Founder & CEO of SILK + SONDER
Tell us about your career and how it all started?
Before founding SILK + SONDER, I was a software engineer and product manager for Goldman Sachs, Stitch Fix, The Muse, and Fueled. After dealing with my fair share of self-doubt, Imposter Syndrome, anxiety, and stress, I turned towards journaling and noticed a magical shift to my emotional health. I wanted to create a guided self-care and mental wellness experience that leveraged the power of pen to paper.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
As a female computer scientist, I was often one of few women in my classes. As a result, I turned towards USC Helenes, an all women philanthropic organization at my alma mater and felt immediate energy and support from women of various backgrounds. In the real world and especially since joining the startup scene, I immerse myself through my networks at The Wing, Dreamers // Doers, LadyDrinks and Women in Innovation. Sisterhood makes me feel comfortable in my own skin and confident to share my voice. I imagine a world where we support each other in our largest dreams and aspirations to make the world a better place for our sisters, and generations to come.
What's your personal mantra?
I love this quote by Rumi - “What you seek is seeking you.” It forces you to get clear on what you actually want and trust that if you want it for all the right reasons, it’ll come.
What is your superpower?
My ability to connect with anyone and empower them to see their strengths within moments of meeting them.
Tell us about women that inspired you and your female role models:
My mother - she moved to this country at 21, held many administrative roles at the University of California, Santa Barbara - she made me believe that I could be anything I wanted to be when I “grew up”.
Apart from my mother, my biggest female role models are Sarah Blakely (Spanx), Katrina Lake (Stitch Fix), and Reese Witherspoon - they are living proof that hard work and resilience pays off and you can succeed even while you remain unapologetically feminine.
What would be your advice for women who are building careers in your industry?
If you’re building a product where the end consumer is you or someone like you, don’t deviate from your gut. People will give you their opinions but you know more than you think. Remember that you can course correct if your assumptions are wrong, but don’t back out from trying.
One piece of advice for your 18 year old self?
Stop chasing gold stars for external validation. Figure out what makes you tick and attack it with full force, that’s what will make you come alive!