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Check Out Nika Cotton’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nika Cotton.

Hi Nika, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I was born and raised in Kansas City Kansas and I’m the founder of Soulcentricitea. We first began in March of 2018 as a collective and self-care gift shop on 41st and Troost selling loose leaf herbal teas and handmade local goods by women of color. The collective was the foundation of building a concept that promotes self-care, inspiring hope, healing, and restoration to the community we serve our goods to, however the name Soulcentricitea was born long before the gift shop. It was my vision to share my love of tea with my community in a way that balances self-care with communal care. I have always loved tea and found comfort in how such a simple thing could bring so much peace. One of my favorite quotes by Muriel Barbery “When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things” sums up my philosophy on the significance of my simple daily cup of tea. Some days all we need to keep us hopeful is some simple greatness to cling to with both hands. In this second phase of Soulcentricitea, we have expanded to a tearoom concept holding space for customers to experience the centering and healing of a warm cup of tea with both hands, hearts, and souls as well as other products with the essential benefits of herbal tea. We invite you to come along for a journey to the center and learn more at May you be free, may you be happy, may you be of sound body and mind, May the internal and external obstacles in your path vanish.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has been a very rocky road. We opened during the pandemic July 15, 2020 during a time when a lot of other businesses were shutting down. There were a lot of unknowns and it was a scary time for everyone. The community support we’ve received has sustained us through the struggles and we are excited to almost as our one year anniversary.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a poet and community organizer at heart. I like to find a way to incorporate my passions into everything I do including my business. Part of the social mission for Soulcentricitea is organizing the community around us to promote racial equity and justice. I also like to weave poetry into my social media posts, host poetry events in shop and plan to package and label our herbal lemonades with poetry on the bottles.

What were you like growing up?
I was a very strange kid. I often wandered off into the wilderness. I spent most of my time daydreaming, reading and writing poetry.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photos courtesy Brad Williams Photography

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