Get Inspired/ How She Does It
Kristin Booker • January 8, 2015

How She Does It: Theresa Krier of Big T NYC

As a female entrepreneur, I love giving other women a change to share their great business ideas, particularly when they’re as sweet and amazing as Theresa Krier, creator of the modern tea company Big T NYC. This spark plug with a great spirit and a big idea turned a flash of genius backstage at New York Fashion Week into an idea that’s gotten some pretty big interest. If you want to get inspired to turn your next big idea into The Next Big Thing, take a note from this wonderful woman’s book; she’s going places. This is how Theresa does it:

On how Big T NYC got started…

“I was working in brand management backstage at Fashion Week managing a beauty brand, and I noticed the models weren’t drinking anything available: no soda or water. It got me thinking: it’s so hot and chaotic backstage, maybe something that was natural and didn’t cause bloating but was flavorful, natural, packed with antioxidants and no calories would do the trick. Since my favorite beverage is tea, I thought maybe they’d enjoy a good, flavorful blend. So, I came up with a formulation, and the next season I set up a mini tea bar backstage. The models were lined up for it. Even Bobbi Brown, who was backstage, said she loved it. So, that’s where it began, and it’s evolved from there.”


By the way, the tea is so good that she landed a pretty awesome first client…

“My first client was the Ritz Carlton here in New York, who requested a custom winter blend, which is how Baby, It’s Cold Outside was born. I had to develop that in two months, and that was the catalyst.

I worked with a tea sommelier to develop the flavor, which is organic black tea from Vietnam and Chinese Oolong tea with maple, almond, and vanilla. The goal is to pull in interesting flavors so you never have to add anything to sweeten it, which saves calories. They’re naturally flavorful and have a little bit of caffeine, but it’s very gentle. I’m also really proud that my teas don’t get bitter like lower quality teas tend to do, and they have no artificial flavors. It’s such a naturally healthy beverage.”

On how to stay focused when you’re starting a business….

“I end up working a lot. I usually focus my efforts in blocks of time to focus: one morning is sales, the afternoon is working on the collection, and the next morning is marketing. If I don’t stay organized, I’ll lose focus. That’s the downside of not having a boss: you’re the only one who will keep yourself accountable for results.

I have a board of directors as well, people in my professional and personal life that are great in areas where I’m not as strong. I think that’s important when you’re starting a business: you have to know what you don’t know and find ways to get that knowledge and guidance.”


On making time to work out with a busy entrepreneurial schedule…

“I’m more of a night owl, so I usually get up around 7 am, answer emails, and then I usually work out in the middle of the day because I have that flexibility, but I schedule my workouts around my meetings. I love a great high-intensity workout (Barry’s Bootcamp is my favorite) with yoga in between. It’s a great way to stay focused, and I think it helps my stamina as a businessperson. It’s hard to make time for it, but it’s so important.”


Some favorite beauty products as a gal on the go…

“I like the very natural one. I feel strongly that what you put into your body is super important, but I also believe that what you put onto your skin is incredibly important as well. My skin is naturally dry, so I use Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil on it every single day as a base layer, then add other products on top of it. I love Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, and I love natural lotions, too. I used to work on St. Ives, and it’s something like 97% natural, which is amazing for a drugstore brand. For hair, I love Moroccanoil Treatment. Anything with oil to prevent dryness is essential to my regimen; it helps prevent damage and dryness.”

On what makes her happy…

“My family and my friends make me happy: people make me so happy. I’m from Indianapolis, and the number one reason I go home is the people.”


On what she does to relax…

“I don’t take a break to have tea to relax because it’s a constant for me, so I guess carrying tea with me everywhere I go gives me mini relaxation moments throughout the day. I also love massages, and I always try to make time to catch up with my girlfriends for drinks and dinner. That’s always fun and super relaxing. It’s important to make that time to connect with the people who are important to you.”

Her favorite NYC haunts…

“I love every single thing about ABC Kitchen: farm-to-table eating, the shabby-chic décor – it’s delicious and I love it. I also like Sons of Essex: they’ve got a really cool vibe going on there and they make great short ribs and macaroni and cheese.”


Her advice for starting your own company…

“I’m someone who likes to jump in with both feet when I have a good idea, but I have people in my life who’ve held me back just that little bit to make sure I plan accordingly. I’d say make sure you have people who support your dreams, but ask that you’re set up for success.”

 Photographed by Kristin Booker in Soho, New York City on December 18, 2014. All rights reserved.


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