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About us

Universal Village is a fair trade company that has a healthy distaste for the status quo when it comes to businesses' lack of social and environmental care. Consequently, we specialise in healthy, fairly traded products for consumers who care about their health and who want to have a positive impact on the world.

To create our fair trade teas, we source certified fair trade ingredients from around the world, from Bourbon Vanilla in Madagascar to Cardamom in Sri Lanka.

Our innovative teas include our new vitamin tea, which is the world’s first range of natural vitamin and mineral teas

How We Came to Tea

Nicole Lamond made the decision to start a fair trade business in 1998 after returning from a trip to India and East Africa. Along with the typical, memorable backpacking experiences – stolen bags, bed bugs, food poisoning – there was one memory that stood out.  

You can read the whole story here, but seeing tea plantations and the poor working and pay conditions inspired Nicole to start a fair trade business upon her return to Melbourne, Australia.

Seeing how hard tea farmers worked for the little pay they received began a journey of questioning the status quo; of how business is done, how the people in power make their decisions, and can a business be run so that all people involved can be paid a living wage?

A new partnership

Nicole met now-Eloments Cofounder Julie Hirsch at a writers group in Melbourne.  In between critiquing young adult and fantasy novels, poetry and short stories about confused mice (that one was really good), Nicole realised that Julie would be the perfect business partner. Julie is not only a master with the pen, but a whip-smart, business savvy woman who can really get an amazing amount of stuff done in a short amount of time. A new phase in the business had begun!

The beginnings of Eloments

As busy professional women, Nicole and Julie had often talked about how difficult it was to focus on health, and how often they forgot to take our vitamin supplements. Nicole saw an opportunity to link the rise in the functionality of teas with an option to get natural vitamins (rather than the mostly synthetic options on shelf) in a beautiful cup of fair trade tea. 

After two years of research and development, we created the world’s first natural vitamin tea, with 9 essential vitamins in every cup, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, C, and Zinc.


Onwards and upwards

Julie and Nicole are thrilled to be working alongside others who are pushing the boundaries of what it means to run an ethical business and to provide tea lovers with the ultimate cuppa. We love the nitty gritty work of how to create an equitable supply chain, of getting each blend perfect, of creating our beautiful packs of tea and sending them out into the world.

For now, it’s head down to get through the enormous amount of work that goes with running a company, but over the next few years we hope to get out and meet as many of our wonderful tea drinkers as we can (who are generally an extremely congenial bunch).

Nicole Lamond

Co-founder, CEO

Julie Hirsch

Co-founder, COO

Rovhie Jean Dulera

Administration Assistant

Graham Robertson

Advisory Board Member

Dale Simpson

Advisory Board Member

Our next star recruit :)

Our values


It’s important to be ethical in small things as well as the big things and to be questioning your beliefs and values always. In my ethics class during my Masters of Entrepreneurship, someone asked ‘how do you know if something’s ethical or not?’ The lecturer answered, if you have no problem with your action being splashed across the front page of a newspaper, it’s probably okay. I think that holds true.

Please let us know if you think we’ve stuffed something up!  We are definitely not perfect and will always try to fix any mistakes we've made. You can always reach us at


You pretty much have to leave your ego at the door if you come and work with us. No exceptions. Everyone gets kind, but direct feedback. Our office motto is ‘Don’t be a dick’ ☺

Working together as a team to get the best outcome is what turns us on.


We want to be really, really good at what we do. Whether it’s creating something as exciting as a new spreadsheet (wow!), procuring ingredients for a new blend of tea, workshopping strategy or making 100 calls to find the most environmentally friendly printer, that’s us.

If you can see something you think we should improve, let us know by reaching out to


Transparency would solve most of the world’s problems (don’t get us started!). Refer to the story about the news on the front page of the newspaper under ‘Ethics’. I once heard someone use the phrase ‘You are as sick as you are secret.’ I think that is true for people through to corporations and nation states.

New New New (Innovation)

We love new ideas. Big ideas. Small ideas. We are idea junkies and we love stopping work to spontaneously contemplate a new twist on something old, a variation on a process or something that's big and WOW.

Innovation is our goal, our ability to imagine a better world is our muse.