'I Left Nissan To Start My Own Chocolate Business'
Updated: Jan 8, 2019
Photo: Wajeeha Hussain, founder of Chocolateeha, from https://chocolateeha.com/
Are you still feeling de-motivated from those January blues? Then read this and you might just find that February is YOUR month to lift your spirit with passion and motivation!
Today's Motivation Monday goes to the inspiring Wajeeha Hussain, founder of Chocolateeha.
Wajeeha Hussain left London after working long-term at Nissan – and now she is rapidly becoming a North East success story.
Meet the woman who turned corporate to entrepreneur and is changing the face of chocolate.
Wajeeha Hussain, 30, of Newcastle Upon Tyne returned from London in July 2016 to launch her own business. Wajeeha launched ‘Chocolateeha’ in September 2016 after being inspired by the lack of healthy chocolate available.
“As a self-confessed chocoholic with a strong history of diabetes in the family, I decided that it wasn’t fair to not be allowed to eat chocolate every day. I decided to quit my accountancy job at Nissan in London. I moved back home with the parents and set up my chocolate company.”
About Wajeeha: http://chocolateeha.com/about/
Wajeeha described her childhood “salivating” when seeing other kids eat chocolate and said: “My mum noticed, and she didn’t want me to be left out. She started introducing a small amount of candy into my diet once per day. During my teens, I binge ate chocolate and consequently had bad skin and gained weight which affected my confidence. I had a love hate relationship with chocolate growing up.”
“My grandparents are diabetic, and my dad is borderline. Me and my mum are not diabetic, however we have always felt at risk eating chocolate.”
Chocolateeha has been branded to form a new chocolate that is healthy and guilt free. This has allowed Wajeeha to enjoy something she missed out on and “enables enjoyment of eating chocolate and takes away the fear of becoming diabetic.”
At the age of five, Wajeeha’s household banished chocolate entirely due to the high risk of diabetes. Even specifying that the family’s diet consisted strictly on curry. This inspired Wajeeha to source healthy ingredients to form healthy chocolate bars, using the cocoa bean imported directly from Peru.
Wajeeha said: “We make conscious chocolate bars, all with natural ingredients, natural sweeteners and superfoods. They not only taste good but are low GI, high in antioxidants and nutrients. Highest percentage is 72% cocoa. When you look at Green & Black’s, theirs is at 85%, so this is what makes my chocolate healthier.”
Watch Wajeeha as she explains the process of creating 72% raw chocolate:
“I also am an aspiring vegan even though I still eat meat, ironically. That is why I have made my product suitable for vegans. I purposely made it soy free and dairy free. I think vegan is much more known now instead of the term ‘healthy’. Last month was ‘veganuary’ and it seems that’s where it is going. The term vegan being incorporated more than just ‘healthy’. I also want to go dairy free. I want to do something positive this year by becoming healthier.”
It was a busy year for Wajeeha to plan and gain the confidence to launch the brand. In September 2017, five chocolate bars were launched. Tasty flavours include the use of almond, raisins, the goji berry and matcha.
When describing how to juggle family and business Wajeeha said: “I am lucky I don't have children and I'm single. I don't have to do much. For mums and dads, it is much harder. I think I have it much easier. I keep myself busy during the day and wind down in the evening by completely switching off. I really need to make sure I do that.”
Wajeeha described “trying to find a balance between work and rest” when she fell into exhaustion at the start of the year.
“I had to spend a week resting, as I worked too hard. It took me time to recover and as an entrepreneur I’ve learnt it’s important to rest.”
After a week of recovering in her home, Wajeeha started to think of ways to become positive after “being at a very low point in 2016.”
Wajeeha said: “I spent eight years in the corporate world and felt that there was a glass ceiling. I followed orders as you do when you have a corporate job. I felt an endless cycle of people telling me how to do things and how to do my job better.”
Since establishing Chocolateeha, Wajeeha has gone on to become a success story in North East England. The website gained 500 visits within two days of its launch and has been growing since.
Wajeeha celebrated the launch of Chocolateeha in style branding it 'a dream come true'.
“Creating this brand has 100 per cent put me in a better state of mind. I give myself realistic timescales and I push myself and feel like I can achieve my goals. One of those things is that you keep yourself in check when starting a business. You have self-assurance and I found that working in the corporate world puts you down. Everywhere I go people love my product and are inspired and it makes me feel complete and happy.”
Now that we have entered 2018, Wajeeha has no doubt set herself higher goals to continue her success.
“My resolution for this year is to be more confident and put myself out there. 2016 was the most difficult year and that is the point I always look forward from now. I want to keep improving myself from that point of feeling at my lowest. I want to keep positive and stay motivated. I want to do lots more talks with people and be more social and get outside my comfort zone.”
Wajeeha recently gave a motivational talk at Start Up 2018, hosted at Queen Mary University in London.
“I went along to the event this time last year at my low point. I felt like an outsider and I kept wishing in a room full of entrepreneurs that I was one of them. It is crazy now that I can say that I am one and that I will be giving a speech. I hope that it will inspire people who may be in the same position as I was last year.”
“I made a resolution on New Year’s Eve to stop listening to other people’s opinions of me and to do what makes me happy. I am so excited for what I have planned this year. I can’t reveal anything yet, but I feel more happy and motivated than ever to increase my success.”