In Conversation with Meha Agrawal of Silk + Sonder

Meha Agrawal_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Silk + Sonder is a wellness subscription experience for modern women that makes daily and proactive self-care easy and fun, from the comfort of her home through a guided journal, online community, and virtual programming.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Three years ago, I felt trapped in an emotional rut with the same disjointed, isolating and self-navigated options most of us have today: therapy felt intimidating, coaching was expensive, anxiety medications seemed risky, and meditation apps were quite frankly…boring. While all potentially viable options for improving my mental wellness, simply finding and engaging with any of these felt onerous and insufficient. I felt this way to begin with because I lacked connection and that, along with accountability, was exactly what I was seeking. Then, however ironically, I finally discovered the therapeutic power of pen to paper and peer-driven support. Its profound impact on my own life left me no choice but to dedicate all my time and energy to bring a more approachable and impactful solution to mental wellness to others worldwide. We launched Silk + Sonder: a subscription for mental wellness that includes a guided monthly journal (yes, analog!) and access to an online community of peers who inspire and hold one another accountable.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Before Silk + Sonder, I was a software engineer and product manager for Goldman Sachs, Stitch Fix, The Muse, and Fueled.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I did not! Growing up South Asian American, the only career options presented to me were engineering, medicine, law, and academia. I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I left Goldman Sachs to work at The Muse as their 8th employee. Watching Kathryn Minshew and Alex Cavalocous build a company from scratch energized me and I knew then I had the crazies in me to pursue an idea of my own one day.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

I didn’t have a formal marketing strategy – I just had a goal to get in the hands of a friend of a friend within our first week of launching. Beyond that, it was mostly word of mouth and leveraging communities of women readers (e.g. blogs, newsletters etc.) and that seemed to work for early traction!

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

One of the ongoing challenges is ensuring that our product reaches customers’ homes before the 1st of the month. Because we can’t control shipping carriers’ timeline, we’ve had to put internal processes in place to ensure that we minimize unexpected delays.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Creating a community of diverse members across all walks of life and all 50 states with different values, beliefs, and challenges that coexist and support one another in spite of their differences. That is truly rewarding in our current climate.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Like many companies, we had to pivot on certain product decisions. In our case, we had originally launched IRL programming to foster deeper connection with our members. Once the pandemic hit, we had to quickly pivot to virtual sessions.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

There will always be unfortunate, unpredictable, and uncertain situations we can’t always control. The best thing we can do is to constantly plan for worst-case scenarios so when they do occur, we’re prepared to react appropriately.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Staying in my own swim lane. There was so much going on in the world – businesses were crumbling in the midst of uncertainty and chaos. The only thing I could do was stay relentlessly focused on my own business and health and let go of the things I couldn’t control. This allowed me to stay centered, hopeful, and committed professionally and personally.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I believe that they should be integrated – if you play your cards right, you don’t necessarily need balance because they are both equally energizing and naturally blend. That said, I do believe in creating space to recharge and play. I highly encourage folks to think about the hobbies and interests that gave them joy as children – spend time doing that every week, every day if you can. That time and space is sacred and it’s critical in making you more productive when you return to work or life.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

While most know that I’m an avid dancer, most don’t know that I have a huge passion for singing. I usually spend 2-3 hours on Saturday playing Karaoke by myself. 🙂

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

1. Journal every morning, 2. Don’t check email and Slack until lunch., 3. Move all possible meetings to afternoon.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista means that I define ambition on my own terms, in my own words and carve my own path.

.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Randi Shinder on how SBLA explores the intersection of science and beauty to create skincare products that address universal aging concerns

Describe your business in a few words? SBLA uses the intersection of science and beauty to create skincare products that address universal aging concerns. The non-invasive wand-delivery-system skincare line is clinically proven to build collagen, smooth, lift and tighten the skin while targeting the most fragile areas of the face and neck to deliver a…

How Heather Ouida and her co-founders are amplifying women’s voices in the gaming industry through the*gameHERs

Describe your business in a few words? The*gameHERs is a media platform and social networking community that connects, supports and amplifies women who game and who work in the gaming industry. Our mission is to advance the role, voice, image, and power of all women, femme-identifying and non-binary gamers who are comfortable in spaces that…

Creating a smarter swaddle with Hindi Zeidman through her company The Ollie World

Describe your business in a few words? It all started with an amazing infant named Oliver. I was a single foster parent and he was my foster son. When he came to me he was on the verge of being labeled failure-to-thrive because he struggled with the basics of eating and sleeping. He was also…

Jen Fuller on how Etta Loves delivers both babies’ cognitive development and calmness for parents through uniquely-designed baby products

Describe your business in a few words? Etta Loves baby essentials are uniquely designed with science to support babies’ visual and cognitive development, delivering wonder for babies and calm for parents in the everyday. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had an idea that I couldn’t ignore when my…

How Jessica Jackson is achieving better sleep for both parents and their babies through The Mookabee Swaddle

Describe your business in a few words? The Mookabee Swaddle is committed to helping babies (and ultimately their parents!) achieve better sleep by utilizing the proven power of a parent’s scent. 10% of all profits are donated to Saving Mothers- a non profit dedicated to improving maternal health worldwide. What made you take the leap…

Stacie Stanley on empowering women through her swimwear brand STAYkini™

Describe your business in a few words? STAYkini™ is a swimwear revolution created to empower women through high-quality, backless, strapless swimwear that lets us move freely and soak up the sun while avoiding unwanted tan lines and accidental exposure. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had the idea for…

Healing Trauma and Getting In Touch With Your Power with Kimberly Ann Johnson, Author of Call Of The Wild

What made you take the leap to start your own business? I’ve always worked for myself (beside when I waited tables and a brief foray into public school teaching). But I took the leap from a calling to a career when I became a mother. What was your background prior to starting your own business?…

How Nicole Boyd used her maternity leave to create Prept, a personal style and beauty help service delivered to consumers virtually so that everyone can feel Prept

Describe your business in a few words? Prept is an on-demand style + beauty concierge that matches women in need of style/beauty help to experts that can help in an affordable, personalized, and digital way. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Having TIME OFF from my corporate job while on…

Daniela Schiliro & Heather Kamback on co-founding inBodi Swim, a swimwear brand inspired by different places of the world the duo has traveled together

Describe your business in a few words? Each collection of inBodi Swim has been thoughtfully created based on different places around the world that we’ve been fortunate enough to see and experience. Along with the environments, colors, textures, cultures of each place; we are most inspired by the unique beauty that each and every woman…

Women Making Bold Moves In Business

Your next read: Ali Kriegsman, co-founder of Bulletin, has released her debut book How To Build A Goddamn Empire. We can’t wait to check it out!  🎉 An exciting partnership: Rocksbox, founded by Meaghan Rose, was acquired by Signet Jewelers, making their $1B service business goal that much closer. 🎉 Top sellers: The Jills Zeder Group, a women-led…

Jasmine Carter on how her own obsession for engagement rings led her to create Balacia, a custom bridal jewelry brand that allows shoppers to create the engagement and wedding rings of their dreams

Describe your business in a few words? Balacia is a custom bridal jewelry brand allowing shoppers to create the engagement and wedding rings of their dreams within their budget. We use diamonds, moissanite, and gemstones so buyers have endless options for colors, shapes, and sizes for their rings. In addition to rings, we also make…

How Julianne Fraser is creating meaningful dialogues with Dialogue New York, a global digital marketing consultancy that specializes in influencer marketing

Describe your business in a few words? Dialogue New York is a global digital marketing consultancy, that specializes in building influencer marketing strategies for luxury and lifestyle brands. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Over the last decade, I’ve watched as the Wild, Wild West of Influencer Marketing took shape,…

Tiffany Buzzatto on pioneering unbottled, undiluted, and uncomplicated slow beauty with her brand DEW MIGHTY

Describe DEW MIGHTY in a few words? We are pioneering unbottled, undiluted, and uncomplicated slow beauty. We plan to always deliver effective skin care products without fillers, sans water, free of nasty ingredients, and without plastic or trashy packaging to always USE LESS. DEW MORE™ What made you take the leap to start your own…

Molly Fienning on how Red Clay turned her into a hot sauce fanatic and CEO

Describe your business in a few words? Red Clay is a cold-pressed, made-for-foodies hot sauce and hot honey brand, named “Tabasco for the 21st century” by Food and Wine Magazine and “a hot honey to elevate your meal” by The New York Times. Crafted by a talented Southern chef, we focus on delicious flavor, sustainably-sourced…

Jhoanna Marissa, founder of WILLA Creative Agency, on creating her dream women-led digital creative agency in the fashion and lifestyle space

Describe WILLA Creative Agency in a few words? A digital-first creative agency working with beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Not being able to find my dream job. I wanted to work in the digital e-commerce space specifically in beauty and fashion. And back when…