We had the good fortune of connecting with Chante’l Armstrong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chante’l, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Tonik Soul is a social purpose entity. Therapeutically nourishing the soul, utiliziling contemplative interventions of yoga, meditation, drumming, meditation, mindfulness, and self-care as a tool to improve personal and transformative wellness. 250,000 individuals are experiencing mental illness and homelessness. And there are groups of individuals that do not have the resources that they need receive the help that they need. Tonik Soul is here to help and serve. When our clients and customers make a purchase, Tonik Soul makes it our duty to give back. We have provided Tonik Soul Self-Care Wellness Kits, groceries, mental health resources & literature, and meals to those that are experiencing homelessness and in socio-economic restricted communities.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The start of my business comes from a life journey. When I was younger (early 90s, lol) my mother and I would always have a pampering day during the weekend. She would run her Saturday morning errands and then come home for some self-pampering. We would do our nails, our hair, facials, read magazines, listen to Teena Marie, Chaka Khan, Phyillis Hyman, or Anita Baker, or eat a bowl of fruit on the patio. You name it. Self-care practice has always been a life regimen of mine. I continued on with this regimen into my adulthood calling them “Ode to Self-care: Chante’l Saturday or Chante’l Sunday.” I was ahead of the self-care trend and my friends would tease me because I was 20-something year old setting aside a day or two to tend to myself.
In 2008, I had transitioned to a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. I had become very conscientious of the food I was eating and the products that I was using. Reading labels and looking up the ingredients had become my daily task. I would call my dad up and tell him don’t use this or that because it wasn’t good for us. In 2009, I eventually told my dad that I wanted to start making hygiene (self-care) products. I wanted to create products that were natural. He was so excited! He advised me to do my research and learn about business and business taxes before I took that leap. And I am so glad that I did. I took the time to learn the different ingredients for my products and self-testing them. I learned to blend oils to create my own aromas. And I learn a plethora of legal and business information. Thank goodness for trademark. Protect your brand! There’s so much more than adding a comma & “LLC” to your business name. Speak with a small business consultant for more business advice.
In 2019, I launched Tonik Soul. My uncle carried the torch of my father and gave me great business mentorship along the process and made a generous investment in my start-up. Family that believes in your vision will always support you and have your back. I was literally selling products out of the trunk of my car and providing private in-home meditation services. I went from selling out the trunk of my car to selling at pop-up events and online. Due to Covid-19, we had to make some pivotal changes of our business model. It took us some time to adjust as we made everything acessible online, including our meditation and yoga services.
Tonik Soul is about nourishing and managing yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. There’s a lot of toxic things out there. At Tonik Soul, you can experience a more natural alternative. Our self-care products are natural, vegan, and cruelty free. We don’t use fragrance oils in our products. And we design individualized wellness programs for our clients to help them reach their goals. I continue to evolve my brand to streamline our mission and purpose: “Therapeutically nourishing the SOUL.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well one of my best friends lives here. And the others used to to live here. And in our 20s, Peter Street and Central Station were our spots! Lol. However, we’re much older now and the city has changed a bit. There’s always something to do. Which is why I enjoy living here.
AM & Noon Events:
Yoga & meditation
The Spa for facials & massages
Breakfast at Barney’s for Brunch
A nature trail walk
Fitness pole dance classess
Roc South or Rock Steady for dinner
High Museum for Jazz Night
Sip n’ Paint
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I want to shoutout my city. I’m originally from the Eastside of Detroit, Michigan. I moved to the Southside of Atlanta nearly 20 years ago. But Detroit is rooted deep down in my soul and forever has a special place in my heart. The City of Detroit, my family, mentors, and heroes have shaped and reared me of the woman I am today. The charm, intelligence, wit, graciousness, love, loyalty, and sincerity. That’s all Detroit. That’s all of which I am and forever will be.
I come from a very large family. I’m like the oldest of 60 something great-grandchildren. That’s just on my mother’s maternal side of the family. I’m very close to all of my family. And I love my family immensely. I was always taught that God and family comes first. They’re always there when I need love, laughter, and support. They remind me of the love God has for me and to maintain my grace and my faith. My Granddaddy Sam always remind me of my brilliance whenever I seem to lose my way. My family builds me up without any question.
However, my dad was my number one cheerleader. He was the kindest man you’ll ever meet. He would literally give you the shirt off of his back. He was just that compassionate. My dad made me feel as if I had superpowers and I could conquer the world. He passed away from lung cancer 10 years ago. The last words my dad said to me was, “Take care of your business and make it happen. Your daddy loves you Chante’l, and I’m proud you.” I keep those words close to my heart. Entrepreneurship has its lows, but my dad’s words keep me motivated. And I’m hope that I’m still making him proud as he watches over me.
Lastly, I’m thankful for having a space and agency to be vulnerable and share my ideas and accomplishments on this business journey of mine as I pursue my dream of being a psychologist. Having someone in your corner providing you honest feedback, suggestions, and attentiveness is hard to come by. I appreciate having that in my corner.
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