This week I am thrilled to bring you my interview with Sarah Holloway and her Legacy Project – Matcha Maiden. I discovered Matcha Maiden via their beautiful Instagram feed and was inspired by the magical properties of matcha!
Matcha Maiden is the brainchild of Melbourne-based (but endlessly wander lusting and forever daydreaming) couple, Nic Davidson and Sarah Holloway. One, a serial entrepreneur with a full service digital agency among several other businesses and, the other, Sarah, a former mergers and acquisitions lawyer and devout foodie – the two (both also very compatibly creatively inclined) formed a match(a) made in heaven to bring this vibrant green superfood to the forefront of the health food world.
The pair have grown Matcha Maiden from a creative “hobby” side project to a bustling global enterprise while staying loyal to their roots keeping a family business philosophy. With stockists all over the world, Matcha Maiden is not only about spreading the magic of matcha but also about nurturing a beautiful community of like-minded health nuts. The matcha mission recently reached new heights with the opening of a specialty matcha café (boasting a world-first innovative plant-based menu), Matcha Mylkbar in Melbourne. The pair can’t wait for what might come next with a very bright green future ahead.
Just like last weeks inspiring interview, Sarah is a Visionary Entrepreneur – She’s created a heart centred business that’s foundations are built around health, wellbeing, vitality and family.
When it comes to serving a higher purpose in business Sarah says, “We are contributing to people’s health and wellbeing by making an amazingly healthy product available and accessible to them that wasn’t there before. Hearing so much wonderful feedback and seeing people regularly post their beautiful green creations is the strangest but most wonderful feeling. When your work actually helps people feel good, especially when it’s been part of an ongoing health struggle, there is no greater reward!”
Read on to discover the story behind Matcha Maiden and what drives Sarah to keep going.
What inspired you to create Matcha Maiden?
It actually all happened by accident, to begin with – it was born out of our own frustration at a gap in the market. But the business also happens to land at the intersection of all my interests and passions and it has provided the means for me to turn what I love into what I do. We had both discovered matcha in its traditional context as a tea during our travels in Japan and then in a more adventurous context throughout the USA. I got totally hooked when I was working in Hong Kong for a year and had to give up coffee for health reasons – matcha was a much gentler caffeine source and my saving grace! When we came home, we couldn’t find a product that suited us – they were all either expensive inaccessible ceremonial blends or much cheaper but not very high quality or mixed with sweeteners. So we set about filling that gap in the market as well as creating an excuse to spend more time together. We had always wanted to start a business together but perhaps further down the track – this was just a hobby to cut our teeth on. But then it blew up and took on a life of its own and it’s been the craziest but most wonderful 18 months since then. And we recently opened our first physical venue – Matcha Mylkbar – a matcha specialty café and innovative plant-based restaurant recognised globally for its boundary-pushing creations!
In the year before making your career change, how would you describe your mental, emotional and spiritual state to a close and trusted friend? Was there an event/events which served as catalysts for the work you now do?
I wouldn’t say that I was unhappy, perhaps just not completely fulfilled. I had the best start to my working life at the law firm and learnt so much about business and the world in general. But my creativity and love for health and wellness were very under stimulated in the corporate environment and I knew that it wasn’t a long-term career for me. The problem was I didn’t know what else I would do instead before we had the idea for Matcha Maiden. So I’d say I had itchy feet and was a bit restless, which got a bit disheartening at times but I wasn’t desperately unhappy. That’s the scariest thing though – I didn’t even realise that I was coasting along living an 80% existence because I was focused on making the most of what I had. But now that I know how much happier I can be when I pursue my true passions, I am living a 110% life that fulfills me and challenges me every day. That’s why I always encourage people to explore new things because you don’t even know what else is out there until you go adventuring.I encourage people to explore new things, you don’t know what else is out there until you go adventuring.Click To Tweet
How does Matcha Maiden bring your unique talents to life? In what way does it give you personal fulfillment or a sense of purpose?
I have always been a bit of a nerd and law fulfilled my need for intellectual stimulation. But I have an equally demanding creative side that loves drawing, designing, writing, dancing, music… And that side wasn’t being used at all before nor did corporate law leave time for pursuing hobbies on the side. Running Matcha Maiden and Matcha Mylkbar uses ALL of my talents (and weaknesses – every part of my brain is used at all times!) It is constantly evolving and keeps me on my toes. It teaches me something new every day and presents endless possibilities for us – there are literally no limits when you’re the boss. You can do whatever you like with your work and take it as far as you are willing. I love working in an area that aligns with my interests (health and wellness) too, nothing ever feels like work when it’s what you love! It’s also so much more people facing, which I love – I am SUCH a people person I thrive off human interaction and relationships. Being in the business of making people feel better and healthier is also hugely rewarding!Being in the business of making people feel better and healthier is also hugely rewarding!Click To Tweet
What drives you to do the work that you do and keep going?
We have grown an amazing Matcha Maiden community over the past 18 months and it is their feedback and engagement that keeps us going. Not only do I love what I do just for what it is (meaning drive is definitely not a problem), knowing other people take pleasure or benefit from it means there’s basically no reason why you’d ever want to stop! I think that’s actually more of a problem than staying motivated – making time to slow down since you never really want to.
What has been a highlight of the business so far?
Going full time was probably the highlight for me – it coincided with another major milestone for us too, which was locking in our first big USA contract. We were approached by Urban Outfitters to create a custom product for the beauty section and we are now stocked in stores across the USA.. I resigned the day after we locked in the contract!
How does your work serve a higher purpose on planet earth? And how does that make you feel?
We are contributing to people’s health and wellbeing by making an amazingly healthy product available and accessible to them that wasn’t there before. Hearing so much wonderful feedback and seeing people regularly post their beautiful green creations is the strangest but most wonderful feeling. When your work actually helps people feel good, especially when it’s been part of an ongoing health struggle, there is no greater reward! Matcha Mylkbar is also an incredibly rewarding project – our philosophy is all about changing people’s perspectives on plant-based eating and making the incredible longevity and sustainability benefits of that lifestyle more accessible to the mainstream market. Based on the Blue Zones where people live the longest due to the common factor of a majority plant based diet, we designed a super innovative (and of course infinitely Instagrammable) menu that showcases the delights of plant-based food and proves that it doesn’t mean sacrificing on flavour, texture, substance or presentation. Anything that generates positive behaviour change is wildly fulfilling and so exciting to be part of.
What great lesson or lessons have you learnt so far in life?
Everything happens for a reason. Trust the universe, it knows best.Everything happens for a reason. Trust the universe, it knows best.Click To Tweet
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who made you smile.
If you could give one piece of advice what would it be and why?
Be kind to yourself. We are so hard on ourselves and there is so much comparison and negative self-talk, especially in today’s social media age where we are surrounded by skewed images of other people’s lives. We are all on our journey and your best is more than enough – just as long as you are doing your best, that’s the most you can do and that’s perfect.
Bonus Questions: Who or what is your favourite:
- Musician? Swedish House Mafia (not sure if that counts, but I adore them. I know, it’s a bit weird)
- Author? J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter is life)
- Mantra or Quote? Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.Click To Tweet
Follow Matcha Maiden on on Instagram:
@matcha_maiden / @matcha_mylkbar / @spoonful_of_sarah
Thank you for being here and consciously choosing to explore the different ways that ordinary people are living extraordinary lives by serving a higher purpose through their daily work. Everything we do here at Your Legacy Project (add link) is designed to inspire and empower you to live your legacy and bring your unique talents to life.
I’d love to know are you a heart centred entrepreneur? I’d love to know what your business is and how it serves others and what inspired you to create it?
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And remember, Live With Purpose.