Naturopathy student Kate Dalton reveals the story behind how her herbal tea range was handpicked to feature at one of the world’s biggest fashion shows.
When Wellspring heard 27 year old naturopathy student Kate Dalton’s herbal tea range had been handpicked to feature at one of the world’s biggest fashion shows, we sat down with the herbal medicine lover to get the inside scoop.
Could you tell us how your very own product line Mayde Tea made it all the way to one of the world’s ‘big four’ fashion shows?
It all started with a connection I made when I used to manage a café in Bondi. I struck up a beautiful friendship with Gaby Howard and Nadine von Cohen who now own Flaunter Media, an Australian technology start-up that makes it possible for fashion brands and agencies to send print-quality images and videos to journalists and bloggers.
Their company ended up being selected last year by the Australian Chamber of Fashion as the official distribution platform for the seven Australian designers heading to Paris Fashion Week. The girls had drank my tea since we met, and saw an opportunity to suggest the line be featured in the Australian showroom for the models and designers to drink. The next thing I knew the girls were taking a big package of my tea in their suitcases to Paris and the rest is history!
That sounds like an amazing opportunity for your brand. What was the reception like?
I was ecstatic when I found out – it is the biggest week of the year in Paris! It put Mayde Tea in front of huge fashion labels and top models who loved drinking it and found it offered some calm amongst the madness. We had lots of people asking where they could buy it, which has left me thinking about exploring the idea of selling it overseas which is very exciting.
What has the experience taught you about business?
It reminded me of how important every interaction can be, and that every time I represent my brand it can change the direction of the business for the better. Every step along the way, every decision I’ve made and every person I’ve met has had an impact on the next chapter of my story.
It’s also taught me to be more savvy. I used to say yes to every opportunity that came up for Mayde Tea, regardless of how much it benefitted the business. I’ve learnt to use my time and resources wisely, and say yes only when it makes absolutely sense.
You moved to Byron Bay almost two years ago now – what has the shift made possible for Mayde Tea?
It’s been wonderful as the Byron Bay community is so supportive of local businesses. Being approached by some local dining institutions like The Farm has been instrumental in helping me secure other stockists in the area and has helped my online business grow too.
I now have 120 stockists around Australia in almost every state and territory.
How is Mayde Tea different from other herbal tea companies on the market?
Mayde Tea is handmade using 100% organically grown, medicinal grade herbs with no artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners. I use mostly recycled materials for packaging and it is completely recyclable.
The ingredients we use are wild crafted, which means they are picked in their natural habitat.
What led you to start Mayde Tea initially?
Studying alternative medicine opened my eyes to how beneficial herbal medicine is, and has been for thousands of years throughout the world. I started using what I was learning at Endeavour to nourish and heal my body with outstanding effects through making my own tea.
I was pretty excited by the results so I shared my herbal tea creations with friends and family. Their feedback was so positive it gave me the confidence to create a range of teas which heal and nourish the body with the best of nature’s ingredients and herbs.
Before I knew it I was wholesaling Mayde Tea products to cafés and selling directly to consumers through my online store. It is the best thing I have ever done.
Photograph by Rodney Dean
Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.
The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees and Honours programs in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture and Myotherapy, and a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine.
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With roots in ancient European civilisation, naturopathy has been practised since the early 19th Century as a holistic Western medicine that encompasses traditional wisdom with modern science to treat the body naturally.