Former journalist and View Park native, Dawn Patton, traded consulting for entrepreneurship. Today, Patton is the owner of Try My T, a lightly sweetened ready-to-drink iced tea with a unique blend of fruit and a hint of mint. Since the launch of the brand, Try My T has made a name for itself as a powerhouse brand after receiving the People’s Choice Award at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, defeating 13 other iced teas on the market. Try My T also took home the Bronze Medal at the Global Tea Championship in 2017.
When asked what makes Try My T different from all the other brands, Patton says, “You just have to taste it.”
“It’s the first ever gourmet tea on the market. It is the epitome of the word premium and it doesn’t taste like the quote on quote iced tea. It’s very flavorful and it really hits the palate. You can taste all of the different flavors and it has elements of surprise,” she said.
Prior to Patton taking over the company, her daughter, Darrah, was the owner. Darrah created Try My T in 2014 so that she could have money as a college student to offset some of her college tuition and living expenses. The iced tea recipe was given to Darrah by a family friend.
Soon, Darrah began sampling the iced tea at community events and festivals. As Patton likes to say, the “iced tea took on a life of its own.” As Darrah began to pursue other career ventures, she entrusted the recipe and the business to her mother.
Years later, Patton is celebrating three major milestones! Try My T is now available in a newly designed 20 oz. recyclable PET bottle and has secured a place as a vendor in both the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Banc of California Stadium.
Patton is the first and currently the only local Black female iced tea vendor to secure a placement in two Los Angeles sports stadiums. According to Patton, she is joining the wave of women of color who are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America.
“I feel honored and I am grateful to have the opportunities that I am having,” said Patton.
“There’s not too many of me in the space. I do not and I am not categorized as Black business. I will not allow anybody to do that for me. I am in business and I just happen to be a Black woman. So I think that it is very different when you call yourself a Black business because you may cater to people that are African American for your demographic. I am very happy to be a product of the community and product of View Park and I take pride in being a woman, a minority-owned woman in the space that I am in. But, I am a serious competitor with everybody, so I don’t want to be boxed into something.”
Recently, Try My T has been invited to sell the tea during the Los Angeles Rams football games at the coliseum for the 2018-2019 season.
Currently, the beverage can only be purchased at the L.A. Coliseum during USC and Rams games. However, in April of 2019, Patton plans to have Try My T in a few grocery stores.
Patton encourages young women of color who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs to “just do it.” She goes on to say that not all good ideas are good business ones.
“You need to think about why you are doing it. For me, it’s not about the money. I want to be the best that the world has ever seen and the money will follow that. I was taught that by the late Peter Jennings.”
“[He said,] whatever you do your passion will turn into something. Be the best no matter what you are doing even if it’s shining shoes, or washing windows, you have to be passionate and want to be the very best.”
Try My T is available in one flavor, original, and can be purchased at select locations. For more information on Try My T, please visit www.trymyt.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram at Try My T, and Twitter @trymytea_.