Ami Bhansali looks to brew up new career with Chai Diaries.
Growing up in Bombay, Ami Bhansali hated visiting her family’s tea plantations in southern India because she found the family business boring.
So when it came time to choose a career, Bhansali passed on more than 100 years of family history and opted for public relations. “Nobody ever thought I would get into the tea because I would drink coffee,” she said.
In 2013, she moved to New York to take a business class at New York University. There, she developed the concept for Chai Diaries, a loose-leaf tea company she started last year. She based it in Pico Rivera.
After meeting potential buyers at trade shows, she was able to have the product carried in Bed Bath & Beyond and all 18 Gelson’s locations. Bhansali wants to open a flagship location soon and is working to develop other products such as stationery and candles.
Though she has a coffee type of personality – when she made her first cup of tea, “I had to wait three minutes and was literally jumping around” – Bhansali has channeled lessons learned in her fast paced PR career to help promote a more laid-back lifestyle, despite still working in the high-speed business world.
“It’s not like my environment has changed,” she said, “but I have learned to connect with something a little deeper.”
Nicole Piper, Los Angeles Business Journal.