You all know we love our Lululemon family at Matcha Maiden and we're happy to know they love us right back! Our Mama sat down recently with the team (led by the wonderful Ella Barba who is also the brains behind @snobfashionblog) to chat about the MM journey as well as sharing some NEW RECIPES that the team executed perfectly!!! Have a read and enjoy the droolworthy snaps from @twolovesstudio!
5 MINUTES WITH MATCHA MONARCH
+ 3 NEW RECIPES
There’s a lot to love and to learn when it comes to badass business chick Sarah Holloway. A self-titled ‘funtrepreneur,’ Holloway’s an effervescent explosion of love, gratitude and good vibes. She’s also a ballerina-turned-lawyer-turned-matcha merchant-turned-vegan café owner. We know, it’s a lot to take in right? So much so, we had to ask about the who, where and when of how it all played out—and of course what her favourite matcha recipes are.
Ella Barba: What were your big dreams as a kid?
Sarah Holloway: My younger brother and I were adopted from South Korea and have lived in Australia since the age of six months. We’ve always been encouraged to follow our passions and dreams, so for most of my early years I wanted to be a ballerina. I danced with the Australian Ballet School, but the demanding and rigorous training schedule became increasingly difficult to balance with my school life. I realized that a dancing career might not fulfill my contrasting but equally demanding nerdy side. You see, I’ve always been equal parts ‘arty-farty’ and ‘uber-geek.’ So, I set my sights on law.
EB: What does giving everything a go look like to you?
SH: I’ve always been one of those people who loves doing a lot of different things, so I squeezed in a crazy number of extracurricular activities and overseas exchanges over my six-and-a-half years of study. I joined ultra-marathon crews, crossed deserts, volunteered regularly—including a field trip to Africa, had multiple part-time jobs, got all my partying out of my system (and met my partner Nic in the process), travelled incessantly and managed to fit in enough study to get myself a sought after graduate legal position at a top tier international law firm.
Click HERE for the matcha mint slice recipe!
EB: Why matcha?
SH: Matcha is a total buzzword these days, so it may seem like we pre-empted the health food market and predicted a trend. However, our business idea actually came from our own personal obsession when we encountered matcha in its traditional form in Japan. Nic and I became hooked and noticed a gap in the market. What we found was either too expensive, niche or inaccessible on one hand, or too cheap, low quality or mixed with additives on the other hand. Nothing made the amazing health benefits of matcha affordable, accessible or appealing to a wider audience. So, we made it our mission to change that and Matcha Maiden was born. If you don’t know what matcha is, it’s simply green tea leaves ground into a fine powder. It’s great for energy, focus, immunity, metabolism, hair, skin and overall wellbeing. Plus, being in powdered form makes it incredibly versatile so it can be used in food, drinks and even facemasks. What’s not to love?
EB: What made you make the move from law to starting your own matcha business?
SH: It was a very happy accident. We started Matcha Maiden as a hobby and from the first day we launched were quite overwhelmed by the demand. It wasn’t until six months in when we locked in our biggest contract yet–a spot on the shelves in Urban Outfitters’ stores across the USA—that we realized our “little hobby” couldn’t continue without someone working on it full time. Matcha Maiden was where all my passions, interests and talents collided.
EB: What’s your advice for people starting a new business?
SH: The biggest thing is just to get started, to rip off the Band-Aid and put yourself out there. I’ve realized that the perfect time never really comes and that most of the refining and tweaking of your business happens after you start anyway. It’s a huge thing to go out on your own, so having people around you to bounce ideas off, vent, collaborate or simply just take a break with is so helpful.
Click HERE for the matcha cauliflower pizza recipe!
EB: Where did you get the idea to open a vegan- and matcha-inspired café?
SH: We were travelling the US and eating our way around the LA café scene. We noticed the increasingly widespread vegan movement and, separately, matcha popping up all over the place. After doing some research we discovered Blue Zones—the five locations around the world where people live the longest. Studies show that it is due to their majority plant-based diet (and in Okinawa, in Japan, high levels of matcha consumption). So we thought, what if we could create a venue that tied the two together in an innovative and boundary-pushing, but infinitely palate-pleasing way? Throughout the process we realized there is so much stigma and politics attached to veganism that makes education quite challenging, but we thought if we could remove those barriers and rebrand plant-based eating to make it more widely accessible without sacrificing on flavour, substance or ‘Instagrammability,’ we might be onto something. And that’s when Matcha Mylkbar was born.
EB: At lululemon we pride ourselves on celebrating entrepreneurialism, so I’m interested, what does entrepreneurialism mean to you?
SH: When I was a corporate I would have had the very black and white answer of you’re either an employee working for someone or you’re an entrepreneur running your own business. Now, I see it more as a mentality or lifestyle. You can have a thriving entrepreneurial spirit even if you work within the boundaries of an organization. You can practice entrepreneurialism no matter who or where you are. Entrepreneurialism is creative, innovative and open-minded and involves looking at things differently to how they are traditionally perceived. It means having ownership over your work and adding something to it that nobody has before, even if that’s on a small scale.
EB: What’s the most invaluable advice you’ve ever received?
SH: Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. The grass is greener where you water it. The best way to predict the future is to create it. Surround yourself with people that take you higher. Look after your body because it’s the only place you have to live.
Click here for the smoothie recipe!
Read the original article HERE