Woodlot's Founder Sonia Chhinji for W-T-Finances
Sonia Chhinji is the co-founder of Woodlot -- an all natural essential oils, candles, soaps and lotions company in Vancouver, created to inspire the beauty rituals of future generations. She spoke with W-T-Finances about a money scare in her life 10 years ago, why financial freedom equals peace of mind, and how buying a latte once a week is the result of a year of lessons.
How do you spend money and how do you save it?
Aside from basic living expenses, I prefer to spend my money on quality food and experiences.
What's your earliest memory of money and how has it impacted you as an adult?
My earliest experiences with money weren't too positive but they taught me the importance of living debt free and being financially independent.
What's something you know about finances now that you didn't a year ago?
It's really easy to spend money on plastic (credit or debit) and it can add up very easily. Swapping out some daily rituals will help you save at the end of the day. For example, spoiling myself with my favourite latte once a week vs daily.
What's it (honestly) like running a business and being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is definitely exciting, and not for everyone. Luckily, my partner has a great grasp on financials which allows me to stay focused in the areas I'm best at. I do like to know exactly where we're spending money and why. I'm always striving to do the most with least amount of resources which can get extremely challenging. Focus is key in this area.
What scares the shit out of you about what you do for a living?
What if I fail? However, I'm quickly reminded that I could be failing to do something else for someone else. Also, I think I've heard that if it doesn't scare the shit out of you, it's not worth it. ;)
How did you explain to your parents that you weren't going for a traditional job -- but creating your own?
I come from an entrepreneurial family so explaining to them what I was doing was easier than explaining what I did when working for someone else. I think they prefer I was still in a "secure job" but I don't feel anything is truly ever secure.
What's been a money scare in your life and how did you get through it?
Helping an ex pay down debt while starting out my career 10 years ago was pretty tough. I got through it by crying a lot and then just making it happen. I also learned during this time that my relationship to debt and money was unhealthy so this time allowed me to work through some of these challenges. I'm always looking for that silver lining.
What does financial freedom mean to you?
Being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want without ever worrying about money. Peace of mind.
What's the craziest thing you've ever done in a financial pinch?
Working multiple jobs and not going out. It's not crazy but it worked for me.
Follow Sonia Chhinji here: https://www.instagram.com/soniachhinji/?hl=en