Name: Chloe Van Dyke
Title: Founder, CHIA
Education: BSC Neuroscience
In creating CHIA, we wanted to share something of nutritional value for sustained energy and well being. CHIA started as an endurance drink for athletes, but we soon realised that everyone can do with a nutritional boost.
Tell us about your journey with CHIA
After completing a BSC in neuroscience and a post grad focus on Alzheimer’s I became interested in plant biochemistry and nutrition, it was while researching healthfoods that I came across chia seeds which stood out amongst other superfoods as being not only nutrient rich but rich in the nutrients most of us need more of in our diet. After developing my first prototype with Nelson blackcurrants and apples I traveled to the Himalayas to test the benefits of Chia myself.
And so, it was on the trail in the Himalayas, at altitude and loaded with chia seeds and some blackcurrant juice, that I decided to create Chia Drinks for the New Zealand market.
Back in New Zealand there were the struggles of introducing something very different into the market. A lot of education was needed to help people understand Chia and the nutritional benefits.
My family have been a big support with my sister recently joining the Chia team this year.
What is the story of CHIA? Where do you see it in the future?
Chia is about making healthy options easily accessible. We are currently available in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia and would like to further establish ourselves in these countries as well as growing our product range with healthy nutrient rich food and beverages.
What has been your motivation factor, both at work and home?
I am motivated by adventure, creativity, and innovation. It is important to keep these a part of my work and home life. At the office we have put up a slack line. It is a great way to clear the mind and regain focus.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the little guy who stands up to heard.
In your opinion, what are the real struggles of women entrepreneurs?
There are real struggles for women in business, and it is often the subtle ones that have a large overall impact. The other day I was having a business meeting at a café, at the end of the conversation the person I was having coffee with said that they wouldn’t usually ask a woman by herself out for coffee. Most business deals are done over coffee and if women are
excluded from this it is going to have a big impact on the growth of their business. Similarly many deals are done on fishing trips, I like fishing but I have yet to be invited on such a trip.
Business is business and that involves women and men having conversations together on an equal platform.
What do you want to share with the young women of today?
Don’t hold back, don’t think you need to be ready to start – no one ever is. And most importantly support other women to succeed.