Green Kaki Spotlight - Rosemary (Petale Tea)

Rosemary, Founder of Petale Tea

It was early days for us at the Green Collective. Rosemary, Founder of Petale Tea, got to know about Green Collective and she immediately contacted Danielle to learn more about becoming a Green Kaki. Post a few discussions, Rosemary decided to join us as a Green Kaki and since then she has been an inspiration and source of energy for all of us at the Green Collective.

Whenever you are in Funan, Rosemary is probably there doing her shift, managing her booth or having a photoshoot, and that means free blooming tea (and sometimes cake!) for the rest of us!

Her jovial nature makes her approachable and genuine. She was the first few Kakis that I had the chance to meet as a community manager. She even introduced me to other Kakis and made me feel welcomed into the community. Her presence is indispensable and we are lucky to have Rosemary and Petale Tea in The Green Collective. You can check out her range of products here

I caught up with Rosemary for a quick chat about her entrepreneurial journey so far. Here are a few excerpts from that conversation.

Sandy: Firstly, what made you start a business like Petale Tea and how has the journey been?

Rosemary: This question transports me back to my previous work place where entrepreneurship is the key culture of the company. I was fortunate to be mentored & groomed by the brand founder. I left the company, joined some big brands, got bored and MNCs are just not for me. I was searching for my drive which was lost in transition for 4 years. After the birth of my 1st child, I started planning for my new journey. I was thinking, "If not now, then when?" I was 35 then and that was, to me, the last crunch. I needed to do something for my life and hopefully, leave a legacy. I hope to be an inspiration and role model for the next generation women. Women do not need to be only kept at home to bring up kids. We have the environment and platform to live for ourselves while taking care of our family obligations. We ought to move out of our comfort zones and stereotypical expectations and prove our own worth! It is a lot of self discovery. An entrepreneur is always ready to learn and try new things to make their plans work. The journey can be lonely at times as this is often not something many people and friends can understand.

"Women do not need to be only kept at home to bring up kids. We have the environment and platform to live for ourselves while taking care of our family obligations. We ought to move out of our comfort zones and stereotypical expectations and prove our own worth!"

Sandy: Tell us more about Petale Tea. What inspired you to start a brand in a very competitive category and how do you differentiate yourself? 

Pamper yourself with Petale, Singapore's first blooming tea specialist that has more than 30 types of handsewn blooming teas. Known for beauty and health benefits, Petale is made of organic Maofeng green tea infused with various dried flowers such as jasmine, osmanthus, gomphrena, marigold, rose, lavender and lily. Besides the health benefits of these teas, they are so pretty, they bring joy and visual excitement to any tea party. They also make great gifts! Join a workshop if you’d like to learn how to create and sew your own blooming tea.

I was the Matron of The V Tearoom aka The Cookie Museum 15 years ago, taking care of the operations and business development then. It was one of the earlier well known tearooms in Singapore. That was where I picked up tea knowledge and tea showmanship and began to appreciate tea drinking. It was also then that got me particular over the proper placement of teapots and cups, as well as tea infusion timing.

We have created this specialized concept to create a difference in the tea industry. Despite a small tea drinking population in Singapore, there are easily more than 50 big and startup tea brands. We had decided to highlight the visual experience of tea drinking while providing organic based tea.

Customers enjoy these organic blooming tea as a luxurious yet affordable experience. Instead of paying S$10-15 per pot in a tearoom, they get to enjoy these teas at the comfort of their homes, to entertain guests, family bonding sessions and pampering themselves. These are great memorable gifts too!

Sandy: You are definitely an inspiration to the next generation women, what would you say are some of the challenges you face? 

Rosemary: Too much things to do, too little time to fulfil. To be honest, there are also too many tea brands around. So much I want to do but we are all given just 24 hours a day. The brand has a long way to go and lots more to do to reach what I think success is. Personalized service, quick response to late night enquiries are definitely our USPs. I have personally delivered to last minute orders because the customers need the tea urgently as gifts. Other than reaching out to corporate and wholesale clients, we work with partnering stockists to reach out to our market.

Sandy: Seems like you are wearing many hats at once indeed, what are your future plans and how do you see Petale Tea in 5 years?

Rosemary: To have overseas presence and F&B outlets to serve our teas on their menu. We want to be remembered as the sustainable gifting brand to & an experiential alternative to flowers. We were scheduling our "Make-Your-Own" Blooming Tea Workshop from April onwards. Due to the Covid-19, all has halted. We will update you guys when the time is right and safe!

"We (Petale tea) want to be remembered as the sustainable gifting brand to & an experiential alternative to flowers"

Sandy: Last but not least, how has TGC helped you in you journey? 

Rosemary: I have learnt a lot about sustainability. Being part of TGC always inspires me to find more ways to be sustainable in my business so that Petale can do its part to educate and influence about sustainability as a brand.

You can check out Petale Tea's collection of blooming teas here.