Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Sandy Clough tea lady

One day in early 2004, while looking through a Romantic Homes Magazine, I came across a full-page advertisement with the heading, "Join Us for Tea!"   Underneath in bold print were the words, "If You Are Longing for a Business that Fulfills Your Dreams... "  The words tea and business amidst pictures of beautiful floral teacups, teapot and other dishware definitely caught my attention!   I read on, "A Sandy Clough Tea offers you the opportunity to sell Sandy Clough's personally designed gift products as an independent distributor at tea parties in homes nationwide."  A phone number was provided for further information.

This opportunity involved my favorite things - tea and tea parties, pretty dishes and sharing hospitality.   Was it the niche I'd been searching for?  I had never been in direct sales before, but the only cost involved was the sample kit, which was  mine to keep, so  I decided to go for it!   I called the phone number, signed up to become a Sandy Clough tea lady, and bought a plane ticket bound for Nashville, Tennessee to attend training February 13 thru 15, 2004 at Opryland Hotel.

The commissioning  service was the culmination of our three-day training period, where Sandy Clough tied a beautiful white linen  apron on each new tea lady.

Sandy tying my apron on me.

A Sandy Clough Tea was a new company, and I was Michigan's only tea lady.   I was excited about the opportunities.

When I began, I was still working full-time as a church secretary, a position I held for 22 years, but  I decided to retire in June 2004 to devote all of my energies to being a Sandy Clough tea lady. 

From February to December I took  Sandy Clough tea parties into 52 homes emphasizing the company motto, "Hospitality Opens Hearts."   Michigan ladies loved Sandy's products and I won a first place award for highest retail sales.  

I learned much that year, but probably the most significant was the fact that tea parties are relevant and enjoyable in the twenty-first century - even in casual, busy lifestyles.   Tea offers a respite from  fast-paced living, and provides the opportunity to quiet ourselves if only for a brief period of time.   And Hospitality Opens Hearts, is definitely an accurate statement!

In 2005,  Sandy Clough closed her business.

Tea journey continued...


  1. I've always been an advocate of the wonderful unity and joy the humble tea leaf can bring to our lives. Congratulations on being such a top seller and promoter of tea!

  2. I have fond memories of this line for quite a few reasons! ;)

    And though I was never a Tea Lady, I did have a Tea Lady friend here in Georgia and hosted a party in my home once. I would have liked one of every item they sold!

  3. That sounds like a wonderfully fun business!
    And Phyllis, my package arrived yesterday, in tip-top shape! I have never seen pink bubble wrap but it was so pretty and such fun to unwrap. Thank you again! And I look forward to reading and re-reading the book, and plugging in the nightlight tonight. Hugs!

  4. I think this was a very lovely idea - I am sad to read that the company is hard to start businesses - looking forward to reading more - I am your newest follower,

  5. I remember Sandy Clough things. Sad to hear she closed it down. What a fun experience for you for awhile.

  6. Such an interesting story! Congrats on your achievements!

  7. Interesting, so I guess it's like being an Avon lady but with teacups? It sounds like a lot of fun!

  8. Everyone loves a good tea party, it's not just for when you're a kid and your guests are your teddy bears!


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