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Some generations seem to be made of tougher stuff than others. Certainly, that is the case for Siberian-born Yelyzaveta “Liza” Seltsova. Born in 1941 at the start of World War II, Liza never met her father; he was killed on the front lines of the war when she was only a few months old. She grew up uncertain and insecure, often foraging for food and berries in the nearby woods. Nevertheless, she possessed a fearless and tenacious spirit. Though money was tight, she was determined to pursue an education. It wasn’t easy. Many miles had to be traveled daily to get to school. Additionally, she shared only one pair of shoes with her brother, so they alternated school days. And through her perseverance, Liza met a teacher who would leave a lasting impression on her life.“My German teacher inspired me,” explained Liza. “It wasn’t common to share personal details, especially with the tensions from the war so high, but it was assumed that my teacher had left Germany for political reasons. While I never learned what happened to my teacher after I graduated, her impact on my life was tremendous.”After Liza and her husband married, they relocated to Ukraine, where the climate would be better for their growing family. “My husband and I raised three children in Ukraine, and I taught German for 35 years — just as my favorite teacher had taught me. I loved teaching. My students stayed in touch with me and continued to visit me as they grew. When I finally retired from the classroom, many students traveled with their families to wish me well. It was very special.” After 55 years of marriage, Liza’s husband passed away, and when Russia attacked Ukraine in the spring of 2022, Liza moved to the United States to live with her granddaughter, Anna, uniting four generations of her family that have immigrated to America. “I’ve left one of my grown sons in Ukraine,” Liza shared. “Thankfully, we can communicate regularly.”As Liza has continued to acclimate to her new home, she has maintained the natural curiosity that has been a part of her life since she was a child. Liza said, “I’ve always been a lifelong student, and now, I’m learning English!”At Esther Team Company, we are honored to feature Liza on our bags of Esther Elderberry. Her love, strength, courage, and sacrifice exemplify our company’s vision.


Esther Elderberry

This tea is a significant blend of both simple and complex flavors — blended to inspire a sense of peace and happiness while naturally elevating your immunity!  Elderberry has been noted for generations dating back to Ancient Greece for its healing properties.  The wholesome flavors of apple, cranberry, and vanilla add warmth and softness to the tart elderberry flavor.  With every delicious sip of Esther Elderberry, we are reminded of Liza’s lifelong commitment to family, strength, and sacrifice.


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