I met Clayton at the social event over a year ago. I was touched by the company’s story: how two best friends had a goal of brewing the best sweet tea in order to share it with other people. With no specific knowledge or any substantial resources, yet equipped with a lot of enthusiasm, the two friends started their business journey in 1998. In the first four years they didn’t make any profit. They worked long hours seven days a week. Nevertheless, perseverance, determination, and faith in their products paid them back generously. Now their products are sold in all 50 states and they are expanding internationally. Nestle invested $15.6 million in Sweet Leaf Tea in 2009. Both friends have now fulfilled their long-awaited dream, to own a beautiful boat to sail to far-off places.
The company walks its talk: David and Clayton created their own opportunities and they do believe in laughter, high-fives, and good music. When I was in the office, three lovely dogs were keeping company to all the Teammates and were happily wagging their tails. Everyone I met was extremely friendly and cheerful.
After visiting the office and meeting with the founders I understand why Sweet Leaf Tea is so loved and cherished by Austin community. As an artist, I was inspired to reflect the history of Sweet Leaf Tea on canvas. I presented to David and Clayton a 36x36 inch painting with Sweet Grandma Mimi, an array of tea bottles and, of course, the two founders on both sides. David and Clayton were genuinely touched by my gift. It was a wonderful day!