Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Vancouver-based Kimmy Xiao. Her company, Whisk Premium Matcha, offers first-harvest, hand-picked, stone-ground premium matcha directly from tea farms in Japan. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her work and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I’m the founder of Whisk Premium Matcha – an artisanal and premium organic Japanese matcha distributor based in B.C., as well as a healthy lifestyle purveyor.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
I’ve always enjoyed helping people and have derived a great sense of satisfaction from looking after others… and that’s led me from a career in hospitality to one geared toward health and wellbeing. I love educating people about this healthy alternative to their everyday (coffee) routine.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Starting my own business.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
I want to continually grow my business, learn and create a matcha-movement. Spending time with my young family is also incredibly important.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Get out of your comfort zone and explore your potential.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I support a variety of animal welfare charities.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Communication. Having been born in China – a country where individual expression is not necessarily encouraged –I was always fearful of expressing my opinion. Moving to Canada at age 19, the language barrier added to the communication challenge – but thankfully, my employers helped encourage me to contribute my ideas no matter what. As of today, I’m still learning the art of communication. I think it’s a lifelong project.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
ARC restaurant at Fairmont Waterfront Hotel; their service is top-notch. I’m also a sushi junkie; Manzo and Ebisu are other go-to places.
2. What’s the most played song on your phone?
“Try Everything” by Shakira
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
@healthyeating_jo, an Australia health/wellness blogger.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Given that I was born and raised in Beijing, I have to say China. I’d love to visit Iceland next. It seems so otherworldly and mysterious to me.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
As a young mother, I’d say my son’s developmental milestones.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Grilled cheese, or actually anything loaded with cheese.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Luxury purses. When I didn’t have kids, I spent lots of money on fancy things that I didn’t even need. Now my lifestyle has changed and I wish I could’ve used that money for growing my business and for my kids’ education.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Freedom: but not just financial freedom, more a mental sense of freedom where I can set goals and pursue my dream without regrets.