Sylwia Wiesenberg quit a successful career in finance to refocus on something she truly believed in—a holistic approach to health and fitness embodied by the unique TONIQUE method she created, blending principles of movement, nutrition, and a positive attitude.
Based out of New York—a far cry from communist Poland where she was raised—this mom of two (kids are 10 and 12) recently expanded her fitness empire with the launch of DOPE Naturally, the first watermelon seed, plant-based protein powder on the market. “All of the ingredients are chosen to complement the superpowers of the others, and promote benefits for both beauty and wellness,” Sylwia explains.
We chatted with her about feeling that dreaded mom guilt, how she keeps motivated, and the worst parenting advice she’s ever received.
BIRTH OF A BUSINESS
“My journey with DOPE Naturally began a long time ago without my realizing that it would turn into a real business. I always loved feeding family and friends with food that I made. Later, I wrote a cookbook that I plan to publish that takes you on a journey through my childhood experiences and travels around the world. My kitchen became my lab to test ingredients and combinations, and New Yorkers were my testing animals. The end product achieved my goal, to deliver the purest DOPE Naturally ever with no added sugars, colors, or fillers. And I do not add flavorings.”
ON WORKING MOM GUILT
“I feel it everyday. I think the hardest decision for moms to make, especially for new moms, is the choice between a career or staying home with children. I believe in finding a balance, but it’s very much up to the individual and their life circumstances. Guilt is a feeling that we cannot avoid because we love our children so much. We want to be there for them and do things with them, not missing special everyday moments—even the temper tantrums kids throw in the middle of the street.
I believe that I made it easier for myself being a strong believer in self-development, “Me Time,” and following my dreams. I truly believe that becoming a mother should not limit us women or our dreams; it should not put us into the category of “moms who lunch.” I also believe that we are valued more by family and society when they see us working a double shift—work and motherhood.”
ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE
“My office day begins with Hudson River Park at 7am when working out [with TONIQUE] and giving endless sessions of positive torture for free. I believe fitness should be accessible for everyone.
After my workout I take a quick shower, and I’m ready to do everything that must be done to complete the day—emails, calls, meetings, media interviews, pitches, opening a new store account, updating social media, shipping DOPE Naturally, and making sure that the house is stocked with food for everyone. The list of activities is endless, and multitasking is definitely my biggest skill. When you work for yourself, forget 9-5. Your work day never ends.”
“The secret ingredient is passion. In order to stay motivated, I believe you need to be passionate about what you do. It has to be driven by the desire to achieve your dreams. When I started TONIQUE, I did it because I love movement (I can hardly sit still) and I love to contribute to others’ lives by making small changes that lead to big ones. Small steps that take us on a life long journey. I am a dreamer, and I keep dreaming.”
“I GOT THIS” MOMENT
“We never get this! I thought, ‘I got this’ a few years ago, but as they grow it gets harder to manage them. They develop their own beliefs, identity, and dare to speak back. When I get it I will definitely feel very accomplished!”
WORST PARENTING ADVICE FROM OTHERS
“I don’t really remember, perhaps because I didn’t listen to advice from people since everyone has something to say and they always think they’re right. I went with the flow and listened to my gut and learned from experience.”
Three kid items you can’t live without?
Baby Bjorn—I used to take my kids to meetings in it. Running stroller—you can schedule a nap during your long runs. Books—kids love when you read to them and make funny noises and play a character for them.
Three words that describe you today?
Confident, dreamer, life-lover.
First app you open on your phone each day?
Instagram, then CNN. I want to feel some positive energy before the bad news hits me.
Vacation you need right now?
Anywhere I can be in bikini and dive in deep waters.
Breakfast, because I am super hungry when I wake up. The rest of the day meals could be made of ice cream!
Favorite beauty product?
I have two that I never leave behind. Biologique Recherche P50 toner and Intelligent Nutrients Detoxifying Glycolic Gel.
Favorite little luxury?
Time. Can I buy it, please?