Orange Mound business aims to uplift women in need

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every cup, every package and every gift at one Orange Mound business is crafted by women from the same neighborhood.

The business, called My Cup of Tea, helps the women go from fighting life's battles to changing their lives one cup at a time. They're getting a second chance at life.

Everything in the business has meaning, from the cups hanging from the ceiling, symbolizing brokenness, to the charms on name tags, marking the women's accomplishments.

"Aw man, I'll tear up thinking about it," manager Debbie Hert said. "If you open your eyes to it, there are Divine appointments and needs every single day right here where we live."

It's emotional thinking of these women dealing with addictions, criminal charges, unemployment or just fighting to rebuild their lives.

"This whole street can be a lighthouse for the community," neighbor Cheryl Henderson said.

The My Cup of Tea house on the corner of Carnes and Semmes in Orange Mound.

The My Cup of Tea house is just blocks away from where Henderson grew up. Going through life, she went through hardships, picking up the pieces after he divorce and starting her life all over again.

"Raising three kids, moving back to Orange Mound was a hard move because it wasn't the same place as when I left," Henderson said.

She found her self knocking on the door to the house she was always curious about.

"I started coming, and I couldn't stop," Henderson said.

She now works in sales and is able to provide for her family.

The business started four years ago with just a few women, and it has grown to 15 women since then. There's an eagerness for more.

These women are building careers in cosmetology, design and workshop, making a name for themselves.

"They help build up my faith," production manager Phyllis Blair said.

Blair, now a newlywed, is one of the original employees. She said her new-found happiness would be nothing without My Cup of Tea.

"It enabled me to be able to take myself off of government-assisted housing," Blair said.

So for all future passersby of this little house on the corner of Carnes and Semmes in Orange Mound, think of it as a place of hope.

The My Cup of Tea brand is in stores across Tennessee. Find out more about the business here.

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