• Last modified 1214 days ago (Feb. 25, 2021)


Flowery names match cheery collaboration

Staff writer

Sisters Iris and Violet Klein love Nathan Hiebert’s entrepreneur class at Hillsboro High School. Iris is 17, and Violet is 15.

In November, the sisters started a business named Simplicity Organic Teas. All of the work is done from home, and the finished products are sold through a website, social media, or over the phone. They sometimes get orders from flyers posted around town.

“We are on a limited diet for health reasons, and we wanted to help others with the same problems to enjoy simple teas,” Iris said.

They start with loose-leaf white, green, and black tea and add other ingredients to create a variety of flavored teas.

“The tea leaves all come from the same plant, but they are each fermented differently so each has its own taste,” Iris said. “The blending process was a new experience for us.”

They try to keep the tea as fresh as possible, so they place orders as needed. The tea leaves are stored in airtight containers to avoid absorbing flavors from other food.

“Our best seller is our Chai Tea,” Iris said. “That’s a common flavor not unique to our business, but we have our own recipe, so it is a little different. It was the first tea blend we created and the first that we sold.”

Each flavor has five or less ingredients. One flavor, Ripened Mango, contains white tea, coconut sugar, Rose Hips, and dried mango and apple powder.

“It’s like cooking,” Iris said. “We add a half teaspoon of this and a teaspoon of that.”

When they are finished, they give the flavor a taste test. Sometimes, it doesn’t pass the test, and they have to start over.

The girls have created 19 flavors so far and have made a couple of herbal teas. All are available on their website:

They are constantly making new flavors. They like to create seasonal packages, such as for fall or holidays. They are working on a spring collection right now, which will have flowery names and include flower ingredients. One that is already finished they named Sweet Violet in honor of Violet.

The flavored tea can be purchased individually or in five- or eight-packs. Sampler packs include five different tea flavors.

“People use sampler packs to figure out their favorites,” Iris said.

The girls acknowledged the business is very time-consuming, especially as it grows. They are kept busy advertising, fulfilling orders, and making tea.

They’ve had 50 customers so far, plus some returning customers.

Their favorite part of the business is using the website to provide information about the health benefits of each tea flavor. Some help build up the immune system, some are good for skin health, and some have probiotic effects.

“We use ginger a lot,” Iris said. “You can’t always taste it, but it enhances our blends.”

“I like being able to be creative,” Violet said. “I like tasting our creations even if they aren’t very good and we don’t sell them.”

They can be contacted by email, or by phone at (620) 877-0724.

The sisters are planning to enter their business in the annual countywide high school entrepreneurial contest this spring.

Ty and Roxi Klein are their parents.

Last modified Feb. 25, 2021