Inspo No 1: Meredith from Lake & Oak Tea Co.

Meredith is the founder of Lake & Oak Tea Co. - a superfood tea blend company that's fun to drink and benefit the body and mind. Founded in 2014 when Meredith was searching for a natural remedy for her anxiety and digestive troubles. We chatted with Meredith to talk about her inspiration for the business, typical day in the office, and self-care tips! 

 

Tell Me About Yourself.

Hi, I’m Meredith! I’m a nutritionist, recipe-developer, cook, writer, and founder of Lake & Oak Tea Co. a wellness brand known for our delicious and functional Superfood Teas & Superfood Latte Blends.

What inspired you to start your business?

In my mid-twenties, I was struggling with some issues with my mental and physical health and wellness: anxiety, digestive issues and depression. Being a huge plant-lover and healthy foodie, I took to my own kitchen to try to create some herbal blends that would help me feel better. 
I found I wasn’t incredibly inspired by the tea brands on the market, in terms of flavour, ingredients or branding. So I decided to create my dream product that checks the products for: flavour-full, effective, clean, good for the environment, fun, and beautiful. 

What does a typical day look like?

A typical work day starts with a slow morning: my morning ritual of tea (Gut Love), loaded coffee (CBD, Reishi, Ashwagandha, ghee, honey, bee pollen) and journalling. I will make an abundant lunch for the day ahead (a grain bowl, loaded salad, or quick veggie stew) and a mean green smoothie. Occasionally I will use morning times to develop new recipes or write for my upcoming cookbook Super Tonics (Spring 2023!) 
Once my nourishment is sorted, I will head to the Lake & Oak warehouse and coordinate our operations for the day. This looks like: chatting with our wholesale partners, printing and scheduling orders, assisting with fulfillment if needed. Once operations is good to go, I will spend the rest of the day working on other projects like developing new products, onboarding with new wholesale customers, or connecting with our wonderful social media manager, graphic designer or vendors. 

What problem did you want to solve with your business?

I want to help people feel good, and find their calm. This was the original reason I created our first tea blend - Ashwagandha + Chill - and it continues to be our “why” behind everything we put out into the world. My own mental health journey has inspired a huge passion for self-care, because I have experienced first-hand how impactful it can be.

How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?

My anxiety hasn’t disappeared, but my toolbox of methods to manage it is always growing. I try to deal with stressful situations with self-compassion and patience, and remind myself it’s okay to feel uncomfortable and like sh** sometimes. When things are tough, I keep my schedule as open as possible, allowing myself plenty of time to unwind and practice in self-care. As an introvert and highly sensitive person I know I need that space (mentally).

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about food, self-care and mental health, and how that all ties together. Creating delicious and functional teas satisfies this love, as does cooking vibrant food, for friends and family or sharing on my food blog Earth & Oven.

What does self-care mean to you?

Self-care means having patience, appreciation and love for yourself (through good or bad), and having self-awareness to take part in practices that will support this. This may look different for everyone: journal writing feels like home to me, but for others may not spark that joy. 

How do you implement self-care in your daily routine?

Mornings and evenings are my favourite times to practice self-care, because the rest of the day can go sideways! My morning ritual (journalling, tonics, making healthy food) helps frame my mind for the kind of day I’d like to have. In the evenings, it’s all about celebrating small wins, recuperating from a not-so-awesome day, or grounding myself from something overwhelming or exciting. This may look like creating a nourishing meal for my partner and I (I love pasta, curries and tacos) reading, or taking a botanical bubble bath. 

Who or what inspires you the most?

I am the most inspired by women in business and leadership, other innovative consumer packaged goods brands (the grocery store is my favourite place) great restaurants, and farmers markets. I love talking to creators, chefs and business owners about why they do what they do. 

Any self-care tips or advice? 

Slow down, check-in with yourself and find what feels good for you. Everyone is wired differently, so don’t be discouraged if your self-care doesn’t look like the influencers on instagram. It doesn’t have to be glamorous or photogenic to be effective - some of my most satisfying self-care days are de-cluttering my pantry, writing out my worries on paper, or spending the evening tech-free.