I can't believe it's been 2 years since I put my "first" label on my "first" packet of chai and hesitantly applied for a market stall at our local Milton Market. I had been making my own Sticky Chai at home for my own enjoyment and had this idea that if I love it so much and had had so much difficulty finding a real chai without all the sugar and powders - maybe others feel the same. I literally spent a couple of hours with the family slinging around name ideas, a couple more hours on a logo and Voila! iChai2 was born. The name came from a play on words - my mission - I try to bring you an authentic, no rubbish chai, hence - "I try to" became "iChai2"
My first market was a mixture of excitement and trepidation - what was I doing? I still remember my first customer, a uni student. I remember handing her a sample to try. It sounds so weird, but my heart was in my throat - actually, no, my heart was in that tiny sample cup and could it handle rejection? She took a sip, looked at me and said "Oh my goodness, THAT is delicious. Can I buy a packet?" Needless to say I had an amazing day, thanks in no small part to my amazing and supportive husband and daughter. I went on to have days when I completely sold out which prompted me to increase my range.
I had a few hilarious milestones that I remember. One was a phone call from a cafe owner asking if she could serve my chai at her cafe as well as stock a small retail shelf and what were my wholesale prices. Good question! What were my wholesale prices!!! I had no idea. Bless her - she patiently explained how to calculate them and gave me some examples. Let's hear it for women helping women!
But now here we are, our online presence is growing, we are attending multiple markets in Brisbane and a bit beyond, our stockist list is growing AND we have a tiny shop inside the amazing Vend Marketplace in Virginia on Brisbane's north side where you can also buy our gorgeous handmade Chai pots and fine mesh strainers.
This leads me to the WHY ARE WE REBRANDING?
Simply put, my initial branding was rushed. I think there was a little bit of me thinking, this will never work. Who am I to think I can make something that people would buy. It was a classic example of "well let's give it a go." The difference now? The difference now is you! My amazing customers who have embraced my version of what Chai should be. Talking to you at markets, in stores when I am sampling is just such a pleasure. You have given me confidence to grow and be proud of what I created. I want my product to represent me thoughtfully. I've chosen the name "Kaimata" because I am a New Zealander by birth. Kaimata is a Maori word - it means "fresh" or "raw". This was perfect - not only reflecting where I came from but also my ethic and intent to create a fresh, raw sticky chai using organic whole spices, raw unprocessed honey with none of the rubbish ingredients that go into so many chai syrups and powders. This new look also is one that represents me. I absolutely love packaging and the whole unboxing thing really blows my hair back. I wanted a logo and label to reflect simplicity, to be minimal and fresh. When I am shopping I find that the labels sometimes are confusing as there is literally sooo much on them. So my label is simply, Kaimata Sticky Chai and the blend name. Having said all that please be assured that the actual product has not changed at all. Why mess with perfection.. ha ha.