Throughout my life, I have sort out like-minded women to surround myself with. With such strong foundations this seemed to flow naturally; From my Mum and sisters to friends and the women I now surround myself with in business. I feel lucky to have these women in my life and now to be raising children of my own and instilling the same beliefs and values is truly a blessing.
Mother’s Day is not only a day to celebrate my beautiful Mum who has given me the guidance to know my own strength. Wisdom to make my own decisions, and the empowering encouragement to know my own worth. It's also a day to celebrate all the women regardless of children, who care, encourage and give emotional support to the people around them; To me, we all have a little mothering and nurturing within us.
Today I want to share with you an article that my dearest friend wrote after we sat down for a chat, over a cup of tea, of course! She has beautifully depicted my words to form a look into where it all began for me on my tea journey and the journey and foundations of LeaLa Tea Co. To be featured in the Lanamara Extraordinary Women Series is a so humbling and I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed sharing my story, plus read to the end and receive a bonus offer.
It's really beautiful to hear Aleathia Holland talk about childhood memories of family rituals, "My earliest memory of tea is of my grandma using her very cold very black tea to add to the Christmas pudding, once she added a cup of tea we would all get to have a stir and make a wish. I think it was this magical tradition that started my love of tea, although I didn’t realise this at the time.'
This love for tea grew even more once she moved to Singapore with her own family and discovered TWG tea. Their luxurious tea tins, decadent high teas and divine blends gave her a new appreciation for quality tea blends. From there she moved to South Korea and discovered green tea, where tea plantations were lush, green and filled the country side. 'That’s where I really discovered the difference between a top grade and low grade of tea, steamed, fermented or pan it was amazing how much went into creating teas that we drank everyday, not really thinking about how they came to be in our homes.'
On her return home to Australia her tea obsession took a back seat to a busy life, building a new home and resettling three children back into school whilst her husband worked interstate every second month.
Then Covid struck, borders were closed and the family moved to WA with a weeks notice for her husband's job. Once settled again she found herself with extra time on her hands and the ritual of creating tea blends became part of a self care routine. "Thats when I knew I wanted to share my love of tea, and what a beautiful comfort it can be in your life, with the rest of the world."
Known for her warm yet effervescent personality and work horse approach to her work, we were so excited to sit down with Aleathia for our second 'Extraordinary Woman' issue and chat about how her childhood ignited a passion for rituals, starting a business solo, how her personal style has evolved and 'what's in her Lanamara bag'.
Aleathia! Welcome and we'd like to thank you for being our 'Extraordinary Woman' for this month. Firstly we'd love to know what's in your Lanamara Elodie Mini Bag?
All the essentials of course! For me this may look a little different to what other women have because I never leave home without a couple of my mini teas, just in case I need a pick me up or because I have become a little bit of a tea snob and can't drink any other tea - LeaLa Tea mini pack, Dior Addict Lip Gloss, mini Essentials oil roller, mini Good Life suncream and I normally have some bobby pins floating around.
You grew up with 3 sisters, most of you have started your own business and/or worked in the fashion and beauty industries, you've also travelled extensively overseas with your own family, tell us a little about this and how it has shaped your personal style over the years?
Growing up in a family with a love for clothing, our mum made a lot of our clothes, naturally created a love for the fashion & beauty industries. For me personally I knew I always wanted to have a creative outlet within my job which led me to work in the fashion industry, this in turn gave me the confidence to start my own clothing boutique. This was so much fun in my twenties, although honestly at this stage I didn't put much thought into fast fashion, which was starting to take off in the early 2000's. Fast forward 10 years and my young family had the opportunity to travel and live overseas, living in the USA, Singapore and South Korea gave me an insight into how vastly our plant was being affected by what we were consuming. It changed my thinking into creating a style that was more about mindful purchasing, buying ethically made items that were luxury, timeless, well made pieces, rather than mass produced fashion items that would not stand the test of time.
The idea for LeaLa Tea Co (LTC) came about from your love of tea and the ritual of drinking tea with your Grandmother, Mum and sisters when you were growing up, tell us about this?
I have always enjoyed tea especially herbals, there is something about filling the pot and sitting with your favourite people, sharing the benefits of a beautiful brew as well as your troubles and joys. It's been very healing and this was instilled in me at a young age. I have always been surrounded by strong women who have shared in this ritual, it has always felt like they were able to solve any problem that came their way. I wanted to take it a step further by making sure that these moments shared over a cup of tea also came along with health benefits and that's why I created my wellness range, so that I could offer teas that I would drink and share with my family. Knowing they are organic, ethically sourced and farmed sustainably is at the core of my business.
An online start-up is 24/7 and you started LeaLa Ta Co on your own, what has been the biggest challenge in bringing LTC to life?
Definitely my time and having to juggle family time, its hard because I am truly in love with what I am creating but you also need to carve away time for yourself otherwise you can get lost in it all. I have been very lucky to have a family who are supportive and give me a hand, so that makes it easier as we get to spend that time together.
It's incredibly hard for us to choose a favourite blend, although we do love Zen to send us off to slumber, what is your favourite/s and why?
I absolutely have my favourites too, especially as I created different blends to help me throughout the day. I start every morning off with a Restore, for inflammation and then I have a Ceylon as I like a little caffeine, come the afternoon I have a Focus otherwise I feel like I need a nana nap then I mainly drink Glow for the amazing all round health benefits. I then end my day off with either a Refresh (to stop the sweet cravings) or a Zen especially if I need some help to wind down.
Your teas are naturopathic blends, most of them are certified organic and all have therapeutic properties, tell us about the wellness element of LTC.
The wellness aspect is what drove me to create LTC as I couldn't find what I needed in a herbal tea brand who were transparent in where their teas were sourced or if they were grown organically, without the flavours and essences that are added even to our black teas these days. I started initially working with a naturopath to create our blends as I really wanted to bring that expertise to what I wanted to create. I am so happy with the direction that LTC is heading in, every blend I release is carefully created with my own wellness in mind plus that of my friends and family.
You have such a passion for what you're doing, what are your hopes and dreams for the future of LTC?
I am so excited for the second half of the year as we really branch out to bring wellness teas into more areas of our daily lives, we have some exciting new products to launch that are going to make it that little bit easier to get maximum health benefits out of the humble cup of tea, stay tuned.