wjr business beat

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Ellis Island Tea (Episode 87)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares an entrepreneurial success story taking place right here in Detroit: that of Ellis Island Tea, led by owner and founder, Nailah Ellis-Brown.

Earlier this week, Nailah received a major investment from comedian and actor, Kevin Hart, who’s partnered with her company and committed to providing funding as part of the company’s $1.7 million seed round.

Tune in to the WJR Business Beat, below, for more details on this inspirational startup story:


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Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Today’s WJR Business Beat is brought to you by Dell Technologies.

WJR Business Beat Transcript

Good morning, Kevin.

Picture this: you’re an aspiring entrepreneur running your business out of the trunk of your car, scratching and fighting for every sale you make. Fast forward a dozen or so years, and you’re now renowned brand receives a seed round investment from a major Hollywood celebrity. I would say at that point, you can begin to believe your business’s validated.

Well, here’s the story. This may sound like an entrepreneurial pipe dream for many, but it’s the reality for Detroit entrepreneur, Nailah Ellis-Brown, who is revolutionizing the beverage industry with her company, Ellis Island Tea, based right here in Detroit. Nailah launched her company in 2008 and has been producing a traditional Jamaican hibiscus bottled tea inspired by our grandfather’s recipe ever since.

And earlier this week, Nailah received a major investment from comedian and actor, Kevin Hart, who’s partnered with Ellis Island Tea, committing to provide funding as part of the company’s $1.7 million seed round. Brown said in a recent promotional video on her company’s website, “My resilience came straight from the city of Detroit by selling tea on the streets of Detroit, out of the trunk of my car. This is how you become an entrepreneur. One impossible thing achieved after the next. I won’t have it any other way,” says Nailah.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business and shake up an industry, take it from Nailah and keep pushing for your success, just the way Nailah pushed for hers.

That’s right now, it’s your turn to create the next great startup right here in Detroit.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat, today brought to you by Dell Technologies right here on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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