Beyond the Card: The Tea Lady

by bcbsm

| 3 min read

I’m a small business owner focused on living my best life through my passions, including connecting with the community, inspiring others, and I do that through making and selling my handcrafted teas. However, doing what I love requires having good health, and that hasn’t always come easy. Countless injuries, surgeries, and physical therapy sessions have set me back and pulled me away from my work. With people depending on me, I found support with my health care manager who simplified my recovery and allowed me to get back to the people and things that need me the most. If you’ve ever been to the oldest farmer’s market in the country, Eastern Market in Detroit, then you may have tried one of my teas. I own intu Tea, where my mission is to make high quality, hand-crafted tea sourced from estates around the world. I sell my teas at Eastern Market, but I also blend teas for restaurants in Michigan, such as The Whitney mansion. And then there’s the work I do in a high school entrepreneur program in Clinton Township. I speak to teenagers about my business, let them taste my teas, and watch them run their own businesses out of their schools. The program has been so successful over the years that students who wish to attend have to keep up their grades and submit an essay to be chosen to participate. I really enjoy these different areas of my life, and to have the energy to do it all, I need to maintain my health. Staying healthy hasn’t always been a smooth road for me—I’ve unfortunately had my fair share of health issues. My Blue Cross care manager, who helps me with my various health needs and monitors my progress closely, has guided me through countless injuries and surgeries as well as physical therapy. This process of having a care manager has helped me greatly, and provided a sense of comfort during uncertain and confusing times with my health. Recently, I’ve had two rotator cuff injuries, a titanium brace put in my neck, surgery on my toe and a few broken bones. And my Blue Cross care manager has been with me through it all. She worked with my doctors, physical therapists and others that were part of my recovery ensuring my needs were met and everyone was on the same page. Without this personalized care, I know my recovery from all of these procedures would have been a lot slower—something that would have had a huge impact on my business. I’m getting older, and having access to quality care is even more important for me as a small business owner. Knowing Blue Cross is there for me, and has been for over 31 years, gives me peace of mind and allows me to focus on my passions. Without my health, I wouldn’t be able to continue to do what I love: Craft my own specially blended teas for the community and share my love and passion, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. Photo credit: Northwest Detroit Farmers' Market

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Linda Pudlik

Mar 25, 2017 at 1:43am

Mary, This is so awesome. You are one amazing tea lady.

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