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Meet Judea Ingram of Hidden Jewels Tea

Today we’d like to introduce you to Judea Ingram.

Judea, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a native of Montgomery, AL. I moved to Atlanta, GA to go to college and  I started what was known as “The Funky J Café,” a production company.

This cafe was a 5-foot drafting table in my living room, where I would have a guest come out and drink *Tea* which in reality was alcohol. These guests would be from all walks of life, and we would simply have wonderful conversations and fun interviews. I would have guest from preachers to strippers to come for interviews. This eventually led me to become a host on my own radio show. I forced my best friend Tarik Swint to be my co-host. We had lots of fun, and we were actually growing an audience. We started hosting for one hour a day a week then, two hours twice a week. It was an amazing time! I had a great career, great work-life balance, and beautiful friends. What more could you ask for?

One morning, I will never forget, it was a Wednesday, God said, “You will move to California.” Within the following week, I had quit my job, cashed out my 401K, packed up my car and headed to California. My mother’s best friend,  Robin Early, became my personal angel. She allowed me to stay with her for two weeks. During this time, I searched endlessly for a job and an apartment. I came up with nothing! But that didn’t stop me. I’ve always taken everything as a lesson, not a defeat. I had to change the way I searched for jobs and a home, California was different from the ways I was used too. “No longer in Kansas” as they say.

After my two weeks were up, I entered the California world and prayed and prayed. I slept in hotels and my car. I would cry and scream to God! I didn’t understand why I had to hit rock bottom, voluntarily; it felt like. I was scared, lost and confused but I wouldn’t give up. I would not let pressure take over. One day, after speaking with my best friend, Tarik; I let go and let God. I literally stopped worrying and was just thankful to able to get through the day. I was lucky to find a beautiful Latin family to rent a room from. It was different, but so rewarding.

California is built from the Latino culture, to be able to be introduced to it and live in a home that is run by a beautiful, STREAK, heartwarming Latin women was amazing. I learned so much through her and her family. Eventually, I moved out, got a good job and a beautiful apartment, I now live in beautiful Downtown LA. I am still amazed at that journey. So now, I am ready to get back to my production. I met a wonderful fashion designer name Ana Maria Kim, (she is my second angel). She allowed me to rent a small space in her studio. I was back! Only thing, it was much harder here!

I wasn’t in my living room, I didn’t know anybody to interview, and I was leaning toward filming and editing more, not so much interviewing. I was so new to California; I wanted to document every second, every experience. I did a few interviews but decided to just take a break and just live for a moment. I had to stop putting so much pressure on myself to succeed and learn to give myself the self-love I deserved. So I tried out surfing with someone who is now my mentor, Obi Onyejekwe. This was when Hidden Jewels Tea became alive!

I would enjoy it after a brutal day of surfing (let’s be clear, I was in the kiddie pool of the ocean). My tea would take away the pain I received from fighting water all morning at Venice. After a while, I started sharing my tea with friends and family. It was my brother, Joshua Ingram who actually gave me the drive to move forward with the tea. He said with full excitement, “JJU, THIS IS SOME GOOD TEA!” Maybe because I love him dearly or because he was so sincere, but at that moment, I decided to sell it and see what would come from it.

I started making a post on all my social media about my new, “Hidden Jewels Tea.” I received a few sales and good feedback. At the end of 2018, I pulled back and started creating a new marketing package. I had several photo shoots, that would represent my brand. I created three tea collections: Essence of Seduction; our Raspberry flavor, Sandia Melocoton; which is Spanish for Peach Watermelon flavor and Vyolet, our Blueberry Lemonade blend.

All three represent a piece of me and a cultural expression through art and form. I absolutely fell in love with them all! Now, we’re rolling, Brutal honesty, Hidden Jewels Tea is a team of millions. Letting go of my first dream, hosting was very hard. But I still incorporate what I love most about it. The people! All talents from all walks of life. As part of my brand, I collaborate with other up and coming companies, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, etc. I also vend all around California.

I am working hard in creating the Hidden Jewels Tea vibes. I have a very strong support team from my friends, my parents to my brother and sister in law. They’re all here to cheer me on. I feel very secure and excited about all the things I am about to learn and all the Hidden Jewels Tea I can share!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This journey has been an amazing ride, with a lot of bumpy roads. I take every situation as a learning experience. Let’s just say, I have learned a lot.

My main struggle was understanding, this will not be an easy ride. I had to train my mind to know, slow and steady not fast and furious. On my first vending event, I was very excited and nervous. I over thought everything! At one point, I was giving out samples for individuals; to try the tea.

I called myself being fancy and bought disposable dessert cups with the funnels at the bottom. Every time someone picked up a cup to sample, the bottom would fall off and it would dramatically role away! I was so embarrassed! I felt so small and unprofessional. I could see people snickering under their breath.

I had filled up all the cups and had them on display, I could not stop people from grabbing them. It was horrible! I made jokes when I could, but there was nothing I could do but watch them fall. It seemed to be happening in slow motion! It was the longest two hours of my life!

Simple and cute is what I have learned, LOL.

Please tell us about the Hidden Jewels Tea.
Hidden Jewels is a homegrown, influence mode tea. We specialize in healing, reviving and stimulating the human senses and body with organic herbs. Our tea is designed to alter any unwanted vibes and allows you to open your thoughts or slow them. You will enjoy the vibe you will create through our jewels.

Our tea is known for its unique taste, in how the herbs are mixed and grown.

What sets my tea from others, we use a hydro-economic system. What that means, I flush the water from my turtle tank into the plants, which in return, the plants release oxygen back into the turtle’s water. This system allows a natural process for growth and life. My turtles are a big part of my process. Turtles represent Mother Earth. They signify good health and long life. This is the power behind, Hidden Jewels Tea.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I have so many memories, from my childhood. I was blessed to have been raised in a loving home with my mother and father and silly brother.

One memory that sticks out, greater than most; My family and I lived through the 1994 Northridge, CA Earthquake. Even though, this may have been a horrible experience for most. I remember unity. Being without lights, water and gas; all the neighbors would be on their front yard grilling, sharing items and supplies.

My brother and I would be running around with our friends. It was the best representation of humanity. It showed me at such a young age, people can be good and powerful, together. It was a magical time for me, as a child. I carry that feeling with me always.

Pricing:

  • Three tea bags for 25
  • Each bottle 15

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.hiddenjewlestea.com
  • Phone: 323-742-4229
  • Email: hiddenjewelstea@gmail.com
  • Instagram: hiddenjewelstea
  • Facebook: organicgoddess

Image Credit:
Nicole Laird and Jason Case

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. TamaraFaye

    March 13, 2019 at 08:00

    This woman’s journey is powerful and inspirational!! You can tell she is doing this for all the right reasons and she is beautiful inside and out! Can’t wait to taste the tea!

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