A little while ago I reached out to Emma at Love Tea, a tea company based just outside of Melbourne, designing and selling natural teas inspired by Naturopathy. Love Tea has always been a favourite of mine since my first few days in Melbourne. The first blend I bought was their Raspberry Leaf tea, which I knew would support my cycle - I couldn’t find many other options for cycle support out there and so I kept coming back to Love Tea.
It’s always exciting when you come across a new, young brand that’s totally aligned with your values and that you instantly feel connected to. That’s what happened with rhoeco, a newly established tea company from Greece that produces organic herbal teas to promote well-being while preserving the Earth. rhoeco aims to promote zero waste, choosing ethically sourced goods, and staying away from pointless consumerism.
Who Gives A Crap gives 50% of their profits to charity to build toilets and fund sanitation projects for those who really need it. I talked to Who Gives A Crap’s co-founder Danny about business models that create positive change, overcoming obstacles, and becoming an entrepreneur.
I found Tom when I first moved to Melbourne. I've always been a lover of unconventional hairdressers, avoiding traditional hair salons. Tom's very interesting to talk to. Maybe I'm naturally drawn to unconventional thinkers, but I knew from our conversations that there was a lot of valuable knowledge and interesting insights to be covered.
A day in the life of a startup follows a business from its early stage steps through growth pains and new opportunities to a sustainable, independent enterprise. We go back every few months to document the change happening to provide useful insights and inspiration, sharing direct and real learning opportunities, and empowering entrepreneurs and people wanting to make a change.
Some people, when you ask them about their work, tell you that they’ve been doing the same job for the last 20 years. They’re usually age 40 and above. Ask Johannes about his job and he will tell you the same thing - he’s been doing the same job for the last 20 years. He’s 23.
From Nelson we went on a day trip to Abel Tasman National Park. We instead spent some time by the beach, reading and relaxing. After a week traveling, a lot of time spent in the car, and sleeping at camping grounds, we actually really felt a lot like relaxing and not doing much at all.
Almost at the Pancake Rocks - the night before was spent in Greymouth, a place where not much is happening. Of course we were craving our usual morning coffee at a nice cafe though, so we started the search through little Greymouth downtown. And we found it.
Franz Josef and Fox glacier are surrounded by rainforest. We didn’t explore the glaciers, but went for a long walk in the forest instead. I loved being in this deep green jungle, it feels exciting and so calming at the same time, especially after rain.
We arrived in Queenstown. It was a beautiful day spent by the lake (a little bit further South that was quiet and with pretty much no one around), relaxing, sleeping, finding stones, soaking up the sun.
The next few posts to follow will be picture heavy - mainly photo stories of my trip through New Zealand when my mum came over to visit this March/April. I love New Zealand - always have. Anyone who has ever been will probably agree with me. It's such a beautiful country, one of the best places to go on a road trip.
Of course I did some research and spent quite a bit of time on Pinterest searching for cool Tokyo coffee shops and vegetarian places before travelling there. However, on the day I went to have lunch and coffee at one of the places I found online it was actually closed. So I kept walking, being freezing cold and desperately in need of a hot cup of (good!) coffee and some heartwarming food. Having your camera out all the time in winter isn't exactly what your hands and fingers long for either. I was lucky when I came across this cute little place called Itonowa.
Another day spent wandering the streets of Tokyo, this time exploring the old suburbs, which felt very much like going back in time ( - back to what I imagine communist times might have felt like). I loved the feel of these streets, being surrounded by weird, random things. So many little alleyways to explore with so many little details.
Tokyo really is crazy, it’s true what they say. There’s a shop called Don Quixote, a discount store that spans 4 floors (Shibuya store). I found a simple list of what you can find on each floor online.
I spent a few days in Tokyo at the beginning of this year - exploring, trying to find the best vegetarian sushi, and navigating my way around the city. Here are some of my captured impressions of this crazy, crazy city where everything seems to be happening all at once all in one place.
You’ve likely heard the same question over and over again. Teachers, parents and their adult friends, all looking down at you as a child, asking the same question with a sparkle of expectation in their eyes. They wanted to know that we were normal, that we understood the system just as they were taught. Yes we understand.
Isn’t it always exciting to hear other people’s stories, learn how they first started, know what they’re doing in everyday life, get behind the scenes access? I think this is because we believe we can learn from them, analyse what they’re doing, apply some lessons to our own life and figure out new ways to overcome struggles. It’s also inspiring and uplifting to see where others came from, realise that they’re not some super heroes like we so easily make them up to be in our head. We all have ambitions, we all struggle, we all learn and grow, and we all have our own path.
Finding your path can mean many things to many different people. Some might literally think of getting directions to go somewhere, others might associate religion and spirituality with it, and then there are those of us who straight away connect it with that entrepreneurial part in our mind. I was curious to know what it really means to all those different people out there with different backgrounds and stories. So I wandered the streets of Melbourne, took a few pictures, and conducted some mini interviews. What does finding your path mean to you?
Vyom Sharma does a lot of things. He creates magic shows, spends hours working as a doctor, writes for medical magazines and has been published in various newspapers. Sometimes when you’re working so much you forget to put your ego aside and ask “why”, which is what this interview is all about. There are deeper motivations behind the things we do every day, and if we look closely and dig a little deeper we can all benefit from them.
To start off The New Artisans I talked to Zev Forman, professional bagel baker and founder of 5 & Dime. Zev started 5 & Dime mainly out of frustration with a lack of ‘real’ bagels in Australia. Having grown up in New Jersey in the States he knows that the saying ‘if it ain’t boiled, it ain’t a bagel’ is true. The fact that the bagel is a very labour-intensive worker’s bread with humble beginnings also played a big role in making it an attractive entrepreneurial journey. 5 & Dime is possibly the best example of a sustainable business that’s based on a quality product made by hand, sold fresh every couple of hours - bagels made for people by people. ev tells us more about the process of baking bagels, the early beginnings of this type of bread, and the importance of systems.
Start the story five years ago, when a guy who got lost on a stag do ended up at a random bar by himself. That’s where he met another guy, about 20 years older, a lecturer from Melbourne who was visiting the city. They start talking, feel like they’re made of the same stuff, stay in touch. They don’t see each other for the next five years. Fast-forward to August 2015 when they meet again, this time in Sydney. The lecturer knows another friend he hasn’t seen for a while who lives in Sydney. That guy (let’s call him guy number three) invites the lecturer to come see him.
Sophie started Grain & Knot, her wooden kitchenware company, just over a year ago. She hand carves each spoon, knife and board from reclaimed timber, keeping her hands busy whenever possible, putting her love for the wooden goods before splinters and cut fingers. According to her own website, “she always searched for new and exciting artistic outlets” after graduating and wanted to get away from the constant glare of the computer screen.
esse is one of a kind. He’s the kind of person you call ‘a character’ - pink shirt, denim jacket, purple shorts, a blue and a yellow sock. It pretty much sums up his personality. He’s torn between loving and hating new ideas. He can’t be put in a box. He builds genuine relationships with people that are real. That’s it, no business vs personal life distinction. He’s ambitious about smiling, green dinosaurs, and magic jumpers - you’ve just got to love him.
As Helena and I were anxiously awaiting the tour group at Tottenham Court Road tube station, our ears were bombarded by a busker playing raucous rave tunes that were starting to get a grip on me. You could say he stands for what made and still makes Soho a global focal point for musicians - a place where they can let go and create the sounds they want. As gentrification springs up around the area he’s there making his music in the same way that Soho is still withstanding evermore salivating developers.
met Victoria a while ago, a few months maybe, a time that doesn’t feel very long. I got to know her very well over the period of just one or two months, it’s been a journey of getting closer and sharing a lot of personal stories, experiences and adventures, late night cups of chai tea, and some fluorescent face paint.
If you’re in London chances are you’ve heard of Pact Coffee by now. Either because I’ve told you about it, enthusiastically trying to get you to buy their coffee, or because you’ve seen ads offering £1 fresh, high-quality coffee on the tube, Facebook, or on a billboard. And if you haven’t come across Pact before, you might be looking it up by now. Coffee for £1 sounds pretty good, right?