Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Kaishan from Libertea, Prahran Market

Happy Saturday! I actually can’t believe we are in September? Where is the year going, for real!

Tonights guest, Kaishan from Libertea, is simply wonderful. I met her a few months ago at an event for My Blue Tea at Prahran Market. Kaishan gave a wonderful talk about tea and her blend of Butterfly Blue Flowers and Lemon (which is such a beautiful blend!) and was so lovely to speak with – we just clicked.

Fast forward a few weeks and I popped into her shop at Prahran Market and enjoyed a lovely tea tasting, where I learnt a bunch of fun facts. Did you know tea bags can contain bleach and therefore it’s better to use loose leaf tea – no either did I!

I love the little about us section on the Libertea website, where one of the concerns for the shop is the fact it’s situated in a coffee city – Melbourne. While we do love our coffee here, I love how passionate Kaishan is at explaining the different teas and how to drink them. I bet she could turn any coffee drinker into a tea drinker!

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R. Welcome Kaishan to Meet the Makers, it’s wonderful to have you join us. I’m sipping on the Purple Lemon Tea as I write this! 

Let’s start with the all important, what lead you to starting Libertea?

K. A simple wish to do something meaningful, rather than going to work everyday mindlessly just to earn a living. I treat this as a learning experience, and am still finding my way through it!

R. I love that, a learning experience – it gives me goosebumps! I think it’s such a powerful acknowledgement and really we are all still learning as we travel this journey called life!

What would you say is the biggest challenge when running your own business?

K. To prioritize my to do list, and to prioritize my personal life and work. Your passion very easily keeps you up 2am in the morning planning and replying emails. Then your body will tell you the next day at 8am to hit the snooze button because you need rest as a human!!

R. I agree, I can easily write lists and lists far into the night with plans and ideas but my body isn’t very thankful for that the next morning. 

With that being said, how do you balance living in such a digital world?

K. I try to turn off notifications and set out a fixed time when I can check my social media. I also won’t check my phone on my days off.

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R. It can be tempting to think “I’ll just reply to this one email” and next minute an hour has passed and you are still working away. 

Walk us through what any given day looks like for you.

K. I am most likely running late to open the shop, spend the first 30 minutes setting up, brew myself a tea, decide what has to be done and what I feel like doing, and dedicate my time according to my interests and my energy levels.

Some days I will just rearrange shelves because I need a break from my computer and from stock ordering.

R. Running a business comes with a few challenges here and there, how do you take time out to rest the mind?

K. Chatting with my friends, playing with my son, breathing exercises. I find that being at the present moment is very important. So I will harass whoever happens to be close to me when I am feeling overwhelmed, and as soon as you voice your concerns, they don’t seem as daunting as they were in your head.

 R. It’s wonderful you can surround yourself with a support network especially when facing hurdles. 

How do you deal with negativity?

R. I try to focus on the bigger picture. I will try to picture 3 months from now where I will be. Trusting and believing your potentials facing all odds is very important and a lesson I need to learn.

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R. Your business is in consumables, how important is the use of organic/natural ingredients to you and your brand?

K. It’s not important, it’s essential! We are very trusting when we buy.
When we pick up a packet of tea from a shop, we most likely expect it to be 100% natural loose leaf however often than not, if you read the labels, you will find flavorings, coloring, even added sugar in them. Why?

For a tea that takes months to grow, and days to harvest; some even need to be handpicked, oxidized, rolled, then roasted into dried leaves; then we take consideration of the costs of packaging, marketing and distributing, and it’s still priced at $3.99 a packet! The price speaks loudly on the quality. It’s like paying $10 for 4 litres of boxed wine, that’s why additives are needed to make it taste more decent. At Libertea, we focus on letting the natural ingredients shine through. We will tell you where we source the teas, when they were picked, what else is added, and how to brew them!

Nothing artificial needed for our tea experience!

R. Outside of Libertea and juggling being a mama, how do you like to have fun!

K. I am a foodie, and a casual yogi, love reading about spiritual growth, as I had a major life crisis and awakening a few years ago.

R. I feel if you live in Melbourne and are not a foodie, are you even a real Melbournian ha!

You mentioned you had an awakening a few years ago, with that have you figured out your purpose?

K. My purpose is just to pass on positive energy to everyone and anyone I meet. I met some very generous and amazing people who helped me get though my crisis. I am trying to do the same for others.

R. It’s a those times of need when we build extremely strong relationships. I’m grateful you had that support network by your side.

What’s your favourite part of the day?

K. Doing silly dancing and singing with my 3 year old.

R. Ha! I bet it’s a real hoot, it would also be a stress reliever!

Where do you draw inspiration from each day?

K. Knowing that I will be learning something new or meeting someone new. One of the advantages of having your own shop is you are guaranteed to meet new people every day.

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R. Biggest self-care tip?

K. Remember to breath….

R. As Chief Tea Officer at Libertea, do you have anything further you would like to add?

Say no to teabags!!! They are not biodegradable and full of chemicals!

R. Thank you again Kaishan for your time, I’m so grateful to have met you – you are wonderful!

Libertea is celebrating their 1st birthday par-tea on Sunday the 16th of September from 10 to 2.30pm at Prahran Market where you can pop in a taste any tea your heart desires, there will be cake (yes, Kaishan had me at cake!), party hats and bags plus random giveaways. If you would be keen to attend let me know, I’d love to join you!

Have a wonderful evening,

Renee

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