Welcome to our YCL Women's Series; a space created to share the stories & insight of women all around the world, whom inspire us.
We sat down with Kate Dalton, a Byron-based clinical naturopath and nutritionist, not to mention the owner of much beloved organic herbal tea company, Mayde Tea.
1. How did you get to where you are today? Tell us a little bit about your journey…
Mayde Tea was created 5 years ago when I was 23- somewhere amongst a double university degree and a full-time café job. It’s been quite the journey, and I’m so happy with how far it’s come. I graduated in 2016 as a Naturopath and Nutritionist, and I split my time between Mayde and consulting. Building a brand has been so fun and I’ve loved the challenge. I had no idea it would end up as an actual business! We now have 5 staff, an online store, a warehouse and a shopfront.
As for how it all started- I was going through uni at the time, and I started to create herbal blends for myself for digestive problems and anxiety. The results were phenomenal! For years I had been searching for the most perfect herbal tea brand in terms of the therapeutic benefits, aesthetics and their environmental impact. When I couldn’t find the brand, I began to make it. I started the business with a whole heap of knowledge of the medicinal properties of herbs, but with zero knowledge on running a business- so that was an interesting learning curve. I could not be more grateful for this life I have created, though!
2. Who is your ultimate muse / inspiration?
I’m not sure I have one single person- but who does come to mind is the people of India. I went on a trip there in 2016 and their adoration and gratitude for the earth and its’ resources really inspired me. It really brought me back down to earth- to be truly grateful for the simple things. I think so many foods and other products have become something that resembles little to nothing of their natural state- and our bodies aren’t designed to process these things. The Indians are so resourceful, using every single offering that nature provides us. It’s simple really- we don’t need to complicate the way we live, or the foods we eat. I bring this ethos into our products- only offering those that are the closest to their natural state as possible, and that our body will recognize and appreciate.
3. You are based in Byron Bay. What are the local sights, cafes and restaurants you frequent on your days away from the business?
A new favourite is also a new Mayde Tea stockist- The Byron General Store. Their food is amazing! As for an adventure a bit out of Byron is the Minyon falls loop bush walk and Doma café in Federal. Shelter Café in Lennox would be a favourite for dinner.
4. What is your favourite piece of jewellery and what story does it hold?
My favourite piece is the plain rope choker. I’m someone that doesn’t like having many ‘things.’ I love simple, clean style, and being so beautiful and elegant this suits my everyday style perfectly.
5. What are your morning & evening rituals?
Every morning and night I meditate for 10-20 minutes. This is either a guided meditation or I practice Nadi Shodhana pranayama which is a breathing technique. Sitting in stillness daily is a non-negotiable for me. I’m a bit of a creature of habit- and I start every morning with our Mayde Tea Earl Grey. I always get out for a walk before I start my day of work with my dog Molly.
My brain is really active and focused in the morning, so I start work pretty early. This is always with a herbal tea like Restore or Energise (I drink lots of tea, clearly). At night, I dim the lights an hour before bed, and refrain from anything with a backlight. I usually have candles on rather than artificial light at this time. This is to allow the conversion of serotonin to melatonin (our sleep/wake hormones). I drink our Serenity blend and read before bed to help my mind and body relax.
6. What were the biggest challenges when you first started your business and how did you overcome them?
Hehe where do I start.
Come to think of it I actually didn’t even know how to register a business name 5 years ago. I luckily didn’t actually know I was starting the business at the time- so it never felt stressful or that I was out of my depth. I started it so slowly, treated it as a hobby, loved every second of it, and never had expectations of where it was going.
Once google showed me how to register a business name I started looking into insurance and all of the rest of the legalities- and that was incredibly foreign to me. The creative side of the business is what I absolutely love doing, so I’ve never struggled to launch new products. The battles come often, as with any business. At this point our biggest problem is having outgrown our warehouse- which is of course such a great thing.
In the beginning I spent a lot of time researching and I asked the right people for tips along the way- whom I am eternally grateful for! Choosing to only offer organic products is a very expensive decision, so that was tough for cashflow. But Mayde Tea wouldn’t exist without such strong values and the true integrity of our products.
7. YCL stands for Your Core Light, what does Your Core Light mean to you?
To me it means following your truth. I’m a huge believer in following your gut feeling, as cliché as it sounds. So this really speaks to me.
8. What advice would you impart on the next generation of women?
Practice self-love and meditation. Write a gratitude diary. And choose the career that never feels like a day of work.