Places & Faces
Tea at Walden Writing & Paper Studio
11/30/2018 11:54:20 AM
Tea at Walden


In early 2017, Julia Morris O’Carroll started reevaluating what she was doing with her life. She held a job she enjoyed as a human resources manager, but her life was hectic and stressful. She imagined a simpler life, working from home. That June, she made the leap and quit her job. Two months later, a diagnosis of breast cancer reinforced her decision to "slow down and live life deliberately.”

Julia began her career with a master’s degree in English from McNeese State University. She loves writing and books – and not only the stories. She loves the words, the ink, the paper . . . with a cup of tea on the side. After battling cancer (she is presently cancer-free), Julia started a business that allows her to share this unique combination of passions with others. She named it Tea at Walden, referring to Henry David Thoreau’s iconic book, Walden.

"The business is based on a lot of things that were at Walden. Thoreau went into the woods and with his bare hands built a cabin. There, he wrote of simplicity and the essentials of life. It really spoke to me. I wanted to create my own Walden.”

With the help of a contractor, Julia transformed a former shed and greenhouse on her property into her studio. She creates one-of-a-kind pens and journals made with paper she hand-makes with recycled materials. Her favorite paper "ingredient” is cattail leaves she gathers from nearby ponds. Julia also uses other recycled materials for her journal covers. For example, she recently created a journal covered with leather from a jacket she discovered at a yard sale. "I love the idea of transformation,” she says.

Julia’s pens are strikingly beautiful. She crafts rollerball, ballpoint, and fountain pens from acrylic resin, wood, or a metal composite. She recently made a pen out of water buffalo horn. Through colors, engraving, and materials, she works with her clients to create a pen that is special and meaningful to that person. 

Her love of tea first began brewing in grad school. She loves the simplicity of tea, the variety of flavors and aromas, and the ritual of tea – taking time out to savor a cup and center one’s self. Julia offers a wide variety of blended teas in flavors such as Awake at Dawn (a blueberry and lemon green tea) and her personal favorite, A Long Walk (with French lavender and coconut herbal red rooibos.) Seasonal favorites include Autumn by the Pond (pumpkin flavor) and an apple cider variety.

Julia’s passion includes hearing and sharing people’s stories. Her goal, through making pens and paper, is to encourage people to share their own stories. "Everyone has a story,” she says. "I want people to create their own Walden.”

Julia is currently working on a book tentatively titled The Art of a Deliberate Life. Her pens, journals, and artisan teas can be found at Flock of Five Gift and Art Emporium, 217 E Thomas St, Sulphur, LA, on Facebook, or through her website, teaatwalden.com. Contact Julia at teaatwalden@gmail.com.
Posted by: Angie Kay Dilmore | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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