Product developer and business owner
I always loved Naturopathy. I loved everything about it from a really young age. I used to feel so at home and inspired when my mum would take me to see a Naturopath and I felt like a sponge when I was having a consultation, always wanting to know why they were asking certain questions, or what the supplement was for, or how they knew what I needed when they looked in my iris. I started studying Naturopathy in 2005 at Endeavour College and absolutely loved it.
I was in my second year of university when I started drinking a lot of chai tea, but I was constantly disappointed with the products on the market. I found they were a heavy black tea base and a subtle hint of spice. Obviously, this was because it is so much cheaper to produce chai this way, rather than a real authentic chai, full of rich aromatic spices. I started playing with some ingredients and decided to make my own.
I started Love Tea when I was in my second year of university, at 22 years old, while studying full time. I fell in love with herbs and wanted to make them more accessible, and more affordable, so as more people could benefit from them and to help people bring them into their everyday lives.
I met my partner Damien Amos at that time and recruited him to help with the business, which quickly transitioned to him running the business and me focussing on completing my study and coming up with new blends and new products.
Damien and I took Love Tea to market and slowly grew the range. Love Tea became certified organic and we joined an organisation called 1% For The Planet, through which we are able to donate 1% of all sales to a range of organisations globally. We developed the range further and refined our packaging design.
Today, Love Tea operates from a warehouse space in Geelong Victoria and we currently supply around 350 stores through Australia. We also sell the range through Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and the U.K.
Damien and I have three children, so it is quite a juggling act at the moment, and days vary quite a lot. But most days, Damien is up and gone by 7am and gets home around 6pm. I get the kids ready each day and then head to work around 9am. Some days I am home by 3, but it just depends what we have on at the time. My days are more focussed on developing new products, and in sales. Damien’s days are more heavily involved in the complexities of inventory, sourcing ingredients, overseeing production and generally keeping the ship running!
There are so many different aspects to this business and I thoroughly enjoy them all. I love the sales side of things because it enables me to reach out to new people and introduce them to Love Tea and grow the brand by building on new stockists, which inevitably introduces more people to the brand, allowing more people to enjoy Love Tea.
Essentially for me as a Naturopath, I love nothing more than helping people improve their health. I have been able to do this through our Wellness range, which includes blends such as Breastfeeding tea, Sleep tea and Digestive tea. The positive feedback from people who have tried the wellness blends as part of their journey to better health, reinforces how much I love herbs and tea and helping people improve their health. I find this part super rewarding.
I guess for me, juggling three kids and the business (which I sometimes think of as our fourth child!) can be difficult in a sense that I am spreading me energy across many different things. However, this challenge has made me really question what I give my time to. When I am not at work or with the kids I don’t watch TV, I read instead. I choose to listen to podcasts instead of the radio and I try to go to sleep early, so as I can feel my best each day.
I guess another challenge for us would be that we built Love Tea from nothing. We didn’t have anything to put into it in the beginning as I was studying full time and paying upfront university fees, so from the beginning, we have both had to work really hard to ensure the success of the business. I guess the positive that has come from this, is that we have jumped in the deep end so to speak, and we have had to learn a lot on the job. This has meant that we don’t just take on tasks from our specific roles, but that we have taken a more holistic approach.
Without my degree in Naturopathy, I wouldn’t have developed a tea company. It was tinkering with herbs at college that helped me realise how amazing herbal medicine is and the power of mother nature. The results that I saw from clients who used herbs to help them improve their health was so amazing, I started trying to work out how I could make herbs more accessible and affordable for people to bring into their everyday lives. My studies at Endeavour were the foundation to building Love Tea.
It has been about 13 years since I started Love Tea and my career has evolved through the business. One of my main goals was always to make Love Tea a global brand, simply because I believe everyone should have access to quality, organic and natural tea blends. We currently sell the range through Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the U.K. I think one of my greatest ambitions from here, would be to take Love Tea further internationally and to become a world leading tea company. I hope to continue to help people improve their health whilst having the least amount of negative impact on the planet.
First and foremost, I believe you need to be 100% committed to studying natural medicine before you begin. I remember when I first started studying Naturopathy, our classes were huge and by the end of first term the numbers had dropped significantly. I think you need to start with a knowing and a commitment at your core that natural medicine is your passion. Once you have a deep level of commitment to it, you will be able to overcome any challenge along the journey rather than giving up along the way.
Get experience in the industry while you are studying. I used to call Naturopaths in my area and ask if they had any clients that wouldn’t mind me sitting in on their consultations, so as I had experience in the clinical environment. If you can’t find someone who can offer you this, make yourself some appointments with Naturopaths, so as you have more experience in that environment.
Read. There are so many amazing books available to us these days and they are full of incredible knowledge that will make you a more holistic practitioner. You will find different ideas in each book that will add more tools to your kit and ensure you become a more holistic practitioner. By expanding your sources of knowledge, you will be more well equipped to treat a wider variety of clients and, in turn, have greater results.
Enjoy the journey. You will love the experience of learning throughout the course and, as natural medicine is such a practical course, you will be able to start implementing and applying what you are learning to your own health, or your friends and family’s health straight away. Naturopathy is such a beautiful course and the places it can lead you are endless.