We honor International Women’s Day (March 8) everyday at Magic Hour!
We are a woman-owned business: founder Zhena Muzyka is one of the pioneers of the fair trade and organic movements in the tea industry. She is a socially responsible entrepreneur who is acknowledged for her work in sustainable business practices.
Her first company, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea (founded in 2000), fueled a revolution for women tea workers in Sri Lanka.
At the time she started Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, one of the tea growers told her about the plight of the tea pluckers. Women in some of the fields experienced infant mortality rates as high as 50%. This was the primary reason Zhena decided to put fair trade practices ahead of profits–then, when her little tea operation became a $12M business, carried in over 22,000 stores throughout the United States, it became crystal clear that LOVE was the main ingredient for its success.
Zhena focused on ending poverty for the tea workers living on tea estates in India and Sri Lanka: using her profits to help create better housing systems, clean water systems, preventative health care, mother-child health care, and educational programs, as well as retirement funds for the workers.
The first time she met the tea estate manager, she told him: “Someday, I will be married in your tea estate. I want to be a part of your life forever!”
Two years later … the tea pluckers threw a wedding for Zhena and her husband Gerard! They had 1,000 people in attendance at the Lakshmi temple and everyone enjoyed a huge feast! It was so beautiful, so powerful.
What many people don’t realize is what a handmade product tea is. It takes 2,000 individual plucks of a woman’s hand to produce one kilogram of tea. If her average daily quota is 8 kilos a day, that’s 16,000 individual wrist moves.
Other fast facts:
- The majority of the tea workers are women and mothers.
- Tea workers exposed to pesticides are 10 times more likely to get cancer in their lifetimes. Organic tea is not only better for you, but crucial for them.
- Upon retirement tea workers can become homeless. Our fair trade, organic tea estates ensure they age with dignity in their homes—that they own.
Her grandmother, Maria from the Ukraine, was the one who taught Zhena how to blend teas from herbs and flowers to create food for the mind and soul; and, ultimately she became an advocate for so many other women and men with her gifts.
Zhena’s infant son Sage (now a 20 year old, young man) had a health condition and needed surgery. Without money or insurance to pay for the procedure, Zhena went home and meditated–never one to give up. She received a genius (another word for angel) idea, to create gypsy tea parties to share the heritage of her grandmother and foremothers.
Today, through Magic Hour’s Ceremonies and Teachings, we create a world of love and connection. We are women (and a few amazing men) who live as close to the land as possible in Ojai, California. We source our teas only from fair trade, organic and Biodynamic tea, herb, and spice gardens. Regenerative farming methods support the earth by helping reduce C02 and support the workers (who are mostly women and mothers) with fair wages, maternity leave, healthcare and education for their children.
Our teas are cultivated, harvested, and blended from soil to cup with Magic Hour’s Rule of Love.
Grown and harvested by angels in a garden that touches the sky at the top of the mountains in Sri Lanka. The pristine Idulgashinna Bio Tea Garden is perched above a wildlife preserve in Haputale. The first tea garden to become certified organic and Biodynamic in the world, it is home to a family of growers and farmers whose respect for nature and one another has become the gold standard of tea estates all over the world.
We are proud to be woman-owned, woman-empowered, woman-sourced, and woman-operated.
We are proud to help women and children receive the dignity and care they deserve in developing nations through our careful sourcing and dedication to fair trade.
We are proud to uphold the ideals and standards that protect and nurture our Mother Earth and the women who comprise her magic.