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Founder’s Friday featuring Awa Kone @ N/UM


Please provide a brief description about your company.
N/UM is a gourmet food brand, brining authentic artisan ingredients to the American & Canadian markets. We recently launched our first line of artisan salts from Southern Africa, which includes delicious salts to elevate both drinks and meals.

Two hashtags that best describe you 
#unapologetic #determined

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Becoming a credentialed actuary.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Enjoying sunrises/sunsets with great views.

What is your greatest fear?
Not sure.

Whom do you most admire?
My mother. Fearless and extremely courageous, she never took no for an answer, she always had an incredible ability to read people and situations.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Be more of a social butterfly.

What are your top tips for balancing work and life?
Time is our most valuable currency, as such I am a very firm believer in achieving the right balance in how we use our time and live our lives. I would say that first, one needs to make having a life a priority. Then one needs to be very intentional about how they use their time, going to even the extend of scheduling free or personal times to ensure it is adhered to.

What is something new that you learned about running a business this year?
It is hard but extremely rewarding to stick to your values. When we started N/UM, we were adamant about building this brand from an African perspective and collaborate with local brands, with same values. However we quickly realized that at every corner, there were significant challenges which made our initial commitment to the African journey tougher. It went from delays in production to inability to source materials, or even finding the right partners but despite the obstacles, having that initial strong set of values made the hard decisions easier and helped us manage the obstacles without too much panic. This was truly an intense learning experience.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I am very methodical.

What is your greatest regret?
Can’t say I have any. Life is all about making choices and taking ownership of those choices. Sometimes difficult/painful lessons can arise from those choices but we just learn from them and continue on the journey.

What is a legal mistake you wish someone warned you about?
Trademark process can be very long and complicated. You need a shareholder agreement.

When running your business, what do you struggle with most?
Marketing. This is an area I am not particularly familiar with yet it seems that it can be so significantly impactful if done right! It’s hard to have so much of the success of our brand falling unto an area we struggle with so much. Of course we are seeking help and learning: /adjusting as need be but would be great if we had a bit more sense of confidence that we are on the right path.

What advice would you give to yourself at 25 years old?
Simply “follow your dreams, no matter how scary, be bold”.

Tricia Meyer 301

Tricia Meyer is Founder + Managing Attorney of Meyer Law, one of the fastest growing law firms in the United States. Meyer helps entrepreneurs and technology companies from startups to large corporations with day-to-day matters and notable clients include companies that have appeared on Shark Tank to companies gracing the Inc. 500 to some of the largest companies in the world.

Tricia has been named on the Forbes Next 1000 list, is one of the Most Influential Female Lawyers in Chicago according to Crain’s Chicago Business and been recognized as a top 10 technology lawyer.

As an entrepreneur and a lawyer, Meyer has a unique perspective and has mentored thousands of startups and scaling companies at tech incubators and accelerators across the United States such as 1871, WeWork Labs and Techstars. Tricia has been featured in Inc., Crain’s, Chicago Tribune, NBC Chicago, American Express OPEN Forum, and more. Learn more at and follow Meyer Law’s story on Instagram @loveyourlawyer.