The She&Her Spotlight is a chance to showcase and highlight exceptional female leaders who are changing the dialogue in our community. Our Spotlight is designed to inspire our readers, while truly getting to know some of our mentors, leaders and peers. Read below to meet Jennifer Williamson, a Registered Nurse, and Owner and Founder of a local natural product brand Tree Top Bath & Body, which specializes in natural products for home and personal care, and are created in Sudbury, Ontario.
Tell us about yourself. What is your elevator pitch?
I am a daughter, mother, partner, friend and lover of many things. My days are always busy and full excitement, chaos and laughter. I cherish the time spent with friends and family; in sharing meals and stories with them. I work hard and play harder. My mind does not shut off. I am always thinking about new creations and opportunities. I am a passionate and energetic. I love the hustle and bustle of life; however, equally appreciate the time spent on my own.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My daughter Heidi. She is tenacious, kind, curious, witty, and is never afraid to speak her truth. I am very proud of all of the wisdom she has acquired in her 6 years of life. Heidi reminds me to embrace my inner child, have fun, dance, sing, paint and not worry too much about what other people think. My business is also something that I am proud of. I sincerely believe that if you remain true to yourself, work hard and believe in what you are doing that anything is possible!
What is one piece of career advice you’d give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to be more organized and to ask more questions of those who have succeeded in business. I would tell her to study the financial aspects of running a business. I would tell her to sleep more and worry less. Part of me would tell her to slow down on developing so many new products, however, creativity is what drives me and has helped me to learn about the market, so I might not tell her that.
How do you stay motivated when you’re going through a rough patch?
I try to look at more difficult times as opportunities for growth, learning and self-reflection. This is obviously easier said than done. Practicing gratitude for the events and people who have helped me at every stage of my business is helpful–and I remind myself that I have an entire troop of supporters behind me. I think of my customers who love Tree Top Bath & Body products and I remind myself that whatever difficulties I am facing, that these too will eventually pass.
What ‘must-follow’ accounts do you love right now?
@paulaschoice, @maylindstrom, @oprah, @sheandherevent, @makersnorth. I mostly follow my fellow local businesses. I am not a huge social media person to be honest, even with friends or family. I realize this list is short. I really only learned how to use my Instagram account last year with the help of staff.
If you could change one thing about your career-path, what would it be?
I don’t think I would change anything. I love my work as a registered nurse. Caring for the various patients over the years has made me a better human being and more sensitive to the needs of my customers. My employment as an RN has also provided me with the finances to run my business–my very own “go fund me”! Perhaps a better understanding of accounting and finances would have been helpful, however, these are all things that I am learning as I evolve as an entrepreneur.
Who is your favourite leader?
Oprah Winfrey. She has been my role model since I began to watch her show as a child. Against all odds, Oprah was able to climb the ladder of success, grab opportunities, be unapologetic during the process and change the world around her. She connects people through their stories and inspires people to think outside the box. She does not take her audience for granted and recognizes that her success would not have been possible without them. Oprah recognized early in her life that she could not build her business on her own, so she surrounded herself with strong team members who believed in her and whom she valued and respected. She continues to seek advice and mentorship to this day. Oprah is a visionary–she has the courage to communicate her vision and bring them to fruition time and time again. Oprah has also made mistakes along the way, as we all do. I admire her accountability and willingness to forgive herself and move on. She continues to reinvent herself and her business. I admire her work and the person she is. She reminds me to make my voice heard, give more than I receive, be grateful and not take my life for granted.
If you could have dinner with one female (past or present), who would it be and why?
This is a tough one; however, Paula Begoun is the first to come to mind. Paula Begoun is a leader, a creator and a visionary. Paula has over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry and is the creator and innovative force behind Paula’s Choice Skin Care and Cosmetics. She has dedicated her career to researching and providing peer-based beauty product reviews. She is my “go to” when I have questions regarding raw materials and when I am in the beginning stages of research and development. She is honest with her audience and never promised anything miraculous. She is a true believer in telling the truth. I have a great deal of respect for her because she remains involved in research, development and formulating products. She is the real face behind her brand! I feel like we would have so much to talk about over dinner!
What is something most people don’t know about you?
That I love spending time by myself and that I am more introverted than they may suspect.