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Meet Sam Shepherd and her tea business Innerbloom.

Posted by Roslyn Campbell on

Meet Sam Shepherd and her tea business Innerbloom.

Hi Sam! We were so happy to discover your gorgeous tea brand Innerbloom before you launched recently and have loved following your exciting journey getting it out into the world.

Could you tell us a little about yourself and your journey to create Innerbloom? Was it a love of tea, or love of your menstrual cycle that came first?

I would say the Innerbloom journey started with a love of plants, followed by tea and then followed by periods.

I grew up an only child and I lived opposite a national park so I remember my childhood was just me playing in the bush making potions and witches brews. Fun fact I was named after Samantha from Bewitched so the witch vibes run deep!

I used to love getting my hands dirty, feeling the different plants and being connected with it all. I totally lost this as I got older but a love of tea remained. I always LOVED tea. I would stand in the tea aisle in shops for so long just taking it all in. The ritual of brewing tea has always been special to me. That said I never studied herbal medicine or considered starting a tea biz so it was my period that played the next key role.

My first period was an initiation by fire. I was 13 and at the cinema with a friend when I started experiencing the worst pain of my life. Long story short my dad rushed to pick me up, took me to the doctor where I projectile spewed over the entire waiting room and groaned in agony. That afternoon I got my first period! holy moly. From there I got put on the pill a year later for my skin and for 10 years I didn’t experience a real cycle. I was living from the neck up and my body totally numbed out. It wasn’t until I came off the pill and two years later that my period returned, that the horrifying pain I’d experienced as a 13 year old returned with a vengeance. Writhing in agony, vomiting, shitting myself, fainting, thinking I was dying it was a whole thing and meant I was in genuine panic whenever my period was due. This meant I had so much fear and mistrust around my cycle.

I look back now and think after years of numbing out to my body, the only time my body could get my attention was once a month on the first day of my cycle where it would floor me and I had no choice but to listen. After years of trying to figure out what was going on from doctors to specialists and receiving little answers I realised I needed to take a more active approach.

I decided to learn about my cycle and try and figure out what the hell was going on. I did yoga teacher training’s, studying in Bali, did womb retreats and read every book on periods I could find. I started to learn about the four stages of our menstrual cycles (‘Wild Power’ is the bible for this. A HUGE recommend to read) and that was the turning point for me. I couldn’t believe we weren’t taught about these stages and how differently they functioned meaning how differently they needed to be supported. I started to work WITH my cycle, tracking it, noticing its patterns. What always appeared as chaotic and messy all of a sudden seemed to be quite an intelligent pattern.

On day 9 every cycle I was writing something similar to ‘I feel so happy today, people are so nice today, having a great day etc etc. And yet on day 23 of my cycle I was writing things like ‘I could happily never see my boyfriend again, maybe living alone in the bush is the answer, I hate people etc etc’ haha a little intense yes but a pattern! It no longer seemed random but an intelligent cycle I could align with and work with.

I started resting during my period days more, using the creative energy of the post period phase to play and explore. Using the burst of energy ovulation often provided to really accomplish things, using the PMS phase to discern and organise (our bullshit detectors are red hot during this phase!) It was that process alone that created HUGE shifts in how I experienced my cycle.

It was enough for me to think, why were we not taught this as young girls? Why weren’t we educated on how to support our cycles? Why didn’t we learn how to use the feedback our cycles give us about our general health and moods to track and support our lives?

I wanted to create a simple yet powerful way to support women to connect to the wisdom of their cycle through daily ritual that was fun and uncomplicated. TEA! Herbs! Natures a hell of an ally and mother earth also experiences these ‘seasons’ of cycling just like the female body does. I was sure it existed already so I had a look and couldn’t find it. I had sold another business a couple of years before, so I technically had the time. On the spot I decided I would give it a go.

I started looking for experts to help me make this happen and I was connected to an incredible Naturopath named Sarah Mann who worked with me for a year to formulate the four Innerbloom blends. Four herbal tea blends to support the four stages of our cycles. They’re stunning and so special and unique and I’m so proud of them. I hope they become an ally to support women connecting back to the wisdom of their cycles and the magic of their bodies. 

Could you tell us about the 4 teas in more detail?

Ok so they’re ALL so different because of course! They’re all organic, naturopathically formulated and hand-blended (with so much love and intention) I literally saged the space between every blend and said a prayer to infuse each blend with the energetics I was calling in for that phase. Every aspect of this whole business is so intentional I wish you could be a fly on the wall.. alas, I digress!!

 

01 The Period Blend is this warming, spicy, dream inducing, uterine tonic that opens the heart whilst supporting your body to manage pain. We use Mugwort in this blend which is so magical I could talk about it forever but traditionally it was a herb used to induce dreaming and visioning. The period phase is all around releasing what’s no longer needed, visioning, connecting to your intuition and turning on your inner realm whilst dimming the outer realm for a little while. This blend supports this so beautifully. The Ginger is deeply warming and grounding and naturally pain relieving so it was a must have! I could go on forever so I’ll leave it there. Each blend only has five herbs so we got SUPER intentional about the ones that are in there. Hence why it took a year to get it right! There’s a little deep dive on each herb on the website for anyone that loves that stuff. 

02 The Post-Period Blend is light and playful in taste and smell. It’s like sunshine in a cup and yet it packs some of the most sacred herbs you can have. It’s a total blood tonic, cleansing and clearing the body after your bleed phase to prepare for ovulation. We use an Australian Native here called Strawberry Gum which when we first tried it we almost fell over. It tasted like strawberry bubblegum but with the refreshing clearing energy of the gum (eucalyptus) family. We use Tulsi (Holy Basil) which is a sacred and revered herb in India. It’s an adaptogenic to help the body adapt to stress or anything really. This blend came together like lighting, like it knew exactly what it wanted to be. The others took longer, this one might be my fav!

03 The Ovulation Blend is your antioxidant rich and vibrant nerve tonic. It supports harnessing the peak ovulation energy whilst making sure the nervous system can hold the bigness without blowing a fuse. Chamomile is here to tend to our system and Inner Child whilst it offers light and brightness (Chamomile is a height of Summer herb and holds that Sun energy). Schisandra Berry is in this blend which is so special. It’s a VERY special berry from China and one of the only plants that has all five tastes (sweet, salty, sour etc) so it’s considered very healing and balancing. This blend tastes fruity, zesty and fresh and is also delicious iced!

04 The PMS Blend is a special one because it took the longest to get right. We have Cacao Nibs in this one because often this phase is when we need more nourishment as our hormones are dropping. Cacao is actually super nutritive so it’s no surprise that so many of us crave chocolate when we’re in this phase. We loved the idea of making 04 a cacao infusion to introduce those nutrients and minerals and hit that craving from a super nourishing place. The star in this blend for me though is Lady’s Mantle. We sourced the highest quality Lady’s Mantle you can find from an organic farm in Australia (paid 5 times the price to get it but I didn’t care). Lady’s Mantle is a womb tonic and I bloody wanted the best, scuse the pun! It talks to our wombs and in this blend it prepares us for a harmonious bleed. Again there’s three other herbs I haven’t mentioned that are all equally epic but I won’t take up your whole day! 

The ritual of making and sitting down with a cup of tea each day is such a lovely one, do you have any other rituals you like to perform around your bleed or 'Winter' phase?

Absolutely! Obviously first thing each day is my 01 The Period Blend but also, hot chips on day one of my bleed has become a ritual! Haha I just crave the groundedness of potato at this phase and my partner gets my chips while I usually watch a rom-com in bed. GOALSSS. I really feel like Netflix isn’t an option but a necessity during the period week. My hot water bottle basically stays down my pants the entire week no joke. It feels so warming and I actually wrote a poem to my hot water bottle once! HA! I give myself permission to nap a LOT. I meditate more this week because the period phase is when our intuition is the highest and I want to hear whatever messages I need to download, so I create more space for that. This isn’t so much a period phase one but I have a ritual during my PMS phase to prepare some meals so that period Sam can stay horizontal but still be absolutely nourished. I usually make a dahl or some soup so it’s ready to go. It’s such a hack to support yourself. I clear my calendar as much as I can an allow all expectation on exercise to pause for a few days. This has allowed my period week to go from my most dreaded week to one of my favourite times of the month. Most of us aren’t getting enough good rest. Often this can solve a lot of the discomfort (or at least was the case for me!) 

Thank you Sam, it has been a pleasure getting to know you and the  Innerbloom range! Got anything else you'd like to add?

Just thank you for celebrating me and these teas even before they were launched. I’m so honoured we can create women led businesses that support and celebrate each other. If anyone wants to chat to me feel free to DM me on Insta or send me an email hello@innerbloomtea.com but mostly, I hope these teas can become an ally to remind you of the magic you’ve had in you all along, you just weren’t taught to look for it. 

Find the Innerbloom website here and take a look at a massive giveaway competition we have running on Instagram with Innerbloom, Tsuno, Ovira, Modibodi and The Hello Cup with a prize worth $619 in total- ending on October 14th 2021.


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