A little over a year ago, Sarah Holloway and her partner Nic Davidson, launched Matcha Maiden, the first and most prolific provider of the superfood powder to Australia and beyond.
With almost 80K Instagram followers (plus more than 60K for their newest venture Matcha Mylkbar, the epic vegan café in their home town of Melbourne), Matcha Maiden can be credited with turning all our food – and lattes – a healthy shade of green.
The lightbulb moment occurred after becoming obsessed with matcha on a trip to Japan. When Sarah and Nic returned home, they found it impossible to get good matcha powder.
So, armed with little more than a need to satisfy their own matcha cravings, and the idea to introduce it (and its enormous benefits) to the increasingly health-conscious Aussie public, Sarah started her green empire at home whilst continuing to work full time as a lawyer.
She says that in the early days, their kitchen resembled a health nut’s equivalent of ‘Breaking Bad’ – plastic gloves and hair covers, weighing out small piles of green powder to carefully transfer into little brown bags labelled by the couple themselves.
The little bags of green goodness are no longer filled by Sarah and Nic at their kitchen bench, but in a local sheltered workshop style facility (I LOVE this) and are stocked all over the world, including at Urban Outfitters in the USA.
In little over a year, Sarah has achieved so much and is now not only girl boss entrepreneur extraordinaire and restaurant–owner, but also a brand ambassador for lululemon and a regular on the speaker circuit. I saw her again recently at Colour and Coconuts’ The Wellness Festival.
On stage, and in person one-to-one, she’s seriously so lovely and warm and down-to-earth, it’s hard not to fall a bit in love with her and all she does. What a total rockstar. She makes it look so easy, but of course, launching your own start-up is anything but.
So what has Sarah learned since making that matcha obsession a successful business reality? Here, she generously shares her top 5 things she has learned since launch:
1. Self-doubt is a killer
Our fear of failure often means we select ourselves out of great opportunities before even trying.
Sarah adopts the motto ‘done is better than perfect’, removes herself from the list of obstacles and gathers up the confidence to just go for it.
2. Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn
With every failure, you learn something new. Even when things turn to sh*t, you learn how to do it better next time, or how to react to crises better. So don’t be afraid of failure, see it as an opportunity to grow.
3. Get yourself a top squad
You need people around you who support you, lift you up. Surround yourself with the best and they’ll teach you, nurture you, help you get through the tough times and celebrate the good times too.
4. Take risks
You’ve got to just go for it and take that big leap of faith into the unknown, outside of your comfort zone. No risk, no reward, people.
5. Learn to say no
Saying no frees you up to make more space for yes. The right kind of yes, to the stuff that’s really important and exciting. Saying ‘no’ is a hard lesson to learn for many, but the freedom it brings soon shows you how powerful that two letter word can be.
Thanks Sarah, for your words of wisdom, and super congrats on all the much-deserved success.