing!! There plans are nothing short of Sweetea, and if you can drive, it will be worth the trip!!!! I don't want to ruin the surprise, but we have lots in store and we are planning for 250 people. I am so grateful for these women to help us launch the club in perfect Sweetea fashion, and we hope to replicate this in other cities. Please let me know if you are interested. I will blog more about the club details, so you understand the concept on my return.

I have a special friend who is dying of cancer as we speak, so I ask for prayers of comfort for the Elliott family over the weekend. Jim always said God is Good, and I truly believe that good comes from everything where God is involved. I know Jim's battle, while it has been very difficult for his family, has really touched a mass of people by sharing his faith through it all.



Monday, June 14, 2010

Sweetea Club

Hello Sweeteas,

I wanted to give you some very exciting news!!! We are making plans to launch the Sweetea Club Mum & Me on September 12th in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Spirit of Women headed by Millie Swan of Forrest General Hospital is sponsoring our launch at Canebrake Country Club. They have been extremely generous in making this a very special event that we hope to replicate all over the South. The Spirit of Women are found through out the country affiliated with hospitals that work to improve quality of lives and health for women. Hattiesburg is very fortunate to have such a strong group, and we are delighted to be working with Millie and her team. I spoke to this group of women in May about my journey to Sweeteas where I mentioned the work in progress on the Sweetea Club. We found that our goals were very similar, and it made a perfect fit to help reach as many Sweeteas as possible by launching this together. I am so thankful and very excited for their participation.

So what is the Sweetea Club?? The Sweetea Club will follow the mission of the Sweeteas:
To inspire creativity. To promote the search for a passion.
To instill Faith, Hope & Charity. To strengthen the bond of generations of Southern Women.

We have called it Mum & Me, so that it can be shared with mother/daughter or grandmother/ granddaughter, but the idea is that it is to be shared together just as our Sweetea books were designed. We hope that both mothers or grandmothers will take from the club just as much as the Sweeteas. We will touch on exploring gifts and passions, we will work to instill good southern values and etiquette that today seem to be fading away. We will build resilience, self confidence, good health and FAITH. We will expose them to charity, and virtues of kindness, goodness and self control. Each Sweetea will earn their very own Club Member Only Pearls by completing monthly task, and attending their meetings. We hope it will be something special you can share together for many years.

We are finalizing details of the Sweetea Club, and we are looking to start clubs in all of the Southern States. If you are interested, you may email me at rochelle@thesweeteas.com, and I will notify you as soon as we are ready. Church groups and local clubs such as the Junior Leagues and Garden Clubs would make great sponsors of Sweetea Clubs, and we welcome mothers who just love and appreciate the Southern Charm to be our Sweetea Host, as well.

Blessings to You All,


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

God's Will

Last night, I met with a group of Christian women who have decided to share their journeys together....it is always uplifting to share your journey with others. Upon leaving, I thought how we all strive to do God's will but we get overwhelmed by our daily roles and rituals, so this lead me to a book that I have entitled "Beyond the Broken Lights" that I recalled reading in the a few years ago. I loved how it simply put God's will for us which I would guess is very far from our own "To Do" list???

God's will is for us tocast ourselves to his Grace,
To trust in his love,
To share ourselves with his whole world, and
To give ourselves to his work of healing, lifting up and loving his people.
May today we share God's will and not our own!!!