MEET SONIA: Sonia Chhinji is one of the founding forces behind Woodlot – a Vancouver-based health, beauty and wellness company. Sonia and her partner Fouad Farraj are on a mission to create plant based products intended to inspire future generations who value clean-burning, natural products. Founded in 2014 in their kitchen, Woodlot has grown rapidly and is now stocked in over 400 boutiques, and online stores worldwide. We had the opportunity to visit their amazing office space + factory where they handmake all of the products. Through this babe and her partner’s creative touch, Woodlot has become much more than a brand and has created a movement of embracing a natural lifestyle.
What does babes supporting babes mean to you? Empowering, supporting and never judging the women in your life. We’re all in this together and we all have our own path and each path is important and unique. A quote that recently resonated with me by Maya Angelou is Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.
If you could choose your nickname, what would it be? I’m not big on nicknames, I’m your friend that opts to call you by your full name. But if I had to stick with a nickname it would be Sonz.
What is your spirit animal? Tiger
What is your proudest babe moment or achievement? We recently launched a skincare line and it was a steep learning experience but seeing the products on shelves in shops and receiving emails from women explaining how much they love adding our products to their daily ritual has been a nice feeling.
What is the most unexpected thing you have in your purse or wallet? A box of matches and bundle of Palo Santo.
Tell us about a time where you were faced with a situation that you could have been unkind, but chose to be a babe instead? I’ve learned over the years that being a babe always outweighs being unkind. I don’t believe that being unkind is an option, so in situations where I prefer to be unkind I put on my compassion hat, I meditate, I breathe and walk away from the situation.
What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren’t selling anymore? Geisha Ink Eyeliner
If you had a yacht, what would be the name of it? Olive Juice
What was the best piece of advice you received when you were first starting your career? Never give up. Learn to strike a balance between personal and professional life.
What is the best piece of advice you have received now that you are in your career? A no isn’t a no forever. Always keep doors open.
Red, white, or rose? Rose all day.
When I dance I look like…. Dance like no one's watching ;)
What is your favorite destination to visit? I love visiting one of the many Gulf Islands. We’re so lucky to be surrounded by so much natural beauty and they are not too far to get to. I also love visiting New York.
What is your favorite meal to eat? Home cooked Indian or Lebanese food
What is the most fulfilling part of your career? I get to work with smart people and create products that people enjoy and bring into their homes.
Where is your favorite place to draw inspiration from? I love jumping on my bike and riding over to Third Beach, it’s so magical to have access to the Seawall and be so close to the mountains and ocean.
What is your guilty pleasure? Nachos
What quality are you working on yourself right now? Not taking things so personally.
What is the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in business? Not taking things personally :) when you love what you’re creating and opening yourself up to criticisms, it can hurt when you hear no a few times. But I’ve learned that hearing a no is not a forever no and that timing is everything.
Coffee meeting or drinks meeting? Coffee
What is your favorite movie? Love Actually.