This morning, 2 billion people drank a cup of tea. Yesterday morning as well, and in your team – almost anywhere in the world – 50% or more of your colleagues will already have drunk a cup of tea today.
But did you know that every tea – black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea – all come from the same bush?
Julie Hirsch has had the honour of joining millions of people in their daily cup of tea through her sourcing of teas and spices from Fairtrade tea gardens in Sri Lanka, China, Egypt and Madagascar.
From the lessons learned in building trusting partnerships with farmers and Fairtrade cooperatives in developing countries, Julie is passionate about sharing how to find and facilitate social good at every decision point a person and a business makes.
Julie’s acumen in ethical business, including her many years working in sustainability, led her to be recognised as Telstra’s Victorian Business Woman of the Year and honoured on Forbes 30 Under 30 list last year.
While tea is an inherently traditional industry, Julie and cofounder Nicole Lamond wondered whether this daily ritual was the perfect opportunity to support their wellbeing by blending nutrient-rich fruit and herbal extracts in their daily cup of tea. This idea launched them on a two-year research journey to develop a patented blending method for tea and vitamins, resulting in the world’s first 100% natural vitamin tea.
Tea drinkers and retailers loved the innovation, and Eloments quickly expanded to thousands of stores across 9 countries, raising Series A investment as part of the only 2.7% of VC funding that went to female founders that year.
As a result, Eloments was awarded the Most Innovative Company in Victoria by Kochie’s Business Builders, and Julie loves speaking about how the most persistent and radical innovation can be traced back to clean and simple ideas.
Julie is an uplifting speaker, grounding her deep understanding of ethical business and delicious innovation with colourful stories of Fairtrade tea gardens, and above all, a passion for a good cuppa.
Awards & Recognitions:
– Most Innovative Company, Victoria; Kochie’s Business Builders 2021
– Telstra Business Woman of the Year and the Telstra Emerging Leader of the Year, VIC, 2020
– Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 List, 2020
– Melbourne Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Food and Beverage; Business News Australia, 2019
Julie’s entrepreneurial story has been featured in publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Herald Sun, and Kochie’s Business Builders.