COLUMBUS, Ohio — Acquiring proper etiquette and manners may come with age, but one Ohio woman's mission is to change that.

What You Need To Know

  • Posh Teatime Co. teaches etiquette and manners to at-risk teens and underprivileged youth

  • The business was inspired by the owner’s upbringing

  • Posh Teatime Co. works with nonprofits like Huckleberry House and the Columbus Urban League

This is what Ella Williams, owner of Posh Teatime Co., lives for.

"As a little girl, like, I didn't come from very wealthy beginnings,” said Williams, “and so I've always been inspired by My Fair Lady and how Eliza Doolittle was transformed from a poor flower girl into a refined lady."

But she felt far from that.

"My mother had severe schizophrenia,” said Williams. "So oftentimes, she wasn't able to be present to teach me the things that I needed to succeed. I was definitely behind.”

But what Williams once called her "setback" became her true calling in life: teaching youth etiquette.

She decided to start Posh Teatime Co. to work with youth through nonprofits like Huckleberry House and the Columbus Urban League, but these skills are essential, not just in fine dining settings — even businesses are adopting them.

After a couple of years of working remotely, reports half of companies are currently offering etiquette classes, with another 18% implementing them by 2024.

Meanwhile, Williams is focusing on the youth, giving them pointers on napkin placement and table manners.

She said starting early is key.

“I think it's very important that they have these skills now,” said Williams, “and it also just kind of trickles down, again, like into academics, into feeling more confident as a person. I feel etiquette is a gateway to get into social circles they may not have been able to get into before."

Though Williams can't take back her humble upbringing, there's one thing she can do: help other children like her younger self.

"I would say don't be so tough on yourself and believe in yourself. You're good enough. You're good enough," Williams said.

Posh Teatime Co. mostly focuses on helping at-risk teens and children facing economic barriers.