Celebrating Women in Our Chai Walli Community

Celebrating Women in Our Chai Walli Community

International Women's Day is something that is close to our hearts here at Chai Walli. Uppma has played a part in many of the past IWD events - being invited by the Australian Government to take part in a round table discussion at parliament, travelling to India to speak on behalf of Indian female entrepreneurs, and simply serving chai and celebrating the women in the lives of Chai Walli itself. This year we're hosting our own event on March 8 - find out more here!

This year, the theme is: "A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change." This resonates so deeply with us. It is our mission to bring authentic chai to the world, but we always know that to do that we need to meet challenges head on and champion change in peoples’ minds and their homes. If you were to meet all the Chai Walli team, you would see how we all rise to challenges and we also challenge those around us to do better and be better. Uppma has created a work environment that supports and encourages that - which is why this year's theme rings so true to us all!

Chai Walli female team mates standing behind the wooden bar.

Of course, our Chai Walli world extends far beyond our warehouse in Summer Hill. We work with so many amazing artisans and small business owners, so this year we wanted to reach out to a few of them and ask them two insightful questions.

First up, we interviewed Jade Lam, of Yve & Crow Soapery. Jade is an amazing small business owner, mother and natural health advocate. We love the soapy collaboration we started with Jade two years ago - which resulted in the creation of our much treasured Chai Soap bar

Jade Lam, soap maker, holding a bar of soap.

Chai Walli: What is the highlight of running your own business?

Jade: One of the main highlights of running my own business is the ability to freely follow my own instincts in terms of my artistry. I am guided by what I’m curious with at any given time and I’m continually pushed forward by a love of sharing what I’ve created. It’s a lot of fun that I get to choose what I work on when I’m inspired. I’m just grateful that other people seem to enjoy washing themselves in my art as much as I do. 

Chai Walli: How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

Jade: It’s paramount. I feel like the old days of women competing against women with that outdated ‘must-win-at-all-costs’ undertone is coming to an end. More and more women are supporting each other in all kinds of spaces, such as business, parenting and education. There’s definitely been a kindness and a loyalty shift that is hugely uplifting. Social media has been a driving force in connecting women in business and the women I admire most are the ones who are the cheerleaders for the beginners. Every woman in a new business has a backstory and it’s a gift to hear what makes them get up every day to do what they do. Supportive women know that even if someone else is trying to make their dreams come true in a business that resembles something close to yours, there’s plenty of sunshine for us all. 

Our gorgeous chai-spiced soap bar! Jade is currently busy making our newest batch of this beauty. To receive an email once we have these back in stock - register your details here. 

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Next up, we reached out to the lovely Mid, founder of Mid Merry Yoga. Not only is Mid an AMAZING yoga teacher and inspirer, she is also a chai lover, making sure that her clients enjoy the spice of chai before and after their practices. We love working with women in holistic businesses, as it aligns so beautifully with our own values. 

Mid standing in a yoga pose at the beach.

Mid was very happy to answer our two important questions:

Chai Walli: What is the highlight of running your own business?

Mid: The highlight has been the recognition of just how much I am capable of and just how much strength, resilience and belief I remembered I actually have inside of me. The highlight has been Believing in myself.

Chai Walli: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman starting their own business?

Mid: Just START NOW. If you look hard enough, like Brene Brown says, you will always find evidence that you are not enough, not capable, not smart enough. So...start somewhere, and most importantly, start NOW. I began with Yoga pop up classes in the local park, and have grown to now 5 years later, 5 classes a week, numerous private clients, teaching retreats and even teaching yoga to women on remote cattle stations!

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Gemma from Mount Henry Honey is such a delight to work with: from the get-go we all knew that our values aligned. Gemma showcases our 11 Spice Chai and Caffeine Free blends in her beautiful Honey Hampers. Honey x Chai = yes please! 

Gemma with her child, standing in front of bee hives.

Chai Walli: What is the highlight of running your own business? 

Gemma: Undoubtedly, the highlight of running my own business is the flexibility it affords me. I am able to work around the needs of my very cute, but very demanding, one and three year olds - alongside my husband Henry, who also has his own business, working as an ecological consultant. 

It's such a refreshing and empowering feeling to be working hard on something that's YOURS. 

And since being in this entrepreneurial world I have been so thrilled to discover the incredible amount of other women-led businesses. It feels like there's a real community and camaraderie amongst the 'Lady Startups' I am constantly admiring and in touch with. 

Chai Walli: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman starting their own business?

Gemma: Go for it. Businesses take a long time to build up - so start now. 

There are a lot of resources out there that can help guide you - from government websites to online courses. I did the Lady Startup Activation Plan, a six week course that essentially takes you from idea to launch in six weeks. I certainly didn't launch in six weeks (it took me about eight months!) but the resources, support, networks and community you gain from this course have been invaluable. It's important to go into it knowing it will require hard work, dedication, perseverance and patience. But if you can see it's a product or service people need or want, make the leap now! 

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We couldn't agree more! Uppma started Chai Walli as a way to simply make and share her families recipes with friends and colleagues. What started as a passion project, turned into a side hustle (whilst working as a commercial lawyer) and then into her full time career! Chai Walli is not only a celebration of traditional, Indian masala chai, but also our business celebrates entrepreneurs, hard work and communitea. Here's to another fabulous International Women's Day! 

Chai Walli team having fun.


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