TRYBE Spotlight: Cassandra Vantriet
TRYBE Wellness Spotlight
Every month at TRYBE Wellness, we will be spotlighting different influencers within our community who are making a difference and who bring inspiration to others through their career journey, motherhood journey, self-care regime, life-work balance, self growth and spiritual influences.
This month, we are featuring Cassandra Vantriet, the Founder + Operator of Woash Wellness. Woash Wellness is a Vancouver-based tea company which launched this September and offers a line of holistically designed wellness loose-leaf tea blends that focus on specific nourishing benefits for a variety of daily needs.
Tea can soothe the soul, create a moment of peace and calm within a whirlwind of busyness, and connects us together. It is a complimentary vessel to mindfulness practises and offers a space to be in the now. Here at Trybe Wellness, we felt it would be a perfect fit to spotlight Cassandra, being a few of us have a background in the tea industry and we love supporting other female entrepreneurs, local businesses, and seeing success stories come to life!
Check out @WoashWellness on Instagram
Let’s Get Started
Tell us a little about yourself?
I literally left this question for last, for some reason I find it hard to make myself sound interesting in a paragraph lol! Here we go... I graduated high school as a C student and shortly after I felt the pressure from my parents to go to college so I picked 4 generic courses and that was the biggest waste of $2000 my parents ever spent as I now was an average F student. So I took off back-packing to Thailand and Australia can't say I remember much but it gave me the travel bug that's for sure.
The few years that followed I spent half the time in Vancouver saving every penny by serving in the restaurant industry and the other half backpacking the globe (I was getting a worldly education). When I was 24 I was finally ready (no one even pressured me) to hit the books and graduated with my Business Management Diploma from BCIT, thank god I redeemed myself as an A student.
Every trip I told myself I'd go away thinking it would spark what I wanted to do with my life, I always came home disappointed but as you'll read on little bits and parts of each trip have lead me to launch Woash, I feel exactly where I'm supposed to be. But what makes me hopefully interesting is I love a good adrenaline rush, you name it, and I'll most likely jump. You can often find me chasing the sun around the globe with my husband of 2.5 years that I met when I was 13, I have a goal to do and see everything once, if you can't find me I'll be running / biking along the seawall or I'm probably peeing cause I drink copious amounts of water and I love country music.
Let's Talk Tea
What was your inspiration when starting Woash Wellness?
Woash stems from a few different points of inspiration, the idea was planted while standing in the hills of a tea plantation back in 2012 while backpacking South East Asia for 8 months with my husband (then boyfriend). I will go into more detail in the next question. Another was my frustration within the tea industry, some how along the way of mass production of tea they decided to leave all the natrual medicinal and healing properties behind. Lastly, the big one that actually kick started the idea and research phase was during my husband and I's "mega-moon" (6 month backpacking trip) through Central and South America last year. We were taking spanish lessons in Honduras and I met a guy that was on a business trip from the United States, he was scouting coffee plantations in the surrounding areas for his Coffee shop back in the US. I sat him down bought him multiple cups of coffee and picked his brain all about how he did it, which lead to "if he can do it, I sure as hell can."
What is a memorable or unique tea experience you have had to date?
One memory comes to mind right away, it goes back about 6 years ago where the idea of Woash was initially sparked. I was travelling in SE Asia with my husband (then bf), we were standing in the hills of a tea plantation learning all about the history, process and original benefits of how tea came to be. Seeing the process from living plant to a hot cup of tea was incredible while learning all the natural health benefits of tea that I was at that time clueless about peaked my curiosity and from then on I was on the hunt for nourishing tea blends.
What do you think is needed to make tea more mainstream in North America?
Education of the natural health benefits. The tea industry has been drowned in artificial teas that taste like any food / dessert / drink you can think of. People are moving away from foods and drinks that are packed with preservatives and artificial ingredients, educating them on the natural benefits of tea, herbs and spices will bring back the tradition of drinking tea. It aligns so well with all the new wellness trends like 'self-care' it can be easily implemented into a daily routine and compliments many wellness rituals that are often practiced, like meditation, taking short breaks for yourself through out the day, nourishment for your body, encouraging self discovery for the body's specific needs.
If you had to choose a tea from anywhere in the world what would it be and why?
Milk Oolong from Taiwan. The first time I sipped this rare sweet, milky tea I was in awe. So happy we were able to create a blend for Woash around this incredible variety.
Now, Let’s Talk Business
What or who is your biggest source of inspiration when it comes to women in leadership/business?
I have a few mentors in my circle that inspire me daily both female and male but their qualities are similar, they all made a decision to leap and are dead set on success no matter what hurdles come their way, I get inspired when I see my dreams in action being lived out by others, it fuels me to keep going, work harder so I can one day be that inspiration for someone else. Another huge inspiration to me that is not very subtle, when you take a look at WOASH, is the ocean (I know so typical) but truly whenever I am feeling unmotivated, stuck, confused, lost I head down to the water to regain my strength and purpose of why I'm doing this. Also, WOASH was derived from a "sounds-like" word for the movement of water.
How do you integrate work/life balance and time to decompress? How do you offset the stresses as an entrepreneur and set boundaries for yourself?
This is a daily struggle I face and it has probably gotten worse since I launched Woash but I am actively implementing things into my life that help support a better work / life balance and allow me to step away from Woash without feeling guilty. Somone told me this and it resonated deeply, "if you are in constant battle with trying to balance everything in your life you will fail everyday." I feel like I fail most days, when I don't workout, meditate, read or don't finish my to-do list, I was constantly failing. What this taught me was to let it be, respect what I did accomoplish and be ok that I didn't workout or meditate that day, I'll try again tomorrow. This is a daily learning experience but over time I've learned to schedule in "free" time and allow myself to step away from my work. The most important of them all is setting boundaries, I get in touch with my inner self, check-in, see how I'm feeling and let my body tell me what it needs at that moment, often that is saying 'no' to social outings, letting my body rest instead of making myself go to the gym or recently a trip of a life-time to the Bahamas. The power of getting intouch with yourself will all things to flow naturally and as a result give you balance. You just have to listen deep.
As an entrepreneur who just launched a business, what is one of the best piece of business advice you have been given and would give to women thinking about or who have just launched their own business?
I have two, the first being, "there is enough business for everyone" this hit home since I was walking into a highly saturated market. The second, "you don't always have to know what your next move will be. Sometimes taking a step back and letting things be what they will is the best way to get the clarity you're looking for. Know that your answers will come when your mind is clear, and heart is open. Honour your healing, acknowledge your personal growth, and respect the shifts." Also, celebrate every step of the way because you are f&*%$#@ doing it!
What are some challenges you faced or are facing at the moment with your business?
I trust people way to easily, I believe everyone has my best interest at heart and give me the best options. Clearly, that is not always the case and it has screwed me a time or two out of money and opportunities. My current struggle that I'm dealing with is we are in the process of expanding our stockist, this is a whole new world to me, I go into every e-mail and meeting thinking I'm prepared and "got this" to literally hearing crickets in my inbox. But each time I do I always learn something for the next time and I'm stoked to say that we are now in six stores! Yay for me!
It’s Giveaway Time!
In tandem with being the Trybe Wellness Spotlight for December we’ve also partnered with Cassandra Vantriet, owner and operator of Woash Wellness, in offering our instagram followers a chance to win and the complete loose tea collection which all focus on a holistic approach. Enjoy all 6 blends which include Digest, Me Time, Pick Me Up, Revive, and Think.
How to Enter!
1. Visit our instagram post
2. Follow these steps
1) Follow both of @TrybeWellness
2) Like both of our Giveaway posts
3) Tag as many instagram friends as you like! Each tag equals one entry
Winner to be announced on both our Instagram pages on Friday, December 7th, at 12:00pm PST.
Winner must live in Canada.
The winner receives one mini-set which includes all five blends ($30 value)