why did you start i heart keenwah? i started it because i thought we had a great idea and i was curious to see how far we could take it. i knew that seeing a real package on the shelf would give me such a sense of satisfaction. but once i started working on the product with the team, i fell in love. now i work on i heart keenwah because i am truly passionate about building the business and bringing keenwah to more mouths everywhere.
so how often do you really eat quinoa? well this is embarrassing. to be honest, i don't exactly eat quinoa at every meal. but i do eat "keenwah" all the time! i mean, let's get real, if you're a novice in the kitchen with two small children like i am, figuring out how to cook perfectly fluffy quinoa doesn't bubble to the top of the list of things to do very often. but eating i heart keenwah helps me get quinoa, which i know is a superfood, into my diet without much effort.
favorite food indulgence (you know, during your off-time when you are not preaching the gospel of quinoa)? my favorite indulgence would have to be beer. i love tasting at the many chicago breweries, and opening up the taps at home after a long hard day of selling keenwah.
how do you juggle being a mom and an entrepreneur? most importantly i have a very supportive husband who's been incredibly patient, helping often to watch the kids and to provide moral support. but actually being an entrepreneur is more forgiving for working parents than a lot of careers. being my own boss i have the ultimate flexibility: i can stay home when the kids are sick or chaperone filed trips, and still get done what i need to in the evenings after kiddos are snug in bed. it's still a wild ride, but its the best one i could be on right now.
what is your favorite thing about chicago? i find chicago to be vast and diverse, without being overwhelming. i can get every kind of cuisine, see the obscure bands i like, and ride my bike around industrial areas, by affluent houses, or along the beautiful lakefront. but somehow it all seems manageable: the people are nice, i don't get lost, and i can afford to live here.
what is your typical day like? what i like best about my day is the variety. there's a portion that's for family (getting the kids ready for school, cooking dinner) and a portion that's professional. i am diligent about giving i heart keenwah my all whenever i'm not with my family. i do everything from operations (e.g. scheduling deliveries) to inventory management (ordering raw materials and working on the production schedule) to strategy (what our next products should be) to marketing (thinking of creative ways to make sure our product is moving) and beyond. the diversity keeps me challenged and satisfied.
what's your favorite tv show? what's tv?
best travel experience? my honeymoon in laos and cambodia. we swam in waterfalls with elephants, we crashed a scooter looking for a buddha park, we traipsed through forgotten temples. and all of it in the blissful post wedding bubble.
what's your favorite keenwah flavor and why? ginger peanut is my favorite. i've lived and traveled in asia, which might be why ginger has always had a special place in my heart. the combination of sweet and spicy is phenomenal; it's a great palette cleanser and a perfect healthy dessert replacement.