TIME FOR CHANGE: Kate Hands is following her dreams of opening her own business.
TIME FOR CHANGE: Kate Hands is following her dreams of opening her own business.

Making a ‘tea change’ to follow her dreams

IT MIGHT be one of the most trying times to own or start a business in Stanthorpe but that wasn’t going to deter Kate Hands from following her dream.

Having moved to and from Stanthorpe throughout most of her life, Ms Hands said she’s now eager to set up shop and stay for the long haul.

Her business, Tea Change, opened its doors on September 23 and Ms Hands said it has all been positive so far.

“It’s going pretty well. Been a pretty encouraging first week or so,” she said.

“We’ve had lots of people drop in to see what we’ve got and letting me know what more I can get in.”

The 97a Folkestone St premises up until recently housed Vintage Roads but when they decided to move, Ms Hands saw an opportunity.

“I was actually working in here when it was Vintage Roads and I’ve been planning to open a store for years and years.”

“Lots of customers were coming in and saying there’s nowhere to take the kids, no book store, the art supplies are pretty limited, considering there’s so many artists in the area.

“So I sort of had a plan but adjusted it a bit to what everyone was saying.

“People can just come and sit and chat and read a book or the kids can play.”

As you might expect from the name, they do serve tea and coffee but no food. There’s also a big section out the back for kids to keep themselves entertained.

“The kids area and the teas was part of the adjustment from what I was hearing out of people.

“There’s so many coffee shops and cafes but nowhere with a really big range of teas.”

It’s Ms Hands first venture into small business ownership and she says she’ll learn as she goes.

“I’ll continue to grow each section. Hopefully by Christmas it’ll be a lot more full.”

Stanthorpe holds a special place in her heart. It’s for that reason that she was confident of committing herself to the town.

“I used to come here on school holidays from Brisbane and stay with my grandmother and stay on the farm.”

“I’ve moved here back and forth a couple times. But then I moved here at the start of the year and plan to stay now.

“The community is such a supportive place. Times being the way they are I have sort of priced things (in the store) for all price ranges.

“So there’s something for everyone. There’s been people who’ve said ‘you’re a bit crazy to open a shop’, but it’s something I always wanted to do.

“If you can get through this time it’s really only going to get better I think.”

With support from both parents, she’s excited for what’s in store.

In the near future Ms Hands said she’ll look at opening the place up for clubs and groups to meet and interact.

Tea Change is open Monday to Saturday 8.30am-4.30pm and on Sunday from 9am-2pm.