Reviewed by Marsha Bailey
Words from the Gypsy Sage: “Do not leave a caravan mid-journey.”
If you’ve attended WEV’s Self-Employment Training Program in the last several years, you’ll have heard Zhena Muzyka speak about how, as a single mother with a special needs child, she started her business, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, from a tea cart and grew it into a national brand.
Now, Zhena has published her story in a book titled, Life by the Cup. For those of you who love Zhena’s story, and that’s pretty much everybody as far as we can tell, there’s a lot to love about the book as well. Life by the Cup is hard to classify: it’s a business book and it’s a self-help book. It has travel, romance, recipes and is a tutorial on the chemistry and cultivation of tea. And it’s liberally sprinkled with Zhena’s own brand of spiritualism.
What makes Life by the Cup special is Zhena’s personal story. She shares her fears, her failures, her successes and her lessons learned in the context of both her personal and professional challenges. I found the book to be inspiring, moving and funny. Words from her gypsy grandmother, the sage, made me laugh, while Zhena’s incredible resilience in the face of daunting personal challenges brought tears to my eyes more than once. Zhena created a business with a mission. I think a lot of aspiring female entrepreneurs will identify with her premise that doing business your way can bring you both success and happiness.