Lady Amy Mitchell Spills the Tea on How She Built Her Niche British Tea & Gifting Business and Redefined Following COVID-19
ORLANDO, Fla. - Amy Mitchell, or "Lady Amy" as she is more commonly known, might have been born in the states but is self-admittedly British at heart. She's built her business, Houses of Windsor, using the various business skills she did not necessarily realize she had or could turn to, to make her dream a reality. She began with a fashion degree, then transitioned into an accounting career, while always maintaining a deep-rooted passion for all things British.
It was only after dodging the curve-balls of life a few years ago, that she found herself looking for a fresh start. It was an encouraging nudge from a motivating friend that helped Amy believe in her dream and in herself to turn her love for Britain into a brand, Houses of Windsor.
Originally starting as a live tea party event venue and experience, COVID-19 forced Amy to redefine the business to meet the new market she was up against, hence turning the business into a tea and gifting shop. Now, Houses of Windsor prides itself on "Bringing Light, Beauty, and England to Your Home."
Lady Amy tells us more about her journey in our exclusive interview below and sheds light on how and when she got that Brand Breakthru moment.
H&F: We’d love to learn more about you. Can you please describe your career path?
Amy: A major part of my career path involves traveling to the United Kingdom at age 14. To keep things brief, that very first trip to the U.K. ignited what would be a 20+ year obsession with Britain. Jumping forward to college...I earned my Bachelor of Science degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising. Through working with a Chicago designer, I was taught basic accounting on the job. As the designer’s business evolved, and my desires changed, I moved over to her husband’s company to do Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable full time. During my time in Chicago, I got married, and then a few years later, we moved for his job to Indiana for 1 year, and then onto Orlando, Florida.
The switch from Fashion to Accounting was perfect for that phase of my life as it was so easy to get a job as we moved around. At one of my accounting jobs, the company’s social committee asked me to put on a tea party at work. It was through that where I realized I could bring the tea room with me anywhere to serve Afternoon Tea.
"...that very first trip to the U.K. ignited what would be a 20+ year obsession with Britain." -Amy
I continued working in accounting for a couple of years, then gave birth to my daughter, Piper. When she was three months old, I was already dreading needing to return to the office at six months. My good friend, Dan, said “why don’t you do that tea business you’re always talking about?” Now, I come from a family of high anxiety and a million reasons why you should never do anything...so I thought my so-called tea business idea was always just a daydream...surely it couldn’t be a reality. With some further words of encouragement, Dan convinced me it was a possibility. I started brainstorming business plans, a company name and created a website.
Fast forward eight months, got a divorce, and once I was living on my own, Houses of Windsor was truly born. I worked with an amazing business coach to really get things moving. Houses of Windsor became a live event tea party company. A year later, Covid hit, and things have changed...surprisingly for the better.
H&F: How did you redefine/pivot your brand post-pandemic?
Amy: Houses of Windsor went from a
live event tea party company to a fully online British tea shop.
H&F: Now, let’s chat about your brand. Please describe your business.
Amy: Houses of Windsor is an online shop for fine-quality teas, British imports, and gifts. Under the umbrella of Houses of Windsor: I host Virtual Tea Time w/ Amy, a Facebook LIVE show (YouTube), and I run a Private Facebook Group, which includes a weekly zoom tea room meetup.
H&F: Tell us something unique about your brand.
Amy: The Houses of Windsor brand is British-inspired and tea obsessed while keeping the spirit fun and lively, a spin on British style tea and all things British. That is to say it’s not stuffy or focused on being truly proper.
H&F: How are things going with your new venture?
Amy: The business has actually improved since pivoting due to Covid. Along with selling teas, imports, and holiday gifts, client/corporate gifting has become a demand.
H&F: What are your future goals? How do you plan to grow the business?
Amy: My future goals are to grow Houses of Windsor to its fullest potential. Ultimately, I want Houses of Windsor to be run by a passionate staff while I take Research & Development trips to England.
H&F: You've clearly been successful at not only starting your own businesses and following through with your vision, what 5 Pro tips can you share for others looking to start or redefine their brand?
1. Follow your passion!
If you feel strongly about your brand, why not generate income
at the same time!
2. Be creative
Think outside the box for unique ways of promoting your brand.
3. Utilize social media outlets
like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc., –
check out my Virtual Tea Time w/ Amy Live on Facebook!
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There are a vast amount of resources out there to
assist you – Consultants, Coaches, Web Designers, etc.
5.Expand your horizons
Take a leap of faith and learn something new.
H&F: What encouraging advice would you offer someone getting ready to start their own business?
Amy: In short, get a business coach. You really don’t know what you don’t know. Find the right business coach by interviewing at least a few, and then go with the best fit for you. Not all coaches are alike...not at all.
"I thought my so-called tea business idea was always just a daydream...surely it couldn’t be a reality."- Amy
H&F: How can we see more of your work?
Amy: The business website is Housesofwindsor.com, and please check out my most recent Fox35 Appearance
You can also follow Amy Mitchell and Houses of Windsor on:
LinkedIn: Houses of Windsor, LLC
YouTube: Amy the Anglophile