Welcome to the newest regular feature on the Joyous Health blog! I've been totally inspired by the #WomenCrushWednesday hashtag that crops up all over social media, and I'm going to be celebrating some of my favourite ladies in the wellness world on my Instagram every Wednesday.
But sometimes, my woman crush of the week is just too awesome to be confined to an Instagram caption, so once a month I'll be interviewing one of these fantastic ladies, because I want you to know all about them!
First up is Shelby Kroach, the nutritionista behind The Honest Leaf teas. I love Shelby's teas because she puts so much thought into the herbal blends she makes and uses organic, all-natural ingredients. (It's harder than you'd think these days to find teas without artificial flavours!) I love Shelby's teas so much, I went straight to her to formulate my custom Joyous Tea Blend!
I sat down with Shelby to talk about what it's like being an entrepreneur in the holistic health and food industry, work-life balance, and of course, tea!
Joy: What inspired you to start The Honest Leaf?
Shelby: I was inspired to start The Honest Leaf because of my love for both tea and health. I have always been fascinated by teas from various regions around the world. With the rise of blended loose leaf teas over the last few years, I noticed that a lot of them were made with ingredients that weren't so great for your health. That got me thinking ... why don't I create blends that not only taste amazing, but also support a healthy body? After a year of product development, The Honest Leaf was born!
Joy: What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Shelby: I have to say, taste testing all kinds of tea is pretty awesome! But the best part of my job is honestly meeting my customers and sharing our love for tea and health together. I learn so much from chatting with people at demos and trade shows and have built some pretty amazing relationships along the way!
Joy: Youre a successful entrepreneur, how do you find time for balance?
Shelby: Both my mother and father are entrepreneurs, so I get a lot of my entrepreneurial spirit from them. They have always instilled great values in me and my siblings and put family before anything else. I've never been one to work 24-7 (hence why I decided to take a path where I'm my own boss!) and I believe that if you make time for the things you love, it will only enhance your work life. It's about working smart.
Joy: What has been the hardest part about having your own business?
Shelby: I would say the hardest part about having my own business is that everything falls back on me. I feel like I'm on a teeter-totter when I launch something new or get into a new store; will it be positive or am I going to fall flat? I've learned that you just need to go with your gut. Sometimes you're going to fail, but those failures are actually positive learning experiences that will allow you to grow and be successful down the road.
Joy: You recently got married! Whats the best part about married life?
Shelby: Our wedding day was absolutely amazing! Ben and I have been together for over eight years, and he probably knows me better than I know myself. While married life isn't a whole lot different from life before marriage, I can honestly say it makes me smile knowing that I will get to wake up next to him each morning, learn from him each day, and enjoy every adventure life throws our way.
Joy: You and your hubs Ben work at shows selling tea together quite often, whats it like working with your husband? Although we know youre the boss ;)
Shelby: Yes, I am definitely the boss although he would use the word "partners." We work really well together, give or take a few hiccups from time to time (we're human!). I love having him around. He has such a great energy and our customers love chatting with him. He's definitely a people person! Without Ben, I probably wouldn't be where I am today.
Joy: What advice do you have for other women wanting to start a business?
Shelby: As Nike puts it: "JUST DO IT." You don't have to go full-throttle out of the gate, but if you have a great idea, don't be afraid to put it out there. Chat with friends and family and take everything with a grain of salt. Some people will cheer you on and some people will tell you you're crazy. But if you believe in yourself, others will too!
Joy: What does it take to be successful like yourself?
Shelby: Firstly, theres a lot more in store for me to reach that level of success I'm striving for. I truly believe that you need to understand how to stand up after being knocked down. I have been down plenty in the last few years, but I always manage to pick myself back up and keep going. I will never forget when a store owner told me my teas would not sell in his store and that my packaging wasn't strong enough. Three years later, he's one of my biggest customers! Building a strong network around you will make it a lot easier to get through those bad days and kick the s*** out of the good days.
Joy: What do you for fun?
Shelby: I love being up at my cottage. It's so relaxing and a place where I get to hang out with family, friends and lots of nature. I also love to travel and have a long bucket list of places to visit ... in due time!
Joy: Whats next for the Honest Leaf?
Shelby: My goal for The Honest Leaf is to expand the line across Canada and into the United States. I want to be known not only as a tea company but also as a lifestyle brand ... I'll leave it at that for now :).
Who's your #WomanCrushWednesday this week? Share her with us in the comments below!