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 Mary Schäffer Warren_Old_Indian_Trails_-_Nibs_and_His_Mistress_

Women Who Shaped the Rockies

As a women-owned and operated business, Jolene’s Tea House is passionate about celebrating and empowering women everywhere, from our local community here in Banff to the wonderful women who love our tea all over the world. 

Women have a rich and inspiring history here in the Canadian Rockies. From Suzette Chalifoux Swift to Mary Schäffer Warren, the Rocky Mountains have been the backdrop to countless visionary women who have moulded and nurtured this land and the lives of those who came after them. 

“[To] escape from brick walls and city streets is the most desirable thing to do in the world”  - Mary Vaux

5 women who shaped the Rockies: 

Suzette Chalifoux Swift was a Métis woman born in St Albert, Alberta in 1866. Together with her husband and children she homesteaded near Jasper and, when times were hard, she supported her family by selling her intricate beadwork, leather vests, gloves and moccasins. 

The style and artistry of Chalifoux-Swift’s work are a keystone in the history of Metis women in the Rockies and the resilient spirit that prevails here. 

Mary Schaeffer Warren, born in in 1899, was an influential naturalist, illustrator, photographer and writer. After her first husabnds death, Schaffer Warren was determind to finish the botanical guide her husband started. A trailblazer for female explorers, Schaeffer Warren became known as the first non-indigenous person to travel to Maligne Lake and was one of the first women to survey much of Banff National Park.

Mary Vaux Walcott, born in 1860, was an accomplished artist, photographer and naturalist who spent many years traversing the rugged terrain of the Canadian Rockies, illustrating and documenting the rare flora of the area. An skilled mountaineer and outdoorswoman, Vaux Walcott was the first woman to summit the 10,000 foot ascent of Mount Stephen. 

Baronness Elizabeth (Lizzie) Von Rummel, born in 1899 made her home in the Rockies later in life. Unmarried in her mid-forties, Lizzie Rummel, as she came to be known, worked in the burgeoning skiing and backcountry operations industries and later took on the management of the iconic Skoki Lodge. Rummel became an experienced guide and business owner, owning and operating Sunburst Lake Camp from 1950-1970. Rummel is credited with inspiring summer heli-hiking in the Rockies and establishing Banff National Park as a tourist destination. 

Catherine Whyte, born in 1906, was a talented artist and manager of Skoki Lodge in 1932. Whyte is famed for her striking landscape artistry inspired by the grandeur of the Candian Rockies. Whyte lived in Banff with her Husand Peter and was influential in the development of the fledgling tourist town. Founder of the Whyte Museum and Banff Public Library, Whyte has inspired visitors to Banff and the Candian Rockies for generations.

These women carved their paths through the rough terrain of the Rockies, championing the cause for women in a largely male-dominated space. They were guides, artists, explorers and mountaineers while also often bearing the burden of domestic life. Their strength and resilient spirits laid the way for many of the Rockies influential women to succeed in an often unforgiving environment, and for that, we thank them.

Mirroring these incredible women’s shining examples of stewardship, we have made it our mission to create moments of connection and nourishment using natural ingredients to support the minds and bodies of today’s wonder women. 

Jolene Brewster - Founder of Jolene's Tea House in Banff
Jolene Brewster,  Founder of Jolene's Tea House



Inspired by the bountiful landscape of our mountain home, our hand-blended teas are formulated to promote harmony and balance in the body using only the highest quality, natural ingredients. 

Femininitea is our love letter to women everywhere. Naturally sweet, yet soothing, this powerful herbal blend was created to promote hormone balance and skin health while supporting the reproductive system. Featuring the delicate flavours of raspberry leaf and chamomile, this caffeine-free tea is made with an array of refreshing herbs and is the sip of clarity and nourishment you deserve. 

Happy Mumma 

To us, International Women’s Day isn’t just about acknowledging the incredible achievements and contributions of female trailblazers, but also celebrating the women who inspire and uplift us in our own lives. Happy Mumma is a rejuvenating companion to those who put everyone before themselves. Enriched with Banff National Park’s native raspberry leaf and wild rose, this delicate, caffeine-free blend is balanced with refreshing peppermint and soothing lavender, a moment of calm amongst the madness of everyday life.


Stress Relieving

We understand that life can be stressful. While we can’t take all your worries away, we can offer a moment of sanctuary. Our Stress Relieving tea does what it says on the tin. Formulated to ease anxiety and nervous tension, this calming caffeine-free blend holds notes of lemongrass and white mistletoe, accompanied by the classic comforting taste of chamomile.

Wildflowers and Whisky 

Our podcast series Wildflowers and Whisky, is a celebration of the strong women who call these mountains home. In conversation with our founder, Jolene Brewster, local artists, advocates and community leaders pass on their words of wisdom. Tune in with a cup of freshly brewed tea to hear entertaining and empowering anecdotes from lives fearlessly forged in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.


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