• Elizabeth Bretko

A Boatload of Courage



This is me, 9 years ago. Three months pregnant but still privately so. My beloved business, Heartsong Chai, had grown too fast. I'd made some fatal choices & in my heart I knew it was over, yet I was still out hustling to keep the dream alive. It seemed impossible to deconstruct all I had built over 9 years & to walk away from everything I'd poured my everything into for so damn long!

In January, when we moved out of our space, the Chai Hut, I was 8 months pregnant & completely shattered. The man I loved did not want children & so at that time, he didn't want me. In fact, he was furious with me. Awesome.

My memories of that time are fuzzy. I remember that pulling apart our hard won factory was enormously terrible. And that I did a messy job closing out our accounts, selling off our inventory, completing. I remember that in my devastation, I was burning bridges left & right.

My last weeks of maidenhood were spent with dear friends, all the episodes of Weeds & way too many games of Mahjong. My water broke during dessert at the Jacksonville Inn with my housemate & her visiting father. I decided to walk home, freaky body, wet pants, eyes like a deer in the headlights. That night I paced my room, my mind, my heart.... what was this new life gonna look like?


Turns out that nearly a decade of being self employed prepared me well for the sacrifices that come with motherhood. We dance & sing through the world in a happy, lovely way. Everyday, I'm grateful for this journey! For me, motherhood totally rocks.


In between monster moments, of course!

I'm currently reflecting on all of this big time, drawing parallels between Heartsong & Uber Herbal. When I ran Heartsong I was completely obsessed with it. I was so damn proud. I talked up the brews every chance I got. I was on a mission of World Hydration. And then the economic crash of 2008. We had just launched into Whole Foods, hit Seattle & stretched the biz way too thin. All the dreams of the Chai Hut were coming true & crashing simultaneously. It was an absolutely shocking & crazy experience.

I'm thinking about it so much right now because I've reached a dreams coming true spot with Uber Herbal & I'm having to dig through some of my old traumas in order to get there. For the past 3 years I've been working toward launching a line of powdered tea blends & getting them into wholesale accounts & regional distribution. Physically we are finally ready.


The recipes are solid, the packaging is dialed, the blends are selling, customers are satisfied, the systems are (mostly) in place & it's time for me to go out & sell, sell, SELL! We even have a list of awesome stores that have already agreed to carry it.


But I've been hella stuck & finding so many excuses to linger here on the precipice, afraid to make the leap. Knowing that life is going to change for me with all this... that I'll be out in the community more again, doing demos in stores, representing...& I've been so intimidated because what if it doesn't work? What if, what if, what if!!!!

Meanwhile, I've been working through my heartbreak that my family unit didn't ultimately make it. I've been letting go of all my ideas about family, partnership & love. I've been healing my heart & it's been really hard work. All this is to say that sometimes getting back on the horse takes a boatload of courage & more time than you'd think.


Then last weekend, my friend grabbed this shot at Market & when I saw it later on the internet my heart melted & tears flowed with relief. I thought, "Here's me, really me. Not just some shell of a lady in survival mode but ME! Fully present, happy in the heart, excited about the future.... Back in Action!"

So here I am emerging. Stronger, smarter & better than before. Here come my products, soon to be landing in stores near you! And thanks to everyone that held space for me & for this, I love you!


Here we grow! xoxo

#heartbreak #momlife #momprenuer #Entreprenuer #soloentreprenuer #backinthesaddle #tea #powderedtea #motherhood #HeartsongChai #chaihut #oregonchai #chai #griefsupport #reachforthestars #youcandoit #awesome #parentingblog

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