The NZ made herbal tea designed to ease anxiety

Tamarin Howse's own experience with anxiety inspired her to start a business.
Tamarin Howse's own experience with anxiety inspired her to start a business. Photo credit: Newshub

It was Tamarin Howse's own experience with anxiety that inspired her to start a business.

She was going through a restructure at work, and was overwhelmed by the process. 

"I didn't realise I was actually experiencing it until I was really struggling to get out of bed, and my younger sister said, 'Tam, it sounds like you've got anxiety'." 

"That was the first time the penny dropped." 

She experimented with medication, and dietary changes but says it was moments spent talking to her colleagues over a cuppa that really helped. 

"We'd just talk about what we were going through and what we were feeling, and it kinda became a joke .. like ... let's go have our 'anxie-tea'."

"Then I thought this is actually a really cool thing that we are doing .. and that's when I started experimenting." she told Newshub podcast 'The Pivot'. 

Not long after, Tamarin decided to make her own brand of tea, aimed at calming the mind and the body. 

She aptly named it 'Anxietea', and launched her own business 'Better Tea Co.' as a small side hustle. 

It remained as a side-hustle while she scored her dream job as a customer experience designer at Air New Zealand. 

But her role there was short-lived.

Just a year into the job the COVID-19 pandemic struck New Zealand, and alongside thousands of colleagues, she was made redundant. 

"At this point, we were in lockdown level 4, so you couldn't go and see your friends and have a cup of tea."

"Honestly some days were really hard, some days you felt alone ... it's terrifying" 

During the quieter days she decided to post about 'Anxietea' in an NZ made product Facebook page, and it went gangbusters. 

"People loved it and I had almost 6 months of sales in one day." 

Before she knew it the small side hustle that was earning her $400 a month, became a $100,000 company. 

But her growth wasn't without a few setbacks along the way. 

To hear more of Tamarin’s journey, and how she copes with anxiety, listen to the full episode of The Pivot - hosted by Newshub's Wilhelmina Shrimpton - now on Spotify or Apple.