Tonia Jahshan: Award-winning founder of Sipology by Steeped Tea


Spring 2024

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Tonia Jahshan is the founder of Sipology, a keynote speaker, entrepreneur and business innovator.

Her first cup of loose-leaf Earl Grey de la Crème tea during a trip to Nova Scotia brought on the idea to develop Sipology.

Tonia’s hard work and accomplishments have been recognized in a variety of ways, including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Award, as well as being noted by Forbes in their “Women to Watch,” among other honours. 

As a successful entrepreneur (founding Sipology by Steeped Tea, and even appearing on Dragon’s Den) – to being a keynote speaker who inspires and helps others – what do you feel has been the largest obstacles you have had to overcome?

The most significant challenges I’ve faced in my business journey include battling imposter syndrome. There are days when self-doubt creeps in, making me question my suitability for this path and whether others perceive me as competent. To overcome these moments, I consciously reflect on what we’ve accomplished and remind myself, “Wow, you’ve achieved all of this.”

Another obstacle I’ve had to confront was my naivety. I used to believe that everyone had good intentions and that no one would intentionally harm me or my business. However, numerous experiences have shown me that not everyone operates with kindness; there are often wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Furthermore, neglecting my mental health almost led to my downfall in 2018. The most daunting hurdle during that time was my shame and fear of admitting that I needed help.

When entrepreneurs are looking to scale up their business and take the next step for their company – what are some key factors they should consider?

Scaling a business is a complex and exciting journey that requires careful planning, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from both successes and failures – we’ve learned so much from both. There are many things that you need to think about for scaling- my top two would be streamlining operations that are essential for scaling. Entrepreneurs should evaluate their existing processes, identify bottlenecks, and implement improvements to ensure efficiency. Automation and technology can also play a crucial role in optimizing operations.

Second, ensure that your business infrastructure, including technology, facilities, and supply chain, can handle the increased demands that come with scaling. Scalability should be built into the core of your operations.

Passion, purpose and perseverance are key elements in your work – can you speak more about the value and implementation of this?

Passion is the driving force that propels you out of bed each morning and into your business. Without it, your endeavor can easily devolve into a mundane job that breeds discontent. Your business should inspire your life with purpose, and the definition of purpose varies among individuals. Personally, my purpose lies in delivering exceptionally high-quality and health-conscious products to my customers while also championing mental health initiatives.

Perseverance is the unwavering resolve that guides you through the inevitable challenges that arise. In business, difficult times are not a question of “if” but “when.” It’s your enduring determination that sees you through these trials and keeps your enterprise moving forward.

What are you excited about next? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’m thrilled to share our enthusiasm for the continued expansion of our business. Our journey involves a close partnership with regulatory authorities such as Health Canada and the FDA, enabling us to maintain the highest standards of quality and compliance. This collaboration empowers us to explore innovative avenues and consistently introduce new and captivating products to meet the evolving needs and preferences of our valued customers.

Personally, I’m looking forward to spending more quality time with my three children and husband traveling the world.

Stephanie Hawkins | Contributing Writer

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