A Chicago native with deep Midwestern roots, Eileen Shafer is grounded by family, friends, and life-long traditions. She enjoys classical music, various genres of books, and is an avid collector of china, antique crystal, silver, and linens, believing that a home should be a reflection of one’s personality and interests.
For 24 years the quaint river town of St. Charles, Illinois had been home to Eileen and her family, but with a penchant for American history, Williamsburg, Virginia had always been her destination and is now a permanent residence for the Shafer’s. Eileen, husband, Ray, and daughter, Katie presently share their households with two Miniature Schnauzers, Muffy and Teddy.
Eileen’s background in interior design and business management, combined with an interest to promote nature’s golden elixir beget an entrepreneurship. In 1996 she became sole proprietress of Royal Tea Impressions, a delightful respite for tea lovers in St. Charles and Geneva, Illinois. After years of practicing the art of serving English-style teas and running a successful retail business, writing and lecturing about tea’s evolution soon took the business in a different direction.
From 2001–2005, Eileen was a contributing writer for TEA a Magazine and organized special book signing events for Pearl Dexter’s, Tea with Presidential Families.
From 2001-present, Eileen continues writing and presenting special tea programs for ladies’ club groups, private organizations, libraries, and history museums. Personalized tea and history tours throughout Colonial Williamsburg’s historic triangle are reserved for individuals and/or groups of ladies and gentlemen, by the day, or as an overall vacation package.
In 2011, Eileen published her first tea book, Royal Teas with Grace and Style (Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.) She was featured in the 2012 Winter Issue of TEA a Magazine and received an outstanding book review in the 2012 September/October issue of Victoria Magazine. Royal Teas with Grace and Style is already in its second print.
When not lecturing or writing about tea, Eileen still takes pleasure serving tea to family and friends and is often found in the kitchen testing new recipes. Traveling, visiting historical landmarks, reading, and meeting new friends are other pursuits that add substance to her business. She also enjoys searching for inspirational and meaningful quotes as captions for her writings, as well as words to live by:
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it."
Eileen is currently writing a second tea book, Royal Teas for Holidays and Special Occasions.