Year in Japan inspires new business for Rocky woman
A YEAR-LONG sabbatical in Japan has opened the doors for Rockhampton woman Kelsey Brymer to launch her own business.
The former The Cathedral College student had been working as a chartered accountant for seven years when she felt she needed a change.
She had been connected with Japan for the past decade, having learnt the language at high school and travelled to visit the country twice.
She had always dreamt of living there and thought what better place to have a sabbatical than in Japan.
"I would be able to visit temples, spend my days hiking in the forest and going to all the festivals I had learnt about in school," she said.
Kelsey moved to Japan in 2019 and began a job teaching English.
One day her housemate lent her a library book about Japanese tea ceremonies.
Kelsey was hooked and wanted to learn more.
"I knew I liked drinking it and it was healthy but I hadn't heard about this art form and what it meant to be in a tea room and participate in a tea ceremony," she said.
Soon after, she went to a teahouse, where she met the author and ended up joining classes to study the tradition.
Every Thursday she went to a shrine for three hours where she learnt all about the form, sat as a guest for many months learning how to receive the tea and learnt what the tea was about.
"I found the practice everything I was looking for when I moved to Japan," she said.
"To be in a tearoom is to really step outside your daily life which is often really hectic, our minds are all over the place, we're doing lots of different things and just to be in a room that is so simple and peaceful, just to reconnect with yourself, others and nature."
Kelsey got a taste of high quality matcha, finely ground tea leaves which is the product used in the tea, and wanted to explore it more.
"Having experienced the benefits of matcha for my body and then tea in a mindful way for my mental health, I couldn't wait to share that when I got back," she said.
Kelsey's new business is an online shop that sells products to be used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
"Being able to provide a product that is a ceremonial grade matcha, so people can drink in that traditional way," she said.
"I felt through tea and mindfulness I was able to bloom and flourish, to nourish my mental and physical health and that is what I would love to share with others through the products I offer."
The business is named Sakucha, which translates to "to bloom" and "tea".
All of the products are sustainable and environmentally friendly, which is a passion of Kelsey's.
"With tea being something that connects us with nature, I wanted to ensure everything was eco-friendly," she said.
The business has been live for a few weeks and Kelsey is excited to share the culture.
"I am really excited to share what tea is about, it is not very known," she said.
"The general public might not have heard about the way of tea and experience, the benefits of being in the tearoom, that awareness of the present moment and that mindfulness."
Kelsey has also studied to be a yoga and meditation teacher and uses these practices through her business.
"It's really nice to bring together what I have experienced as the benefits of mindfulness and meditation with tea as well," she said.
"Mindfulness is about being in the present moment and that is something we can all benefit from at any time, especially now where there is so much concern about the future and sometimes we are worried about the past as well."
"That's the essence of tea, being here now and we can all experience a little of that with what we are doing at Sakucha."
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