Meha Agrawal of SILK + SONDER talks about what inspired her to start the company
1.Tell us about your company?
At SILK + SONDER, we hand-curate and design “planners” that we deliver monthly to people’s doorsteps. Each month’s issue includes the best of productivity and planning, introspection and mindfulness, and lifestyle content aligned to a specific theme. We just launched with our inaugural “Tea Line” so each issue’s aesthetics and content are inspired by a particular flavor of tea. With a relentless commitment to improvement and empowerment, we’re excited to offer a planning experience that goes beyond the traditional, annual planner and encourages people to start afresh every month to live the life they’ve always wanted.
2.What/who inspired you to start your company?
SILK + SONDER was an idea my cofounder and close friend, Joe, and I came up with when we were at dinner one evening. As engineers turned entrepreneurs, we always shared ideas and tips on how to stay inspired, productive, and mindful from various books and thought leaders. After trying all sorts of yearly planners, blank diaries, and everything in between, we realized that nothing quite stuck to help us achieve our dreams. So we decided to create a product we’d been craving for decades- one that intersected art, design, and travel with productivity, passion, and focus. SILK + SONDER is an extension to who we already are- so the inspiration was natural. We love optimizing for our own well-being as well as the well-being of others so building SILK + SONDER has been rewarding each and every day :)
3.Tell us a story/incident that happened while starting or running your company that may have made you feel defeated. Now tell us how you overcame that.
A lot of people find it difficult to find developers to help them with the technical execution for their ideas. I have a degree in Computer Science and Joe is a self-taught developer so we have an unique, but interesting problem. We always have options, especially when it comes to code. Originally, we wanted to go with an existing template, powered by Shopify or Squarespace since those are guaranteed to look pretty and be functional - but we found the learning curve to include a subscription service plugin to be higher than if we were to integrate a third-party API like Stripe. There was a bit of back-and-forth because dealing with payments for an MVP seemed more daunting and unnecessary, but since we were stubborn to make our website look and behave a certain way, we knew we’d have to build it ourselves. In order to overcome it, we used a “time box” technique - where we gave ourselves a week to complete as much of the website as possible and remove extra, unnecessary features. This process helped us set a precedent in all areas of the business, where we thoughtfully execute without losing track of the importance of time.
4.Have you had any unique challenges as a woman in business?
Nothing out of the ordinary but I do occasionally find myself trying to “chase perfection,” an internal challenge that many women entrepreneurs face. With SILK + SONDER, I have to constantly remind myself to push things out before they are “perfect” or “ready,” which sometimes feels unnatural. However, this has become increasingly rewarding to see a shift in my confidence.
What is your biggest fear with your company and how do you overcome it?
My biggest fear with SILK + SONDER was that it would be seen as “just another planner” and that no one would see the value in using a “new” planner every month. To overcome this, we put in extra effort to listen to our customers, incorporate their feedback in future iterations, and use innovative techniques in our design to curate these planners and ensure that our first waves of users actually find them valuable. The surprise element seems to be adding a unique twist to the otherwise “boring” shopping experience for a planner.
6.What are your goals with the company?
We have a lot of goals for SILK + SONDER! We love our inaugural “Tea Line,” but we are aware that it caters towards a very specific demographic. We want to widen the scope and include more themes and lines so that we can help people of different personalities and backgrounds with their goals and needs.
Eventually, we see SILK + SONDER morphing into a much greater personalized subscription service centered around self-improvement and self-care, promoting authenticity and empowering people to achieve their dreams.
SILK +SONDER will be featured for our Female Founders giveaway this Friday! If you want to get an inspiring planner and a Too Pretty super soft off the shoulder sweatshirt, you must enter on our Instagram page.