By Emily Merrell
Journaling has been on my to-do list for quite some time. Sometimes I have loads to write, other days I’m not quite sure where to start. With SILK + SONDER, these monthly planners keep you on track for your personal journey. Meha Agrawal, the founder, left jobs at Stitch Fix and The Muse to help others redefine self help. Learn more about her monthly self-help planners below.
SDS: What is SILK + SONDER and why are planners so important?
MEHA AGRAWAL: SILK + SONDER is a self-care and mental wellness subscription. It empowers women to reflect, rejuvenate, and achieve through the therapeutic power of pen to paper. Our product is actually a hybrid of an intentional journal and a planner – we believe that setting intentions and reflecting often are the key to elevating our emotional health. Research also shows that writing things down increases IQ and memory, reduces anxiety and stress, and heals trauma. We’re repackaging everything you read in productivity and self-improvement books, bullet journal layouts, and positive psychology techniques that are inspirational but also actionable.
SDS: As someone who uses her Google calendar for everything, can you tell us more about how to use a planner?
MA: Our self-care monthly planner is not to replace your Google calendar. We recommend using it as a productivity tool – given how busy your day is, what are the top 5 things you’d like to get done? Jot that down and check them off.
SDS: Meha, you were in the tech world before making the jump to entrepreneurship. What was that “aha” moment when you knew it was time to pursue this?
MA: When I saw that we had customers in ALL 50 states and fascinating sub-communities forming from this. I knew that in order to iterate faster and launch new product lines, I’d have to be devoted full time to listening to my customers. Also, to innovate in the short term and provide a suite of lifestyle products that make self-care and wellness an everyday activity.
SDS: When you told me your fundraising goal, I gasped. Yet you said men don’t think it’s enough. As you actively seek fundraising, can you tell us the struggle you see in funding female founded startups vs. male? What limitations do you see women put in place?
MA: I don’t have enough experience to speak to this. However, from a quick poll, it is clear that a lot more women are a lot less confident. Society has already conditioned us to doubt ourselves (even when things go well) so when people say “no”, that doubt is intensified more than it is for our male counterparts. Fundraising is hard regardless of gender – but women sometimes have more to prove.
I’m a solo, technical, female founder of color – I have way more to prove. I know that this foundational work will not only set me up to find the right strategic investors, but trust that the preparation will pay off dividends in building a highly profitable business faster. Especially if it’s women who are building consumer products for women, it’s hard to convince your audience on how big the market is if they’re not experiencing the problem themselves. You just have to know your audience and tailor your pitch so it’s relatable. Mental wellness is something that is increasingly affecting men, so hopefully that will help when I pitch!
SDS: What’s your five year vision for SILK + SONDER?
MA: We are building a lifestyle brand that will make everyday self-care and mental wellness easy and personalized.
SDS: If you were to know one thing now that you didn’t know when you started, what would it be?
MA: Don’t underestimate listening to your early customers, especially your evangelists. Their feedback will highlight patterns and problems you didn’t even know you were solving for!