In this episode…
In today’s episode we had the pleasure of chatting with Erin Lindwall from Matcha Yu Tea.
Unashamedly obsessed by Matcha Green Tea from her many trips to Japan, Erin’s mission is to help others enjoy the many health benefits of regularly drinking it, while also looking after Planet Earth with their Eco-friendly home compostable packaging.
Listen in for a bit of matcha education and to hear the really unique way Erin tested the waters to ensure the Australian market was ready for this delicious tea powder before taking the leap to launch her business.
So let’s dive in!
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[00:00:00] Amanda: Welcome to, to episode 25 of the Heart Driven Hustle podcast. We’re your hosts, Amanda and Kingsley.
And in this episode, we’re joined by Erin Lindwall from Matcha Yu Tea as we dive into the world of matcha.
in today’s episode, [00:01:00] we had the pleasure of chatting with Erin from Matcha Yu Tea. Unashamedly, obsessed by matcha green tea from her many trips to Japan.
Erin’s mission is to help others enjoy the many health benefits of regularly drinking it whilst also looking after planet earth with her eco-friendly home compostable packaging. Listen in for a bit of matcha education and to hear about the really unique way that Aaron tested the waters first to ensure that the Australian market was ready for this delicious tea powder before taking the leap to launch her business.
So let’s dive in.
Welcome Erin. It’s so great to have you on the show.
Today we have Erin from Matcha Yu Tea, and we’d love to hear all about your story, all about your products and really share with our listeners, your journey throughout business, and also around the health side of things too.
So. First of all, I’d love to, to give people a bit of an idea of what exactly is matcha tea. It’s something that a lot of people may have heard of, but they may not really [00:02:00] know what it is.
Erin: Oh, for sure.
it’s essentially matcha, is stoned ground, green tea leaves. So the tea leaves. yeah.
picked and then, remove the stems of removed from the tea leaves and they are dried steamed. And then the final process is, stone grinding. in the past in Japan, they used to do the stone stone grinding by hand but now they have fancy machines that do that for them.
but yeah, the word Japanese ma and cha, so ma means to, to grind or to ground down something, and cha is tea so it really is that is the basic meaning of the word much.
yeah. And it was drunk. Originated in China actually, and a monk brought seeds over from China
to plant in Japan. so the matcha tea culture really, [00:03:00] got going in Japan centuries ago. But the first, yeah, the first seeds were, did come from China. but it’s such a amazing. Yeah, culture. That’s been part of their, you know, history for years, hundreds of years. but yeah, that’s yeah,matcha in a nutshell.
Kingsley: Oh, wow. That’s, that’s interesting because I always just assumed it was a different type of tea plant. So you’re saying it’s like a green tea plant and it’s just a bit, so it’s the, the tops, the F the fresh sprouts, I
Erin: Yeah. That’s that’s exactly right. So it’s the same tea plant Camelia synthesis, which a lot of tea is brewed from everything from, you know, black oolong, all of it, green in all its variations.
so yes, the, the youngest freshest leaves, from the top of the plant are selected to make matcha. But I did remember, I did forget to mention a [00:04:00] important factor. With the way it’s grown, that makes, that stands apart from other types of green tea.
So it’s shade, cloth grown, which means in the weeks leading up to tea harvest, which is in usually in early May, in Japan, around autumn, or late spring rather, the tea leaves or tea plants are covered with a mesh cloth.
not directly, they’re just, it’s a cloth hovering over all the tea plants, and, that allows, some sunlight
to get in, but the majority of sunlight light is blocked and it means that the, the, the green leaves increase in chlorophyll production and it slows down the process of photosynthesis.
That’s a mouthful.
Amanda: photosynthesis. Yes.
Erin: It’s a tricky one. You know what I mean? So that, that is a key factor with matcha why it’s different to other green tea, the way it’s grown as well.
[00:05:00] Kingsley: Right. So that gives that, distinctly, incredibly green look.
Yeah. That process does, does make that happen. And the greener the matcha the better quality it is. So the greener the matcha means that it’s the freshest tea leaves that have been picked. So that’s at the start of the harvest. And if it’s picked that we often call it first flush or first
harvest that means you’re getting the kind of premium ceremonial grade type much.
Amanda: Wow. There’s quite a bit in there. Yes. So the, the thing that piqued my interest early on was that you mentioned it being starting in China,
Amanda: I always associated matcha with being a Japanese tea. So is it still big in China?
Erin: I think so, but globally people know it as a Japanese tea, so even though the origin of it came from China in the eighth century, the [00:06:00] culture of like tea ceremony, which is in Japanese, is known as char no, you, that originated in Japan and the monks used to use it as a, W, you know, something to help them meditate, to keep them focused on what they were doing.
And also samurai used to use it to, again, kind of get that clarity and focus before going into battle.
So those, yeah, those aspects, of they’re very much linked to the Japanese culture.
And I guess over the hundreds of years that it’s been grown in Japan, the techniques and methods have been so fine tuned and the skills have been passed on from generation to generation.
So that culture is very rich in Japan, in China. There is matcha of that is growing, but to be honest, I feel the matcha that’s coming out of Japan is top quality because of the, yeah. As I said, the hundreds of years of experience.
[00:07:00] Amanda: That is really cool. I feel like I’ve had a matcha education
Erin: Oh good
Amanda: very short period of time. I knew a little bit about it, but certainly not to that depth. Yeah. So I’d love to learn a bit more about your business so Matcha Yu Tea.. I mean, what does that look like today? I’m sure it’s very different from its origins.
What does it look like today? And then we’ll go back to the, the story behind it.
Erin: Oh, definitely. Yes. today. Well, obviously with COVID this year, it’s looked a little different. we’ve had, we haven’t been able to do the events that we usually do. So we go along too. Like last year we had the Melbourne tea festival that we appeared at and the Japan festivals, all of them there’s about three or four a year in Melbourne.
So we’re based in Melbourne and, Yeah, so those things have been eliminated. So it’s all been about the online side and reaching people in that way, trying to convey to them, you know, what something tastes like without having to being able to [00:08:00] sample it or have a conversation in person.
So it’s just being, yeah. Making sure. I’m you know, telling that story through, social media, through my, website advertising, et cetera. So I’ve just been really focused on that. The, it’s the beauty of, yeah, the online kind of e-commerce boom this year because of COVID has really helped me reach a lot of new customers, that have, you know, You know, enjoyed the convenience of shopping online and getting it to the door. And, yeah, so I hope next year, you know, as everything starts to ease off again, we can get back into those events, but it’s really, yeah. Virtually, you know, speaking to the customer, whether it’s, you know, Instagram live or whatever you’re doing Q and a sessions or virtual, you know, tea afternoons or, you know, just trying to keep creative and, you know, get through cut through, I guess, all the noise of online.
so yeah, that’s kind of, yeah, it’s been quite busy, which I’m very grateful [00:09:00] for. I’ve had a great customer base that ave supported me through this time and also have, have really enjoyed drinking the tea as a source of comfort through the uncertainty.
Amanda: Oh true.
You’ve got a product which is going to do exactly that.
Yes. Yes. So true. It’s it really is quite interesting. Isn’t it? Yeah. How you have to pivot when you have such a tactile product that people are used to seeing, touching, and tasting, and then trying to do that virtually. And it sounds as though you’ve been able to really lean into a lot of the different resources and technologies that are out there to stay at the forefront.
And to get creative and find ways that you can still bring that experience to people and put it in front of them. That is then going to help, promote and, and come across in a non salesy way, but more of an edge in an educational way so that they really do get to have you in their lounge room and have you in front of them and to continue buying from you.
Is that something that comes naturally? Are you [00:10:00] someone that’s just really quite good at being able to pivot and, being quite agile in that respect?
Erin: I think so. Yeah. I’d like to think I’m quite adaptable to new situations, in, you know, speaking in general in life. And, yeah, I think what, what you’ve said is it is hard to, you don’t want to appear to be too salesy. And I think. My passion for Japan, which we’ll get into it a little bit, I guess, is the, what I’m trying to convey to people that it comes from, you know, my heart and I’m. So I love talking about Japanese culture and sharing that with other people and also the. I love people really reaping the health benefits of drinking. Good quality,matcha other there’s a whole thing with, you know, a lot of matcha’s, not that good in quality and people have poor drinking experiences. And I like to make sure that people experience that. The best tasting much. So they continue to make it part of their daily ritual. I mean, you know, I, I do have a [00:11:00] little girl and I worked another part-time job, which is quite typical with side hustles you know, just trying to do all the things and matcha is such a important partof my day. Like. To, to have that in the morning to set me right, to, you know, to keep me focused and calm and, you know, put those anxious thoughts at Bay.
It’s so important. So I really want other people to also reap those benefits.
Amanda: Yeah. And it sounds like you really embodying what you’re all about. It’s not just a, something that a business that you’ve started because, Hey, it’s something I can sell. It is something that you are passionate about as something that you want to work into your life and it is part of your life. And so, yeah, it’s, you can really see that coming through.
Erin: Oh good. That’s what I hope.
Amanda: I’d love for you to, to take us back. You’ve mentioned about your love of Japan. So how did Matcha Yu actually all come to fruition? how did it arise?
Erin: Yes. Sure. So, it goes way back. So it [00:12:00] w it started when I was 13, so I was in high school and I was presented with the option. You know what, actually, I think it was compulsory to study Japanese, for that I year.
Amanda: I had the same thing but I can’t speak the language now and I certainly haven’t got a business related to it.
Erin: So I guess, yeah, from that point, when we started learning the language and learning about the culture, I just, my ears pricked up and I just was hungry for the information about the culture, because it was so different and unique and quite mysterious. And I always wanted to travel there and.
Oh, actually even further back in, I think in primary school, I did a school project, Japan, which I’d forgotten about until recently.
so it’s always been there in my psyche, I think. Yeah. From a long, long time ago. And I just continued studying Japanese on and off, up until this point, through school and then a night school.
Just cause I wanted to keep those skills current, but the, the motivation [00:13:00] was to travel to Japan and use those skills to enhance the experience of being there, I guess.
And so I got to 2003 and I took my first trip there and I was hooked and I, you know, loved it. Didn’t, you know, wandered around Tokyo on my own for a few days. And, and then went to,
I feel the rock festival in like the, area of Fuji national park, which was incredible. And then I just, as soon as I came back home, I booked almost booked to buy a ticket for the next year to go again.
So I did that.
I think you’re doing that.
Yeah. So I explored a lot more at syncs extensively the next year.And then I, you know, I’ve just been going on and off every couple of years just to get my fix and, and look, I got through to about 2010 and I decided I really want to experience daily life there and live there. And so I decided to do the working holiday visa. Program and, and hit [00:14:00] over and be a English teacher. so I, I decided to do that. I was married. I’m still married. I left my husband here because it was kind of more my dream than his. So he stayed, you know, held the Fort here. Pay the bills, you know, went on business as usual.
And I went over and did half a year and I am so glad I pushed through that fear of, you know, leaving a great job, leaving my husband, you know, all of these things that I was so close to not doing it.
And I’m so glad I did because it’s shaped my life. You know, a thousand times for the better, now, so, yeah, that, that half a year in Kyoto was magical and just experienced so much. And the tying, I guess with matcha is, I had a student. That came in and she, came in with matcha and showed me and performed kind of a low key tea ceremony and [00:15:00] all prepared matcha for me.
And she, and then I learned that her family was like this multi-generational tea, farm award-winning tea farm.
Amanda: Oh, wow.
Erin: So I kind of walked away from that and thought there’s something here. I need to kind of tell their story. And, and this is such a good opportunity to keep my love of Japan alive. When I returned to Australia. but yeah, like it’s taken a while to get to where I am now. I did have an idea of, you know, opening a dessert cafe and much of this matcha tea and desserts, because that’s what I love doing over there.
But then I, I hadn’t, I hadn’t got any experience in hospitality and still don’t. So it was a bit scary to, to think about doing that. so I, I just shelved that idea and then fast forward. I decided to do the, online, you know, tea sales and markets and things like that.
Amanda: Wow. That’s really cool. And I love the point that you made there about pushing through that fear
[00:16:00] Amanda: six months away to, to step up and, and move overseas to do something, which is for many of us seems so. Extreme it really, yeah. To, to step into your fear and do that. Imagine if you hadn’t, where would you be now?
It would have been a very different path. Wouldn’t it?
Erin: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I, I guess I probably would have had regrets, because what pushed me over it. The edge did make that decision was I was turning 30, I think, the following year. So I kind of had to make a decision. Otherwise I would have missed out on that working holiday visa opportunity. So yeah, that really, I had to make that decision, but I remember being at the airport and saying goodbye to my husband.
Like I probably think about it and tear up now. Cause I was just saying goodbye at that point of customs where, you know, he couldn’t go any further and I was just. So distraught. I remember just walking to the gate in tears and people must’ve thought what is going on, you know?
[00:17:00] And I was just so upset and I guess all the emotions of have I done the right thing, is this, you know, should I just turn back?
But I got on that plane and I did it. And I’m just so grateful that I did it. And anyone that’s out there, that’s thinking of doing like a. Stint work working or living overseas, I say do it because it’s so enriching and amazing maybe after COVID, but, but it’s such a amazing thing to do in your life. And why not?
Like what’s, what’s stopping you, you know, but besides your fear, you can make it happen.
Amanda: That’s right. And I know Kingsley, and I quite often have this conversation that if we had our time, again, we would have loved to have actually lived overseas and worked overseas for a while. But I think we just got in our head that you need to follow that very traditional path of you go to school, you go to uni, you then get a job and you work your way up the corporate ladder.
And that’s what you do. Rather than taking time off to go overseas. And I wish I had it, but having said that we wouldn’t be where we are now. I mean, everything [00:18:00] happens for a
Erin: Exactly. Exactly right.
Amanda: We’ll have our time soon.
And there’s always holidays to
Erin: keeping, you know, keep you inspired.
Amanda: Very much so, and I just want to draw on the point that you mentioned there, you could have gone down the path of having a dessert cafe, but you said that you had no hospitality experience.
What was it that was that deciding factor for you to move online versus create your own cafe or your dessert cafe?
Erin: Yeah, sure. Well, it’s actually, well, when I was looking into it, I returned back to Australia in 2011. And I actually thought that the market was probably not ready for matcha that as cliche as much or pun pun, sorry. As much as I thought it would be. it was still very niche and I thought I’m going to go even more niche if I do a dessert cafe. so I, I just didn’t feel like it was a solid enough idea to put a lot of. you know, there’s risk, like, you know, [00:19:00] remortgaged our place and, and put all this kind of time, effort and money into this idea. If I was a bit unsure of it being, you know, the right point in time for that to happen.
Yeah. So I thought, look, I’ll just shelve that for now and continue on with my life. and yeah, I think it was the right call. Like now it would be fine in the last couple of years I’ve seen this same thing kind of pop up and whether it’s a Japanese chain that have come to Australia to do it, or whether it’s an idea that’s being developed locally, but I am not. You know, I don’t regret that. I think it just helps more people in, you know, enjoy and experience much because they are getting more familiar.
Amanda: Yeah, definitely. And I suppose 2020, probably wasn’t the time to have one either!
Erin: Oh, well, no. Like I feel for those businesses, I just think I’m so lucky that mine was just an e-commerce online business because really there’s, it hasn’t [00:20:00] been a lot of. Major impact. It’s actually being positive impact because people have switched to that online shopping mentality. so I re and also looking for things that are going to keep them healthy. So I’m really well-positioned, and I’m very grateful for that, but I feel for all those other businesses that have had to have made some real, I’ve had to make some really tough decisions this year.
And I really hope that people will support them. Now, you know, that things are raising up particularly here in Melbourne.
Amanda: Definitely. Yeah. I completely agree with that. Yeah. I’d love to go. Just back to around the very beginning of your, your idea for your business, how did you, so you sat down, you had your ceremonial or your tea ceremony or the, that you’re staying with, made the youth matcha tea and then how did you go, okay, this is what I’m going to do.
And where did you go from there?
Erin: Yeah, sure. Ah, so we just kept in touch, the lady and who was my student and we just kept in touch over the years. And I think she was always [00:21:00] keen to explore export opportunities in Australia and around the world.
But she, I guess the English language barrier, she speaks English very well, but you know, I guess, and also not living in those countries. She was looking perhaps to me for a bit of a, a way to, you know, have her much a made available in Australia.
So I, you know, I just started thinking, yeah, it’s probably when I was on maternity leave actually, four years ago, I started working on the idea to run it as an online platform. And I decided to test the waters first with a crowdfunding campaign.
So I did a possible crowdfunding campaign to get a bunch of pre-orders. and just to see if it was financially viable before I dive right in. And that was great. Cause that was successful. And that really pushed me into gear to start the whole [00:22:00] business. Yeah.
Amanda: Okay. Right. That’s a really interesting way to do the crowdfunding campaign. So that was essentially just to, to gain pre-orders before you then actually stepped into to making that big decision and launching your business. Is that right?
Erin: Yeah. And I do visit, an accessory tea making accessory that she offers the lady in Japan, which I distribute here in Australia. It’s a tea shaker and it removes that barrier of like people thinking that making matcha are as complicated and you need a bamboo whisk and you need the tea ceremony, you know, all those. Bits and pieces. And it’s just a simple device that you just add the water in the mature and you shake it and it’s, frothy, you know, it’s, it’s enjoyable straight away.
So I guess that device wasn’t available in Australia prior to me, and it still isn’t like, I’m the only distributor of it. And, I wanted to see whether the crowdfunding, whether people were interested in something like that. So that’s another, it was kind of a, yeah, a bit of research on the product design side, I [00:23:00] guess. Yeah.
Amanda: Yeah, that’s, that’s so interesting. Cause I’ve, I know quite often when I think of that matcha tea, it is very much that traditional ceremonial everyone’s sitting down very nicely and taking a long time to make it. And that’s obviously one aspect of it. It’s not something that I would, assume to be. something that you can create and sort of drink on the go.
So it’s really interesting that you were able to overcome that barrier and educate people around that. Because I think a lot of time when people are wanting to create a business, they’ve got this fantastic idea, but there’s that gap that they need to overcome between where the market currently is. And where you need to get them to.
So that’s interesting that you’re able to use that product and through the counter crowdfunding campaign to really bridge that gap to, to bring it to the Australian market. So I think that’s amazing that
Erin: thank you.
Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a continual con like education piece, you know, I live in the world of much, so I’ve got to sometimes step out step outside of that and realize that some people have never heard of [00:24:00] it. Some people are just brand new to it. Some people don’t even know what to do with it, or how to store it or how to make it. So it’s all like a continual education piece, which I love. And I ove, you know, making it easy for people to enjoy because I really. Getting the customer feedback that I get it’s just makes me so happy because people are really noticing differences in their life because it sounds crazy. Cause it’s only, it’s only a tea, but it’s so much more than that because you know, People drink coffee to stay alert, but then there’s, you know, sometimes side effects to that matcha is the same. You can drink it to wake you up, to keep alert, to, to make you feel calm, to, you know, make you feel like your, your skin, your everything’s kind of not aging as much as you want it to. And yeah. if you’ve got children, like just to keep you going, like, you know, I always reach for my afternoon matcha and when I, after a day of challenges, [00:25:00] yeah, so there’s so many reasons why people are really benefiting from it and that’s at the end of the day, that makes me so much, it makes it all worthwhile, I guess, is what I’m trying to say.
Kingsley: Yeah, that sounds so great. So, just diving into the benefits of it for a second. So, how is it different to normal tea. Cause I, it’s funny you talk about the education side of things and both you and Amanda have done, Japanese in, your, your studies. I haven’t. So the first time I saw matcha I was in a ice cream green. Is that just another way of saying green and then find out, Oh, it’s like a, it’s a superfood or that’s, that’s how it was described to me. And that’s how I know it. So how, how is it a superfood.
Erin: Oh, for sure. Comparing it to regular green tea. It has over a hundred times more the antioxidant content. And there’s two reasons why. So, as I [00:26:00] mentioned in a little while back the way it’s grown, so the way it’s like the shade cloth. Yeah, the shade cloth grown tea you know, increases chlorophyl and it means all the amino acids increase. And so there’s a real, really special kind of thing happening there with the shade cloth, the growing aspect. And it makes, yeah, it makes it a super food at that point, I guess, with the leaves being of optimum quality. And then yeah, the way it’s consumed is the other aspects. So with other green tea, you brew the tea, you discard the teabag or the leaves, matcha the powder that is the tea leaves. So you’re consuming it all. You don’t throw it away and all those benefits are reaped because of that. You’re not throwing away all that good stuff. so they’re the two main aspects why it’s amazing as far as comparing it to other green tea, it just doesn’t even compare.
And, it’s, there’s, you [00:27:00] know, lots of things online, but charts that show you it’s way more, you know, antioxidant rich, then all those other common superfoods that we know out there, like goji, berries, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, you know, it’s just got so many vitamins in it. yeah, there’s a whole host of things that, that, you know, it’s got going for it.
Kingsley: Yeah. Well, it sounds, it sounds like definitely a super food that we need to include in our daily smoothies.
Erin: Yeah. It’s great facilities.
Amanda: Yeah. Well, pancakes.
Erin: Oh, yeah. the best. I don’t know how much antioxidant context with ice cream, but Hey, it’s still, probably better than the alternative.
Amanda: the, yeah.
Erin: Exactly. Exactly. Oh, one thing I wanted to mention though it apparently with, I recently learned, which is very interesting, that milk combining it with milk, like a cow based, Cow milk.
What I’m [00:28:00] trying to say, not a plant-based milk dairy. It actually reduces the effectiveness of the, the health benefits that I’m talking about. So it’s recommended if you have it, have it straight up with water or have a plant-based milk with it. And that will, ensure that the antioxidant content doesn’t get messed with at all.
Amanda: There know that one either. All right. Well, I’d love to go back to the business side of things for a moment. And. I know it’s something that a lot of people come up when they come up against when they’re starting their own business, or even when they’ve been in business for a while is they hit these challenges or roadblocks along the way.
And if they haven’t done a lot of mindset work and they’ve gotten really strong in their why, and what’s holding them to the business, they can be quite quick to, to throw their hands up in the air and go, Nope, that’s it. And walk it away. And I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of challenges or adversity along the way.
So. How do you [00:29:00] overcome those? How do you deal with it personally in your business?
Erin: Oh, it’s such a good question. Yeah, I do. I have those quite regularly. The self-doubt the, self-sabotage the anxiety, the worry of like, you know, paying bills and things like this. And. And, and then you think, Oh, is it all worth it? Like, have I sacrificed so much at the expense of, you know, relationships and family and, and finances and everything.
So, yeah, it’s, it’s a very real, real reality every day. I think sometimes you have to just really push it away.
I found. Even just in the last week I’ve been meditating and I’m really enjoying it because my mind just races and I’ve got all these ideas going on in my head and I just need to be still and to start the morning, you know, I guess my anxiety, I, I, I have mild anxiety and it only really comes up first thing in the morning.
Through the day, I can kind of put [00:30:00] it by, but I find in the morning that tightness in the chest, or, you know, the worry of what’s coming ahead or I guess in the day. So the meditation first thing in the morning hasn’t really helped me manage that. And. yeah, just to continue to tell yourself that it’s worth kind of all the blood, sweat, and tears that you’re putting into it.
I have a great bet. My best friend she’s, she runs her own business as well. And she’s so good when I’m having those moments of doubt. She talks me through it and ensures me to, you know, think, look at the positives, look at the, what I’ve done so far. And, and just to really. Holding there and hanging in there.
so yeah, having a good, you know, even if it’s just one person that you can confide, all those fears in is so important. And also the meditation, I really have been enjoying and exercise. They’re all the cliche things that you hear about that you should do.
Amanda: they’re so true.
Erin: so true. Yeah. Like your [00:31:00] head, just even to take half an hour and go for a bike ride or something you think I don’t have a half an hour, I’ve got to do all this stuff. It’s worth its weight in gold because you’re so much more productive after it. And I’m sure you’re aware of this.
Amanda: no, it’s so true. I’m aware of it, but do I do it all the time?
Erin: Yeah, no, we don’t. We don’t. And particularly in COVID, you know, when we’ve had to be inside a lot and you just, you just work, work because you can because it’s there and, you know, taking those breaks. So I’ve just, I did get quite a bit. Burned out, over the last few months. So I’ve just gotta be really mindful to, to change some things.
And, and yeah, so because your health is number one I’ve been thinking about it recently, you know, I’m selling an amazing, super food to help you feel healthy. So it’s quite ironic that I’m feeling this way. so I need to really make sure that I practice what I preach, I guess.
Amanda: And I’ve, I’ve encountered the, exactly the same thing with a lot of people that I’ve spoken to who [00:32:00] do have their own health and wellness business, is that they’re, they are selling, what is to be the answer to good health. And yet the actions that the person’s taking, they get so caught up in their own business. And that’s just. Yeah, we are naturally, we’re so ambitious, so energetic and so excited about our business that we spend a lot of time focusing on that and then our health by the wayside.
Erin: Yeah, totally.
It seems knd
Amanda: of ironic
Erin: It does.
Amanda: but it, it is something that, yeah, I’m personally working on a lot myself, making sure that I am making time for I’m starting off my day right? Like you’ve mentioned meditation and. It hasn’t happened so much with, a newborn
Erin: Oh, with the baby.
Amanda: It makes it a little bit hard, my mornings
Erin: are not mine.
I get it.
Amanda: to get to a point where I’m waking up feeling refreshed and being out to, to focus on those things that are getting my mind in that right place like you’re doing so you can then start the day feeling in control, not stressed out.
And as though you’re ready to really take it on [00:33:00] and face any, anything that comes your way, which is the best way of being able to do it.
Erin: Most definitely. Yes.
Amanda: So while we’re talking about challenges, I’d love to know if there’s one really big sort of failure or anything like that, that you can attribute your success to, because I know quite often people go, Oh, this is my massive failure. And that’s the point that they’re ready to give up, but I love to show them that. Even if you have a massive failure quite often, that can be the turning point to really turn your business around and lead to your success and where it is today. So is there anything like that that’s occurred for you?
Erin: around this time, last year, kind of heading into or around Christmas, cause it gets so crazy with e-commerce and everything and trying to do all the things and prepare and. I probably got burned out as well. And I, again, it was about the two year point of running the business. And I know that from one over here is quite a common point where people may give up. and I just, yeah, [00:34:00] I really, those self, you know, don’t sell self-doubting thoughts and self sabotage. As I mentioned before, that was amplified. And I just didn’t know if I could get out of it this time. And I just. Just didn’t. I just felt like, yeah, throwing my hands in the air and going, is it all worth it?
you know, and you look. You look at things financially and you think, Oh, what have I done?
Like, where’s that money gone and everything because you re-investing all the time. And, and you know, again, my, my good friend, you know, I confided all these thoughts with her and she said, you know, two years, that’s, that’s such a common point where people give up. And if you push through that two year point, you will. You will see the change and you won’t regret it, you know? And I did, I, I pushed on and she’s right. Like the last year has been the best performing year and the year I’ve done so many things and tried new things like podcasts and TV interviews, and then managed to get through COVID and keep the business intact and all [00:35:00] that. So, Yeah, I think definitely if, if businesses out there are getting to that two year point and just feel very frustrated or worried that like they don’t have it in them to continue just to hang in there because that’s, that’s the thing. The businesses that succeed are often not overnight success businesses, they’ve just been bubbling away for a couple of years.
And then when you hear about them, you think. Oh, wow. They’ve just come onto the scene, but actually there’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of doubt and probably a lot of, you know, Oh, should I throw this in?
So I think, yeah, just hang in there. If you can and seek some guidance, I’ve done some, you know, online courses and things just to keep me on track when you feel a bit overwhelmed just to, you know, and have a community or often those causes, you know, you have coaching calls and things like that. So I would recommend to build that. Business community, the women’s business community is amazing. So yeah, that’s kind of, [00:36:00] how I got through that, I guess, support and, just hanging in there.
Amanda: Yeah, that’s it. Isn’t it I’ve quite recently, I’ve heard numerous times about the, the five-year overnight success,
Amanda: Being bubblinh in the background for many, many years. It’s just that we’re finally hearing about it
Erin: Exactly. And you think, and you think of the alternative. Like I think if I gave up, how would I feel I’d be devastated because it’s such a as a yes. You know, tell it, it’s such a passion to talk about Japanese and a privilege to talk about Japanese culture every day. It’s my way of being connected to the country without being able to live there, you know, and to give that up would be heartbreaking.
So I’m like, no, no, I’ve got to keep going. And also all the customers that I would let down because they’ve enjoyed my product. Like I just, I couldn’t do that to them, you know?
So it’s so worth it. And. And when you’re having bad days, to be honest, like I get an email with a customer review [00:37:00] and it just makes my day. So anyone out there that loves products that you buy, especially from small business, leave a review. It means the world.
Amanda: That’s much better. It doesn’t cost anything at all. We’re just a couple of minutes of your time, but it really makes their world.
Erin: Exactly. Yeah.
Amanda: I just want to touch on the point that you’ve mentioned there about hitting a wall that two year Mark, that you were really come up against. And I see this happen quite often, even me just personally, first of all, things in my life where I feel as though it almost is too hard and I’m ready just to throw in the towel.
And one of my mentors actually said to me, It’s that point that you get to where, you know, you’re on the edge of a breakthrough. So you just push past that wall. It’s hard. You can do it, but just push passed. And then all of a sudden, like you did the past year has been absolutely amazing in your business.
So I think that’s such a good point. Don’t give up
Erin: then because you will regret it.
Yeah, it is true. That exactly that point challenges you to, you know, point you’ve never been challenged before, but if you can just ride [00:38:00] that out then yeah. You do see that you’ve got what it takes. You’ve got kind of the guts and the grunt, I guess, to get through. Yeah.
Amanda: Yeah, it’s building up those qualities within you to
Erin: ensure you can move onto the next level.
Yeah, definitely to be resilient.
Yeah, for sure.
Amanda: sure. I love that so much. So Erin, I’d really like to know what does the next chapter look like for you for you and Match Yu?
Erin: Definitely, a trip to Japan. Well, I was planning to go in springtime next year, but we’ll see. We’ll see. For the cherry blossoms yet such a lovely time to be in Japan. So we’ll see if we’re allowed. I will go. And also just as an opportunity to, it’s a great chance to like record more contents, and just continue to tell that story and keep that connection with the tea farm over there. and the culture of drinking nature. So. That’s definitely a big part of yeah. The next [00:39:00] year.
And also too. Yeah. As I said, if the events open up again to get back onto that, schedule of, you know, being involved in tea festivals in Japan festivals and things like that, I want to bring in some new products, like matcha bowls and, Yeah. Do more collaborations with people and yeah, probably just all the things just to get indicate, you know, improving on the way I tell the story through Facebook advertising and things like that. It’s sometimes really hard to know. You know, how do, how does summarize, I guess all the things in an ad or, you know, tell something compelling that makes people click and learn more. So it’s just continuing to educate on, you know, better ways to, you know, to stand out against, the other, the crowd, I guess.
Amanda: Yeah. And business is always about upleveling and growing. Isn’t it. If you are, if you become stagnant, then others are just going to [00:40:00] to come up and they’re going to overtake.
Erin: For sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I like to say it’s a community as back to the education thing. I think it’s so good to just continue to, to, to show people how great it is and to incorporate in your day. It’s not like, you know, I’ve got a lot of. Contacts that I know that that do sell similar products or the same product, but I feel like it’s not competition because it’s just helping the overall education piece, of matcha.
And people decide to pick who they want to pick based on, yeah. Who they feel most comfortable with and who they get good quality tea from, I guess. So, yeah,
Amanda: collaboration over competition.
Erin: exactly. It’s a community.
Kingsley: Great point. Great point now. there’s, there’s already been a bit of gold throughout this whole podcast. but I’ll touch on it again. do you have, any top three tips for anyone starting out, you know, thinking about getting into a side hustle
Erin: Oh, for sure. Yes. So what I touched on, I guess, with the research, so a crowd funding campaign is something in a nice [00:41:00] way to test the waters without that financial risk. and you can see what interest there is. If it’s something that’s, I guess, a little new to the market that you’re not sure if people will.
you know, be interested in, so that would be a good one, or just do some market research, you know, in other ways there’s plenty of online tools out there and, and you can access if, you know, finances are an issue you can access like small business vehicle or your local council, they do free workshops and things like this. So I would suggest to start there to build that community as well.
also maybe don’t give up your day job. so I, I still have my day job and it’s like, I worked three days a week for that day job. And I think I love it because I work in the music industry. So that’s another passion of mine and I love it.
Yeah. I love having that job as well as the matcha business. And a lot of people
probably think, Oh, you shouldn’t tell people that you have a part-time job, but it’s the reality. [00:42:00] so in the beginning, I would say, keep that job if you can manage it. And just so you don’t have that financial stress to start the side hustle and you can really remove that barrier, I guess, you know, if you’re not looking for it to pay your bills, you know, for the first couple of years, you can really. Approach the side hustle with passion and joy and not worry about finances.
I think that’s,
Amanda: big one. Cause yeah, you go into your passion project because you were passionate about it. You don’t want it to turn into this thing that you started dreading
Erin: you’ve got to make money. I’ve got to make money, you know, that worries. So I think, yeah, having a safety net
is a nice thing to do. Yeah.
Amanda: can sense that as well. When it comes. Sorry to cut you off, just going to say people, people can sense it when you’re, you’re coming from a place of desperation that I need this sale to pay my next bill, rather
Erin: then, I want to help you…
that’s right. Yeah.
Amanda: with what I’m doing. I want to serve. It’s a completely different
And it also just shows, you [00:43:00] know, there’s nothing wrong in having more than one job. If you could manage it, it just, it allows you to, you know, your creative creativity to be used in different ways. And you always learn things from, you know, whatever path you take. So,
and the third tip. Hmm. Perhaps just what I’ve mentioned before the organization, as I didn’t mention that with the wellness. The meditation and the exercise is really important, to stay, you know, to reduce burnout, but also the organization, like I only discovered there’s, online kind of task management programs like Monday, and I use aSana and it’s just great one stop shop to put all the ideas in your head, even if it’s not on, you know, Online platform or anything, you can just put it in a journal at night, just to kind of, so you don’t forget things and then you can prioritize what tasks do you want to get through?
So, yeah, I’ve got to key organizations hard for me because I feel [00:44:00] like I’m organized, but then I’m not that great at forward planning. So, because you feel like you were always in the here and now and just doing what you need to get done. So a bit of forward planning is great. So if you’re in e-commerce or. Wherever. It’s great to just map out your year. We’d like seasonal promotions and content. Maybe have a content planning day every day, every month I say all these things, but they never happened. The intention is there. So yeah, hopefully that will help someone out there.
Amanda: As a small business, you get so caught up working in the business,
doing the everyday grind that you don’t spend much
Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
time actually sort of stepping back and then working on it and to strategise
Erin: and plan
Exactly and goal set, goal setting and all of that. Exactly.
Amanda: an important part of it too.
Erin: For sure. Yeah. Just to feel like you’re
getting somewhere. Yeah.
Amanda: So Erin, I’d like to share with everyone. How can people find you? where can they find you online?
Erin: Oh, definitely.
so my website is [00:45:00] www.matchayutea.com and I’m also on Facebook and Instagram with those same handles, Matcha Yu Tea and YouTube, I think. so yeah, any of those would be fine. You can, check us out there.
Amanda: Beautiful. I will definitely pop that into the show notes so people can find you well, it has been absolutely amazing chatting with you today and to getting a matcha education. And because I didn’t
Erin: know as much as
Amanda: I though I did.
I like it.
So it has been lovely having you on, and I’m sure our listeners have received so much value from not only the, the product side of things and all about a matcha and a little insight into Japan, but also around the bits of gold that you have around starting up your own business. And what’s kept you moving forward over these years.
Erin: Oh, thank you. I really hope so. Thanks so much for your time.
Thank you. Bye.