As a group of women working towards common goals for STYLE Canada‘s brand and business, we understand the value of peer support in the workplace. So, after our Supper Club at Soho House, we decided to bring like-minded women in business together and feature them in an ongoing series: #LeadingLadies.
Taylor Lindsay-Noel – Podcast host, entrepreneur and motivational speaker
Industry: Beverage, motivational speaking
SC: Tell us about yourself.
TLN: My name is Taylor Lindsay-Noel and I’m a 26-year-old from Toronto. Nearly 12 years ago I was a Canadian national gymnast that traveled around the world competing for my country and I was a front runner for representing Canada at the 2012 Olympics. Unfortunately, in 2008 under the coercion of my coach, I was forced to try a skill that I had never heard of before. On the second attempt, I landed headfirst and broke my neck, instantly paralyzing me from the neck down. I was rendered a quadriplegic for life.
Since then, I’ve persevered through adversity and received a bachelor of arts degree in radio and television arts from Ryerson University. Currently, I’m finding the balance of being a micro influencer with nearly 30,000 followers on my poetry account, a motivational speaker, host of the podcast called Tea Time with Tay, and owner and founder of Cup of Té Luxury Loose Leaf Teas.
My latest venture, Cup of Té, has been a labor of love and my sole vision. I’m proud to say that Cup of Té is more than just a loose leaf tea company. We aim to transcend our passion from the art of tea to infusing something extra benefiting to our community, as we donate one dollar from each starter kit to mental health awareness causes.
SC: What is your greatest achievement over the past decade?
TLN: My greatest achievement in the last decade would definitely be completing my BA from Ryerson in Media Arts as well as starting my company. Going to university is difficult for anybody, but navigating it while wheelchair bound, balancing nurses as well as physiotherapy, adds extra stress and strain to an already hard process. I’m happy to say I was able to complete my degree in five years and have used so many skills from that experience.
Cup of Té was a fun idea that stemmed from my podcast. In hoping to be sponsored by a tea company, I decided that instead of waiting around, I would to start my own. Not having any experience in business, I had to teach myself everything but it has been such a rewarding process and our customers have been nothing but supportive and positive about their experiences, our quality of product, and branding.
SC: Which one of your ventures would you consider your side hustle?
TLN: My side hustle is my podcast, Tea Time with Tay. Until recently, I had taken a two year hiatus from it in order to start my main hustle, Cup of Té. Coming from a media background, podcasting and interviewing people with inspiring and interesting stories is as comfortable to me as breathing. I’m so happy to be able to do it again now that there’s more stability in my business. It allows me to be creative and use my platform to connect with others.
SC: What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
TLN: I would tell 18-year-old me to relax. 18-year-old Taylor was terrified that there would be no place for a Black girl in a wheelchair in this world. Not seeing other people who looked like me was very difficult but I decided to not let it dictate my potential. I made an agreement with myself when I turned 20 that if I was not seeing people like me in the spaces I wanted to occupy, then it was my duty to pave the way. I hope that I’m doing good on that promise.
SC: How do you hope to leave an impact on the world?
TLN: I hope to show everyone that no matter your circumstances, achieving greatness is possible. I have all the cards stacked against me on paper: I’m black, raised by a single mother, female, and disabled. According to society, I’m not supposed to make it. However, the things I’ve been able to accomplish despite all of my alleged limitations is proof that the only person who can put limitations on you, is yourself.