In the Spotlight



BY JEN OLENICZAK BROWN

Crissy Faison

What makes you YOU?

In a matter of weeks, multiple people have told me that they have NEVER met a person like me before. They have reiterated that I am the one and only Crissy. I laugh every time because I know I probably said or did something hilarious or absolutely outrageous. I used to be this quiet, shy person who really didn’t speak much (I would just flash my winning smile), but now I find myself speaking ALL the time. This past year, I have become this person that I admire and love, because I am who I am through the good and bad experiences that have made me Me.

What are you most proud of?

Now, y’all know the answer to that one. LeanBack!!!! I have built LeanBack Soul Food from the bottom, and now I’m here. I am not a classically trained chef, but self-taught. I took one semester of culinary school, realizing I didn’t need that type of training. To eat my food is to know me, so I switched my degree to business because I figured when I opened, I would not run my business into the ground. I know my food is amazing because y’all told me so, and I watch you take the first bite and lean back. LeanBack is so much of a success that I was finally able to quit my job and take LeanBack full time and that I am most proud of.

What keeps you going when things are tough?

Most people don’t know this, but 2019 was the best and worst year of my life. While my business was booming, my personal life was in shambles, and it affected me in a way where I lost myself completely. I was dying on the inside, not eating, not sleeping, just bad. At the same time, I still was out here trying to run a business, work full time, and flash that winning smile. My resiliency and determination allowed me to find this new confidence, stronger mentality, and winning personality evolving into this being we call Crissy, I have healed and stayed focused on what was important, feeding all you good people and reaching the goals I had set to obtain and that are already ordained by God.

What keeps you up at night?

Pancake, my pet bunny! She’s nocturnal, so she’s most busy at night. I’ll be in the dead of sleep and here she is making all this noise, like ma’am, it’s 2 am! Go to sleep.

 

Sudha Moparthy

What makes you YOU?

My roots of being an Indian, my culture, and family values where I was so pampered as a girl by my parents and my big family during my first phase of life in India, where I never got to leave my hometown. My second phase of life being an independent woman with so many life experiences during my twenty years of living here, in Canada, and the United States. There is so much learned during this transitioning from a village girl to a research scientist to an entrepreneur/ businesswoman. Above all these, I am a strong believer that we are in this world to serve and heal others. My satisfaction and happiness lie in that, which keeps me grounded and calm in any situation. I love to enjoy every minute, be it a person, or with food, and my main mantra is to forgive and forget. I also love to support and volunteer in the community.

What are you most proud of?

I would say first, my 10-year-old son, Yashvasin, who is a great supporter of me in anything and my family who have instilled a lot of values in me. There is also the gift that I can offer to this world as an educator, as a person who knows the importance of healing Indian spices and helping people on their health and wellness path. I am proud of the business I run, Om Indian Groceries, and all of the connection and education moments that come with teaching people about things I love.  I am also more than thankful to all the kind hearts that I met during my lifetime.

What keeps you going when things are tough?

There is always sunshine the next day irrespective of the darkness in the night. The fact that I am not alone in this world facing problems, so many people are struggling every day; we are all in this world together. As I am in the cancer research field, the victory bells that the cancer survivors ring are things that keep me going. Most of all, God is there to protect us and take us through the challenges and make us stronger. All of our prayers along with science and technology, will save us from this COVID crisis soon. Don’t just give up!

What keeps you at night?

The fact that I am not productive enough and there is so much to do in this short life and so many responsibilities to fulfill. Don’t we all think that if we have more than 24 hours a day, we can accomplish a little more? Time is running short and if there is anything good that I can do for others, I will be the happiest person in the world.

 


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