Sunday, October 29, 2006

Civil War, Coke, Tsunami, Green Tea and Global Business

At last count, had visitors from over 60 countries!! Right now, there are visitors from Japan, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and a whole host of other countries finding our website and creating their pitches for all of the world to see!! I recently came up with the silly slogan “I’d like to teach the world to pitch” which is based on the classic coca cola TV commercial jingle, “I’d like to buy the world a coke” If you are too young to remember this ad campaign, I strongly suggest you Google it, because I think you’ll get a big kick out of it.

Old Coca Cola Ad

The song and the concept probably seem pretty sappy and ultra-sweet, by today’s ultra-hip standards, just like the original, non-diet version of Coke. The idea behind the campaign is that if everyone could sit down and share a coke together and talk, there would be much less violence in the world. Who knows, maybe it’s worth a try?

We live in a global economy and the world is getting smaller and more connected. I’ve purchased DVDs via a British man on eBay. I’d say 90% of the clothes I own are not made in the United States. And the bananas I buy from the street vendor in front of my apartment building have a sticker on them that says Ecuador.

All of these examples still FEEL far away and distant, though. It’s not until you meet someone like Monaqui Porter-Young, that you feel the world really IS getting smaller!! I’d hoped to have time to do a quick interview with Monaqui at an event that I spoke at recently, here in New York City, which was hosted by the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Network or IWEN for short. It was a busy day though and I did not get a chance, so I’m just going to tell you about Monaqui and her incredible business that exports green tea from Sri Lanka to the United States and around the world.

Monaqui started her green tea business four years ago. Her tea plantation is located on a 90 acre rainforest called Paradis Farm, located in Sri Lanka, and her newest product is a green tea called SHREE NAH tea, spelled, SRINA. The most amazing thing that Monaqui shared with me is that there have been 20 years of civil war there and some of the women who work on her farm have husbands who are on opposite sides of the conflict. As the women work side by side peacefully on the farm, their husbands are out trying to kill each other!! These women say “we care about feeding our families and having a better life…let the men do the fighting…”WOW! Can you imagine?

A civil war is a big enough obstacle, however, in 2005, the business was also impacted by the tsunami. Monaqui and her team take it all in stride though. They have a vision and a mission that keeps them going against the odds. She says, “We are produing a superior commondity for the tea market while offering something magical to the people at the farm—pride and the ability to change their life using their country’s natural resources.”

And global business is responding to Monaqui’s SHREE-NA tea!! From tiny boutique spas to multi-billion dollar retail stores, everyone wants to know more about this magical Green Tea.

So maybe the new slogan should be, “I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,
I'd like to buy the world some TEA and keep it company. “

Of course I don’t know if Monaqui’s company could withstand the lawsuit from Coke, if we re-purposed their classic jingle, so I guess we better come up with a NEW song!!! I’ll start working on that now….

I’m Laura allen, co-founder of, reminding you to have a good day and create a GREAT international PITCH.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

My new My Chingo player