Imagine having five sisters. Now, imagine having them all be your co-workers.
Nope, couldn't do it. No offense to my two siblings, but that just sounds like a recipe for disaster.
But that's far from the case for the group of sisters behind Lola's Traveling Tea Party. These ladies, ranging in age from 39 to 50 actually love working together - they are thriving. Three of the woman are blood sisters and the other two have been part of the family for so long, they all consider themselves family.
Each sister brings something unique to the table. They have combined their creative talents of art, photography, food and a love for tea to create Lola's, offering both English and Filipino-style tea menus.
AnnaLiza Valdez is one of the sisters, who houses the business operation out of her home in Auburn.
"Working with my sisters is actually really fun, but there are moments..." says Valdez. "Especially when we are trying to put all the tea boxes together, there's so many things happening at the same time, stress levels rise. But I think that because all of our personalities are so different, someone will always say something to calm us down or make us laugh so we can keep going....or it's like WE NEED TO EAT."
Good things the ladies have plenty of goodies nearby to snack on, the tea boxes are simply gorgeous and look absolutely delish.
"We've worked together to curate a beautiful afternoon tea experience in a box that offers all the fun and delicious details of a tea house delivered to your door," says Valdez. "The boxes include a variety of sweets, fresh fruit, scones with clotted cream, jam or honey, savory bites, tea sandwiches and selections of teas."
The most popular selling box is the Tea For Two ($89). Each box is accompanied with a menu and instructions on how to set up the easy to assemble and reusable three-tiered tray, mini silverware, disposable cup and saucer, napkins, chocolates and flowers.
Oh, and this is a side gig for all the sisters.
"The idea came a few years ago, my cousin started hosting tea parties in California and my mom really wanted to host her own tea-party," says Valdez. "So we helped my mom host her first tea party and she loved it, and we loved it as well."
Lola means grandmother in Tagalog. Valdez says Lola's is a project of love, dedicated to her mom Tessie Valdez.
"She's so creative in everything that she does, anything she touches turns into magic," says Valdez. "She advises the group and reminds everyone to have fun and that the rest will come together."
At the start, the sisters were hosting in-person tea parties. Then COVID hit, and ... you know the drill.
"We worked together to put this experience in a box for all to enjoy," said Valdez. "We offer the boxes mainly for holidays, but we also host private events and have big dreams for the future."
The goal is to eventually have a space of their own where they can host tea parties and small weddings in person.
"We've had so much support from community and friends and want to give back," said Valdez. "We want to be a one stop shop for a lot of people."
There will be a special box debut come August to celebrate summer, so keep your eyes peeled!