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Friends with businesses / badass women: Meet the Boss lady of Bär Bar

Friends with businesses / badass women: Meet the Boss lady of Bär Bar

Friends with businesses / badass women: Meet the Boss lady of Bär Bar

jasmiina_ojala.JPG

When I first started blogging back in the day, I used to have a category called “Friends with Businesses”. As the name kind of gives it away, I will trust your judgement on what the topic entails 🤓. Now, after having relocated back to my beloved motherland, I decided to resume this category (along with blogging) and today I will introduce you guys to no other, than the badass boss lady, founder of the berry snack selling, superwoman and former study friend of mine; Jasmiina Ojala. I will from here on also initiate a new category called Badass women and this post will definitely be filed under that. Why? Well, the media (and even blog posts) play a powerful part in how we see ourselves, what we think we can achieve, and what limitations we put on ourselves as well. The more women are properly portrayed, the more women will rise up in leadership and business.

Let me tell you a couple things about Jasmiina. First of all, she is extremely friendly and smart and has a cutting edge sense of sarcasm. Not only did she graduate from the Swedish School of Economics, but she also holds a Master’s degree in Law. Oh, and in addition to being the empress of her own company, BärBar, she also is Head of Marketing for St1 and what’s even more exciting, is that she just made her biggest merger agreement yet (side note: this is her joke, not mine) and got engaged 💍! Woop woop! AND, top off that, she now carries a growing berry bundle in her belly. So, to say that things are up for Jasmiina is not an understatement. Congrats on all four things!

With that much on one’s plate and with such success, you might expect someone to play superior or perhaps be pompous. Nah, not Jasmiina. She is humble, grounded and laid back. I decided to pick her brain a little bit and present this amazing human to my fellow internet scrolling audience. Before we head over to the Q&A, you might wonder what BärBar is. Simply put, it’s a health snack bar selling takeaway smoothies made out of Finnish berries. They currently have one location in the heart of Helsinki on Fredrikinkatu 30, so make sure to go check them out. There was recently actually an article in Helsingin Sanomat about the benefits of incorporating berries and lingonberries into your diet and this is Jasmiina’s mission as well. My Q&A is written in both English and Finnish, voila:

Q: Who are you? (a weird one I know, it’s just interesting to see what comes up first)

A: I am a 33 year old mama to be for a little baby girl and I live in Helsinki.

Mama to be, superwoman Jasmiina Ojala and me.

Mama to be, superwoman Jasmiina Ojala and me.

Q: What do you do for a living?

A: My day job is working with marketing for the energy company St1. I started my career as a business lawyer but decided to swop careers to marketing, which feels more like my thing.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: In addition to running my own company, I exercise a lot, go to the gym and run. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually ran 5 marathons and hopefully several more 🙂. I also love reading.

Q: What is BärBar?

A: Bär Bar is a snack bar that sells healthy and delicious snacks made out of Finnish superfoods. We make wonderful smoothie bowls (Bär Bowls), fresh porridge and smoothies made out of Finnish berries. We’ve recently added vegan oat and pulled outs sandwiches to our offerings (made out of Finnnish oats of course). Our mission is to bring Finnish superfoods into the daily lives of our customers in a fun and easy way.

Q: Where does the name BärBar come from?

A: Well, the name involved the word berry (in Swedish) and bar. In Swedish the word ‘bärbar’ means something to takeaway or carry with you. This encapsulated our idea, as we love Finnish berries and we want to provide them into the lives of everyone in an easy takeaway snack form.

Q: Is there enough time for the mom to be to work with two jobs?

A: Yes, or at least still yes. The company is co-led by me and my partner and we work on it on the side to our daytime jobs. We have a team of four lovely girls working in the shop, so we don’t spend too much time there ourselves. That being said, our aim is to grow our business and our dream would be to one day be able to employ ourselves full time.

Q: When did you decide to start your own business?

A: We made the decision together with my partner and we first started talking about it in May 2017. The first BärBar openend its doors in January 2018.

Q: What has surprised you the most becoming and being an entrepreneur?

A: It requires perseverance and that you don’t give up. It also requires being innovative and having a lot of courage way beyond what I had expected. It’s extremely challenging to find good employees and when you finally do, hold on to them as tightly as you can.

Q: Any tips to new entrepreneurs?

A: Nothing comes easy and there’s no quick fixes. If you want to become an entrepreneur, you definitely have to be more of a doer than a dreamer.

Q: Would you change anything in hindsight?

A: I would’ve been more picky with our first location (we moved from Itäkeskus to Fredrikinkatu).

Q: What have you learned?

A: SO MUCH! I’ve learned so much about brand development and marketing. I’ve also learned about customer behaviour, the logic of retail business, how to increase customer visits, the significance of location and how to grow your business and the importance of being efficient and dynamic. I’ve also learned how challenging it might be to find good employees and the value of them.

Q: Where do you see BärBar in 5 years?

A: We’ve definitely grown and have more locations than just one (including abroad) and our brand is well known and our customer experience is rock solid.

Q: What message is it that you want to convey through BärBar?

Enjoying a berry good smoothie.

Enjoying a berry good smoothie.

A: Finnish people need to cherish and appreciate more the wonderful, clean superfoods that we have here. We think it’s irrational to bring a bunch of superfoods such as goji berries, acai berries and exotic fruit, when our own forests are filled with the cleanest and most nutritious berries in the world! Globally speaking, our forests in Finland are extremely clean and the berries growing in them are off the charts! Also from a carbon footprint point of view, it’s insanity that we keep importing exotic berries and fruit pumped with a bunch of preservatives, when we instead could just benefit from our own local fresh ingredients.

Q: What’s your favorite berry?
A: I’d have to go with blueberry. I eat blueberries almost daily and I can honestly say, that I am nearly never sick and I feel healthy. This is something that has been more highlighted during my pregnancy. Many pregnancy symptoms such as vitamin deficiency and constipation are things that can be avoided by eating blueberries.

Q: What’s you’r favorite BärBar product?

A: One More Straw and the Tender Sea-Buckthorn smoothie. They are incredibly delish!

Q: Why should people eat more berries?

A: Because of their health! Berries are filled with good vitamins, fiber and dietary minerals. I guarantee that if you eat one cup of blueberries each day (all our products contain at least 2 cups of berries!) you will notice how your digestion will improve and how flues will stay away.

Q: Are there any more BärBar and Yoga events coming up? (STAY TUNED, GIVEAWAY NEXT MON)

A: YES! And perhaps even something for new mamas.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Positive feedback and the amount of loyal repeat customers that we have. People seem to like and appreciate our concept and our products and it makes me extremely content. I hope we can make people happy. It’s an important part of our concept.

Q: Favorite Instagram accounts?

A: @myberryforest - Not only is Tiina a lovely being, but she is amazingly talented in crafting tasty, vegan dishes made out of Finnish berries. Her pictures are also pretty. She’s designed many of our products and I hope we can keep working together in the future as well. Other than that, there’s not really any other favorites, I guess it’s nice to see what my friends are up to and admire beautiful nature photos.

Q: Life slogan?

A: This is a tough one. But if we have to dig a little deeper, I guess I’d had to pick one that entails the fact that dreams don’t work unless you do. The legendary Just do it from Nike is pretty good. And then perhaps one that encourages you to not to follow the mainstream, such as why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary.


Q: Share something weird about yourself?

A: I am afraid of water fountains and I like cold liver casserole (with raisins of course).

Thank you lovely Jasmiina!

Make sure to follow BärBar on instagram here. STAY TUNED, as we are hosting a GIVEAWAY next Monday for our upcoming YOGA & BärBar event later this spring in Pranama Kallio!

XX,
Eva


K: Kuka olet?

V: Helsingissä asuva 33-vuotias, tuleva pienen tyttövauvan äiti. 

K: Mitä teet työksesi?

V: Teen päivätyökseni markkinointia energiayhtö St1:ssä. Aloitin urani itse asiassa liikejuristina, mutta vaihdoin muutaman vuoden päästä alaa markkinointiin, mikä tuntui itselleni luontaisemmalta alalta.

K: Mitä teet vapaa-ajalla?

V: Oman yritystoimintamme lisäksi harrastan paljon liikuntaa, ulkona lenkkeilyä ja salia. Olenkin juossut tähän mennessä 5 maratonia ja toivottavasti vielä monta lisää :). Rakastan myös lukemista.

K: Mikä on BärBar?

V: Bär Bar on välipalabaari joka tekee terveellisiä ja herkullisia välipaloja suomalaisesta superfoodista. Teemme ihania Bär Bowleja (smoothiekulhoja), tuorepuuroja ja smoothieita suomalaisista marjoista. Nykyään meillä on myös vegaanisia nyhtökaura- ja kaurapalaleipiä - kotimaisesta kaurasta tottakai. Bär Barin missiona on tuoda suomalainen superfood helposti ja hauskasti ihmisten arkeen.


K: Mistä nimi BärBar tuli?

V: No nimi piti sisällään hauskasti niin sanan marja, baari kuin mukaan otettava/kannettava (bärbar on ruotsia ja tarkoittaa kannettavaa), mikä kiteytti ideamme, eli rakastamme suomalaisia marjoja ja haluamme tarjota niitä ihmisten elämään helposti mukaanotettavan välipalan muodossa. 


K: Riittääkö tulevalla mamalla aikaa kahdelle työlle?

V: Riittää ainakin vielä, yritys on minun ja avopuolisoni ja teemme sitä yhdessä molempien päivätöiden ohella. Itse baarissa työskentelee 4 aivan mahtavaa mimmiä, eli emme itse ole siellä päivisin töissä. Toki tavoitteenamme on kasvattaa liiketoimintaa koko ajan ja unelmissa on se että joku päivä pystymme työllistämään itsemmekin yrityksessä.


K: Koska teit päätöksen perustaa yrityksen?

V: Teimme sen yhdessä mieheni kanssa, rupesimme puhumaan yrityksestä toukokuussa 2017. Ensimmäinen Bär Bar avautui tammikuussa 2018.

K: Mikä on ollut yllättävintä yrittäjänä?

V: Se vaatii vielä enemmän pitkäjänteisyyttä periksiantamattomuutta, kekseliäisyyttä ja reippautta/pokkaa kuin olin ajatellut. Hyvien työntekijöiden löytäminen on todella haastavaa ja kun niitä löytyy niin kannattaa pitää heistä kiinni.

K: Mitä sanoisit aloitteleville yrittäjillle?

V: Mikään ei tule helpolla eikä lottovoittoja oikeastaan ole. Jos haluat yrittäjäksi niin pitää olla ehdottomasti enemmän tekijä kuin unelmoija.


K: Tekisitkö jotakin erilailla näin jälkikäteen?

V: Olisin ollut vielä tarkempi ensimmäisen pisteen lokaation kanssa (Fredan pisteeseen muutimme ensimmäisen jälkeen). 


K: Mitä olet oppinut?

V: TODELLA PALJON! Markkinoinnista ja brändin luomisesta olen oppinut älyttömästi. Samoin siitä miten kuluttajat käyttäytyy ja retail busineksen logiikasta, kuten asiakaskäyntien kasvattamisesta, lokaation merkityksestä, keskiostoksen kasvattamisesta

ja operaativisesta tehokkuudesta. Myös se miten tärkeää hyvät työntekijät on ja miten vaikeeta sellaisia on löytää.

K: Missä näet BärBarin 5 vuoden päästä?

V: Meillä on auki selkeästi enemmän pisteitä kuin yksi (myös ulkomailla) ja brändimme ja asiakaskokemuksemme on timanttinen ja tunnettu.

K: Mitä sanomaa haluat välittää/levittää BärBarin avulla?

V: Sitä että suomalaisten pitää arvostaa ja fiilistellä enemmän oman maan puhtaita superraaka-aineita. Meidän mielestä on älytöntä että raahaamme maailman toiselta puolelta tänne kaikenlaisia eksoottisia ns superfood tuotteita kuten gojimarjoja, acaimarjoja, eksoottisia hedemiä jne kun omat metsämme ovat täynnä maailman puhtaimpia ja ravintorikkaimpia marjoja! Suomen luonto on kansainvälisesti niin puhdasta, että siellä kasvavat marjat ovat aivan omaa luokkaansa. Samoin on CO2-päästöjen kannalta outoa, että rahtaamme lento- ja laivaliikenteellä tänne säilöntäaineilla pumpattuna eksoottisia marjoja ja hedelmiä kun voisimme sen sijaan hyödyntää läheltä löytyviä puhtaita raaka-aineita.


K: Mikä on lempimarjasi?

V: Kyllä se on mustikka. Syön mustikoita melkein päivittäin ja voin kyllä rehellisesti sanoa, että en ole melkein koskaan kipeä ja kaikki arvoni ja terveyteni on huippukunnossa. Tämä on korostunut erityisesti nyt ollessani raskaana! Esim monet raskausoireet kuten ummetus ja vitamiinipuutos on sellaisia joita mustikoita syömällä olen pystynyt välttämään täysin.


K: Entä lempituotteesi BärBarilla?

V: One More Straw ja Tender Tyrni smoothiet. Ne on aivan älyttömän hyvän makuisia!

K: Miksi ihmisten tulisi syödä enemmän marjoja?

V: Oman hyvinvointinsa takia! Marjoista saa älyttömästi hyviä vitamiineja, kuituja ja hivenaineita. Takaan että jos syöt vaikka 1dl mustikoita joka päivä (kaikki tuotteemme sisältävät ainakin 2 dl marjoja!) niin huomaat eron siinä miten ruoansulatus toimii ja flunssat pysyy poissa.


K: Onko BärBarilla tulossa enemmän tapahtumia (vink vink), kuulemma oli suosittu Chakra Tune Up meikäläisen kanssa?

V: On! Ainakin joogajuttuja toukokuussa ja kenties jotain tuleville äideille ;)


K: Mikä motivoi sinua/inspiroi?

V: Se miten positiivista palautetta saamme asiakkailtamme ja miten paljon kanta-asiakkaita meillä on! Ihmiset ovat tykänneet konseptistamme ja tuotteistamme ja se tekee minut aivan älyttömän iloiseksi. Toivon että pystymme tekemään

ihmiset iloiseksi. Se oli meille tosi tärkeä osa tätä konseptia.


K: Lempi ig tilit?

V: @myberryforest - Tiina on paitsi ihmisenä ihana myös aivan älyttömän taitava loihtimaan maistuvia vegaanisia tuotteita suomalaisista marjoista. Hänen kuvansa ovat myös aivan super hienoja. Hän onkin suunnitellut meille monta tuotetta ja toivon että voimme jatkaa yhteistyötä vielä tulevaisuudessa. Muuten minulla ei oikein ole mitään selkeitä suosikkeja, on vaan kiva seurata ystävien meininkiä ja ihastella vaikkapa kauniita luontokuvia.


K: Life slogan?

V: Hmmm, tämä on paha. Mutta jos vähän syvempää haetaan niin varmaankin joku mikä korostaa sitä että pitää tehdä eikä vain unelmoida. Niken legendaarinen, Just do it ? Ja sitten joku mikä korostaa sitä, ettei kannata seurata laumassa muita, mm why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary


K: Kerro jotain outoa itsestäsi (jotain mitä kukaan ei tiedä)?

V: Pelkään suihkulähteitä ja sprinklereitä. Ja tykkään kylmästä maksalaatikosta (rusinoilla tottakai!).

Kiitos ihana Jassu!


Why the F do I blog, but perhaps you should too?

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Why the F do I blog, but perhaps you should too?

Greetings dear readers,

Welcome to my world. Well, at least a glimpse of it. I started blogging (again) after a loooong break. Ever since I started writing again some people in my circle have been curious and reached out to me and asked me why the hell I blog. This actually made me stop for a second and ponder around the same question and fair enough as curiosity never killed the cat (or did it?), I decided to open up around the question; WHY THE F DO I BLOG. Ladies and gents, lemme tell ya why:

First and foremost I actually enjoy writing. It’s a way for me to express and share my thoughts, passions, interests and ideas within my community and even perhaps beyond it. It feels really really good and empowering to put it down on a piece of paper (even if it’s in a virtual form). Interestingly enough writing is actually something that runs in my family as my mama used to be a writer and worked within communication until she finally retired this year. So it’s a way to communicate with you guys (ahum, if you’re actually reading this comments are more than encouraged).

Secondly, I feel like it’s extremely therapeutic and I gain a lot of insight and clarity on how I actually think and feel about certain things or whatever it is that I am writing about, it simply helps me make sense of things. In addition to this, I feel like it’s making me commit to a practice or habit and teaches me to build discipline (self work, duh!). I also feel like it is helping me become more analytical and a better thinker as I actually really think about the stuff I put out on the world wide web (aka my brain is getting more functional 🧠).

I also feel like it is helping me grow as a person as I am putting myself and my thoughts out there and building my personal brand and showcasing my world views and passions. That being said, I often worry and think “oh my gosh will they judge me, what will they think” etc etc BUT then I just remind myself that the thing is, I’d rather be judged than do shit and actually judgement says way more about the person judging than the person being judged (boom mathafakaaaas). Oh, and did I mention it’s the bomb for marketing and SEO? Yea, so I guess you should start now too (if you’re in the biz world)! In a nutshell I gathered all my reasons here below:

  1. I enjoy it + runs in the fam

  2. I get to express myself, my views, thoughts, ideas and beliefs

  3. Great way to connect with my community and beyond

  4. It challenges me and puts me out of my comfort zone + empowers me

  5. It makes me more analytical and inspires me read and dig more into the topics that interest me or the things I wanna discuss

  6. It’s therapeutic

  7. It gives me clarity and insight about how I feel and what I think

  8. Personal brand development

  9. It’s the shit for marketing & SEO

  10. It’s making me grow as a person (self development)

If you also happen to enjoy writing, it’s perhaps time you should give it a go as well?

Vamos.

Con amor y cariño,

Evita

Up close and personal.

Up close and personal.

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Collaboration over Competition and (Comparison) + 10 reasons why to collaborate

Collaboration over Competition and (Comparison) + 10 reasons why to collaborate

Collaboration over Competition and (Comparison) + 10 reasons why to collaborate

Hear hear! I recently made a post about envy, if you didn’t give it a read, I suggest you at least eye it through to get an idea of my message. That being said, I completely understand your attention span might be below zero, so to save you some and effort and time I can briefly recap it here below in a few bullet points:

  • Don’t judge social media influencers or yoga teachers for posting pics on their feeds, they’re hustling just like you but in different way, they might feel insecure AF posting but do it to gain traction and biz. They’re simply using this channel for marketing (or at least I’d say many are).

  • Comparison is the seed for envy. Think about it. Yup, pretty darn accurate.

  • If you’re feeling envy: aim to emphasize instead of criticize. Remember errbody is a human and even if someone else’s life looks freaking glorious on the gram, EVEN they’ve had the worst raging diarrhea once (sorry not sorry I went there, lol). No, but for reals, my point is, we shall not compare as we have no idea of the whole story or their internal state. 

  • Fight the feelings of envy through cutting the wings of comparison. If you’re feeling envy, try using it as fuel towards your own dreams and always remember that, that you don’t know the reality of their (whoever you feel envy towards) lives, they might actually be in a really bad place with themselves.

K, cool, great, now that you’re all filled in on the envy part I want to take it one step further.  Collaboration over competition. Many of my friends are yoga teachers or at least work within the same field that I do. Some might argue that we’re competing with each other. The thing is though, that we all have something unique to offer, have a different vibe, our individual approach and a distinct way of teaching and we all attract a different crowd. That being said, you gotta play nice and fair and for instance being a copy cat is never cool. However, mistakes happen and one of my friends told me that she had just launched a Goddess Workshop (name changed) and was later contacted by someone with the exact same name, this was an honest mistake and not her intention at all. Communication, expression, honesty. It works, yup, the holy trinity once again.

Working together is powerful and so much more can be done in teams. I absolutely love projects and working with other people! Here’s a couple examples of what I’m doing/planning currently: co-hosting a retreat in Sayulita, Mexico this upcoming November (JOIN US!!) with my good friend & fellow yoga teacher Jonna Monola, co-hosting a singing bowl Yin + Sound Bath with Pauliina Kuunkajo this Saturday, soon launching a course with my friend Jasmiina Ojala from BärBar this fall (stay tuned), I will be teaching amongst a pool of other amazing yogis at the Magnesia Festival this summer, I am co-hosting a podcast (COMING SOON, launched this NEW MOON) with fellow yoginis Audra Rose Stanley and Sylvie Lacourciere and there’s a few more projects I’m not supposed to talk about just yet (aka keep your eyes open). So you, see, I LOVE co-creation.

An image from a collaboration I made with  Jenette Skin Care.

An image from a collaboration I made with Jenette Skin Care.

K, well, why you might ask? Well lemme give you 10 reasons right here, right now, so read on folks!

  1. First of all, there’s magic in coming together! Everybody has a unique skillset and different talents, you can just simply create SO MUCH MORE when joining forces with other people. Chances are you’ll also learn something new from them!

  2. Co-creation is the shit for marketing & PR! You double up the reach (or triple up the reach) in whatever you’re doing. More reach, more business, more dinero. Easy.

  3. It’s just so much more FUN! You get to share the workload and responsibilities PLUS it’s nice to have someone to hang out with. My friend Jonna and myself were recently at the Helsinki Yoga Festival with a stand promoting our upcoming retreat wearing sombreros and blasting banda music, imagine if I would’ve done that all alone. Lame.

  4. Brainstorming & new ideas. Two brains is more than one brain. It’s true. More effective problem solving happens when you combine resources in talent and mindset. This also means you can come up with better ideas, projects and workshops when you’re joining forces with someone PLUS you also have someone to discuss your ideas with and give you feedback.

  5. Your tribe/network/clients get more value. Damn right they do. For instance in a yoga workshop: having two yogis instead of one yogi is amazing since you’ll get more hands on adjustments and help in your practice. If whatever it is that you’re doing is not yoga, you’ll still get more insight and value from having more than one {insert whatever}.

  6. It’s time efficient. Delegating tasks, planning and implementation in a group or team is way more productive than doing everything solo.

  7. You will learn from your mistakes and what collaborations/projects work for you. Not all collaborations and dynamics work, don’t let this disencourage you. We are all different and it’s just like chemistry, everything does not work well together. Like oil and water = no bueno. Let failures be stepping stones towards finding the right people, organizations and companies that do work with you. Kinda like fuckboys towards Prince Charming if you will.

  8. Self awareness. When you work with someone new, you’ll quickly notice your skills and also see what you need to work on. Yay. #selfwork

  9. You’ll get inspired. Working together with someone new will most likely inspire you in some way or form, after noticing for instance your skill set and gifts and areas of improvement, you’ll most likely start working on the things you need to improve and start using more of your strengths to your advantage.

  10. Community building + new doors. You get to create a community and you’ll reach a broader network for future projects with new possibilities and opportunities. Dope.

Cool. So now that the ball is in your hands. What do you want to create? Let’s create some magic together.

There’s a few things I can help you with and things I am working with currently:

  • Yoga classes + holistic wellness + self work (here’s what some of my students have to say)

  • Copywriting (if you didn’t notice yet, I love writing; my strongest writing language is English, however I can produce text in Swedish, Finnish and Spanish as well).

  • Promotion & marketing; either working on your branding or marketing, coming up with creative ideas or then promotion through my own channels. I wouldn’t go as far calling myself an influencer just yet as insta has been killing my reach with its new algorithm), but nearly 5K followers gotta count for something 🤷🏼‍♀️ Oh did someone mention #SHAMELESSELFPROMOTION 💅🏽🙋🏼‍♀️

  • Event production (past wedding planner & currently working within this field).

  • Modeling (yup, I’ll smile to a camera).

Get in touch and let’s make shit happen.

With love,


Evita