Sofia Laurell, Advancing Nutrition Alongside Michelle Obama’s Healthier America
Exciting news for all the adults out there who consciously purchase cups of apple sauce to be consumed by themselves and other consenting adults: the baby food game just got a hell of a lot more exciting and tasty.
Meet Sofia Laurell; a world traveller, entrepreneur and co-CEO/co-founder of Tiny Organics. She sat down with us to chat about the twists and turns of her career, her love of food, and how she thinks we can make progress on better gender inclusion in the corporate world.
Originally from Helsinki, Sofia Laurell always knew she wanted to live abroad and see the world. When she moved to New York a decade ago, she found another reason for her love of travel - the ‘diversity of thought’ that she encountered there.
“If everyone goes to the same school or has the same education, you really don’t get those creative moments,” Sofia explains, “I love to be in rooms where I’m the least accomplished person in the room.” Being the least accomplished person in a room shouldn’t mean you’re inferior or inadequate, but rather can be understood as an opportunity to learn from others; their accomplishments and mistakes.
Is it good to learn from your own mistake? Of course. But also kind of fun/less personally damaging to listen to the failures of others and be inspired by their growth and success. She also uncovered her passion for uplifting womxn and the achievements that they have, especially in spaces where they can sometimes (often) go unrecognized.
During her time working in PR, Sofia was researching the various reasons why women haven’t risen to corporate boards at the same rate as men in the U.S. One of her key findings was that often, companies look for people who already have C-suite experience before allowing them to sit on a corporate board. We know, of course, that women are still given fewer opportunities to rise to executive and C-suite positions within their companies for a myriad of reasons laced with notes of sexism, misogyny and antiquated conceptions of gender.
Her findings seem so straightforward, yet here we are in 2020 and the world doesn’t seem to have found a sustainable solution to corporate sexism yet. Is it because the corporate world was set up and run to benefit people who are… not womxn? Idk, I’m just spitballing here, but we have superpowers that are unique to who we are as womxn. Doesn’t it only make sense to make use of them?
“The great thing about a lot of women is self-awareness, situational awareness and empathy. And I think those are really key things to retain to not be like the men or not be like anybody else.”
One solution that Sofia calls for, and aims to follow through on in her own business practices, is increased transparency for hiring practices on boards. It won’t necessarily change the systemic problems that have infiltrated the minds of corporate Canada and America, but it’s a start.
She also explains the importance of the connections that you can make as a young person entering the workforce. Successful womxn have learned from the womxn before them. Sofia urges young professionals, especially womxn, to be courageous in job interviews, salary negotiations, and in meetings. It’s not necessarily easy, but it will pay off.
“If you empower women, there’s no limit to what they can achieve - and we’ve already seen that.”
After stepping into a new stage of life and co-founding Tiny Organics, Sofia is proof of just that.
Tiny Organics evolved as an idea based on the Finnish baby box from her native Finland - a baby box full of essential supplies that all new mothers receive after they have their babies. Think FabFitFun boxes with less gold flaked eye masks and more essential care products for parents and their newborn baby.
The organic toddler food company aims to set children up for nutritional success through food. The mission of Tiny Organics, as described by Sofia, is to introduce children to their first 100 flavours, expand their palate, and learn dexterity through eating with their hands.
With recipes from around the world, ranging from ratatouille to burrito bowls to paella, Tiny Organics is giving young children a palate that’s so sophisticated, I wouldn't be surprised if their first words are, “mamma, can you pair this with an oaky chardonnay please?”
All of the recipes are organic and plant-based, so they’re healthy and hearty guilt-free meals. Guilt-free for parents because they know their kids are getting nutritious and delicious foods, and guilt-free for me because I’m sick of Kraft Dinner and I’m not above ordering baby food in bulk to feed my 24 year old self.
Written By: Hannah Geiser, Head of Storytelling