On a mission to make healthy (and delicious) treats available to everyone, Tiril Refsum started Oslo Raw, one of Oslo's most popular raw food cafes. Handmade with raw natural ingredients, all her foods are vegan raw and organic – and packed with proteins, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins. For Tiril, being healthy is not about rules and diets, it’s about self-nourishment and enjoying your food. After starting her own catering company called RawFoodOslo, Tiril later opened her own Oslo Raw cafe. Within a year she had over 17 employees and published her first bestselling cookbook, Rågodt.
Hi Tiril! Who are you and what is your story? :-)
I'm founder, co-owner and CEO of Oslo Raw, mother to Molly, and married to Christopher, my business partner. At the moment I’m also excited about lots of new projects. In 2016 I started Oslo Raw in my kitchen at home. I made a commitment to always work with what I love and to pursue my dreams. Since that point my company has taught me so much about myself and how to grow into a more conscious being, leader and mother. I love the sweetness and beauty of life. Being able to serve others on a daily basis with my creations is what makes me most happy.
What does day in your life look like?
I start my day with a little stretch in bed, giving thanks, and then deciding on whether I want hot chocolate, coffee or tea before breakfast. I love them all. Hot chocolate is more for the colder days when I need a little extra warmth, while cold brewed green tea is a winner on warmer days. After dry brushing my body and showering in cold water, I start my workday by going through my emails and messages. After that Simba (our little dog), Molly and I visit our cafes and sit down for a meeting or two. I then hopefully get some me-time where I can do some exercise. I love spending my evenings at home with my family, doing as little as possible. We go to bed early and I really like ending my day with a little mediation or an evening stretch. Cuddles, tea and chocolate, and then sleepy time.
If you had 30 seconds to summarise what Oslo Raw is, what would you say?
Oslo Raw is Norway’s leading plant-based concept with cafes, books, podcasts and shops. Our mission is to inspire others to find the pleasures in life, to feel well and happy, while growing into a more conscious being. Our goal is to provide people with sanctuaries which remind you of life’s simple pleasures and invite you to relax and connect with your creativity, senses and body.
Deciding to start something on your own is a brave and huge decision. Did you have any mentors who supported you?
Yes, my mentor Billie Lue Fung was very important to me, and still is. My father is an amazing man who supports me on many levels. My family has also been vital for me along the way. It was scary to stay on the path of trusting my own way. They all helped me to continue and grow into being more of me.
What podcasts do you listen to inspire or learn from?
The Sakara Life, Goop, Expanded, On Being, Orgasmic Enlightenment, Earn your happy, Ghost of a podcast, Cosmic Body and of course my podcast with Billie Lue-Fung, Raw & Real.
How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends that don’t understand the challenges you experience?
They usually understand something else – enjoying other sides of life, like going dancing or whatever else they might be interested in. My friendships are all very nurturing. For example, my sister is not an entrepreneur (not yet at least) but she is a beautiful, grounded best friend who teaches me what I don’t understand or know. I have other friends doing the same thing as me and it’s fantastic to share experiences with them. Support is much more than having the same interests – it’s about the heart-to-heart connection – and that is what I need in my life.
Do you have any advice for other women who have a dream of starting their own business?
If what you want to do is rooted in your heart and soul’s desire, you cannot fail. Keep going and stay strong in your power. Women have a magnetic power when we work from our gut, heart and soul – we must trust this and have faith. Our creativity is immense and listening to it makes us really powerful businesswomen. When we commit to our own creativity and dreams, we start feeling alive and purposeful. That voice within is what you need to follow. When dreams are followed by action and consistency, and you let go of doubt, there are no obstacles. Seek what brings you joy and lightness, and when it gets tough, keep going – expand and grow consciously towards your highest potential. Your business and life will follow and reflect your growth. For recipes and more follow Oslo Raw on Instagram.