By Marcie Jacobson

Reading founder and president of Gypsy Tea, Zhena Muzyka’s bio is absolutely inspiring. This Ojali, California-based entrepreneur took her passion for tea and turned it into a successful business.

Barely making ends meet in 2000 when her son Sage was born with a severe birth defect, Zhena borrowed $3000 from her father and purchased a catering cart where she began selling her tea. She quickly won over the neighbors and is now giving back to the community.

While you are drinking the V-Tea (white tea with vanilla), you feel like you’re drinking a healing potion. White tea has the ability to prevent mutations in bacteria and has a greater concentration of cancer fighting polyphenols than green and black teas.

All the proceeds from V-Teas go to the nonprofit V-DAY, which works to stop violence against women and girls by distributing funds to grassroots national and international organizations and programs.

Not only does Zhena give proceeds to V-DAY, she is also proud to donate profits of her Raspberry-Scented Earl Grey tea to CODE PINK.

Code Pink’s mission statement reads ‘women for peace calls on women and men to take proactive, creative and sometimes outrageous actions to wage peace. Rejecting the US government’s color-coded alerts based on fear, violence, and an ‘us vs. them’ viewpoint, CODEPINK spreads respect, compassion and interconnectedness. Join us as we take the streets and neighborhoods throughout the world giving pink badges of courage to the peacemakers and pink slips to the war-makers. Join us as we build, from the bottom up, a more safe, sustainable world.’

For more information on code pink, please visit

Originally published August 2005
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