Our Community Feature for the month of January
While sharing the goodness of Finally, Truly Healthy chocolates®, our community has grown as clients have become friends.
We got introduced to Jan Daudi as the world was just coming out from covid back in December of 2020. It was the MOTB - Burj Park festival and we had a pop up she wanted to visit with her kids. This was the time when everyone wore a mask, security people put thermometer to everyone’s foreheads and gatherings were very restricted. So coming all the way from Sharjah, she was told they could not enter. Thank God she did not take it against us and continued buying online until we met her in person in another pop up in 2022!
Our spotlight this month is on Jan Daudi – A published Communications Coach, a Mama… a powerhouse. She is not just a valued community member but a friend to us here at Co Chocolat.
We asked her a few questions:
I was born and raised in the UK and growing up in that particular culture, being quiet and reserved.. not speaking your mind was considered “polite” . I remember an office culture and even in schools, people would talk about you behind your back but in front of the manager they will never really speak or express what they were really thinking. I felt that was a very disingenuous way of behaving and it didn’t appeal to me. I felt that to gain trust and to have a good relationship, you should be open to communicate and be who you are and not conceal who you are. That conflict was very clear. My parents were migrants from other countries so they have a minority mindset which frustrated me as somebody born in the UK.
So I developed a sense of wanting to express myself early on and not live in that very limiting mindset. I started to take acting at a young age and that was very good. I won a poem competition at the age of nine and my work was published in the same year, and that changed my life radically. At a very young age, I felt that the power of words and I wrote a poem about racism. I witnessed lots of racism, for myself and those in school, and used to always advocate for those who are bullied and to stand up for other people.
In my poem, I wrote about a racist incident and won, and that trajectory changed my life. I became more expressive, got onto psychological sciences and earned a degree. I became a journalist, earned my Masters and got certified from Cambridge University in communicating for impact and influence. I do presenter training and have my own live TV talk show in the UK.
- As a woman who teaches communication, what has been your experience?
As a mother of five children, I took a break from work to raise my kids. This was a priority for me.. to empower them and be present, and to develop the next generation. Now that I've come back to the workspace, I developed my own business for empowering women in communication. This is now my goal. I want to help them say what they mean, mean what they say, without being mean. For me, this means being authentic, accurate and amicable in communication.
It's about humanity and kindness. One can be powerful, outspoken without being mean and aggressive and dominating others.
From the women work with predominantly leadership positions, CEO's, activists and a lot of these ladies have problems showing their authentic female persona. They take on the hyper masculine wise (sic), in order to be taken seriously when facing harassment when facing male dominated environments. They feel that they female persona is a weakness and is often presented as such. Feminism for some women has meant that they need to copy a man or be a man; seen as equal to men in order to be powerful. And that's a mistake.
Women are hired in the United Nations for the highest conflict zones for peace negotiations because they have statistically higher results. Nurturing, being caring and having your feminine energy is very important for the world, and we shouldn’t see that as a weakness. This is the greatest challenge I find that women and girls are facing… to step into their feminine power and be accurate, authentic and humane.
- Can culture, gender, nationality or social class have an effect on communication?
Gender, social class and those other demographics that you mentioned definitely have impact on people's communications abilities and it's very specific to how people have been raised. So I noticed that, as I mentioned in my previous comments, the minority mindset is very toxic: this idea that “your voice doesn't matter. You are a lesser person. You are a second class citizen. You are a visitor to the country and you should be apologetic for taking advantage of opportunities. You don't belong and should go back.” All of this messaging is very harmful and damaging.
They cause people to accept the bread crumbs of life and live in survival mode and not thrive. We have the right to thrive as human beings. So whether you're a girl or a boy, you have the right to fulfill your full potential. Whether you are from any demographic or background, you have the right to thrive in any location. And if you're escaping harm and danger and war, you have the right to thrive in another location as anyone else.
I used to teach refugees in British government projects, and I also taught CEOs in Iranian colleges. I taught Syrian children in Turkey as well. I've taught every level of personalities, from the most desperately endangered people to influential government figures. So within all of that, we're all the same. We all have a voice. We all have the right to have our voices heard, and be respected, even if there is disagreement in those voices.
- Where and when did you know about Co Chocolat?
I came across Co Chocolat in Instagram or perhaps an artisan chocolate platform because I am an artisan chocolate connoisseur and do reviews, and I take heavy interest in chocolate production. I’m Trinidadian in my background and in the West Indies eating raw cocoa was normal during holidays there. Trinidad and Tobago is a cocoa producing country, as you know. I reviewed their products and that's how our relationship started, I was very impressed with the product specially since I am into kickboxing and martial arts and try to lead a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating is central to my lifestyle. I really monitor the quality of food my five children take. The sustainability concept was absolutely fantastic and it was obviously of very high quality.
So the healthy chocolate theme really resonated with me. As somebody who's a lover of chocolate, I've found Co Chocolat to be an amazing brand and one of the very few brands that I really do support. You're true to your word. You have really good philosophy. The ladies, Luchie and Iman are hardworking girls, I've never met such hard working girls! They are in my fitness center in Sharjah Ladies Club and just so very impressed with the work. I visited the factory and it was just amazing, really great to see the brand scale. You deserve every success and I really give any support to anything you do in the future.
Co Community Feature of the Month
What do they all have in common? The same values and love for honestly good chocolates while they too want our cacao farmers to prosper.
Those fun encounters with our customers that started with chocolates and food eventually led to interesting, and inspiring conversations. We discovered their passions through these exchanges and with our community growing bigger and more diverse each day, we figured it would just be awesome if we can inspire more people with fun and interesting features about our friends in the Co Chocolat Community.
Could you be our next featured member?