Up and Coming: Sarah Goodwin and Millie Wilson, founders, Tea & Tequila Trading

Sarah Goodwin & Millie Wilson, met at Bristol University where they became firm friends, Sarah moved to Mexico 5 years ago, Millie visited a few times and together they launched Tea & Tequila Trading at the very end of 2014.

Both aged 26, both from London but Sarah remains living in Mexico City focusing on that side of the business where as Millie is based in London and takes control of the UK side of the business. Twice a year they try to spend a couple of months together in Mexico and London to co-manage that side of the company.

What exactly is your business and how does it help people?

Our business is two fold. We design and create accessories working with artisans in Mexico. We have been influenced by traditional Mexican designs and colours in order to create our own label of clutch bags and jewellery taking tropical inspiration from the Mexican Surroundings.

The other part of Tea & Tequila Trading is an import and export business between Mexico and the UK. We are currently focusing on representing Mezcal Amores in the UK and exporting to Mexico, Elephant Gin. Both projects have great stories behind them, Amores helping the local communities and giving back to the makers while Elephant Gin gives 15% of all profits to two Elephant charities.

What was your inspiration and motivation to get started in business?

We were inspired by Mexican culture and colour and the idea of working as a best friend team across continents. We were and still are motivated to do something different, to keep learning from each other and people that have influenced us and continue to grow organically.

How did your friends and family react to you starting a business?

They were supportive yet cautious and pleasantly surprised and proud at what we have managed to create together with the little prior experience in the industries we decided to work in. However after nearly two years they can see how far we have come and how far we hope to grow in the future.

How have you managed a work/life balance?

Luckily we enjoy what we are doing but clearly when running your own business the lines do become quite blurred! We are lucky enough to spend time (as much as possible) speaking on the phone despite the large time differences that do cause us some problems and the months we are together together which means even though we are working we try to have fun at the same time. We enjoy sharing our new designs and our brand with friends and everyone we meet therefore that is an enjoyable part blending work and life.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

We have faced a lot of challenges especially frustrating ones in things that are beyond our control such as fluctuations in exchange rates, bureaucracy in import and exporting from Mexico and the UK however we have learnt and are continuing to learn to stay calm and deal best with each situation that presents itself. We are working in two languages and in two time zones and doing international trading that can at some times be overwhelming but we hope that keeping a strong team ethic we can muddle through most of the issues that present themselves.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

To have an original idea, to if possible get some good advice before embarking on it, to keep organised and ideally have someone you can rely on and trust to work with and support each other.

How do you expect your business to develop in the future?

We hope to continue developing our accessories brand Tea & Tequila, to broaden our range and strive for more and more quality and intricacy with every new thing we do. We would love to work with a range of different spirits eventually and share with both the UK and Mexico more of both cultures. We would also love to conquer the e-commerce side of our business and have Tea & Tequila products available in stores worldwide!