Welcome back to “Women We’re Watching,” a new series that highlights changemakers in the ever-expanding wellness industry. Unique vision, tireless passion and true grit make these women worth watching… and celebrating.
Kristina Tsipouras is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Boston Business Women—a networking organization—and Moroccan Magic, an organic lip balm company where she also serves as CEO. Kristina’s passion for helping other women succeed, her trusted business wisdom and her ability to juggle it all while making work/life balance a priority make her a woman we’re watching.
You’ve had quite a career trajectory, from working as a wedding planner and launching a Greek iced tea company to founding Boston Business Women and Moroccan Magic. Have you struggled with finding balance during your career?
I’m not the norm in that from a very young age, I felt things very deeply and as a result, just knew I needed to take care of myself to balance that sensitivity. Now as an adult, I’m aware that the same holds true: I cannot show up for others unless I put myself first. I see a lot of women putting everyone else first, not establishing boundaries, and I share with them that without making myself a priority, I would not be where I am today.
My mother put everyone else in her life first for a very long time, and it was to her detriment. So for me, this is non-negotiable. Everything about living a balanced life is about simplifying and understanding the ebb and flow of putting time in and taking time out. There are many people who believe that structure will give them balance, and that may be true, but for me, I try to go with the flow and not over-schedule because it complicates things for me. Maybe one morning I don’t have time to meditate, so maybe I use my coffee break or walking the dog as a meditative experience. The important thing is that I’m taking time for me.
Boston Business Women (BBW) helps to connect and promote women in business. Why is it important for you to facilitate success for other women?
I founded Boston Business Women because it was important to me to share my own personal and business experiences with women beyond the advice to “fake it ’til you make it.” I wanted to share authentic stories of failure and how I’ve made sense of those failures. I want to make sure these mistakes aren’t perpetuated by other women, so they can achieve their own success.
It’s a fascinating, complicated time to be a woman. Do you envision BBW helping to enact change or support feminism beyond the boardroom?
I’m trying to focus my time and energy and not get overwhelmed or frustrated by what I see in the news. I’m trying to show up every day for local women through BBW, so we can do better in our daily lives. We can then support each other and lift our community as a whole. Once we feel supported on a local level, we can move forward to something bigger as a tribe, if need be. This to me feels much more impactful than going it alone.
Moroccan Magic has a cult following—congratulations! We love that you launched in CVS, making it so easy for consumers to have access to a healthy, organic lip conditioner. Why was launching in CVS important to you?
It was important for me as a business owner and CEO to see that in the mainstream lip balm market, there was not a lot of competition—or innovation—for a natural, organic lip product. When I created my Moroccan Magic lip balms, people tried them and said within hours, their chapped lips felt healed; I knew we were on to something and could go big. With CVS, I saw an opportunity to impact the market and reach a large clientele, and I went for it.
What motivates you when your business feels like an uphill battle?
When it starts to feel like an uphill battle, there’s probably a deeper reason for that, and I know that taking time off is the answer. I know in order to feel energized and optimistic again, I need to take some down time to regroup and strategize, so I can work on the business instead of within the business. Once I have that distance, I can come back re-energized and motivated.
How do you incorporate joy into your daily life?
Good question! I discovered the law of attraction more than 10 years ago—positive thinking, controlling your mind for positive outcomes—and that helps me be joyful in the morning. I love watching Abraham Hicks videos on YouTube, as well. I also write down three things a day that I’m grateful for, and that puts my mind in “appreciation mode,” which always brings me a lot of joy.
Why are you passionate about your industry? Does it come from a core value you hold?
I always say a woman who feels that she has something to prove will stop at nothing to be successful; for me, it’s about proving it to myself. That fuels my passion. This year, however, I’ve made a conscious decision to scale back Boston Business Women—letting go of creating and hosting events—in order to honor time for me. I’m getting married in the fall, and I want to enjoy this time. I may want to start a family. So now I’m prioritizing my time, my family, and then maybe I’ll ramp up again. I’m taking it month by month.
What advice would you give to a woman looking to create worldwide change with her idea?
Starting in your own community is probably the easiest and most joyful way. Make a list of what you want to accomplish, and try to meet 1-2 goals a week. A lot of women work full time and pursue their passion projects on the side; if you can tick off one to two items on your to-do list, you’re still moving forward! Work within your community, take steps toward your goals and ask for what you want. Put yourself out there! Most people want to help. I’ve received many more yeses than nos.
Get inspired by other female leaders by following along with our entire Women We’re Watching series.