If you're looking for inspiration on how to get a creative start by following your true passions, our interview with Kate Dalton of Mayde Tea is one you'll want to read.
The humble Byron-based clinical naturopath, nutritionist and mother of one, founded her business on the belief that the human body has an innate ability to heal itself, and that nature provides us with the best resources for preserving our health. Kate has since garnered national recognition, not only for her evidence-based naturopathic medicine and scientific research to treat holistically and individually but for the profound trust she has built amongst her clients for providing education and support to help them improve their quality of life and enhance overall wellbeing.
Additionally, Mayde Tea has grown a cult and national following and Kate's beautiful refillable jars, compostable and recyclable packaging nod to her conscious philosophy of building a brand founded on the notion of integrity and her commitment to treading lightly is intertwined with her daily approach.
Here, Kate shares with us how she got her start, how becoming a mother has changed her, and why her NMJ ring will remind her of a life-defining year representative of togetherness.
Tell us about Mayde Tea. How did it come to be?
Mayde Tea is an organic tea business that I founded in 2013. I was studying Naturopathy & Nutrition at the time and quickly became obsessed with the effect that plant medicines have on the body. While studying, I used a lot of herbs myself to support digestion, improve sleep and lessen anxiety. I was ingesting these herbs in a tincture, and I started experimenting with making these same formulations in the gentler, yet effective form of organic herbal teas. I had incredible results! From there, Mayde Tea (somewhat unintentionally!) was born. I believe so deeply that our bodies have an innate ability to heal itself, and plant medicine has many unique mechanisms in which it brings the body back to optimum health. I feel so fulfilled spending my days sharing this magic with my community.
You’re also a naturopath, how does this role play a part in what you do today?
Herbal medicine is my greatest passion- and I’m not sure if I would consider starting a therapeutic tea company if I wasn't a naturopath or herbalist! I use evidence-based research to formulate our blends. Each blend has a particular body system or body process that it is aimed at supporting. I first collate the appropriate herbs that I could put into the blend, work out the amounts needed to have a therapeutic effect, and then, of course, play with the recipe to achieve a beautifully balanced flavour. I love being able to discuss each of our ingredients and their benefits in such depth to our audience - I think this helps gives the brand integrity and builds a profound trust with our customers.
In your years of expertise as a naturopath, what guiding principles have led you to live consciously?
If I'm honest- when I started studying I became quite obsessive with nutrition and generally the importance of being ‘healthy.’ In hindsight, this was in fact very unhealthy! I have since found a good balance. I eat really well, but I also treat myself when I want to. I make sure I take the time to meditate every day. I use food as medicine & fuel, plant medicine to heal & nourish, and make sure I move my body daily. I believe deeply that treating the person as a whole is key, and that nature has an incredible power to assist the body back to optimum health.
At NMJ, we approach sustainability as a journey, rather than a destination, especially in an ever-evolving industry such as ours. What approaches do you take in your business to be more environmentally friendly and socially responsible?
I couldn't agree more! We are ever-changing - and with the growth we have experienced at Mayde Tea, I am compelled to evolve the business daily to adopt further sustainability practises and continue to tread lightly on the planet. From the packaging- we create refillable and reusable (and beautiful!) glass jars. I truly value quality over quantity and I intend to have our customers purchase our high-quality tea blends in long-lasting packaging that can be refilled. Those of the range that are not designed to be refilled are recyclable or compostable. Our tea strainers are made of high-quality stainless steel, so once you buy one, it won't need replacing. We send out our orders in recyclable packaging and have a cardboard perforator that allows us to reuse our delivery cartons as protective packaging in orders. In an ideal world, we would be totally closed-loop and plastic-free- but we are human and we can only do our best!
We’re firm believers that changes, big or small, can positively impact the earth - as a business owner and a mum, what sustainable ‘at-home’ tips can you give our readers?
Order a weekly organic produce box to be delivered- that way you are supporting local farmers, your product is bound to be more nutrient-dense than those from the supermarket, and you will have a surprisingly less amount of waste (especially plastic!). Make your own nut milk- as those silly UHT cartons are not actually recyclable. Choose loose-leaf over teabags, as most teabags have billions of micro-plastics that leach into your cup of tea.
Jewellery to us is a form of storytelling, self-expression and individualism. What is your first memory of jewellery, and what does it mean to you today?
I have worn jewellery for many years, but the most special piece to me is a gold necklace I don’t take off. I chose this as my 30th present from my mum. It has been broken twice by Alfie’s strong little tug, but have had it repaired both times as it is now a part of me. It has a tiny circle pendant, and it represents wholeness, unity and infinity- which feels like perfectly symbolic of my family.
You’re now a mother to your gorgeous little Alfie, what has motherhood taught you?
It has taught me more than I could have ever imagined! The most predominant being patience and selflessness. As you become a mother you truly give yourself to another- it quickly became my sense of purpose, and happiness and fulfilment I didn't know existed!
What does your NMJ piece mean to you?
I chose the Kamali Ring as a forever piece that I will cherish and wear every day. Something I can put on without the need to take it off. I love that all parts of the ring are intertwined. This year has taught me a lot- how much becoming a mother changes you, navigating motherhood and a business, and then doing both of these through a pandemic! It has really taught me how important community is, how much my Mayde Tea community has stuck by us even during unexpected low stock levels. When becoming a mother, it really does take a village, and my friends and family have been incredible. I think my ring will remind me of a year of togetherness.
Image credit: Amelia Fullarton