by Brianna Miller March 02, 2020 3 min read 2 Comments

How did Women’s History Month come to be?

What started as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California for one week in the late 1970s, later turned into a recognized movement across the country. This led to alliances and groups coming together to express their passion and tell stories of feminine leaders. On March 8th, 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation of support for National Women’s History Week. The step to make the occasion the entirety of the month was in effect in 1987. 

The National Women’s History Alliance selects a theme when March comes around. 2020 marks the focus of “Valiant Women of the Vote”. The honorees, both past and present, have assisted in the advancement of the women's right to vote. There was a time when the privilege was considered impossible, as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Burns, and Carrie Chapman Catt (to name a few) organized many of the first rights conventions in the late 1800s. This would lead to countless efforts of women’s suffrage movements to make their voices heard and fight for the agency to vote. 

Women's History Month 2020:

The current honorees, Maria Teresa Kumar (CEO of Voto Latino), Eleanor Holms Norton (Civil Rights Leader/Congressperson/ Lawyer), Terry Ao Minnis (Senior Director of the Census and Voting Programs) and Edith Mayo (Suffrage Historian) keep the legacy alive. They remind us of something as powerful as the right to vote was denied to women for too long. 

Celebrate the Women of Harney & Sons:

From product and creative design to operations and business development, there are so many women whose contributions and talents make an impact in our company. We chose to honor a few of them with their own custom blend! 

Brigitte’s Blend:

Brigitte is the wife of Mike Harney and the mother of three Harney grandchildren. Brigitte is kind and thoughtful, with a keen sense of style and flair. Her insight and expertise in the world of retail are essential tools in the business, especially at the tea shop in Millerton. 

The  blend  crafted for her is a gracious mix of Ceylon and golden Assam. The flavors are combined in this tea to make for an extraordinary cup.

Elyse’s Blend:

We’ve created this  blend  to honor the matriarch of the Harney family and her daughter, both named Elyse. The mixture of Tippy Assam and Kenyan teas with Ceylon results in a smooth, toasty tea with notes of honey.


Jane’s Garden Tea:

This  blend is in remembrance of Jane Lloyd, a lifelong friend of the Harney family and avid gardener. A green tea brew with pomegranate and roses, this tea is sweet and soothing. It promotes the idea of growth and renewal, such as how a garden inspires tranquility. One dollar of the proceeds from the sale of Jane's Garden blend will be shared by the Jane Lloyd Fund and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Little Women Orchard House Blend:

In Louisa May Alcott’s classic, charming novel,  Little Women, the March sisters teach us a thing or two about love, life, and the bond of family, as they ascend into adulthood. This  blend  honors the Orchard House, a foundation named after the setting in Concord, MA, where Louisa May began to write her story. The bright notes of apples and honey with cornflowers decorate a traditional green tea. 


Sally’s Secret:

One of the first tea-blenders in the Harney company, Sally was a wonderful member of our community. She was a good friend to all and shared a love of all things pink! 

We dedicated this  blend  to her, which consists of Earl Grey and rosebuds. The citrus and rosy scent is a delightful detail in this cup.  

In addition, we have met amazing, intelligent women who thrive in different careers and hobbies and advocate for resilience in their field. They’re also fans of tea, which we love, and consider it to be a great companion as they succeed in many projects. Take a look at a few  stories here in our Teafluencer series. 


So, thank you to all the women who persevere and demonstrate courage, whether in their work or lifestyle. Female leaders of the past and present help pave the way in our community and beyond! 

Brianna Miller
Brianna Miller

2 Responses

Michael Harney
Michael Harney

March 06, 2020

It is our pleasure to honor the women that got us going. Without Elyse lending us money in the beginning, we would not have made it this far. Without Brigitte’s fine taste we would not be the elegant brand that we are. And Sally, she was our first employee. Our longest serving employee is Brenda, and she has done a great job making our gifts very special. Elvira is my tasting buddy and our tea buyer. She keeps me on the straight and narrow, and our teas tasting great. I could go on and on with all the women that make it happen. So we honor (and compensate) our WOMEN.

Gayla J Pappenfoht
Gayla J Pappenfoht

March 03, 2020

I love that you honor these women who have been a part of your history. As the mother of a son, I often wonder when the turn for special attention for men happens. Some say men are honored all the time, but I don’t see it. However, I loved reading about the special women of your company. Your tea is amazing!

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