Meha Agrawal knew she wanted to create a product that would allow her to use her analytical and creative skill sets. Recognizing the opportunity that lay in the growing wellness market she came up with the idea for Silk + Sonder, a subscription based-monthly planner that’s delivered straight to your door, filled with monthly and weekly calendar spreads, habit trackers, mindfullness practices, art, travel and design articles, as well as reflection and gratitude prompts. Now this New Yorker is learning from each new challenge that presents itself as she grows her business.
Agrawal’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
After going through our fair share of career and relationship ruts as well as reading all kinds of books on productivity and mindfulness, I set out to create a product that would help elevate emotional health for customers. As a former computer scientist but natural-born businesswoman, I constantly straddled a desire to be both analytical and creative. I wanted to create a product that encompassed both aspects so that I could successfully fill that void. With self-help and wellness transforming into a growing industry, we wanted to create a product and experience for customers that felt empowering, energizing, and authentic. We’re on a mission to redefine self-help to self-investment and repackage that experience to be more personalized, accessible, and actionable. Essentially, we’re creating a product that we wish we had had when we went through our highs and lows – think life-coach and best friend in booklet form.
To me, success is achieved when you’re operating your authentic set of core values as you reach your functional goals. Success is ever-evolving, it’s a journey and not a destination. When your day-to-day is in perfect alignment to your personal values, you’ll feel successful throughout the process. Success also requires you to dream, set goals, attain, and then restart that process.
“In every challenge, there’s an opportunity!”
– Meha Agrawal, Founder of Silk + Sonder
My first goal was to get one paying customer the day we launched our website. We did. Then we reached 50. Then 200. However, for me the biggest success was when a customer reached out to us who was diagnosed with adult ADHD and said our product has changed her life. When I realized that we were solving problems that we hadn’t even intended to solve, it made “success” come to life for me. Surprise successes that are embedded into your journey are rewarding in an entirely different way.
One of our challenges was related to turn-around time with our printing press. They could take anywhere between 7-9 days so if we were behind on design, we’d essentially be doomed and risk customer experience due to delayed deliveries. I decided to go out and find another printing press and found one that even reduced our costs by 50%. In every challenge, there’s an opportunity!
I developed software for Stitch Fix before I started SILK + SONDER. I usually don’t have one role-model because I admire distinct qualities from many people, but Katrina Lake’s story really resonated. In only 7 years, she built one of the most wonderful company cultures, disrupted retail by integrating technology with humans, and took a company public. Along that journey, she managed to get married and have a baby. To me, this is the epitome of female founders being able to achieve it all.