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Sip Herbals with Orleatha Smith, Co-Founder, feature #111 of Together Talks

"Together Talks" feature #111: Sip Herbals presented by KLS, freight company

Some Background on Sip Herbals

Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview Sip Herbals and Orleatha Smith, Co-Founder. They love the routine of coffee, but not the side effects.


Sip Herbals began in 2020, when founders Kelly + Orleatha realized their beloved morning coffee routine was causing health challenges.


Combine that with the other negatives of coffee –- anxiety, jitters, caffeine, and sustainability concerns – the stars were aligned to bring Sip Herbals to life.


After spending a decade researching, learning, and sharing how real food helped them feel better, they sought to include those who had been excluded and to create a sustainable coffee alternative - both for our bodies + for the planet.

Health change

For 10 years Kelly and Orleatha worked together in different capacities. Orleatha told us that during that time coffee consumption was a daily activity and she realized that it often had a negative impact on her. She reached a point where she made the choice to give it up completely, it was in her best interest. She was curious if there was a way to replace it and took up reading into alternative options. The discovery showed everything had adaptogens (Orleatha has an auto-immune disease), natural flavors, or still possessed caffeine. Being a former biology teacher she put on her apron and began experimenting. Orleatha's family is from Louisiana and she got into the kitchen starting to play with herbs. It took a month to create the formulation. In 2020 the company was formed.

Orleatha began sharing her creation with friends in the Paleo community who also suffered from auto-immune issues. Shortly after they started their Kickstarter and going D2C with their website. Reflecting back on the start to current day Orleatha appreciates the freedom and flexibility. Being a mom of teenagers it is especially critical for her lifestyle. Being able to accommodate her life schedule and fit it in with running a business is imperative. Orleatha explained that in her opinion no one will work harder than they will for themself, she hopes that building Sip Herbals will hopefully create a legacy that her children can one day be a part of.

The ritual

Within the month of creating the formula, Orleatha explained that there were hundreds of iterations, "Basically 3-4 trials every day", she shared. Prior to giving up coffee she was very specific about what she consumed daily. Her goal with this alternative option had to possess the dark mouth feel, having it feel like coffee was a must. From there she wanted to expand and have all of the coffee house flavors, but only using natural ingredients to keep it clean.

Upon launching Sip Herbals has always had a pulse on their community, relying on their customers for feedback. The main reason for creating this company was to provide a substitute for consumers and give them back a part of their normalcy (coffee). The original formula was made using powdered herbs, but customers said the bottom of the cup contained "sludge" which lacked the true coffee experience. In the end or 2021, the last of their powdered product inventory sold and they started fresh with a revamped product. Now, their products can be made in a Keurig or coffee maker, leading Orleatha believing it leads to a much better experience.

Contrary to similar companies their product doesn't use any mushrooms, caffeine, adaptogens. Sip Herbals was created because no one size fits all for every consumer. Instead they provide a blank slate that can be built on or just enjoy the blank slate. Orleatha continued, "We don't believe our product needs all those bells and whistles. Instead we offer a simple, yet beautiful product." That is how they created the name with the meaning being at first sip when the shoulders drop and you can begin the day. Orleatha said that creating this was more of a "why not" attitude. She had always spoken with Kelly about another outlet or income stream for a company. In solving a problem for her, she discovered others might also suffer or have a similar need. This taught her a very crucial lesson in life, "You are never alone. If you are suffering, find someone who also suffers and suffer together. Life is much bigger than just yourself and the possibilities are endless if you choose to open up.", Orleatha explained.

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Scaling and awareness

Prior to creating Sip Herbals the duo operated in the digital world and had a successful SAAS exit. But they were entering a completely new industry, CPG. Getting finances upfront was the largest initial hurdle. Orleatha mentioned how it was a quick education over the last couple of years. She credits both of their parents for instilling values and teaching them about finances and how to stretch money. Remarkably the company has always been profitable despite being bootstrapped the entire way. They have yet to do any advertising instead of relying only on organic growth and influencers.

Orleatha shared what brings her the most joy and she told us the story of when they opened their Kickstarter. "I remember we recorded the launch and when we hit the number there was confetti and an explosion on the screen. We were so unsure of how we would fund this project. We didn't run ads or have investors. Instead we told people our story and allowed them to believe in us. They did for $7,000. Now you can't start or run a business with that, but what we took from it was much larger. What we thought might be impossible was possible, it breathed light into that proof of concept. Now we know that if it happened once, it can happen again."

In 2023, they created their "board of wins". As they accomplished things, whether big or small, they added it to the board knowing at some point they would want to celebrate it. "Running a business, you are nose to the grindstone, goal oriented, and focused on the next big thing. Too often we don't remember to celebrate.", Orleatha explained. The company was featured in Essence Magazine, on Amazon for Women's History Business of the months as examples of noteworthy accomplishments. Being able to grow organically and have word of mouth to build awareness is something they are very fortunate and appreciative of. For these Co-Founders, they stress the desire to enjoy the journey, not just chase the goal. Looking back at the end of the year on all of their successes they realized how far they have come and grown. Orleatha's mantra:

Be where your feet are.

Our bond

Having a Co-Founder is one of the aspects of her business that Orleatha reflects on the most. She told us how absolutely grateful she is to be running Sip Herbals with Kelly, "The ability that when times are hard I have someone who can validate my feelings is huge.", Orleatha shared. She continued that she believes no entrepreneur fully believes in themselves which leads to trepidation and no one wanting to fail. However, as an avid reader, Orleatha credited a book called failing forward, which shed a new light on how we as individuals view failure. She explained there is always an opportunity to learn from it. Being a scientist, everything can be viewed through the lens of an experiment. Now as an entrepreneur she can constantly dissect and figure out how to engineer the correct process for their business.

Orleatha shared her sales pitch, "This is a better for you coffee alternative. Made for your gut health, your mental health, and providing a piece of normalcy . You don't have to lose the coffee routine without having beans. Your better for you is different than mine, so we simply want to peak curiosity."

Piece of Advice

The conversation with Orleatha ended with her sharing her piece of advice:

"Be open to being wrong. A lot of times, especially growing up in this country, we are told to be right all the time. When you are not open to being wrong, you close yourself off to curiosity. Not saying "I’m wrong",  but rather " I'm open" - open to learning, their perception or their paradigm. Thinking you know everything about something is detrimental because there is so much to learn."

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Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
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In Closing

KLS wants to thank Orleatha Smith, Co-Founder, of Sip Herbals for today's "Together Talks" feature. Follow along for their journey with their social handles below!

Together Talks with Sip Herbals feature #111 - presented by KLS, Klimson Logistics Solutions, freight company

Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Sip Herbals feature #111

*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!

Why KLS?

Our precise and reliable effort.

We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.

Our Process?

Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.

Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.

The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.

Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.


You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.

For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.

This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.

Services offered?

Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.

Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth

LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).

Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.

FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.

Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution

What makes KLS different?

There are thousands of freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.

Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.

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