It all started with a cup of tea while on vacation, and since then Tonia Jahshan and her husband Hatem have built a direct selling empire (like $20 million in annual sales big) in Sipology. Tonia slayed the Dragons on Dragons’ Den (Canadian version of Shark Tank), was named the 2016 W100 female entrepreneur of the year for Canada, and she shares with us:
- How she turned her love of a new-found product into a successful company
- How it grew so fast her 5-year plan happened in 6 months
- Her advice for someone starting a similar business now
- How “self-care” can actually be counter-productive, and how to actually care for yourself
- How she sought help in a very dark time (Tonia is an outspoken proponent of mental health initiatives)
- What her favorite tea for this year is!
- And more!
You will fall in love with this incredible lady, whose #1 advice is – be kind. See, nice guys do finish first!
Connect with Tonia:
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/toniajahshan
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/toniajahshan
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonia-jahshan-29977410/
- Get your tea and kombucha: www.Sipology.com
Connect with Elaine:
- Website: https://elaineskitchentable.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elainetancomeau
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elainetancomeau/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElainesKitchenTable
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/chatwithelaine
Get a free chapter from Elaine’s book, Sell Your Passion: https://elaineskitchentable.com/book/
Tonia Jahshan 00:00
I love that I can meet new people. I've met some of my closest friends through my early years in direct sales. So it just seemed like a very natural fit to me tea and parties.
Welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table. This is where we share tips about business and parenting. Being a mom of three and CEO of the award winning company Easy Daysies, speaker and educator, you're going to learn the tips and secrets of successful and incredible people. Elaine wants you to be inspired, challenged and motivated and that person you want your kids to grow up to be. This is real talk for real life.
Elaine Tan Comeau 00:36
Hi, welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table where we talk about how to create better family, better health, better business and better self. We often think that business is created by an incredible idea. Sometimes that incredible business is started by a discovery. And my guest today she discovered a tea one day when she was on vacation with her husband at a bed & breakfast in Halifax. And she tried this loose leaf cream of Earl Grey tea and she was so blown away by it that she had to bring a truckload of it back to her family and friends and from that, she created business owners from tea lovers. And in 2012, she went on Dragons' Den with her family and she partnered with Jim Treliving and David Chilton. Now today, her business called seep tea has millions in annual sales and thousands of consultants across North America and she was named Canada's number one female entrepreneur by W100. Now today with me on Elaine's Kitchen Table. She is going to share her secrets. So here we go.
Elaine Tan Comeau 01:46
Oh my goodness. I am so excited to have you, Tonia, here on my podcast. Welcome, Tonia.
Tonia Jahshan 01:57
Hey, thank you. Yay. We made it. It's been a couple of weeks of back and forth but we finally did it.
Elaine Tan Comeau 02:02
I am so excited and you know like just before this live went live and recorded, being recorded, I was telling you Tonia that my podcast is all about create better. Create better so that we can be better and do better but to create better family and create better health, create better business and create better self. I want to say thank you to who's to you who's listening right now for joining Tonia and I. And we know that it's crazy. I mean, between the both of us we have six children. Maybe I'm gonna say serial entrepreneurs between the both of us. And we get it we get what it's like to work off our kitchen table. We get what it's like to stand in the pantry holding the door shut so you could have a conference. We get it and we get it when it means some times we just want to throw in the towel. I was actually speaking for myself but I'm thinking that Tonia's been there too, where you just don't even know what you're doing next. But Tonia and I are here because we want you to know that you're not alone. You are not going through this by yourself.
Elaine Tan Comeau 03:16
And if you can see this beautiful woman because I know some of you are listening in the car on your highlights that you tell me about. And I love it. My own people are emailing and texting me say I'm washing my dishes and listening to this podcast. And the fun part is this season, we're actually gonna throw in some little snippets on YouTube. So you'll see this beautiful Tonia who's sitting across from me who's like nodding in agreement saying you are not alone in this. Now I'm very humbled to have Tanya because she is incredible and she doesn't know but I admire her from afar and always have been a fan, and we both have been on Dragons' Den, we have different similarities. And, and I'm a huge fan of you, Tonia.
Tonia Jahshan 04:06
Elaine Comeau 04:07
I want to start and ask How are you? How is your family doing?
Tonia Jahshan 04:12
Oh, family's good. I mean, let's put things in perspective. It's been a bit of a you know what show, the last five months with the kids being off school. Today was their official last day of school. What? What school? The last day of Tonia Mommy School? Yay. So kids are good. You know, we're finally starting to see you know, things become a little bit normal in Ontario. You know, Hamilton is back into like, I'm going for dinner with my husband tonight for our anniversary. It will be our first. Yeah.
Elaine Tan Comeau 04:50
Tonia Jahshan 04:51
Thank you! Our first dinner since I think well March, so that I'm looking forward to that and the kids are able to have their friends over, you know, a couple friends here and there. So I feel like things are starting to feel a little bit more normal. I think it's gonna take a few years before we get back to real normalcy, but we're good. We're good. Yeah.
Elaine Comeau 05:13
That is awesome. And your kids are young. And now where you live. You probably just have elementary school in high school. Do you have middle school as well?
Tonia Jahshan 05:22
Um, so just so Layla is my oldest. She's in grade, she'll be going into grade seven. So I guess that's middle school, right? Yeah. So she came out to of, what is it? Middle school, high school and elementary. Yeah. Two in elementary, one in middle school.
Elaine Tan Comeau 05:40
Fully understand. I think for two years, we had three kids in three different schools. no idea who had a field trip. Nope.
Tonia Jahshan 05:48
Nope. I'm here. Yeah. I hear you.
Elaine Tan Comeau 05:51
Oh, what irked me is, OK I'm not a huge fan of making school lunches. And so what would throw me off and make me so sad is when I make a lunch, and then it's hot lunch day somewhere at one of these three schools and I'm like no, all that effort. Small things right, small things that yeah, being a mom.
Elaine Tan Comeau 06:13
Now Tonia I want to know, and I know my listener who's listening right now would love to hear how you took drinking tea discovered at B&B in a different province in Canada made you think of business? What happened?
Tonia Jahshan 06:36
So, yeah, it was it was 14 years ago and I was in Nova Scotia because Had and I had just had a miscarriage, we were to 12 weeks along and things just went the wrong way. And that's what brought us out to Nova Scotia just to kind of get our minds off of things and to start fresh, and I discovered this, well I was served a couple of loose leaf tea cream Earl Grays at the first bed and breakfast we stayed at and I just couldn't believe how good it was. And I was always a tea drinker like but it was Tetley with a splash of milk. And I was never really coffee drinker. I do have the occasional coffee. I do like coffee as well, but mostly it's been tea. And I just have never had a tea so good. And so I asked him where he got it from. And then he got it from a little shop on the east coast of Canada. Like Mahone Bay of Nova Scotia and I went there and it was just like wall, the wall, loose leaf teas, all different blends of teas and I just didn't know about it. So I'm like, if I don't know that, then nobody knows about this. Okay, I brought a whole bunch home, and started introducing it to my friends and family and they all loved it too. And I thought, yeah, you know, maybe more people need to start drinking loose leaf tea. And I knew what the problem was. I knew why people weren't excited about loose leaf tea was because of those darn tea balls, right that you would overstuff, and they would pop out, and they'd make a mess everywhere. It was just so inconvenient.
Elaine Comeau 08:17
But is there a better solution?
Tonia Jahshan 08:19
Oh, yeah, you and I need to talk. Yeah, I have a whole catalog full of solutions. Oh, but that was my mission. I was like, okay, so I think that that's the barrier to why people aren't drinking loose leaf tea. So I, I made it my first mission to find products that would make it extremely easy to make a loose leaf cup of tea, and I did, I found them. And so I started this little business that was really just a hobby at the beginning. I would say that I always did, from the very beginning have this vision, this dream that it would become a direct selling company in about five years, you know, given how things would roll. But, you know, it just got so busy after six months that I had to actually turn I had to change it into a direct selling company almost immediately because I was pregnant again. I was doing up to 20 parties a month in just my city alone. And so we incorporated the company, brought on our first consultant in 2007. And away we went.
Elaine Tan Comeau 09:27
Incredible. Yeah, incredible. I have a question for you. How do you choose to make a direct selling model rather than saying, Hey, I found these great teas, I'm going to brand it and then sell it to retail. What made you choose one over the other?
Tonia Jahshan 09:45
Well, two very, very big reasons. One was because I was very familiar with direct sales. So at the age of 18, I discovered that you can have these parties in your house and so I remember I think my very first party was maybe a Mary Kay party. And you know, the lady came, she did our makeup and all of this stuff and I just loved that experience and you know and for hosting people I would get like perks like free products from that company. And so then I started like I was like a serial, you know, partier person I had all of them Pampered Chef, MAry Kay, Tupperware, all of them, right? Just I was just having the parties all the time. And then I found a product I really loved and I started selling for them. And it just, I knew I could see how great of an opportunity it was. You make your own hours. You really work as hard as you want, depending on what kind of income you're looking for. I loved that I could meet new people. I've met some of my closest friends through my early years in direct sales. So it just seemed like a very natural fit to me, tea and parties. So that was reason number one. Reason number two was because you know when I when Had and I got married, he owned three Subway franchises and you know getting into that world with him, retail space is extremely expensive like your rent, I was like I can't afford that. I just want to share this tea I'm not going to go open up a retail store in Hamilton, Ontario, it doesn't make sense to me. I'm going to go the direct sales model where I can like literally have thousands of people selling my tea and not have to have like a retail shop. So that is that is the reason why.
Elaine Comeau 11:38
Great reasons all of the above. Yes, retail space is crazy expensive. And I was thinking, would you, have you ever like sold the brand of Sipology into a store?
Tonia Jahshan 11:55
Nope, never. And the reason why we would never do that is because, you don't want to undercut your consultants, right? If you can, if you're selling in Vancouver and next door to you, there's a store that's selling my tea too, well, how's that fair to you, who's selling the tea getting commission? When your customers can just go pick it up at a store right, so you can't do that in direct sales? That's the reason, that's a big no, no.
Elaine Tan Comeau 12:22
Yeah, absolutely makes sense. That makes sense. So if the listener's listening right now, and she wants to know well, how do I do that? Like, what is your top three tips Tonia, for someone who, let's see if someone wants to think of they're starting their business and they don't know what they should do. They have this product and how I think people will look at you and say, Oh, I can never do that, like Tonia does Steeped Tea and Sipology and I love this new brand. And it's not for everybody. But for that one mom who's listening, would you say there's three things you need to do in order to know that you can do a direct sales model. What would those three startegies be?
Tonia Jahshan 13:16
So are you talking about like literally starting a company like mine, or becoming a sipologist? There's two different types
Elaine Comeau 13:24
We can touch on both. But let's go first one. So someone, let's say they make candy, or they want to sell clothes that they made. Yeah, I know, people who do this, both of those. And they're asking what do they - like how do they know whether to just do wholesale or to say, you know, like, I've been doing this, even with Easy Daysies when I first started, and they went straight into retail and people asked me Can you do a home party? I'm like well I've never done a home party. And so I actually I did it only for six weeks, and I had a party once a week for six weeks, and then I couldn't do it. It wasn't for me. But so that woman who's listening right now, if there was three things they had to think of, and then they could do a checklist in their head saying, okay, this not for me or Okay, I'm gonna try this out.
Tonia Jahshan 14:24
Well, it's very complicated. Now, more than ever. I mean, when we started direct, when we started this company, 14 years ago, people were still having in-home parties, right? People don't do that anymore. Even two years ago, we made a very conscious decision to completely change our company into like, our sipologists sell mostly I would say, 95% of sell through online, their online stores and through social media, whereas 14 years ago, it was all in-home parties. Well that, those days are gone. People don't do that anymore. And there are so many direct selling companies out there now. And it's a very competitive world because you have to have the right comp plan. You have to have the right, you know, host program for your hosts, you have to have the right trip incentive for your people. It is the most complicated business model, I would say out there. That is one thing that Jim and Dave, specifically Dave always says. He goes, your business is the most complicated business I've ever seen in my life. And he's right because we, we have to market we have to have incentives every single month, sometimes every single week to get people to sell, right. So if I were to give any advice to people wanting to get into the direct selling space, you have to have a competitive comp plan. Right? You're competing with other companies who are paying 25 to 30% commission on everything that they sell. Like, so we pay out 25 to 30% commission on every bag of tea that we sell here. That's a lot, now that includes both program and the incentive trip. Right. So I think that what I see a lot of direct selling companies doing now like especially the newer ones are going into a, like a referral program. You know, like, you know what I mean? Like, it's not it's a direct selling direct sales model, but it's more of a referral program. So they're not inundated with having to have the best comp plan or the best trip or the best host program. They've really simplified it, but we're sort of stuck.
Elaine Tan Comeau 16:54
Would it be like an ambassador program almost?
Tonia Jahshan 16:56
Yes, like an ambassador program.
Elaine Tan Comeau 16:59
Okay, yes I can absolutely see that.
Tonia Jahshan 17:01
Yeah, but we're kind of different because we're still, you know, we've been in this for 14 years. We have people that are accustomed to what we do. And I have a host program. We have an incentive program. We have a, it's complicated. So that's one, I would say go into a referral program or an ambassador program. And be as a sipologist, our most savvy sipologists, the ones that are making six figure incomes are 100% dedicated to social media they know social media like the back of their hand, they invest in their business, they invest in trainers outside of our own trainers, like that is if you're looking to make a six figure income with any direct selling company. You had better understand social media.
Elaine Comeau 17:51
I love that you said that. They invest back into their business, right?
Tonia Jahshan 17:55
They have to yeah.
Elaine Tan Comeau 17:56
That is how growth happens. It's that old saying that you need money to make money. You have to start doing that. So that is impressive and incredible. I have to ask what is your favorite tea? Is it still the Earl Grey?
Tonia Jahshan 18:15
It is. You know what it is? Because it just, it just brings me such great memories. I love the taste of it. You know, I make it into all kinds of different crazy cocktails and lattes. But I'm, really really digging our, we have this new one that came out last catalog called French Chocolate Pu'erh. Oh my God it is so good. It's like a chocolate bar. And then you add like peanut butter froth on top. What? Yeah, so if you've ever heard of powdered peanut butter? No. Oh my.
Elaine Comeau 18:49
Yes I know, I need to come and eat and drink with you. That's all I'm gonna say.
Tonia Jahshan 18:56
When we're done here, you go onto Amazon and get some powdered peanut butter. Anyways, I so we have these frothers, milk frothers and you just add like a teaspoon of powdered peanut butter to the milk and then you froth it and you have this delicious peanut butter broth for on top of your lattes, so good!
Elaine Tan Comeau 19:16
Okay, we're gonna so that right now, can we pause like oh my goodness that sounds so good, that sounds so good. I will tell you I also love your Earl Grey de la Creme and then you had a flavor of tea a long long time ago. And I loved it. I loved it so much that I bought like multiple packs have it so that if it and you don't sell it anymore, I think it was called How Ya Doin'? Do you remember that?
Tonia Jahshan 19:48
Oh, yeah. Yes I do.
Elaine Tan Comeau 19:50
It was like, so good. And you don't sell it anymore. Because I recently checked and like, noooo. I still have a bag.
Tonia Jahshan 20:00
Do you? Oh my gosh, I don't think we've had that one in at least five years.
Elaine Tan Comeau 20:05
Well, I'm gonna tell you that I still have one! Well, I'm so excited because I actually have one of your catalogs and I'm like, okay, a new favorite thing of mine is kombucha. And when you have a kit, I don't how to make it but one day offline. I'm either going to have to learn from you or you can send me a link.
Tonia Jahshan 20:31
Oh it's so easy. You know what I'll add you to our we have a kombucha, sipology kombucha page on Facebook. And we must get at least 20 new members a day and that kombucha group. It's probably our largest community outside of our tea communities that kombucha group so I'll send you a link to that should get in there.
Elaine Tan Comeau 20:53
Okay, well then I'll place my order because I have no idea how to make it but it's a very strange thing after my second pregnancy I had I couldn't drink milk anymore because the baby did not allow me to. And but I had craving for bubbly drinks. Yeah. So and I did not discover kombucha then but now I've recently fallen in love with kombucha and then I was flipping through a catalog and I could not believe that you actually have a kit to make kombucha. So sign me up, I will be on that for sure.
Elaine Tan Comeau 21:29
I know that people know, Steeped Tea and Sipology. But not everybody knows this beautiful mom and woman behind Steeped Tea and Sipology. And I had the opportunity and the honor of hearing you speak recently and you know when I was thinking of create better, this podcast and create a better family, health, business, self. I'm like oh my goodness, I need to ask Tonia to be on this podcast and you were so gracious to join me. I would love for us to talk about self care. And why why is that important? We women, moms, often we put ourselves on the back burner and, which is so wrong in so many ways. And we all have heard and know that you know the airplane says, Put your mask on first so that you could breathe and then you can help put the mask on your children or those beside you. But yet when we're not on plane, we don't remember that. We just keep going. And we keep going and I have fallen into that bad category as well of ignoring self. And I would love for you to help open the ears and hearts and minds of our wonderful listener right now who is like you know, I don't have time. I have children. I have a small business. I am have multiple jobs. I can't. And relaxing might be standing in the shower. And for me that's, that's my thinking spot sometimes. Yeah. My husband makes fun of me, he's like, why is your shower so long? It's my alone time baby! And I come up with great ideas in that shower.
Tonia Jahshan 23:19
I know right I know I need to Yeah, I think that it starts with you know, I've had a lot of time to think about this and I, you know over the years I look back and I have done a great job of taking care of myself, meaning like I would go for, you know, massages or of course pedicures or you know, like I would do that self care but what I realized is that is probably not what, what got me into trouble. What got me into trouble and I think what a lot of women deal with is this guilt that we carry around. This feeling of we don't want to say no to people, even though in our gut we know that we should have said no and we didn't. Because we don't want to hurt people's feelings or have that confrontation. I think that we've just not done a great job at taking, protecting our own emotions, protecting ourselves by saying no, or feeling guilty if I know but maybe I'm not the best mom, you know in my head or, or you know what I mean? Like there's that I think a lot of women suffer from this, but they just don't put them, they put everyone before them, their feelings before them.
Tonia Jahshan 24:42
And I've been like that my entire life, my entire life for as far back as I can remember to when I was eight. I always put everyone before me. You know, even when I wanted to say no, I didn't and I would do it anyways and it was uncomfortable. And that really is what triggered you know, my hospital stay two years ago. You know, we had an employee here who just bulldozed over me, my husband, you know, almost ruined my marriage. And I could see that there was something wrong, I could feel it there was something just wasn't right but I didn't have the courage to say anything because you know, I thought she was right everything she said was right because she had that authoritarian sort of figure right? But it was all wrong. Like it was all wrong. It almost devastated me. Personally, my marriage, my business and now I am much stronger for it. Now I can say no more easily. I still struggle a little bit with that. But I can see clearly the warning signs of a situation that could get me into an emotional trouble. Yeah, you actually had a similar story. I remember listening to you on the Mompreneur, remember when we had we were doing the RevolutionHer conference and you had a story of how you trusted somebody overseas right? To take your product. Oh, absolutely. And you probably had that gut feeling that something wasn't right. But you did it anyways.
Elaine Tan Comeau 26:34
Yeah. Right. And you know, and it's hard. And it's funny Tonia, you know, listening to you. I'm like, Yes, fully, fully understand. And I always joke, like, actually, just recently, I mean, I shouldn't label myself but I call myself a recovering people pleaser.
Tonia Jahshan 26:53
Yes, people pleaser!
Elaine Tan Comeau 26:55
Right, and it's not like we stop wanting to say yes or be there for people. And even though your gut's saying don't do it don't, they're using you or they're taking advantage. So I say I'm a recovering people pleaser because it's always there. But I have to consciously stop myself and make a smart choice to not to say No, thank you. And you know, say no, don't say thank you don't say sorry just say no. And I still can't just say no, I still throw in a little clause of thank you for that opportunity. I know. This one man at this conference, who was the keynote, he challenged me he goes I want you to say no three times to anybody today. And you say no, nothing else. Don't say sorry. Don't explain it. And I struggled like someone who said, Hey, can you follow me on Instagram? And I had to say no. Like who says that? Yeah. So I'm like I'm so sorry he's making me say no.
Tonia Jahshan 28:00
It's his fault!
Elaine Comeau 28:03
Yes, like if I could put it on a T-shirt like I have to say no, I'm so sorry. Like, right then I could say no, that just point like.
Tonia Jahshan 28:11
Yeah, oh my God see we both suffer from the same thing and we're recovering. And we're not alone. I would say a lot of us out there. There are a lot of us out there and that's where we get in trouble. So that is what I want. What I actually classify as care of yourself now. Yeah, you can go, I meditate at night and I write in my journal and I do a lot of the work that I learned at the hospital. But more importantly, it is taking, it is saying no, it is saying when I don't feel like something is right. I'm gonna say no. And that's, that's a hard thing to do. And you know?
Elaine Tan Comeau 29:00
It is. And you know what? Yeah. Like, over my last few years too I've learned some big lessons and, and one of those, well two I want to mention is, you know, I've learned to put my time and energy where my heart is. That it is okay to say no, that we want to live a life by design and not by default. And, not being led by everybody else who carries our life. It should be us making those choices, right. And actually it was a book that was my first book I read during stroke rehab when I had my stroke. It's called Essentialism. Incredible book if Tonia if you have time, I highly recommend it. And actually that's where I got that quote from to live a life by design, not by default, so that less is better. And just to have that control, so that you can spend time doing what is most important. Yeah. The things that you want to be remembered for. And you know, and now when I speak on stages I share about how it's important to master the art of single tasking. I'm not saying all the time and multitasking is so glorified there in social media, you see women juggling diapers and laptops and a baby don't drop the baby though.
Tonia Jahshan 30:24
Elaine Tan Comeau 30:25
But learning to single task and so when I had this stroke, and I lost the left side, I couldn't do things I normally did. And it was so embarrassing. I cried all the time. And but yeah, just like our kids, they won't remember the times we multitask, right? But they will remember the times we single tasked and did one on one things with them and you know, and it is those moments that we we want to live for, because those are the special moments that life is made out of. And so, you know, when I was listening to you, you had me in tears too. And, you know, like, if you, this wonderful person who's listening right now, whether you're a mom or not a mom, man or woman, you need to take care of yourself. In fact, right now I challenge you to say no, yeah, just say no to the next person who asks you something, say no, you can say No, thank you. But say No. And, and be so proud of yourself. You know, they will respect you. Yeah, they will respect you. And if they don't, you don't want to work with them or, or they need to respect you. And, it's a huge learning lesson, I think Tonia and I, it's a work in progress, right? It's not like we automatically say No, it is still tough.
Tonia Jahshan 32:07
Elaine Tan Comeau 32:10
Can I ask like you have such this incredible story. How did you know when you needed to ask for help? Because that's another one, right? We can't say no, we don't know how to ask for help.
Tonia Jahshan 32:25
Oh, well, you know what, like that when I so, yeah, two years ago I was just not, like I was not in a good place at all I was no I even like same person I was just doing bad things, you know, I was having really bad thoughts and I was just not present at all and to the point where my body just kind of shut down really. So I had to ask for help. It was either I was going to go down the tubes or I was going to get better and I I just wanted to get better for my family and my husband right. And I remember the first week that I was in the hospital. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain committed suicide, like literally the same day. Two gone in that one day, and I had only been in the hospital for three days and I was like, Wow, now that was Yeah, that was an eye opener for me. And I thought okay, I'm where I need to be right now. And thank God I didn't fall into that trap. Right? Because I always say now silence is a trap. You know, you are not talking about your issues. If you are that deep in trouble and you're not talking about it. They clearly didn't, right. They they did not seek the help that they really needed, you know that's what's going to happen. Right. And we're going to see a lot more of that, unfortunately right now, especially with COVID and the anxiety. And the stress that people are under it, it's just it's, it is going to be a pandemic, all on its own. Mental health is going to be a very, very big issue. It already is. And it's going to get worse.
Elaine Tan Comeau 34:26
Yes and my heart goes out to people who are not already in not only already in isolation, but it just amplifies that isolation if that individual is already feeling so deeply alone.
Tonia Jahshan 34:48
Yeah, hopeless and, and alone and, you know, maybe losing their house may be losing their job, their business, like there's a lot going on in the world that is going to be really hard to get through. But I think that what people need to understand because I was there two years ago, like I almost lost my business, I almost lost my husband. You, there is, I'm proof that there is another side to it right? It's hard. It was hard for two years, I won't lie. I mean we had to really work hard to get this business back up and running. We had to work hard at you know, building that trust again, between Hatem and I, and it wasn't easy, but it can be done. And I asked for help. And I won't stop. You know, I have a therapist I talk to on a regular basis. Yeah, so there's, it's not hopeless. It will get better. It's going to be painful. But it will get better. The alternative is, you know, you're not here. That's not a really great alternative, right?
Elaine Tan Comeau 35:54
No, no, I just want to hug you!
Tonia Jahshan 35:59
I want to hug you too!
Elaine Tan Comeau 36:01
Oh my goodness, I there's so many things I want to talk to you about. But I know that this podcast is supposed to be short and sweet for our wonderful, awesome listener. And, you know, I want to like there's so many things I want to talk to you about Dragons' Den, I want to talk to you about, you know, parenting, so many things. And I mean, I would be honored to have you again, and we just like have real tea together because I was so looking forward to having tea with you! And I know, I'm so grateful for you.
Tonia Jahshan 36:32
Are you going to come to Toronto anytime soon do you think?
Elaine Tan Comeau 36:35
I was supposed to be there in March? Well, and I still have like, I have like four plane tickets that I could not get money back. COVID because I supposed to fly to all these different places. So yes, I come up to Toronto to Ontario often, so I will let you know. And then you can teach me how to make kombucha.
Tonia Jahshan 36:54
But when you do that, yeah, when you do come this way we'll get together and it doesn't matter when, it could be a year from now it could be six months from now who cares?
Elaine Tan Comeau 37:05
I just realized we're both wearing jean jackets.
Tonia Jahshan 37:07
Oh God I live in my jean jacket. I love it.
Elaine Tan Comeau 37:12
I am just so grateful for you because you know today like Tonia is amazing like she is a giver. You are a giver and she is so busy and she has so much going on. This is how crazy we both are, today is her wedding anniversary. And here she is talking to me. Today is also my my son's grade eight graduation which is right after this podcast.
Tonia Jahshan 37:39
Elaine Tan Comeau 37:40
And we were both I think she might be in her office. I just ran back home to this home office from the warehouse. Because we love to lift up other women and I just feel so blessed to know you Tonia and I can't wait to to know you better and, I'm just seeing this seed of friendship just blooming. And I want to ask.
Tonia Jahshan 38:08
Yeah, I agree.
Elaine Tan Comeau 38:09
Before I let you go, four things. Okay. So if you could think in your mind very quick answers to these, I'm you asking for a one word of advice, a tip for each of those four subjects of create better family, create better health, create a better business and create a better self. Okay, these are deep, but fast so it's like just off the top of your head because why not?
Tonia Jahshan 38:38
I will try. Okay.
Elaine Tan Comeau 38:41
You thought I was going to ask easy questions right, like what's your favorite tea? What's your favorite color? Nah. You can add that at the end if you must. Okay, ready? Okay, number one. Just off the top of your head for create better family.
Tonia Jahshan 39:00
Take less time, put your phone away when you get home from work.
Elaine Tan Comeau 39:05
Wow, okay, I'm applauding that.
Tonia Jahshan 39:07
It's a hard one!
Elaine Tan Comeau 39:07
See, that is a toughy. But so true. And you know, I heard someone I can't remember who was telling me and she was telling me a story of the five year old coming home, her daughter and her daughter said, it was like just excited to tell about her school day, right and saying, Oh, I did this. And I played that. And then I made, I painted today. And then just she said, mommy and her mom's like scrolling on the phone. She's like, mm-hmm, just nodding. And she's like, mommy, and then she grabbed her mommy's face and said, Mommy, listen to me with all of your face. So true. Yeah. I love that tip. Thank you. Okay, create better health.
Tonia Jahshan 39:50
Umm just say no. [laughter] You know, trust your gut, trust your gut. And just say no.
Elaine Tan Comeau 40:00
Trust your gut. Absolutely. And you know, and Jim Treliving always says that right? Go with your gut, heart with your people. And your brain with money and, and I failed at that one distributor opportunity in France. My gut said don't do it, don't do it. Don't do it. But my heart's like, Oh my goodness, he's sending me email pictures of his four year old son. And you know, I've sent chocolate to his son and I think he has a son. And my gut said, don't do it. And then I did it anyways, and it was a very expensive mistake. Okay, tip number three for create better business.
Tonia Jahshan 40:47
Surround yourself with really great people. That's not always easy either. But you'll find them, you'll weed out the bad ones and you'll you'll end up with the good ones. But I would say one of my philosophies is hire slow fire fast right? You probably heard that one. And sometimes I haven't done that. And that's bit me hard in the butt. So hire slow fire fast.
Elaine Tan Comeau 41:15
Love that one. Hire slow fire fast, right? Yeah. I can relate. Okay, last one. How do we miss Tonia, create better self?
Tonia Jahshan 41:34
How do we create better self? Ah, that's, I don't know what you mean by create better self?
Elaine Tan Comeau 41:42
I guess maybe aside from saying no, that's a really good one but that's really great for health, create better self. Whatever you interpret that to be I'm not going to guide you to any direction.
Tonia Jahshan 41:54
You might have stumped me on this one because that sounds very similar to how to create a better what was the other one, health Yeah. How to create a better self just be you know what, be a good person be kind. Yes! Be empathetic right I could find it yeah be kind stop[ being so negative all the time I hate people that are negative like it just it's especially right now people are so unkind you know yelling at people at grocery stores beacuse they didn't go right way on the arrows or you know judging people for things that they believe in and not believe in like it's just yeah, just be kind, that's a better self.
Elaine Tan Comeau 42:47
Be kind oh my goodness, I love you even more. Aww, when I used to be an elementary school teacher and I'd say in the beginning of the school year, if I teach you nothing at all, but to be kind this year. I'll be so happy. Yeah, this is enough. There's enough mean people out there and it takes a really, really, really strong person to be kind. Yes, it's so easy to not be kind.
Tonia Jahshan 43:10
Totally we all have our moments where we're probably not the most kind, but we're a kind person. But, in general, if you're just if you have that philosophy in your mind that just always think about what might be happening to that person that you're talking to, that you want to be unkind to. Maybe they're having a bad day or you don't know what's happening in their life. Right. You don't know their circumstances.
Elaine Tan Comeau 43:34
Oh that's so true. Everybody has a story, right? Yeah. And, you know, I, when I was a school teacher and such, I loved being a school teacher, and I'd fall in love with my class every year. And you know, and the tough ones, the tough kids, whether they weren't in my class or they were in my class. They had a lot of baggage. They had a lot going on. And, you know, my heart would just go to them. The tougher that child was and the meaner they were. My heart just felt so full for them because I'm not saying it's an excuse to misbehave or hurt somebody should never hurt somebody. But there's something going on.
Tonia Jahshan 44:16
There's something going on for sure.
Elaine Tan Comeau 44:19
Right. It's just like you see someone in a rant you just wanna go up and hug them. You can't hug them now, but. Okay well you are amazing. And Tonia, I am so grateful for you. If people wanted to find you and contact you, where would they go?
Tonia Jahshan 44:36
Well, I'm all over social media. So you can follow me on Instagram at @toniajahshan and follow me at Facebook at @toniajahshan, LinkedIn, Tonia Jahshan, you can go to our website Sipology.com if you want to order tea and products. So yeah, lots of ways to find, I am a very easy person to find let's put it that way.
Elaine Tan Comeau 44:58
Excellent. Well, I will have all of that in our show notes. And something we're doing new is we're gonna have a little snippet on YouTube as well. And so I will actually let you know Tonia when that comes all available and I'm just so honored and so grateful for your time. Happy anniversary and huge hugs to you. I cannot wait to make kombucha with you. Yeah, and I'm just like, what is this powdered peanut butter? Hello? Can I lick it like off the pack?
Tonia Jahshan 45:31
Oh my gosh, put it in your smoothies. Like it's so good. It's lower in calories and than real like than regular peanut butter. So versatile. Yeah.
Elaine Tan Comeau 45:40
Oh my goodness. Okay, there was one tea from Sipology that you were telling people that they should try. And hello, I just learned that you don't just drink tea. You can like put it like as an ice tea with like, yeah, soda water and make this awesome cocktail. Oh my goodness. I cannot wait. So what is that one tea that we should all go and order right now.
Tonia Jahshan 46:01
Oh gosh, that's a hard one. Oh man. Um, well because we're heading into the summer I would say that order one of my favorite fruit teas is papaya sangria and just ice it, make it into an iced tea. Iced tea so easy and you know, we have all of our Facebook, all of our social media, you can easily Google how to make iced tea from us. It's so easy, like within 10 minutes, you have an amazing pitcher of fresh, delicious, unsweetened iced tea. If you want to sweeten it, you can but it's up to you.
Elaine Tan Comeau 46:38
Yum, yum and yum, you had me like I, you had me when I saw you pour like soda water or something into the tea. I'm like, I need to have that right now. But thank you. Thank you. You are wonderful. And I'm so grateful for you and our listener. I'm so grateful for you and Tonia and I are so excited that you were able to join us at my kitchen table to have this talk. And I know that I learned something from Tonia. It's way too many things that, and plus I'm really thirsty now. But I just want to say thank you. Thank you for joining us and we look forward to having you join us at Elaine's Kitchen Table again so bye for now and we'll talk soon! Bye!
Tonia Jahshan 47:28
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