"Katie's first experience with tea comes in the memory of drinking Irish Breakfast with her grandmother out of delicate teacups. Today, she carries the same reverence and passion for the art of tea into her day to day life. Katie founded The Monarch Tea Co. in late 2013 with the vision of bringing together the traditional eloquence of tea time with a modern twist."
How did you get into your art/craft?
Tea has been a passion of mine since a very young age. As I grew older, and my tea collection also grew, I started thinking about how neat it would be to make my love of tea into a profession. I drafted up different business plans, originally hoping to get right into starting a cafe. I ended up taking a step back and deciding that working on my Tea Sommelier certification, and selling in awesome boutiques and small businesses across Canada was more approachable to start with, while giving me the freedom to always be in new places.
What do you like to listen to while you’re working?
I'm usually playing my favorite band, Death Cab for Cutie, or some indie/folk. Depending on the urgency of the tea order, I've also been known to have EDM or drum and bass going though!!
Outside of your medium, what other types of art/design/etc are you inspired by?
I love pottery (go Emma Smith!) and oil painting.
If you couldn’t be an artist/craftsperson, what would you love to be?
I'm an avid yogi.. so I would be a yoga teacher and share that passion with others.
Where is your studio located? What’s your favourite thing about your city?
I live and work in the awesome city of Hamilton, Ontario! There is so much to love about Hamilton, but one of the main things for me would be the support and love of small business and artisans here. We have a free monthly art crawl, where people can peruse local galleries, and artisans set up and display their wares. A lot of the businesses here cross promote and help build each other up, so it is a very supportive atmosphere. There is so much growth andtalent in this city and it's an honour to be apart of it.
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
I truly love where I am now, but if I had to pick somewhere else it would probably be the Big Sur area of California.
What do you love most about Canada?
The amazing beauty and diversity of our people, geography and culture.
Favourite thing to do with your “down time”.
Get into bed with a mug of tea and my cats with a novel!!
If you could go to dinner with ANYBODY, alive or dead, who would it be?
George Bernard Shaw, a famous Irish playwright who passed away in 1950.
What brand/artist can you not get enough of?
Ah! So many to choose from! I'm obsessed with Crown Point Candles, a local non-GMO soy wax candle maker in Hamilton. I also love Soup Girl, who makes awesome vegan soup mixes!
What’s one thing you hope makes it big?
I hope that the popularity and love of tea continues to grow. I also hope that the ritual and tranquility of tea time becomes popular, so it can show people how important it is to de-connect from all the distractions we have, sit down with a friend or by yourself and just sip and be zen!
What's your favourite book?
I LOVE to read (tea and books FTW!) so I can't pick just one. I would have to say some recent favourites would be The Girls by Emma Cline and Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.
What’s one goal you’re working towards right now?
Completing my Tea Sommelier Certification through the Tea Board of Canada, which should be finished by February 2017!
What’s your favourite thing to do over the holidays?
I think one of my favourite things to do in the holidays is to get super cozy. I love having friends and family over and having a night of board games beside the fire, enjoying tea (or wine!) and spending time together. I also love getting outside and ice skating on a crisp winter night!