I was heartbroken to hear that Steven Smith passed away yesterday. Steve was the king of teas, having started Tazo, Stash and most recently, Steven Smith Teamaker. He was an incredible visionary, a generous soul with an infectious smile and one of the first people to believe in the Pedal Powered Talk Show.
I met with Steve and his wife, Kim, in early 2011, months before our bike/desk had ever been built. Back then I was just a freelance video producer with a crazy idea. I’d never done anything like The Pedal Powered Talk Show before but I was convinced that if I got some support and funding, I could turn it into something special. For whatever reason, Steve believed me. He saw promise in the idea. He cut me a check a few days after we talked and a few months after that we were filming our first two episodes in the middle of the Smith Teamaker warehouse.
His support didn’t stop there. I checked in a few times a year to share updates and ideas. Steve and Kim were eager to hear the latest news and always made sure that we were well-stocked with tea. When we were producing our third season, I realized we had gone over budget when we took the show to Eastern Oregon. I shared a pot of tea with Steve at one of our semi-annual chats and mentioned our budgetary problems. The next day he cut us a check to put us in the clear.
Steve was a dreamer. He had incredible ideas and he was able to actualize them in the most magical way. And he helped me actualize mine too. Without Steve and Kim’s support, I honestly don’t know if this show would exist. So from the bottom of my heart: thanks.
I’m so sad that we’ll never get to share another cup of tea.