Posted on 17 November 2015
Stepping into Nude House, you feel as if you’ve discovered a Nolita gem – and you have. Because though it may initially appear as a boutique pop-up shop where you can find holiday gifts for just about any Women on the Rise on your list, in actuality Nude House is all that but also a fierce homage to female entrepreneurs. Let us explain:
Four badass New York City women came together to curate the boutique, and fill it with products created for women, by women. One of those women is Tracy Dungo, a Woman on the Rise we featured over the summer. Another is Theresa Krier, a tea-connoisseur-meets-self-made-entrepreneur who’s couture tea company, Big T NYC, has taken off over the last year.
Theresa knew she wanted to be her own boss since she decided to major in Entrepreneurship as a freshman at Xavier University. After receiving her MBA, she moved to New York City to work as a brand manager in the fashion and beauty industry – and it was during her time backstage at various runway shows that Theresa realized the lack of healthy, energizing, and calorie-free beverages; thus, Theresa created Big T NYC. Now the luxury tea brand features two collections of all-natural, 100% organic teas – that taste delicious, too. And we could smell the soothing aromas before we even opened the door to Nude House, where we met up with Theresa for a little Q&A and a fun shoot in Rise City Swim – all over a cuppa, of course.
Read on for our full Q&A.
Rise City Swim: What keeps you busy Monday through Friday?
Theresa Krier: Everyday is different, which I love. On any given day I'm working on new collaborations, managing tea production at my commercial kitchen, meeting with wholesale customers, chatting with people at the Big T NYC tea bar in NYC, serving teas backstage at Fashion Week, or developing new teas and tisanes. I also mentor women entrepreneurship students at Columbia and sit on the Advisory Board for the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship at Indiana University -- all which keeps me very busy.
RCS: What have been your biggest challenges in creating your brand and image?
TK: The biggest challenge has been changing the perception of tea away from this bland beverage sipped from dainty porcelain cups, only reserved for proper tea time or when you're feeling ill. Tea is cool, delicious, and insanely healthy; it's time it got a new reputation! My goal is for everyone to drink at least a cup of tea a day. They'll be healthier, happier and bit more Zen because of it.
RCS: What’s your favorite thing about NYC?
TK: The energy; New York attracts the most ambitious, passionate, energetic people. I get so much inspiration just being around the people here.
RCS: What’s your proudest accomplishment?
TK: I am proud and incredibly honored to be named one of "15 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2015" by Entrepreneur magazine.
Theresa on Love:
Tea, dessert, and love are meant to be hot.
RCS: What advice do you have for other young women?
TK: Find a mentor who truly cares about you and can help guide you along your path. My mentors have been an integral part of my success so far.
RCS: How do you relate to the mission at Rise City Swim?
TK: I love the Rise City Swim mission. It's so important for people to follow their dreams and passions, and to truly live. It's important to work hard, but it's just as important to enjoy life.
RCS: What’s next?
TK: I just collaborated with a physician to launch the Nude Collection, a new collection of six teas and tisanes, each featuring unique heath-promoting benefits. I'm so excited that it's finally available! Next up is creating teas in different formats, broadening distribution with more Big T NYC tea bars, and making our teas available in gourmet grocery stores as well as on BigTNYC.com.