Mindful eating. Somehow that phrase conjures an image of a painfully thin, white-robed yogi sitting lotus-style, contemplating a single raisin. Now picture a healthy, laughing group of girlfriends sharing a bag of chewy chocolate peanut butter granola. That’s mindful eating in the world of Brittany Chibe, founder of Within/Without.
Brittany shares how she got started down this particular path of delicious consciousness.
The F Project: What was the lightbulb moment that made you start your company?
Brittany Chibe: I never knew how good I could feel until I began following paleo and eliminated inflammatory foods from my diet to heal a running injury. I thought, if I didn't know I can feel this good, other people probably don't know how good they can feel if they cut out the bad stuff and eat foods that work with their body instead of against it! So I took the granola that I was making for myself and brought it into the market to help make clean eating easy and accessible.
TFP: What makes you want to jump out of bed every day?
BC: Knowing that I'm helping people live a better life through food is my complete motivation. The reviews, emails, and calls I receive from customers keep me going when the times get tough.
TFP: What about your past career or life experience prepared you for entrepreneurship? What was a total shock?
BC: When I was 18, I started a painting business. I walked door-to-door for three months asking people if I could give them a quote to paint their houses. After booking about 30 jobs, I hired painters and spent the summer managing the job sites. That was my first time running my own business (not counting my lemonade and bracelet stand as a kid!), and while it helped me grow thick skin, it didn't teach me everything. The biggest shock I've had while running Within/Without is how capital-intensive the food industry is.
TFP: What makes your product special/different?
BC: We half bake our granola to give it a soft, chewy texture that's unlike anything else on the market. It's a delicious, pleasurable eating experience that separates our grain-free granola from others.
TFP: What advice do you have for other female founders?
BC: Listen to your customers and outwork your competition.
TFP: Why did you join The F Project?
BC: I joined The F Project to be part of something greater. As a solo founder, I crave community and relationships with fellow women business owners. I believe that by helping each other, we all rise up.