Beginning March 17th (Buy Women Owned Day), Sitti is elevating the stories of women-owned businesses through our ongoing blog series titled, “Own Your [Business] Story.” Throughout the past year, we’ve recognized (and experienced first hand) the hurdles for small businesses to pivot and push forward through the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges that have come with it. Through it all, these businesses have shown determination, grace, and resilience. In this series, we get up close and personal with some incredible women so you can hear more about their business stories: what (or who) inspired them to start their brand, what are the challenges they’ve met along their journey and what keeps them going.
Yasaman Haj-shafiei is the owner of Jing Well, an Ontario-based brand that is bringing the healing power of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into the mainstream health and wellness arena. (We’re eyeing the Jing Well Fit~ Sha to help improve circulation in the face and throughout the body!) Learn more about Yasaman’s growth mindset and Jing Well as we get up close and personal.*
Q - How did you start Jing Well and what is the mission behind it?
I realized the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a natural and ancient form of healing through my husband who has a TCM background. I wanted to bring these healing powers of TCM to the mainstream world.
We launched our first product in December 2019. It was our Stress-less powder, which is a Health Canada-approved organic powder to help bring calmness during stressful times.
Our mission is to bring the healing powers of Traditional Chinese Medicine into the mainstream, in a way that is accessible, by making it easier to understand and compatible with our everyday realities and schedules.
Q - What do customers love about your products?
Our customers love the community they are in with us - learning all about Traditional Chinese Medicine and how they can incorporate its healing regimes into their everyday lives in addition to using our products.
Being a minority and female founder wearing a hijab in the wellness industry, I recognize my religion is more "in people's faces" compared to others. Pre-COVID times, I was often the only person of my community at pop-up events and trade shows. There was a subtle feeling of other people (booths) attracting more attention. However, I believe that my inclusion in the wellness industry is essential and necessary. By the simple fact of existing in this industry, I’m creating change and hopefully paving a path for others.
Q - How did your company celebrate International Women's Day (or Month)?
We were part of WAXBOX that showcased 15 incredible food and beverage products made by Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ2A+, and Women of Colour founders of Canada.
Q - What is a recent exciting success?
This past Boxing Day, we teamed up with another fellow BIPOC woman founder, Zehra Allibhai, to develop a multi-functional Gua~Sha, our Fit~Sha, which brings the uses of the Gua Sha beyond the face and to the body to relieve muscle aches and tension after a workout (hence "fit" for fitness). Witnessing this collaboration received so incredibly well has demonstrated to us just how strong and supportive our communities have become. We are inspired to continue this journey.
Q - What other women-owned social enterprises do you admire? Why? *
There is a nonprofit organization called MUSLIM WOMENS BALL LEAGUE, where they're dedicating to uniting Muslim women to play basketball and providing the means for them to do so. I admire them because I think it's key to create space for young Muslim girls to have the right resources to reach their dreams. Growing up, sports was a big part of my life, so I definitely feel the importance.
Q - What is the best advice you have for women-led small businesses?
Be ready to adapt to change and maintain a growth mindset ALWAYS.
DISCOUNT ALERT! Use code “SITTI15” for a 15 percent discount on anything from the Jing Well store!
*This interview has been edited for purposes of brevity and clarity.