Geneva Pritchard | Who's Your

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Geneva Pritchard

Founder, KombuchAID
Geneva has a rich history of international and community development, spending the majority of the last ten years working with refugee communities on the Thailand-Burma border promoting sustainable health and education projects and traveling extensively to remote jungle villages to reach vulnerable populations. Geneva is passionate about her own physical and spiritual well-being. For Geneva, KombuchAID is a lifestyle brand that embodies her dedication to her own health, and the health of her community, while supporting local and global health and wellness projects at the same time.

Geneva Pritchard

Home is…
South Melbourne, Victoria

What do you do?
I am a loyal wife, devoted yogi and enthusiastic business owner.

What quote or mantra has resonated with you the most?
There are so many!  My favourite recently is “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” – Ghandi

When were you first introduced to kombucha? What was the catalyst for you to start your own brand, KombuchAID?
I started drinking kombucha about ten years ago while living in Seattle.  It was quite the health trend back then and it seemed everyone had a bottle at their desk.  When I moved to Australia two years ago I noticed it was hard, if not impossible, to find.  I started brewing my own and bringing it to classes at my local yoga studio. Fellow yogis were asking about it, then asking for it, then asking for more.  Alas, a business was born. It has been a totally organic process with the demand leading the business growth.

What benefits can people see from drinking kombucha?
Kombucha has so many benefits! It is a real kick-start for your digestive system, creating efficiencies in the way your body digests and absorbs food. Kombucha enthusiasts take the mantra “you are what you eat” to another level with “you are what you can digest”.  Kombucha helps your body flush out toxins, and soak in the good stuff leaving you feeling energized and clear-minded… and the shiny hair, healthy nails and glowing skin is a bonus as well.

We love that KombuchAID donates a portion of proceeds from each bottle sold to global and local health projects. Why do you think social enterprise has become a valued and increasingly popular business model?
My entire career has been devoted to international development and community engagement. When the exciting opportunity opened up to own a business, I knew it had to include a giving component.  I was inspired by other social enterprises like TOMS shoes and Who Gives a Crap.  I wanted people to buy KombuchAID and feel really good about it; feel good about their body, and feel good about contributing to community wellness.

How do you select which organisations receive KombuchAID’s donations?
The first organisation we have donated to is Pattanarak, an organisation on the Thailand-Burma border that is really innovative in their programing.  They provide agriculture training and seedlings to newly arrived refugees.  This provides families with a means to grow their own healthy food, and enough to sell at the market to earn an income.  It is a truly sustainable model that promotes healthy living and empowers communities. Our selection criterion is to donate to organisations that promote health and wellness, and that can come in many forms.  It is exciting to think of all the possible partnerships down the road.

On the weekends you’ll find me..
Snuggling up to fruits and veggies at the farmers market. I adore taking time to smell, feel and admire fresh food.  Walking home and cooking a massive meal is my favourite past time. In between markets and cooking you can find me running at Albert Park or at a yoga class.

Favourite way to clear your mind and unwind after a busy week?
Yin yoga class.  The life of a business owner is hectic and it never switches off.  I find Yin yoga to tap into the most zen spaces in my mind and I leave feeling recharged and refreshed.

Best view you’ve seen in your travels?
Wow this is a tough one, but I think it is hiking Rob Roy Glacier in New Zealand. It just seems like Earth in its purest form.

What company in another industry do you admire for their business practices and why?
Patagonia is a brand that inspires me. They lead the charge for sustainable business practices in outdoor gear, and they are never afraid to admit when they have made a mistake, or when things are hard. Yvon Chouinard is a legend amongst men, and hearing him speak makes me want to be a better person to the planet and everyone on it – AND they make a hell of a nice jacket.

Best advice you’ve received about starting and running your own business?
Take risks and have fun.

Favourite restaurant in Melbourne?
Clay Pots Evening Star in South Melbourne Market

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