Working with a spouse or loved one can take a toll on a relationship, but it doesn’t have to. In this article, Jay Shetty and his wife, Radhi Devlukia-Shetty, sit down to reflect on the launch of the new product they collaborated on, Sama Tea.
Jay Shetty and Radhi admit the 18 months of work that it took to bring their dream into reality was fun, exciting and busy. It was also packed with lessons in the professional and personal realm. Those lessons have allowed the Shettys to keep growing as a couple.
In this article, the Shettys explain the “why” behind the launch and the lessons they learned about themselves and each other on the journey. Then they give tips you can apply to your life to effectively and efficiently work with your partner.
For as long as Radhi Devlukia-Shetty can remember, tea time has been something her family does together after a meal.
“We would put on the kettle, boil the water and everybody would sit down with their cup of tea,” Devlukia-Shetty shares. “Usually my dad's telling his dad jokes. I remember those moments of laughter, coziness and comfort. Those moments keep me connected to my family even though I'm away from them.”
There is a comforting feeling you get from holding something warm in your hand. Breathing in the wonderful smell of tea soothes your soul.
Jay Shetty’s family also carved out time for tea as a family. Both of his parents worked busy, full-time jobs when he was young. When Jay Shetty’s mom picked him up from daycare, they would go home and she would fix him a cup of tea. On Sunday mornings, his mom made a special treat of Chai tea and biscuits (cookies), and they would spend time together as they dunked their biscuits in their tea.
Tea was also the only thing Jay Shetty had to drink while living as a monk. For Shetty, tea is a tool for mindfulness and not just a beverage. Devlukia-Shetty agrees tea is a wonderful way to take a moment to slow down and sip your way back into a space where you are ready to go again.
“With hot tea, you have to be patient with it,” Devlukia-Shetty shares. “You have to take your time getting through it. The taste also changes as you brew it longer. There's so much to experience within that one cup.”
Sama Tea Launch
Sitting at the kitchen table one night, the Shettys began to brainstorm a way to improve the lives of other people. They thought about things they use in their daily lives, like skincare and candles, but decided tea was their passion.
Once they decided tea was what they wanted to share with the world, searching for a name was the next order of business. Their research brought them to the word sama. They discovered that sama has many meanings, but Jay Shetty’s favorite definition is “togetherness.” The hope is that Sama Tea will be a great tool to bring people together in an open, honest way.
“When we first launched Sama, I had so many messages about what sama means in other languages,” Devlukia-Shetty shares. “One of them was oneness. Even though our goal is for community and togetherness, it's also an opportunity for people to take a moment to themselves as well. To feel connected to themselves at the moment.”
A cup of Sama Tea is designed to help you be more present, mindful and energetic throughout the day.
What is Sama Tea?
Sama is organic hot tea. It is made with natural flavors and ingredients and does not contain additives. There are several different blends designed for the various challenges you face in a day. Sama offers herbal tea, caffeinated green tea, green tea, and Earl Grey tea.
Each blend is infused with adaptogens. Adaptogens are extracted from herbs and plants and contain health benefits that help support the physical, mental and emotional stresses of your body.
“I wanted to be authentically unique,” explains Devlukia-Shetty. “I wanted the tea to do what it says it does.”
To accomplish this, they focused on the tea first, then moved to the flavor. Once the Shettys achieved the flavor level they wanted, they added the adaptogens to round out each blend. There are four blends currently available:
Awaken and Energize Blend
Awaken and Energize is an Earl Grey blend filled with red rooibos, guayusa and reishi mushroom. This blend provides natural energy and helps fight fatigue. It’s a great blend to kickstart your brain.
Calm and Relax Blend
Calm and Relax is a classic chamomile tea with notes of rose and lavender. Hints of cardamom and tulsi are woven in to help you slow down and tune in. This blend helps harmonize and soothe you.
Protect and Support Blend
This jasmine green tea is infused with a natural juicy peach flavor. Raspberry leaf and shatavari are used to create a daily defense against free radicals. This blend supports and nourishes going deep into the body’s tissue—a favorite of Jay Shetty.
Focus and Clarity Blend
This caffeine-free blend of peppermint, spearmint, and blueberry gives you an extra pep in your step. The use of ashwagandha, ginkgo biloba, and gotu kola are good for focus, mental health, and attentiveness. Devlukia-Shetty has a soft spot for this blend.
The Shettys drink tea multiple times a day. Sama is a tea you can reach for around the clock. It is a simple way to change how you are feeling.
“When I walk into the house after a busy day and Radhi brings me a cup of tea, I start to feel different,” explains Jay Shetty. “You can smell it, and as soon as you smell it, your body reacts immediately. Then you drink it and you slow down to sip it. All of a sudden you feel completely different.”
In a world where people are busy all the time, Sama provides that change you need to slow down and tell your body what you want from that cup of tea. You choose to change your mood and the trajectory of your day.
The rest of this article is devoted to giving Jay Shetty and Radhi Devlukia-Shetty’s best tips for working with your partner.
If you are creating something, launching a new product, building a brand or putting yourself out there in any way, make sure that you are authentic to yourself. Infuse your natural energy into what you put into the world.
Devlukia-Shetty shares that while developing Sama, she dreamed of creating an elevated level of tea, like a sophisticated version of herself that people could have in their homes. She and Jay Shetty progressed through the whole branding process and realized the final product did not reflect them at all.
Devlukia-Shetty realized that if she wanted an accurate representation of herself in people’s homes, she needed to add some fun and excitement to the brand. She wanted it to feel like a party when people receive it.
The time and money they’d already invested in the original brand made the decision to fix the branding a difficult one. They didn’t want to waste their resources, yet they couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t “them”.
“What you don't realize is that the deeper you go, the less you like the product, and you start to develop a sort of indifference to it,” explains Jay Shetty. “Whereas if you shift you can create something you care about.”
When you start something, you need to be okay if you need to pivot. The journey does not always go the way you plan.
Boundaries are a must if you are starting something with a partner. Sit down together and figure out what each party brings to the table. Figure out the other person’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as your own. Set ground rules and expectations for the project, and set clear boundaries between personal and business time.
Setting boundaries in the beginning will save stress and misunderstandings. This small thing can help you avoid ruining the relationship with your partner.
There will always be challenges to face. Jay Shetty asked his wife what she thinks the most significant challenges were throughout the launch of Sama Tea.
“I honestly did not realize how much work goes into it,” Devlukia-Shetty responded. “I did not know how many different elements there are to it and how much thought has to go into so many different areas of things. I never appreciated it before. I didn’t understand the depths of creating a brand or creating a company.”
When you create something you are proud of, you want to share it with other people. But for Devlukia-Shetty, finding the balance of wanting to share Sama Tea with others but realizing she had to sell the product was a hurdle she had to overcome. Selling Sama Tea is about service to others because it delivers something people need.
“When you look at how much work goes into creating something, you realize you can only create stuff you care about,” Devlukia-Shetty explains. “When it goes out to the market, people buy it and experience it and use it. That is the payoff for all the work that went into it. If we didn't care and were only doing it for a financial reward, it wouldn't be enough because it takes so much energy.”
Jay Shetty created a plan a few years ago to do three things every year:
- Something he loves. His podcast is an example.
- Something he has to learn about. This pushes and helps him grow continuously and have an understanding of others.
- Something that needs to be launched. This creates excitement for him.
Not having any experience in the beverage industry was a challenge in itself for Jay Shetty. The launch of Sama Tea fulfilled all three of Shetty’s yearly goals.
Lessons Learned From Each Other
Working with your partner can be eye-opening for each of you. You can learn a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of your partner and how those qualities come into play.
One of the things Devlukia-Shetty always knew about Jay Shetty is that he has a knack for figuring out how to get things done, even if it means having to learn how to do it first. Being in such close proximity and working hand-in-hand on the Sama Tea launch helped her realize how proactive he is in his professional life. She was impressed with his ability to not micromanage her during the project as well.
Devlukia-Shetty’s ability to make work not feel like work is what Jay Shetty loved about their collaboration.
“If I can spend all day with Radhi, that's not work to me,” Jay Shetty explains. “Radhi doesn't make anything feel like work. I don't think she knows what work is. She doesn't treat it as work. She sees it as fun. She sees it as her expressing herself. She sees it as her just sharing openly and honestly. So what ends up happening is you get to be a part of that environment.”
Devlukia-Shetty’s approach is a welcome change to Jay Shetty’s very focused, driven, ambitious style.
By drawing on your partner’s strengths and using your strengths to downplay any weakness, you can create an unstoppable team, just as Jay Shetty and Radhi Devlukia-Shetty did when they created Sama Tea.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “Jay and His Wife Radhi ON Knowing Your Strengths” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.