Chalimah Jeanne, Founder of Organic Merchant, shares more about Organic Merchant’s enticing range of teas and bath soaks — and how they can make you feel good from the inside out.
Tell our readers how Organic Merchant began.
I’ve always been drawn to nature, even as a little girl. I grew up in a remote coastal town in Western Australia, which instilled in me immense reverence for the Earth’s natural beauty. I was encouraged to roam the wild lands surrounding our tiny town and became intrigued by nature and cycles of life. I find the role of nature and plants in health and wellbeing inspiring, and realised early in life that my purpose was to facilitate health and healing in others while respecting and nurturing our planet. This led to me studying horticulture and naturopathy to combine my passion for plants and healing utilising their empirical, clinical and scientific teachings.
About 10 years ago, after completing my studies, I started to create tea blends for my clients with wellness in mind. Given my clients would be drinking these regularly to support their health, two other factors came to mind — taste and sustainability. They had to have all three elements. In a short period, my teas became quite popular all through word of mouth.
I wanted others to benefit outside of my clinic from the healing properties of my teas, so I began selling them at Paddington Markets in Sydney on the weekends. From there, Organic Merchant was founded.
If I was new to Organic Merchant, which product should I begin my journey with?
As we transition from autumn into winter, I would recommend you start your journey by exploring our warm nourishing cacao blends or our restoring mineral bath soaks. Raw cacao has so many wonderful health benefits that extend beyond its euphoric taste. It empowers concentration, vitalises energy, uplifts mood and much more. Raw cacao has been known to protect cells from oxidation and inflammation, improve mental faculties, support immune health, reduce chronic fatigue, increase valuable stem cells and protect nerves from injury and inflammation. Raw cacao also contains powerful flavonoids and precursors to serotonin and dopamine, which have been shown to alleviate depression, avert anxiety, minimise stress and stabilise mood.
Alternatively, you can submerge yourself in one of our mineral bath soaks. I am an advocate of the remedial and ritualistic power of bathing. Balneotherapy is the use of mineral-rich thermal waters to cultivate wellbeing. This ancient therapy has been widely practised on every continent since antiquity.
Organic Merchant bath soaks are naturopathically formulated to harness the power of warm water, in combination with sustainably harvested mineral-rich salts, curative mineral clays, organic botanicals and organic essential oils.
What are some of the benefits your brand offers consumers?
Our customers always comment how good they feel about purchasing from us as a sustainable company, as well as the premium taste and clinical benefits they receive. In addition to the clinical and sustainable benefits of our products, we also have a strong commitment to creating beautiful products that taste and feel amazing, which is reflected in the diverse flavours of our range. We’re also proudly organic. Unfortunately in Australia, not all products that claim they are organic are certified. That’s why we proudly display the Australian Certified Organic logo on our products. As well as being Certified Organic, our sourcing criteria for products requires that they be whole, unprocessed, premium-grade, and ethically and sustainably produced.
We are also proudly plastic-free. Our packaging is recyclable, biodegradable, compostable or reusable. Our range of teas is available in recycled cardboard printed with eco-ink or reusable glass jars, and we use plant-based cello bags that are home- compostable and worm-farm friendly.
Our range is freighted in cardboard boxes using biodegradable packaging tape, and we have also partnered with Australia’s first carbon-neutral postal service to offset the emissions of every parcel.
We have a zero-waste project internally and our facilities are powered by solar energy. We believe all of these benefits feed back to the consumer, in small and large ways benefiting both people and planet.
What are some of the highlights you’ve had in the business to date?
We’re always delighting in healing our wonderful customers and clients. We’re thrilled with the rapid growth of the business in the health and lifestyle retail sector as well as our expanding product range and talented team. We are also very proud of the many awards we have won. Over the years we have accrued more than 30 industry awards in everything from product awards to marketing, manufacturing and brand awards, including the prestigious Golden Leaf Awards and Australian Organic Awards.
How do Organic Merchant teas help readers promote self-care?
Our tag line is “Taking you on a journey of wellness from the inside out.” We provide beautiful, premium products and experiences that enhance wellbeing and health and seek to educate our customers on the healing power of herbs and nature from clinical studies and our naturopathic practices.
We have published an easy-to-use herb library called “Materia Medica” on our website, organicmerchant.com.au/herbs, which contains detailed information about the herbs and spices used in our organic infusions and their health benefits.
To support the overall experience, we also have beautiful and sustainable tea- wares to create bespoke rituals for self- care in the everyday.
What’s coming up next for Organic Merchant?
International expansion, a new leadership team and more products. We will also continue to implement our zero-waste policy and build better relationships with our people and culture. Initially, this will involve introducing a Team Trust Manifesto. We have recently begun the shift to ethical super funds and will extend this to ethical banking.