4 Ways to Make Wellness Essential From Saje’s Chief Product & Creative Officer
Kiara LeBlanc shares how her whole team maintains a sense of balance every day—the natural way—at Saje.
It’s an exciting day for Saje! We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that our Chief Product & Creative Officer, Kiara LeBlanc, has been named a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 ® for 2018.
Being a young business leader at a wellness brand means work weeks filled with everything from team meetings, product development and store design to innovation, research and strategy development. For Kiara, maintaining her wellness means maintaining a balanced life: one filled with as much celebration as task management. This sense of balance is also the essence of how she’s choosing to lead her team and support the success of the family business.
Want to add more wellness to your day, at work and in life? Here’s how Kiara manages to stay well while also managing to stay on top of her creative game.
1. Listen to your body
I feel like this is something we all hear a lot: listen to your body. But a lot of us—myself included—have tried to ignore the signals our body sends us. About five years ago, I thought I didn’t have time for the intense stomach pain and lack of energy I was feeling. I learned the hard way that if you don’t listen to your body’s signals, your body will turn up the volume until you can no longer ignore them.
At that time, I kept on working, thinking that I would be letting my team down, and letting the business down if I took time to listen to my body. After a tough performance conversation with our CEO (who is also my mum), I could no longer avoid the fact that my work was suffering because my health was suffering.
When your wellness is not at 100%, you can’t operate at your best, and you therefore won’t be serving the needs of anyone (yourself, your family or your business). You can’t give what you don’t have, just like you can’t give wellness you don’t have.
Find your wellness thing: is it sleep? Is it meditation? Is it meal prepping? For me, it's creating a baseline for my body by using probiotics and Peppermint Halo every day. No matter what method you choose to recharge, honour it and make time for it. A real, well-rounded balance sheet would list your health as an asset: treat it like one, because the gains are undeniable.
2. Find your people
I feel blessed to work with family, but I don’t mean that we are a family business because a mother, father and daughter work in the same organization. We are a family business because of how we all treat one another. I know that we are here to get a job done, but when we choose to get it done by lifting each other up, seeing the best in one another and being really authentic with who we are, we make connections that can last a lifetime.
Finding your people in the professional role you choose should be just as important as the people you choose in your personal life. We wouldn’t choose to spend 40 hours a week with a partner or friend who didn’t inspire or elevate us, yet sometimes we settle professionally.
Working in a corporate culture that aligns with your personal culture is one of the most powerful keys to a career of happiness and #joblove. Make sure to interview the business you’re considering joining or partnering with just as much as they are interviewing you: you’re making a big decision. When you surround yourself with people who fill your cup, you discover a version of your “best life” you might not have realized was possible.
3. Get serious about celebration
“What you put your attention on grows, what you celebrate grows exponentially” is a core belief at Saje. None of us would be here if it wasn’t for the power of celebration. No matter how tough things got over the last 25 years, our founders celebrated every single little win. If ten things go wrong in a day and one goes right, make time to celebrate the one thing. It doesn’t mean you don’t solve for the ten other things, but it’s really easy to put all of your attention on what needs to be fixed and lose sight of the wins.
The way we spend the first minute after we wake up sets the tone for our day: start celebrating there and it will pay dividends. Celebrate that you’re fortunate enough to own the iPhone that woke you up, celebrate the kindness of the human (or animal) sleeping next to you, celebrate that there is food in your fridge. It doesn’t matter what you pick; what matters is setting the foundation of your day.
From there, share it. Pick the up the phone, send a text, write a card—it will blow your mind how something seemingly so small (like celebrating a fellow team member or friend) will deepen and strengthen your relationships. Nothing improves wellness like strong relationships.
4. Make Natural Choices
We are exposed to over 200 synthetics every day we spend in the urban world. Much of this exposure isn’t by choice, so when you have the choice, be kind to your body and choose ingredients that build you up with side benefits, not tear you down with side effects.
What we’ve learned throughout the years is that synthetic ingredients in personal care products may be doing us harm that we don’t even understand yet. Harsh chemicals, petroleum byproducts, or anything synthetic isn’t needed: there are natural options.
Natural deodorant is a huge one for me. We’ve all heard that aluminum-based antiperspirants are harmful, especially for women, but there is a stigma about natural deodorants not working. It’s true, they don’t work overnight and that is normal. First, your body has to get rid of the toxins that should have been leaving your body the whole time that you’ve been using antiperspirants.
When you make the switch, carry one of our 100% natural deodorants with you for the first couple weeks and reapply as needed. It’s a small inconvenience for having happy and clear pores in such a sensitive and vulnerable area.
Putting wellness first is a success strategy that has helped Kiara and the entire Saje team not just survive in a fast-moving marketplace, but thrive. Celebrating Kiara for all that she does to champion wellness in the workplace, in the Saje product lines and in the community. Cheers!