INTRO PARAGRAPH

Introduce yourself, what you do and summary of successes 

I am the Managing Director of Nutriseed and the Health Food Emporium and I am often described as a considerate disrupter who likes to challenge conventions. Being in the business of health – I believe in clean living. This includes more than just what I consume physically, but the content I fill my mind with and how I spend my time. I value purity and this is a virtue that I cultivate in my personal life and the products (food) I develop. I am a passionate, high-energy individual and believe in trusting my intuition and normally have good instincts. Despite my convictions – I will never force my aspirations for healthy living on others – believing in a more subtle approach that’s all about suggestion and the promise of delicious alternatives. More than all that – I am a mother and have the privilege of raising a beautiful son. Despite my business ambitions – family means everything to me and I have designed my life in such a way that my career enhances my life rather than takes from it.  My life is a rich, full multifaceted tapestry and I count my many blessings every day.

What is your SPICE4LIFE? That thing that gets you up in the mornings?

I have three core drivers that are the spice of my life and that would include caring and providing for my son Ethan, my relationship with God, and my deep desire and drive to help influence how people eat – so that they can be the best version of themselves.

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CELEBRATING WOMANHOOD

To me celebrating womanhood means

Celebrating who we are means never apologising for being a woman. Too many women still try and emulate men in the workplace – assuming aggressive leadership styles and ignoring their innate God-given wisdom. As woman at work we need to embrace our female virtues – tapping into them as strengths rather than seeing them as weaknesses to be changed. To chameleon and become someone you aren’t is not healthy and it’s not sustainable. 

I believe we need to do this by

Be your authentic self. We need to shift how we think about our emotions and embrace them so that we lead with energy, empathy and intuition. We have qualities that men seldom bring to the equation and that puts us in a unique position of strength. We are naturally better at nurturing and fostering relationships, more patient, good listeners, and morale builders, change makers who inspire and create … the list is endless. So why apologise for an impressive CV of [feminine] traits? Instead own your strengths, lead with passion, walk with confidence and be you. 

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

I have a predominantly female team and we are committed to each other and our mutual success. I love the sentiment that a victory for one woman means a step in the right direction for all women. With this as the bedrock of how we operate in our business, we go to weekly counselling as a team. This has and continues to solidify our bond and we have built a strong team that works well together because of our honesty and transparency and ability to be vulnerable with each other. 

For Women’s Day, celebrating equality and access for women, what is the most important message you want to send out?

Women are fantastic business leaders but they need to believe and have confidence in the fact that they can run homes and successful businesses. We can do it all. We are naturally creative beings – so create the life you want and don’t let fear hold you back from realizing your true potential and living the dream. 

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ON A PROFESSIONAL NOTE

I am …….and do…….in the ……industry 

I am a serial innovator and entrepreneur. I run Nutriseed – ahealth and wellness food company producing high quality snacks, baking products and cereals, rich in nutrients, protein, and low in carbs. Gluten-free goodness that’s the very definition of deliciousness and convenience. We provide an alternative way of eating for those who are inspired by clean living. This naturally led to the establishment of The Health Food Emporium – an outlet where we sell all our Nutriseed products direct to the public – plus a wide range of functional foods.  From nuts and seeds, to Kefir, Kombucha, grains, pulses, honey on tap and more – all at wholesale prices. The third and rapidly growing pillar of our business is private label development and manufacture for a wide range of leading supermarkets. 

My dream job, as a kid, was … because …

The glamour of being a model always appealed to me but I have instead become a role model for healthy living. This title carries a far greater responsibility – plus the reward of knowing I am changing people’s lives with my products. 

I define success as follows…

Going beyond self and living a life of significance. In my case this means being able to provide for my family; influencing the lives of others through our health centric products; and supporting our community through meaningful outreach programmes. 

How hard is it to make it to the top?

It doesn’t have to be hard. If you are following your passion and focuss on that rather than trying to succeed – you will naturally make it. Your reason for doing it is what will ultimately determine your climb to success. Do it for the wrong reasons and it will fail! 

How does one create a supportive environment at home to support your ultimate professional success?

You need to surround yourself with like-minded people who have your back and are flexible. I have an incredible support system at home – from my helper to my parents – there’s always someone stepping in when I can’t. Ethan is surrounded my love and I never have concerns for his wellbeing which gives me the freedom to create and operate at my best when I am at the office. 

What are the trade-offs that I will need to make? Is it all worth it? 

I have not had to make any trade-offs – that’s not part of my story.  I have purposefully structured my life so that I can be mom and business leader – one is not at the exclusion of the other. Having my own business has given me more flexibility and I can still make the soccer matches and cricket games. I am definitely living my dream. 

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ON A PERSONAL NOTE

The best decision I have ever made was…

Firstly leaving a high paying job in sales to follow my dream … and then when things got tough and everyone wanted to throw in the towel and quit on the business – I decided to stay and fight.  This fight has been a richly rewarding journey that has shaped who I am today and as a business we are stronger than ever before. It’s true I am fearless and a risk taker with a can-do attitude but I always had faith and trusted that we would succeed.  

My best ‘switch off’ strategy is… 

Outside the kitchen where I like to develop and play, my creativity is further expressed through dance. I love Latin American dancing and this spirits me away and takes my mind off challenges and fills my happiness tank.  Boxing three times a week is another release that gives me an endorphin rush and switches my mind off so that I return energised, refreshed and ready for more. 

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WHAT INSPIRES ME

The leadership qualities I most admire are…

I believe you have to lead from within a team – not from the top. We are a very flat organisation and we all get down and dirty to make things happen. No one is above packing boxes if that’s what’s called for. This builds genuine commitment from a team and a sense of ownership. It’s what I believe creates longevity in a business. 

The woman that inspires me is … because …

My mom. She taught me that you can be graceful but strong. 

My life’s motto is…

Have faith and give grace.

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A MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN

I think the most significant barrier to female leadership is…

Confidence, a willingness to go after the impossible and a belief that you can do it is critical to successful leadership. On the flip side – a lack of this is a significant barrier to becoming a successful leader.

The biggest challenge for the generation of women behind me will be…

Hopefully their success will be measured by achievement, not gender, but either way – I think just like our generation – women who choose to have families will always have to overcome the challenge of work life balance. The demands of work and family can be overwhelming particularly as we the world of work gets increasingly competitive and demanding. 

My top three tips for women are…

Dress the part. Walk tall and carry yourself with confidence. Learn how to read a room – because EQ can be more valuable than IQ.  

What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women of your age?

Woman my age seem to be overwhelmed and stressed. When they should be living their best life they are instead allowing the social, economic and political instability of our times and country, to weigh them down. I would encourage woman to realise this is noise and outside of the locus of their control. My advice: Rather than allowing circumstances to dictate your happiness – live life – relinquish fear and spend time in prayer. Focus less on the uncertainty and more on gratitude.

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LIVING A LEGACY

My personal message to the world is…

You only have one life and your body is the vehicle through which you will experience it. So make sure you fill your tank with good fuel. Pay attention to your body – respect it and nurture every part of your being: body, mind and soul. 

….. is important to me because…

Running an ethical business and setting an example for Ethan is more than important to me; it’s an immovable principle, a deep conviction, and a non-negotiable way of operating. One day I want my son to look at my legacy and to be proud – knowing that what we built is the result of integrity and honesty. I want him to see that we never cut corners and that it’s possible to run a “righteous” business. 

I believe support/giving back to the community is important because…

We are blessed to be a blessing. 

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If you were to visit my city /and or /country, I would personally recommend that you visit/see/do … 

Definitely the Elephant Sanctuary near Hartebeesport. It’s incredible to stand alongside such a majestic, imposing creature and to feel its power and strength yet to experience it as a gentle (dirty) respectful interaction. It’s truly humbling and something you will never forget.

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www.nutriseed.co.za

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