My story with Rooibos started very quietly, unobtrusively, many years before I actually considered starting a Rooibos business. Rooibos was something so South African I took it for granted without giving it any merit. We didn't drink Rooibos at home, being raised more English, but we did eat vetkoek and koeksusters. Sadly, the first time I drank Rooibos tea was in Canada. Eish, I know. Sies tog! Shame on me. But that is what happens when you are raised in South Africa with an English flavour - you drink Ceylon tea.
When Vancouver started to get abuzz with the taste and merits of Rooibos tea in the mid-2000s, I remembered that there was more to Rooibos than just tea. I remembered that there was a skincare line that contained Rooibos. Again this knowledge had slipped into my memory very quietly and unobtrusively. I remembered Annique and, honestly, it must have been the advertising in the Fair Lady magazines I enjoyed reading as a teen. My mother didn’t use the skincare line. I don't know of anyone who sold it, but I knew about it. Which proves the power of advertising.
What, then, was the catalyst? What moved me to join the dots of a market intrigued by Rooibos, and all its benefits, and starting an Annique Rooibos tea and skincare business?
It was a mid-life crisis. Or, more accurately, my crisis about entering the middle of my life.
I was in my late thirties, and turning forty was bearing down on me. The reality that I was at the half point of my life (God-willing) slipped into my consciousness like a thief in the night. I started to evaluate my decisions, my life, my career choices - and I became anxious. I questioned it all - and I became dissatisfied. And then I became depressed.
I have since learnt that this is a very normal passage of life. Many, many of us go through it but we don't necessarily recognise it for what it is. It is an adjustment phase. As teens we go through a phase of determining our identity separate from our parents. We determine who we are, what we want to be and what we are going to achieve in this life. We look to the future with hope. At mid-life, we go through a phase where we evaluate our lives. We look behind us and ask, "Is this what it is all about?" Even if our lives are ideal and we have achieved all we have set out to do, we still ask ourselves, "Is this what I should have been pursuing?" And we re-evaluate so as to chart the next half of our lives.
It was at this time of re-charting in my life that I asked God, "What do you have for me?" I wanted to really listen to God's direction in my life. And so, when Rooibos started to create a buzz in Vancouver and I had this thought, 'But there is more to Rooibos than just the tea' pop into my mind, I put it before God and asked Him if it was from Him. And if it was, He would need to show me the way. And He did, read on ...