Moonlit's In Bed With... Series is a collection of intimate interviews with tastemakers, core-shakers, and the people we love. We explore what keeps them up at night, in addition to their sleep secrets.
Location: New York, NY
Current gig: CEO of Baloo Living
Sum up the mission of Baloo: To inspire and support self-healing for all people. We believe reconnecting mind and body is transformational; as we access the quiet place within we can finally hear the inner voice, and be guided by our intuition.
IG handle / website: @balooliving / balooliving.com
One word that best describes how you work: Flexible
What software/tools/apps you can't you live without?
Waking Up for meditation lessons; Slack, WeChat, XE currency converter, Scannable for scanning, Stitcher for podcasts; YouTube for Abraham Hicks - they always say exactly what I need to hear in the moment
Favorite book you can read over and over?
Delegating and asking for help!
What’s the science behind weighted blankets and why would you recommend them to troubled sleepers?
What did you do in your "past life" before Baloo?
I’ve tried many jobs and industries looking for the right fit up until taking the leap to found Baloo including marketing for an architecture firm, communications for a DC lobbying firm, account management for an advertising agency, executive assistant to the CEO of a luxury spirits brand and project management for Scholastic.
Starting fresh in a new industry was a challenge each time, but I’m so grateful for the diverse experiences and skills which I now have to draw on as an entrepreneur.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Take time to celebrate, even if you don’t feel like it, especially if you don’t feel like it! It’s important to acknowledge our growth and victories because in doing so we also uplift the people who support us and believe in us!
None of us could do what we do without others, so the celebration is not selfish or self-centered, it’s the most generous thing we can do for our community.
What do you wish you knew before embarking on this journey?
I wish I’d known how well things could go! I was hesitant to expect too much success and was very conservative when we launched. Selling out of was a constant problem throughout our first year and caused a lot of frustration.
Is there a specific lesson you learned or story from your ‘past life’ that you implement at your current gig?
Clarity always over ambiguity. Any time there’s doubt or hesitation about communication, objectives, expectations, or performance, address it. Overlooking small things is how they become big things, and always knowing that there’s nothing hidden or unspoken keeps teams running smoothly without the friction of subtext. In an environment or relationship that’s clear and honest, there’s trust, and room for each person to set personal boundaries. I’ve had the fortune to work in environments both with and without clear communication and transparency, and these were the biggest contributors to my sense of enjoyment and effectiveness at work.
Like Moonlit, Baloo was inspired by Bali. Tell us about this.
What are your go-to recommendations for anyone going to Bali for the first time?
What’s a big misconception about running a small business?
I had no idea how much I would work - or how much fun it would be!
What does your support system look like?
I’m so grateful for the people supporting me in this amazing life! It takes so much to build and create something, especially now that Baloo is growing and evolving rapidly. My family has been so supportive, each person has touched the business in some way and offers nothing but encouragement and support. I talk to my mom most days, at least for a few minutes. I have close friends who understand that I can’t be as present and don’t hold it against me, which means so much to me. There are amazing people who have come into my life to offer guidance and advice or make introductions, and that has been so energizing. Last but not least, each person on Baloo’s team really cares, and that intention to support and to serve is what makes everything possible.
Can you take us through a typical day (or atypical!)?
What's your sleep routine like?
I’m early to bed, early to rise. I travel a lot but I will often have a weighted blanket with me, naturally. And yes I love sleeping with it!
What was your upbringing like and how did it affect your point of view, career path, etc?
I had a lot of freedom growing up to be creative and push my boundaries. What that looked like was running around the neighborhood, riding bikes, camping in the Texas Hill Country and exploring creeks and thickets, catching tadpoles and fishing, riding horses and feeding cows. My dad had a workshop, and I’d use his tools to make flimsy furniture from wood scraps for my treehouse. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother in her art studio, drawing and painting, or cooking in her kitchen.
I think being free to be so independent and to explore so many creative projects gave me the confidence needed to try new things like creating a business, to know that I’ll figure it out as I go. I’m also very appreciative of nature, trees and animals. Children are so open and being outdoors and observing nature has had a big impact on me.
What surprised (good or bad, you choose) you about this journey?
I’m surprised repeatedly by how many open-hearted and supportive people there are. I had no idea that once I took the leap, that others would be there to guide me along the path. I would have done this much earlier if I’d known that I didn’t have to figure it out all by myself.
What’s in store for the rest of 2019 with Baloo?
I’m focused on building out our team to spread our message further and connect with those who feel our mission resonates. We’re exploring ways to make Baloo’s blankets available for people to experience in person, either in private or in groups with events among community. We’ve just launched in the UK, and will be launching in Canada in a few weeks, which is very exciting. And we’ll be expanding our giveback to Pajama Program, a grassroots nonprofit that gives kids in vulnerable situations like homeless shelters a reassuring bedtime routine.
My ideal # of hours of sleep is: 8
Sleep season for me is: Any time I’m at my parents’ house I sleep so much it’s silly!
How many pillows: 2, one covering my face
AM or PM?: Definitely a morning person, I wake at 5 or 6am and do my most creative thinking in the morning
Fav podcast?: Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
Bad sleep habit: Setting my alarm too early so that I know I’ll snooze through it
Good sleep habit: Going to bed early
Side/back/stomach sleeper: All of the above