Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica West,  Founder of Trésor Kombucha, located in Timmins, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Trésor Kombucha is Northeastern Ontario's first kombucha brand! But we’re more than a beverage company.

We're an empowerment brand on a mission to help you empower yourself from the inside out! We do this by offering you delicious functional fermented products and mindfulness practices that bring feel-good benefits to the body and mind. Because you are your greatest treasure, and you deserve nothing less than to feel at your best.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a serial entrepreneur - Founder of Trésor Kombucha, an Empowerment Guide, an author, and a speaker. I'm also a dedicated volunteer for multiple organizations that support brain injury survivors.

In 2015, I was involved in a motor vehicle accident that had me with several fractures, lacerations, and a traumatic brain injury. The paramedics and doctors did not expect me to survive. I did, however, and one by one, I had defied the limitations placed upon me. My recovery journey lasted several years and, despite the physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges, offered me great insight and perspective.

Through it all, I learnt to harness the power of the spirit-mind-body connection, which empowered me to reach a full recovery. I put a big emphasis on a natural diet involving fermented foods, and I started fermenting my own kombucha at home. I also dove into personal development and mindset material. I have a calling to share what I've learned through my journey with the world and to offer others avenues to empower themselves.

We can all agree that when we feel good, we show up better for ourselves, our work, and those around us, and this is how I believe we can begin to heal our world.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the fact that I created my own business, something that did not seem to be in the cards for me post-injury. Post-injury, I was advised that I would like never return to work full-time. To be able to bring me from that limited state to that of running my own business and bringing our products to retail in 7 different communities is such an accomplishment.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

There will hopefully come a time in every business when it's too much for one person to handle.

Being the owner, the operator, the marketer, the sales team, the legal team, the bookkeeper, etc.

Basically, covering every role of the business yourself is hard. And doing ALL this on top of trying to be a normal person - a friend, a spouse, a parent, can really suck - to say the least. Overloading your "to-do list" can lead to poor performance on all fronts. Sure, it might be difficult financially to reason using valuable funds to outsource work that you can be doing yourself. However, before officially shutting down the idea of hiring someone, consider the amount of extra money you could potentially make when your valuable time is freed up so that you can truly show up in the most important areas of your business where you shine at your brightest.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Get clear on your WHY. Because your why, or purpose of being, is the only thing that will keep you moving forward when times get tough, and you feel like quitting - those moments will inevitably come.
  2. Don't be afraid to lose a little bit of control of your business by hiring or outsourcing some of your work - you can't build an empire on your own.
  3. Network with other business owners in your area and in your industry.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Remember, the Wright Brothers were ridiculed when they announced they were planning on making a machine that could fly in the air. Until they actually created the airplane and completely changed the transportation industry.

Don't get too worked up if others don't see your vision. Maybe you're creating something that has never been done before! As long as you 1) Know your WHY, 2) Hold Faith, and 3) Continue to take Inspired Action, you will succeed.

To quote Napoleon Hill: "Anything the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve."

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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