Women in Wellness: Sharing her passion for healthy, natural Taiwanese tea, Ranmu Xue from Us Two Tea
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ranmu Xue from Us Two Tea
I believe that people are here in order to make a bigger impact in the world — and with my book, ‘Make an Impact’, I had the chance to prove that hundreds of people are using their influence to improve other people’s lives.
As the founder of the Health Bloggers Community, my mission is to support people with growing their passion into a business — and so many women are building businesses empires all over the world.
This series is a chance to spotlight some of these women
“Each of our varieties speaks uniquely to a moment, a mood, a meaning in our lives that can be enjoyed or inspired in the company of great tea.”
Ranmu Xue is the 28-year-old Founder and CEO of Us Two Tea, Inc., an e-commerce tea brand focused on making curated Taiwanese tea more accessible for consumers in U.S. Ranmu was the leading designer at Meural and successfully help the company acquired by Netgear for $22,000,000.
After quitting her job, Ranmu applies her acclaimed branding and design expertise to running her own company, and shares her passion for healthy, natural Taiwanese tea with consumers across the United States.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your ‘backstory’?
I grew up in Shanghai and went to the Academy of Art University to study graphic design in San Francisco. I came to New York to pursue my dreams and I wanted to live in the best city in the world. I worked at a design studio, an advertising agency, and a startup before I started my own company “Us Two Tea”.
I always wanted to build my own brand and help to introduce the Asian heritage to the U.S and change how people think products that are “Made in China”. Tea culture is huge in China and it is a part of our tradition. I have been living in the U.S for ten years now and I can’t find an Asian tea brand
that stands out. So I thought why don’t I bring the teas from Asia and build a tea brand? That was how “Us Two Tea” was born.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
I would say 1. Exercise 2. Traveling 3. Writing a journal
Living in New York is definitely stressful and always upbeat. Regular exercise really helps me personally to destress and release a lot of my anxiety. Traveling is a great way to get out of a place you feel jaded.
When you meet new people and having a different experience, it really helps you to have a new perspective on life. You will always feel more energized after you’re back and ready to rock the world again.
Mental health is always my priority. I recently started to document my thoughts and writing journals every day. I find it super helpful to express myself without being afraid to be judged by others and just be true to myself. It is almost like talking to therapists but without paying the big bucks.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
In early 2019, the packaging factory in Shanghai, China for Us Two Tea missed the deadline due to the Chinese New Year holiday. I didn’t realise it until when I delivered the packages to the tea manufacture department in Taiwan, the department told me it was impossible to finish the work before the ship headed to the U.S.
So I had to travel to Taiwan and explained to the department manager about the situation and the story behind U.S. Two Tea. Luckily, the manager was very nice and touched by my passion, so he asked all the staff to work during the weekend and everyone was so aligned.
Finally, we make it the minute before the ship left the port. I will never forget about the help and kindness that I received from people.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Luckily I have made small mistakes but not anything significant yet. But I would say though I started this company as a solo founder, I think it’s actually very important to find a co-founder who can do what you can’t do. Because nobody is good at everything. Finding a co-founder is as hard as finding a life partner and you might spend more time with this person than your partner.
You need to have the same values and vision, and most importantly, you will have someone to talk to. Because no one will feel or experience the same pain except yourself and this person who is on the same boat with you. I am a firm believer that “1+1 > 2”.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Tea has so many benefits to our body. It contains antioxidants and helps to increase metabolism. Drinking tea could also help reduce the risk of heart attack, protect against cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. It is also a great substitute for coffee. Since there is a heavy coffee drinking culture in the U.S., I believe Us Two Tea will help more people to know more about Asian tea and make the team more accessible to consumers here.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
That would be my mom. When I told her about this idea of creating my own tea brand, she was very supportive and really believed in me. She is a businesswoman herself so she totally understands what I am going through.
She invested some money in my company and went to Taiwan with me to help me sort things out. Just her being there physically already given me so much strength and emotional support.
She also taught me accounting, business planning and so many other things that would take me years to learn. I would say she was definitely a huge part of my journey and Us Two Tea would not be launched within a short period without her support and love.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I think cherishing great relationships with people is a huge part of the wellness journey. Whether if it is with your coworkers, family, friends or partner. All relationships matter.
The mission of “Us Two Tea” is to celebrate all the small moments in life which give us the greatest joy. It could be a kiss, a smile, a laugh, or a burst of creativity. Alone, or in the company of those we love. Each of our varieties speaks uniquely to a moment, a mood, a meaning in our lives that can be enjoyed or inspired in the company of great tea.
What is your ‘3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started’ and why?
- Find a good shrink. Because entrepreneurship is not as glamorous as it seems. It is super hard and somewhat lonely work. You will have so many breakdowns and sleepless nights. It’s important that you talk to someone and remain a healthy mental state.
- Start to look for your future team members early. It takes a long time to find the right fit for your company that someone who is ambitious, curious, fearless and also believes in your product. It also takes time to build trust and a good relationship.
- It’s OKAY that you do not have the answers to everything. Being a founder and CEO, people expect you to have all the things figured out and have all the answers. But in reality, you won’t. It is important that you are honest with yourself and know what is your strength and weakness. It’s OKAY to tell people you don’t know the answers but you will find out. We are just normal human beings and it is so easy to forget when you become an entrepreneur. We try to overkill ourselves too much and too often.
Do you have a “girl-crush” in this industry? If you could take one person to brunch, who would it be?
I would love to brunch with Mimi Ikonn. She inspired me so much because we have a lot of similarities — immigrants, lived in different countries and are both entrepreneurs. She has her own Youtube channel and she talks about healthy eating, wellness, meditations a lot. Her lifestyle and way of thinking truly inspired me, and she is very beautiful, true to herself and very open and honest. She is a self-made woman and it’s amazing to see her journey along the way. Truly inspiring.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
I would definitely say mental health. Because being an entrepreneur means you will get rejection A LOT. You need to constantly put yourself out there and get rejected by people, it really hurts your ego and definitely will make you more vulnerable. It’s very easy to take it personally despite all the other stress
from the company. It could be overwhelming so it’s important to remain good mental health.
About the author:
Fab Giovanetti is a business mentor, published author, influencer-specialist, best known as the founder of the Health Bloggers Community and co-founder of the Register of Health and Wellness Influencers.
Serial start-up founder and professional troublemaker, she is obsessed with avocados and helping people making an impact in health and wellness. Sounds like you? Get daily tips on how to grow your influence via the HBC magazine.