Behind the Brand
The Qi was founded by Lisa Li, a Chinese native who was born in the small coastal city of Yingkuo, China. With a single mom who worked full-time to make ends meet, Lisa spent a lot of time with her grandmother and grew up surrounded by traditional herbal remedies and treatments. When Lisa turned 14, her mom brought her to Vermont in pursuit of better opportunities, opening a dumpling restaurant to support the family. After graduating from college and working in the fashion industry for over a decade (including starting her own sustainable fashion business), Lisa felt burnt out and yearned for something different. She decided to take a two-week trip to Shangri-La, Yunnan to heal herself and relive her childhood memories of drinking herbal teas with her grandmother.
During her trip, Lisa visited a remote village and encountered roses that the locals drank as tea. She was immediately awed by the experience, finding it so transformative and beautiful that she knew she needed to share it with the world. Lisa traveled tens of thousands of miles and tasted over a hundred varieties of flowering herbs before deciding which small family-owned farms to partner with. Though she started her flower tea business as a side hustle, Lisa ultimately invested her life savings into what would eventually become The Qi. In the early days, she attended a few trade shows and received an opportunity to meet with Bloomingdale’s, who went on to place The Qi’s biggest order and kickstart the company’s growth. Fast forward to today, The Qi’s line of holistic, whole-flower teas has been featured in major publications as well as at retailers like Anthropologie. Their small yet mighty team works tirelessly to educate consumers on the magic of their organic, hand-picked, and family-grown teas.