“When times get tough, I remember how much I want to introduce people to matcha and the beautiful tea ceremony culture. Plus, if I can empower women and girls to take their lives into their own hands, that’s a fantastic bonus.”

– Shivika Sharma

We never know when inspiration will strike or when a simple moment will change the course of our future. For Shivika Sharma, that moment was a trip to a coffee shop. An experience that might otherwise be considered an everyday necessity became the spark that inspired Shivika’s entrepreneurial endeavour. 

“I was wondering what to order and randomly landed on a matcha latte,” says Shivika. “I fell in love with it instantly, and even ended up ordering a matcha inspired dessert on that same day.” 

Fast forward a few years, and Shivika has cemented that love with her newest business – Matchau. “After my obsession was cemented, I started looking for matcha all over Melbourne,” says Shivika. “But I couldn’t find what I was looking for. What I wanted was good quality matcha and matcha-flavoured products that were well priced, all in one spot.” But rather than complain, she did what only natural entrepreneurs can do, she decided to start the business she was searching for. Today, Shivika’s goal is for Matchau to become Australia’s one-stop-shop for all things matcha. And she is certainly on her way. 

“After a trip to Malaysia, I came home with an entire suitcase full of matcha and matcha goods,” says Shivika. “ from there I was hooked!”

Even more impressively, Matchau is not Shivika’s first foray into business. In fact, she is part of the brains behind Aunty Spices, one of Made By Many Hands’ favourite brands. “This time is a little different, however,” she tells us. “Because this time, I’m doing it all myself.” 

Of course, solo entrepreneurship looks quite different to a collective effort. “It is definitely faster to make decisions when it’s just me,” Shivika laughs. “But it’s also a lot of responsibility. If things don’t happen, or if it doesn’t work out, it’s all on me.” Rather than being daunted by this prospect, Shivika is acutely aware of the exciting opportunity this opens up for her future. “I find it quite empowering,” she says. “If it does work, I’m going to be so proud of myself.” 

As she should be! As well as bringing her beloved matcha into people’s homes, with Matchau, Shivika is also introducing them to the benefits of the tea rituals that can bring communities together and celebrate cultural diversity.  

More important to Shivika, however, is her end goal of becoming economically empowered, and sharing that empowerment with other migrant women and girls. “Money is so enabling,” Shivika says. “Whenever I get a paycheck, I feel like I can do anything. I want to share that same feeling with as many women and girls as I can so they feel empowered to make it happen for themselves.”

When it comes to tips for those aspiring entrepreneurs, Shivika surprised us with her response. While we may have expected her to throw caution to the wind, Shivika’s considered upbringing comes into play. “I think it’s really important to be secure,” she says. “Business is volatile and there is so much risk, so I’d always encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to find a balance. For me, that means having a part time research job, and my part time business. It works for me having that stable base.”

That’s not to say it’s not a juggle. With so many things on the go, Shivika says, “When times get tough, I remember how much I want to introduce people to matcha and the beautiful tea ceremony culture. Plus, if I can empower women and girls to take their lives into their own hands, that’s a fantastic bonus.”

Published by Amy Malpass-Hahn, Freelance writer