Power of the Leaf: T-Lover founder Lera on the topics of business, community, spirituality & the essence of rituals.
Lera - Vortex Healer and founder of T-Lovers - where we slow down, connect, heal and transform through Tea.
Every conscious business starts with the dream and purpose. Please tell us yours.
To be honest, this dream and purpose is in a constant state of change. When I started a few years ago, I just wanted to do something that will be related to Tea - I just felt so drawn to this Plant, pulled to it, and I had no idea why I did what I did. With time and with Global Tea Hut's help, it became clear to me how powerful this Plant Medicine is. Without me knowing, The Leaf cleansed me, flushed me, transformed me. Every time we sat together, I just connected to this deep presence and awareness, something greater than me, the Self. I feel that the purpose that I connect to so much now is the awakening to our true nature, to that consciousness, awareness, Spirit, Self, God. Whatever each of us calls that. And we don't need to do much to connect to that. Just stop, exhale, be still. That's it. I feel Tea is such a great gateway to that. Through Tea Ceremonies this connection and deep healing is offered.
How important is social media for telling your story and building your community? Which social media channels have had the most profound impact to your business?
Social Media is so important in putting what I do out there in the world. I use Facebook and Instagram mainly, with Instagram really being my favourite tool at the moment, as I am so visual. I love profiles that are authentic and real, yet beautiful. That combine rawness of truth, yet present it in a beautiful way. And I am trying to do the same. I feel beauty attracts the eye and authenticity and realness attracts on a deeper level of trust. Trust is so important. Honesty is so important.
Describe your visual identity. How do you curate it and how is it helping you to tell your story.
I have no idea! To be honest I just make the photos the way I like, and do the posts when I feel there is a flow and inspiration. They are almost never planned. So I guess I don't really curate it - or may be there is an intuitive curation without me consciously doing it. One thing is that I try my Instagram account to be related to Tea. And even though I often feel what I do and create is more than Tea, Tea is central in my life.
I do use hashtags, for example I created #LondonTeaCeremony and #TeaCeremonyLondon hashtags so it's easier to find it in London. Apart from that I am not that great with knowing ins and outs of hashtag strategy.
Do you have a #hashtag strategy? Have you created branded #’s and which of these have been most successful?
The Leaf cleansed me, flushed me, transformed me. Every time we sat together, I just connected to this deep presence and awareness, something greater than me, the Self. I feel that the purpose that I connect to so much now is the awakening to our true nature, to that consciousness, awareness, Spirit, Self, God.
UGC is very important, and I love when someone shares photos from the events or shares my posts. I always say Thank You. Sometimes I share their post and tag them, but I have to admit quite often I forget to share. One of my goals this year is to be more organised and on top of these things. I have to say that all of the UGCs are genuine as I never ask anyone to like me or to share anything, the only thing I ask is to send me the feedback directly after each event, and I am so so happy each time I receive them and read them.
How important is UGC for your brand? How do you engage and build your community and reward them for their loyalty?
Online presence is to send out my message, for everyone to know who I am, what I do, what I am about. Offline events and healing sessions are about direct experience. I am really grateful to be able to do that and meet all of the amazing people who come to these events.
Do you intertwine offline & online presence? If yes, how important is creating offline experiences for you?
At the moment all of it is earned.
Paid or earned media? Is Influencer Marketing important in your strategy?
This is the most difficult question to answer as I admire so many, and if I had to write everyone down here there would be a long list of names and accounts :))) If I had to choose only 3, it would be @allmattersofspirit for her ability to combine depth and wisdom and presence with playfulness, wildness and spontaneity. @Field_station and @interbeing_horses because I love Charisse and her way of being, connection to nature, and her ability to combine style, grace and elegance with being wild in nature and covered in mud. @sistersofthewild - Jayne is an amazing woman who does amazing work by getting so many beautiful women together in nature in Wales. She is also very raw and authentic, yet wild and can party and have fun and be spontaneous. @pause_place because Katie is raw and vulnerable and her spirit simply shines through her being and posts. I feel they are different yet all have a common thread....