Make Your Life Sweeter- is not only the motto that Yasmeen Tadia lives by but the name of her signature line of sensational sweets which include, Fluffpop® Artisinal Mini Cotton Candy, Hotpoppin® Gourmet Popcorn, Sugaire Organic Cotton Candy and her most recent creation called ModSweets. As a business grad from the prestigious, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Yasmeen spent 10 years in corporate America before taking a leap of faith by beginning her own company. Working as the human resource, corporate director of the largest hospitality, management company in New York not only helped her make her vision a reality but to realize what an incredible opportunity she had to create global experiences. Ms.Tadia’s passion to make a sweet impact on the lives of others didn’t just end with her brand of confectionary sweets. She actively supports a variety of charitable initiatives which inspired her to create Random Acts of Sweetness®, a non-profit that gives others and also her son the opportunity to interact with those that are less fortunate.
How did you turn a passion into a business?
I always loved the ability to make people smile, whether it was through a kind compliment, a helping hand or a sweet treat. After spending over a decade as a Director of Human Resources in Corporate America, I decided that my life needed a change. Turning the passion of “making life a little sweeter for others” turned into a great name for my business: Make Your Life Sweeter
What did or didn’t you see in the market that made you feel this brand would work?
Hosting events and conference all over the country in my corporate role, made me realize that there weren’t many creative, customized, full-service offerings available on a nationwide scale. Many times when traveling, I would have to find a local vendor that I had never met before and HOPE that they could execute the vision I was trying to achieve. I also wanted a healthier candy option for my son, Zain, who was 3 years old at the time.
How do you feel the confectionary market has evolved…any new market trends?
I think every market has evolved over the years to become more experience-driven. The new millennium generations is seeking opportunities that create memories instead of just purchasing some material item. When I decided to revolutionize cotton candy, more than five years ago, I was the only one in my space. Now there are cotton candy start-ups popping up all over the nation, attempting to replicate our model.
When curating your flavors from where do you draw your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. Of course we focus on things that we like, as a team, but when traveling all over the world, we try to experience new flavors, new cultures, and meet new people.
It’s clear you have a sweet tooth, what’s your favorite savory dish?
My favorite savory dish is Masala Dosa, a South Indian delicacy, typically eaten during the breakfast hour. Dosa is made from rice flour, and looks very similar to a french crepe.
How can you surround your yourself by sweets and not indulge?
I think it’s easy to say that everyone on my team has a sweet tooth! However, I think when you are around it all the time, it loses its novelty. There are moments though, when I will crave a specific cotton candy flavor or sweet popcorn flavor as a sweet treat after a meal. Sometimes I just HAVE to indulge.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business?
Read the E-myth and The Miracle Morning. Both books will help you grasp the power of entrepreneurship and self-awareness. Find at least 3 mentors that will hold you accountable, ensure that you stay on schedule, and assist you in focussing on your mission.
Where do you see Make Your Life Sweeter brands 10 years from now?
In 10 years from now, I hope we become a household name all over the world. Our goal is to grow the brand and help re-build communities through our non-profit Random Acts of Sweetness.
You travel a lot. Do you have any favorite sweets from other countries?
I have SO many favorite desserts!
Turkish Ice cream – it’s texture and flavor is out of this world.
South African Koeksister – A South African delicacy, which is essentially a yeast donut with a ton of amazing flavors
India – The mangos. They are a dessert on their own.
Australia – The passion fruits… you just slice it in half and eat it with a spoon.
Japan – Japanese crepes made out of rice flower, topped with lychees.
Dubai – You literally get the best desserts from all over the world, all in one city.
Out of your assortment what would make the perfect gift?
I think our keepsake box which comes with our assortment of Modsweets cotton candy, popcorn and chocolate, is the PERFECT gift!
Tell me about the philanthropic work you do and how important is it to your brand?
Random Acts of Sweetness is a non-profit focused on three main principles:
1) Celebrating those who do good things for others without expecting anything in return.
2) Giving back to impoverished communities through charitable services within the United States and abroad. With goals of helping students obtain a better education, building wells, infrastructure, education, healthcare, economic development, micro-financing and literacy programs.
3) Providing a method for people to give thanks to someone who is making a difference in the world.
Sweets transcends borders do you see your company going global?
I sure hope so. We have interest in expanding our brand overseas, but to be honest, I still think we have so much work to do in the US before we embark on that ship!
Travel blogger. I wish I could travel the world and write down my opinions… and make money doing it! But other than that, I am living my dream. So blessed where the company has taken me, the people it has introduced me to, and the opportunities that have been given to me along the way.
Favorite job/client thus far?
Forbes 100 year anniversary party in New York City. Watching Stevie Wonder sing with Warren Buffet was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
How do you juggle your career and motherhood?
To this day, I still don’t know how I do it. As I type these answers, I am playing the same game every mom does around bedtime: trying to convince her kid that it’s bedtime. Kids do what the do best, and try to convince their way out of bedtime. The struggle is real. I am so blessed to have a career that embraces my son, Zain, and creates an environment that allows me to be the best mom I can be. Unfortunately, I did not have the same experience in Corporate America, which is one of the main reasons why I chose to leave.
How important is it to you that your son sees a strong women role model? What lessons do you think he’s learned from this experience?
I think my son respects women very differently than most kids his age. In fact, I think he has a totally different perspective on life and how blessed we are. Traveling enables me to show him and teach him how kids his age have a completely different life, yet still have the same contentment for their lives. It also teaches him that even though you may not speak the same language as someone else, you can still have a great time with them.