Working in the food industry, entrepreneur and mother Noha Waibsnaider was shocked by the pervasiveness of added sugar, preservatives and chemicals in common snack foods. So she started a company, Peeled Snacks, that is committed to making snacks people could feel good about eating. Here, we asked Noha to share with Motherly’s aspiring #mombosses the steps she took to turn a simple idea for organic fruit and veggie snacks into a successful business.
1. Go with your gut.
My husband likes to say I had a great idea six years too early. It took a lot more time and money than I expected to get Peeled Snacks through the early years. I was fortunate to find supportive investors who share our vision to provide real food. In business, and in motherhood, I know following your intuition will always pay off.
2. Stay focused on your mission.
Many so-called makers of healthy snacks take shortcuts that allow them to make food more inexpensively, garner larger profits and grow the company faster. Over the years, it’s been tempting at times to follow in their footsteps. It’s so much easier to make food with unnatural preservatives, sugar and starchy fillers. But I always come back to my guiding principle: it’s critical that all of our fruit and veggie snacks are foods that I would personally eat and feed my family.
3. Believe in your ideas.
When I started Peeled Snacks, people thought dried fruit was for baking or old people. We shook up the category by making it fun and accessible for the modern family. We rethought everything from the packaging to the portions to the retail strategy, going into airports, cafeterias and convenience stores—places no one expected to find anything healthy. And we recently shook it up again with Peas Please, the only organic baked pea snack on the market. Don’t ever listen to naysayers when you know you’re on the right track.
4. Success is a team effort.
You’re only as strong as your support network. Over the years, my staff, investors, family and friends have been a huge part of my success. No one can do it alone. When someone makes an introduction, take the meeting. Be open-minded about where it can lead and try to be helpful in making connections for other people. And make sure you ask for what you need. As a woman, it can be harder to ask for things. Remember that people love to help, and they love to be part of your success story.
5. Help others along the way.
I believe our company should make a positive impact in everything that we do. Peeled Snacks make you feel good because they are good for you and good for the earth. We work closely with sustainable farmers and suppliers to find the tastiest organic and non-GMO ingredients and encourage fair labor practices all along our supply chain. It’s not easy or cheap, but it’s the right thing to do. I want to show my children how to make the world a better place, and Peeled Snacks helps me do that.
More Motherly wisdom from Noha—
The key to making sure my mornings run smoothly is. . .
Prepping the night before: we make our breakfast muesli and the kids make their lunches at night. They also pick out their clothes the night before.
The lifehack or tip that has changed my life:
1) I walk laps around the conference room during conference calls, so I get an hour of walking in and feel more energized.
2) I don’t check email after 9pm. It’s hard enough to decompress without new work activity late at night.
3) My husband is really involved with the kids and household care. It makes all the difference.
The superpower I discovered as a mom:
I make my most inspiring meals when I’m working with limited resources. I can get home and find three random ingredients in the fridge, race around the kitchen doing five things at once, and manage to get dinner on the table within 20 minutes.
The quote that inspires me on the hard days is. . .
The simple person lives the way he breathes, with no more effort or glory, with no more affectation and without shame. . . . Simplicity is freedom, buoyancy, transparency. As simple as the air, as free as the air. . . . The simple person does not take himself too seriously or too tragically. He goes on his merry way, his heart light, his soul at peace, without a goal, without nostalgia, without impatience. The world is his kingdom, and suffices him. The present is his eternity, and delights him. He has nothing to prove, since he has no appearances to keep up, and nothing to seek, since everything is before him. What is more simple than simplicity? What lighter? It is the virtue of wise men and the wisdom of saints. —André Comte-Sponville
To me, being "Motherly" means. . .
Your job is to work your way out of the job. The book “How to Raise an Adult” encouraged me to give my kids more responsibility and autonomy to make them independent and resilient. The more they own their lives, the more interesting humans they become and the more they can contribute to the world.
Noha Waibsnaider is the founder of Peeled Snacks, a maker of organic fruit and vegetable snacks. Committed to organic, clean food, Peeled Snacks makes a variety of vegetable and fruit snacks available in Whole Foods, Amazon.com, Target and grocery stores. Find out more at www.peeledsnacks.com, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.