I first heard about today's Coffee Date guest on the Oh Simple Thoughts blog a few months ago and I've been following along with her ever since. Christin Eastman and her husband, Johnny, started Sweet Aroma Coffee to make money that goes toward stopping sex trafficking. They offer a monthly subscription that highlights fair-trade coffee from different regions around the world, and a large percentage of the monthly subscription goes toward 61 Project in Kenya and Wipe Every Tear in the Philippines. For a coffee drinker like myself, this is such a neat way to support a wonderful cause!
I not only wanted to bring Sweet Aroma Coffee to your attention, but I thought it would be fun for us to get to know the lady behind it a little better. What better way than a Coffee Date? Christin is sharing all about what her normal day looks like, how Sweet Aroma Coffee got started, and even their hilarious honeymoon story (you have to read it!)
What's in your coffee mug this morning?
I love starting the morning with a steaming cup of coffee. I love black coffee the most because I can taste the flavor of the specific blend. Although, I'm a huge fan of the Girl Scout Thin Mint creamer so when we spot it at the grocery, we always pick some up!
Give us a glimpse into a typical "day in the life" of Christin.
It seems like a typical day in my life is never the same! Depending on the day, I spend the morning answering emails and catching up on work that ran over from the day before. I spend time with the Lord and we do a lot of dreaming and praying. Mid-morning I work on marketing for Sweet Aroma as well as the month's coffee inserts for the subscription bags. Afternoons are saved for coffee dates and meetings. Last week I traveled to speak about Sweet Aroma and it was a blast! Sometimes I have Skype calls with our ministry partners in other countries but usually we just email. Just the other day I got to have lunch with one of our contacts in Kenya so that was a very special blessing and treat! The evenings are reserved for hosting folks at our home and spending time with my hubby and our pup, Howie.
How did Sweet Aroma Coffee get started?
Sweet Aroma began while I was on an 11-month mission trip called The World Race. I felt the Father speak two words - coffee and prostitutes - to me and I knew He had some pretty big plans in store. Over the next five months, the Lord continued to reveal how coffee would one day help fight against sex trafficking. When we got home, we started a coffee ministry called Sweet Aroma Coffee.
We literally served coffee all over Knoxville. We'd load up my living room which was full of antique furniture and set it up at the venue and serve coffee and share our hearts for a couple hours and then tear it all down and move it all back into my house. We did this for months until we were completely exhausted! We felt the Lord say it was time to stop doing these "pop up" shops and wait for His lead.
A few weeks later we got the idea of having an online coffee shop where people could sign up for a monthly subscription and enjoy different coffee from all over the world, each month, right in their own home. Thus began sweetaromacoffee.org. We are a mission minded business and 36% of the gross profit is donated back to the organizations we partner with in The Philippines and Kenya. Both ministries fight against sex trafficking. We use our platform to be a voice for the voiceless and to love and empower folks to live lives that are fully surrendered to Jesus and His calling! Our hearts beat for the story He has written for each of your lives and we pray that through Sweet Aroma, you are encouraged and inspired to go out and make a difference!
What is you and Johnny's "love story"?
We met on The World Race two years ago. It wasn't love at first sight though. I thought he was a tattooed punk and he thought I was a snobby Southerner. We ended up working together during our first month in Guatemala and became instant best friends. It's amazing what hard work, living in a third world country, eating over an open fire and not showering for weeks and Jesus will do to people's vulnerability levels! We stayed close friends the whole 11 months, exchanging emails and letters when we had wifi or saw each other. He moved to Knoxville when we got home and asked my dad if he could pursue me shortly after. Three months later we were engaged and five months later we tied the knot! Our honeymoon was a story for the ages. We boarded a plane going to the wrong country, the airline lost our luggage for the entire honeymoon and I ended up in the hospital but boy, oh boy did we have so much joy and so much fun! We went back to Guatemala where it all began and fell in love all over again! I've been married five months to my best friend in the whole world and it's been so amazing! (To read more of the honeymoon story, click here.)
I know from experience that running a business can be time consuming and busy. How do you simplify and keep everything running smoothly?
Yes indeed! It can take up a ton of brain space, heart space and desk space. Sometimes I balance it alright and other days I have to check in with the Lord to get my heart back on track. Johnny and I communicate a lot to make sure everything is running alright but it's a constant learning game that we are eager to understand! I think lists are important and prioritizing is also super important. Staying focused on our core values helps us not get side tracked and having fun and laughing a lot helps keep the stress to a minimum and the smiles constant!
What's something you've been loving lately?
I've been loving reading lately. I picked up some novels I read forever ago and I guess I'm getting really old because I didn't remember how any of them ended. Reading is a great way for me to unwind and rest so it's been wonderful.
And just for fun, what is something might never guess about you?
As a child, I desperately wanted to be a CIA agent!
And I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to bless one of you with some Sweet Aroma Coffee! Enter the giveaway below to win a 3-month coffee subscription.