Welcome to episode 7 of Female Startup Club with Renee Mets. My name is Doone and if you’re new here, let me bring you up to speed.
Today I’m chatting with Renee Mets, one of the co founders behind a new brand called Ritology that’s pioneering the way for sustainable personal care for women. Join us as we discuss her startup story and their wildly successful refer-a-friend campaign launch which garnered 1100 people signing up in less than a week. The process of getting into the world’s most sought after seed accelerator program Y-Combinator and the importance of building a company backed by purpose.
TOPICS WE COVER:
The manufacturing process and working with China
The startup journey and how to launch a product from scratch
How to apply for Y-Combinator and the process all the way through to final interviews
Working in harmony with your business partner and what it’s like working from different countries
Where Renee hangs out to get smarter
Building a business backed by purpose and working on something that helps the planet
Celebrating the small stuff
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
This is Renee for Female Startup Club, what we're doing before you started Ritology and what they did, like what got you to starting Ritology. Yeah, Okay, so basically I'm always working on passion projects. so Mhm. Me and my co founder Daegen, we were working together managing because about eight brands under an umbrella business, we were managing events around the world and we just worked in really, really well together and we thought we were actually looking for more sustainable products for um around the house, it's always a discussion with the brand, you're working on those aprons with a sustainable brands all or industry with a M they were more in like health wellness, fitness um that's sort of arena, so that's I guess my background as well um in events and marketing, I ran my own health and wellness events, so around Australia um So it's always, I mean I'm always focused on like doing better and being better personally and then sharing that with, sharing that insight.
Yeah, and so when you were working with her, what was the point that made you decide like, oh let's start a business together and like what it was, Yeah, did you have like a flash bug, flash ball, a light bulb moment where you were like, we have this great idea or did you go to her and be like, oh this is what I'm thinking or vice versa. Um So we worked in really, really closely, so specifically on the events, she was doing all the sponsorships um and sort of bringing the brands on board and I was doing all the logistics of the manufacturing and we would speak every minute of the day. Um Love us said he's in a pod. Yeah. Um We basically, after a while, we just working so well together. Why don't we just do something of our own? Um and like quit, like the job that you're working to start it or be like, let's just do it on the side. Um I mean the idea was there, but we never really had the light bulb moment until further on.
Okay, okay. So, and actually when Dagon fell pregnant, it all started to evolve. Oh my God. Yeah, too. She, oh my God, my mind every day. Sometimes I'm like, how are you even working right now? You have two kids my nephew visited for two hours on monday and afterwards also need to get your tired right? I guess you're, you're just like, you find that energy source. Yeah. And she motivates me a lot too. She just gets in and gets it done. Yeah. So yeah, we were working together worked really well and that just led to um finding a product that we wanted to improve and make it better? And there wasn't really an option for females when we're looking around. Um It was just a huge opportunity as well. And so did you quit your job and start working on it before you found the idea like together or what was it a combination of working in your other job and it was a combination and it kind of, it really is mind blowing when things just work out perfectly, like when timings sink, it's like, this is just meant to be so David felt pregnant.
The, I was contracting for these events, so the contract was coming to an end. Um, the events were slowing down. Um, so that was all happening at the time where we really knuckle down and thought this is the brand we want to create. This is the vision that we have and we found the products that we wanted to make. So it all just came together in a few months. And so what happened when you thought of the idea and you have like, okay, yeah, we've got the vision now, we need to build this brand. What was the next step? Like, did you find a factory somewhere? Did you, what was the process of getting the brand kind of like from then until now, I guess it was 10 months ago, right, that you launched or? Uh, no. So we have the, uh, everything sort of came together in terms of the razor, the branding about 12 months now. 11, 11, 12 months. Okay. Yeah. And then from then.
So we've worked with a manufacturer or I have for years when I was back in 2015, I think I started working with this manufacturer. Yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely share that. Yeah. She basically manufactured the very first bags that we wanted for our first event and I found her just through alibaba and alibaba is so good. Yeah, seriously, she delivered the bags, I needed them really quick. Um I just sent her the logo, She made them, sent them and I had them I think in two weeks it's like I need to keep this lady, I've been fun. Like when you're dealing with people in china, like it's so easy because you have them on WhatsApp, their communication is like amazing. Most of time when you find someone that you can connect with who's really good, their communication is great and it's just so easy to get what you need and just get it to you. Yes, it was so easy. And I actually had for a previous event manufacturing Australia arranged bags and it just, it was almost a nightmare.
The bags are late for the event. Um Yeah, the logos like Swift. So yeah, she was just amazing. Um so over the years we've used her for manufacturing for a whole heap of events and she would tell you is trusted person. Yeah, she became an agent really. So she would go off and find the products for me that I needed. Um and I'm always sort of sending ideas to her, she's finding samples of products. So, um, that's the, probably the first step just to get a sample of products. Really cool. Really cool answer. Then before, because you launched the website in, was it august. So up until like you had the branding and you had the website and all that kind of thing from then until august. How did you get together, your kind of like, launch phase? And what did you do to launch? So it feels crazy saying was 12 months ago because it literally feels like a lifetime. Yeah, like this is my baby now. Yeah. Before we had the razor, it was like before, yeah, before we had the razor and the actual brand name, we knew that we wanted to do something that's sustainable.
We actually had a completely other product. Another product, it was biodegradable wipes. Yeah, that had only oil in it. So as soon as you add water into a product, it you have to add in the preservatives. So that was, we had that idea. Um but it's really hard. We wanted it to be a really clean formulation, um and we've not done a product with the formula before, so that's why we switched to a physical product. Did you make the product before you switched? Or you couldn't get there in the end, we got some samples based on other formulas, but we wanted our own and we wanted a special oil that we sourced from Africa. Um so yeah, it just was taking way too much time in, like, we need to launch this thing and when you decided to pivot and you're like, okay, maybe this isn't it? How did you deal with the whole, like, okay, maybe maybe this isn't the right direction and we need to change to another product because I can imagine feel like for people that could be really hard to be like, okay, maybe this isn't the right choice and I spent so much time already and money and all this kind of thing.
And now I need to make that like executive decision to change. And obviously for you especially it's for the better, but it still must be like a tricky. I think at the time it wasn't, we're stopping that and we're doing this. It writes that aggression. Yeah. That's going to take a long time. This product we can get to market okay. We can a just something to make it better and which was the razor. Um and the wipes that's, that's in the future. Uh yeah, that's the next, the next thing that could come. Yeah, exactly. But at that time now we're kind of thinking maybe that's not what it sounds like a great. Yeah. Yeah. And I would love it too. I still use the samples but they just want exactly what we wanted. Yeah. So yeah, I guess it was it wasn't with stopping that I guess. I never really put an end to something. He's always like in my mind and I think that really helps in business too because you're not really losing it and you've learned so much from that.
Like if we have launched that with not the perfect formula and not what we wanted, it could have been terrible, wasted even more. Oh yeah, I get what you're saying. Yeah. And so when you, after the pivot after all that section, how did you actually launch the razors to where they are now? Because I remember we spoke about you did some influence of marketing, you did like a lot of email building this building. Do you want to talk a little bit about your like strategy in getting that? So we put a lot of effort in getting our messaging really clear. So the website, so everything sort of made sense when people go to the social media and they go to the website? It was all in the finals really like clear and yeah, directs people through what we did in an instant. So that was something that we really worked hard on and then that was leading up to launch, um, Then we had 15 samples delivered and there was a couple of tweaks that we still wanted to do, but we gifted them to people just to get feedback.
And that's one of the biggest things that I would recommend people do at the very beginning? Just get a sample, not a perfect sample and get people using it and giving you feedback with their experience. Um, and so what do people say? What was the kind of feedback you got back? So we gave people a mix of like metal raises. We gave them pink razors. We gave them quite raises. Okay, so like branding and also like the style of Yeah, yeah. So this is before we got the final 15. Yeah. That we gave out two influences. Okay. Getting friends and family to test. Um, and yeah, they preferred the color, Like the White one, the one with can show you guys again, my friend like that. Really cute. This is smooth operator. Yeah. So yeah, Sorry, go on. So they like this one in the medal races looked scary. That's a funny, funny like thing to actually comes up in a lot of forums online that don't change two medal races because they look scary.
Let's get it out themselves. That's a really interesting inside. Yeah, we're learning all these things along the way. And then we wanted to start with white because white is beautiful. It suits every bathroom. A lot of people actually say they put the pink. But yeah, It's so men can actually use it as well. So like we're cutting even though our marketing is all geared towards females and we want our primary audience is females. Men can still use it to. Yeah. So yeah, we figured that out. And then we got the 15 samples and then we have friends that have influenced digging and I have a bit of a following as well. So we created a refer a friend program on the website. So at this stage we've only shown people the razor um based on A three D. model that we have drawn up from our original samples. And so people would sign up to get a special when we launched pre order.
So yeah they would refer friends, friends would sign up then they would get points. Um so you just stated that out through your personal network, you didn't kind of do any other tactics outside of that to build that email list. Uh What apart from gifting the razors. Um and we've got a really special message in that two billion plastic races go to landfill every year. It's a lot. I didn't know that. Yeah. And now I've repeated it like a million times to anyone who will listen. And I'm talking about you. I'm like and did you know like 70 kg of you? Your your way we control your. Yeah. Like a lifetime. It is so great. It's such an easy swap to it's like and so people resonated with that. So um they can actually owned an influencer agency before we worked together. Um So she has people that she's friends with who also have the power of connection. Yeah. And so were gifted to them.
And I mean we didn't ask anyone to post it was if you love it they'll share it, we just want and we it was still the same false fears sharing with friends and family. It was all we want is your feedback the power of word of mouth. Yeah. And when we reached out to them, we let them know about the refer a friend and where watching on the night so they did share it. They had that information. I had the message, I am wrote an article for rag trader yesterday with tips of how like I launched my business and in one of the like influencer marketing tips, what I was saying is that in the beginning I also launched in a similar way and that I gave all of my girlfriends and all the women that I knew with influence as well and I didn't ask them to post something specific. It was just if you love it like wear it and sparkling and even if they didn't post but they just loved it and their friends saw it and a friend would be like, oh, what's your necklace? Yeah, your earrings. And then I say, even with celebrities, like celebrities aren't necessarily going to post for you, but if they're friends seeing them use it.
Yeah, it's just a question. Yeah. What's that? Yeah, this is cute. Yeah. And I think that's like there's nothing that drives me crazier than a brand emailing me um to be like, hey, like post about this and I want like one instagram feed post and I want like this, this is but it's not paid and like it's not even relevant to my audience or something. I'm like, man, you just got it so wrong. Like I got one the other day that was so weird. And I politely declined because I also don't feel that I should have to educate the influence the manager in companies to be like, you're just approaching this all wrong. But I mean there's a place for paid advertising and paid him. Yeah. And that's the place for paid. Yeah. But if they're being like, it's not paid and this is what we want from you. She was like, I love the kind of content you produce. Um LA this isn't paid. Um but this is what we want from you. And I was like, I'm not interested in a free phone case or whatever it is. Like we're talking about no case.
Thank you. And it's like sitting my needs perfectly, but maybe. Yeah, but for example, something like this is really interesting and if you're on board with the message and that kind of thing is just such a powerful um it's just, yeah, and at this stage that we're all the time as well, I mean, we're so grateful that people did share it, but feedback was huge. Um And yeah, we got feedback from people both positive and ways that we can improve it. So because we've only had the 15 samples and we're going into pre order. We placed our full order about a week after we launched pre orders so that we could get their feedback and we did tweak a few things, like, for example, where you pull the razor out, The finger marks, finger imprints were too thin. Uh it was really hard to pull it out. So yeah, mm one. That's great. Are you planning to stay DdC direct to consumer or are you wanting to do wholesale?
Because I know obviously it's a subscription service, so that makes it a little bit different for wholesale. Yeah. What's the future plan? That's a really interesting question. And something that we discuss regularly. Um Originally we were direct consumer and we're staying that way and subscription model suits that obviously. But the more that we're researching what other brands are doing, like there's a natural deodorant brand called Miro and they've just stopped in target. So yeah, they're they're fairly new. I feel bad saying that because sometimes people like, well, we actually started in just like overnight success, whatever they talk about. Um So yeah, they're subscription and they're stalking target. So it's definitely something that we want to do is wholesale, but to um, will be very selective. Yeah, so it is a premium brand.
Um, so boutique stores salons and the like is what would be, yeah, really cool. And it would be a really slow process because wholesaling is not something that we've really either dig in or I have been involved much in. So yeah, me neither. I find like the whole sale thing is this whole new, like I was about to say bucket of fish kettle of fish, what's the same kettle of fish kettle of fish? That's really strange. I don't know. Okay, I've got that wrong. I don't know what that is, but I don't know. I don't know. But anyway, a whole, another thing that I'm like, man, this is a tough one I guess. So if you have an agent or someone that comes aboard, yeah. And yeah, starting out, I think an agent would be amazing or starting with, uh, I mean I have a connection with someone who owns a store. So that's what we're in discussions with them now. Um, and you can kind of go back like you're obviously going to have your contracts and everything, but you can kind of tweak things when you're working with one or two people and then once you've figured out the formula, the formula, then you can scale.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. Um, and I wanted to switch topics a little bit and talk about this thing that you're doing tomorrow. That's very, very exciting. Renee has been going through the process of getting into y Combinator, which is a huge um, prestigious accelerator program, a seed accelerator program based out of Silicon Valley and they have just like brought tons of different startups through, um, their program and you know, some of the bigger names that we all know would be Airbnb stripe payment systems drop offs. Um, and you know, a million others, and what they do is they take startups and they fund them $150,000 And they take 7% of the company, but you know, they're, they're like Reddit I think also went through through there. They really built like this crazy community and like the alumni, once you have gotten through y Combinator, you're forever kind of in their communities, he found out.
Yeah. And which is just like unbelievable. So, talk to us about that because I just think I've never met someone that's gone through this process. Absolutely fascinating and well done. Thank you. Cool. It's a bit of a picture moment. It also gives me goose bumps talking. Yeah, she had goosebumps right now. Seriously? Um Yeah, I mean it's kind of surreal and it's taken a lot of planning and really being precise about what we want to create and what we want to achieve and what we can achieve. Yeah, so that's probably been the biggest thing leading up to Y c let's rewind to like the moment where you were like, let's apply to yC, like what was that? How did you be like, let's do this, How did you know about it? How did you like, where was the button to apply? Like let's go back to the beginning? Well this all comes down to Ryan, So Ryan to husband, who I used to work with at what if that day, so that's how we know each other.
Um So he's also a founder of a startup founder and he is a big spicy fan so he's applied and he basically just constantly tells me you need to apply, you need to apply, you need to apply because they take two like two groups through each year, right? Yeah. Um So winter and uh some uh Um batch. Yeah. Um so we're in the winter 2020 match and we've applied once before. It was earlier last year, I think it was about march that we applied. Um and just going through the application is a huge kind of help you solidify your business plan and things that you might not have thought of before. Yeah. And really zoning in on what's important because you can write a business plan but it's not like there's a lot of fluff. Yeah, this really drives deep into what matters and you have to action it.
And I think the key to what got us through this stage is progress. So the first the first them seeing you from the first time to this. So one of the a few of the key things that they, we've watched so many of the videos we watch tv, we watch the video. Yeah, they also have a startup program which actually it was amazing. That Was, I think it's 11 weeks in the lead up to the application date that you buy into that you can just do it online completely free, wow, great tip. I'm gonna link that somewhere in this video, it's completely free. You have each week you have a, what do they call it? An update, updates do? Um and it's got maybe like seven questions. Uh so what's the key metric and what the result was for that week? What do you, what are you working on this week? What are your goals for next week? And what have you accomplished or along those lines?
Yeah. And then you choose uh video call day and you get matched with a group of other people going through startup school and you have a video call with them and you go through those questions. So what have you accomplished this week? And what are you working on the next week? Um did you meet anyone that you're still connected to? Yeah. And people that can really help. And it's not necessarily people that are in your industry or um on the same path as you or at the same stage, but I mean a lot of people were further ahead. A lot of people have been working on their business for five years and they can just give you such key insights. So what's something that you learned from someone else in that process? That's a tough one of the top. Yeah. Sorry. Well, so it's a 10 week or 11 week program. So you have like 11 calls? Um The biggest thing I learned from someone, I mean, the biggest thing of all is just launch, like, right, you're gonna learn faster after you've launched, you can think of all these like, wildest ideas in your head, but have like a simple product that isn't perfect, but has value and launch it or get people using it at the very minimum.
Um so that's probably the biggest thing, and so we launched Prio to in like the third week, so in terms of an application that looks really good, we got people signing up through the author, a friend and a decent amount of people to, we had people using it, so yeah, that was all amazing timing as well, wow, really cool. And then for the second application, the one that you got like further that you're in at the moment, So what was that like you do you have to do a video? Yeah, So I think this may be 30 questions in the application, it's um you have to do a video, we had a demo, but I mean a lot of software, programs supply um so I definitely was literally shaking with the razor and just literally showing them that we just get in and get it done. Yeah. Um and what do you think made your application stand out because you are like two female founders, which is obviously something that's really great.
Yeah. Um and that the industry needs more of, and sustainability, do you think? Um not necessarily sustainability? I think it's important and it's an important issue, I think the biggest things are the market size of shaving um and personal care in general. Um Mhm. That we're talking to users and a lot of it is actually about the people, so they even say even if your idea doesn't strike them as extremely important um or something that they want to work on specifically, if you, as founders get in, get the work done, make progress, they often say if you say you're going to do something and you do it within two weeks, that's huge. So they invested or Airbnb went through that program and they have been struggling for a year and they accepted them and they basically said these people are so passionate about, well they believe wholeheartedly that people rent a stranger's house, rent someone's spare room.
Uh and it can be a better experience in a hotel and they've tried so many different ways to do this to make this product and it just wasn't working, but they accepted them, it was that was particularly about people and I mean the idea had had legs, but yeah, and so what happens now tomorrow you fly to the U. S. And then what happens? So we ran an island in L. A. We've got a few meetings, there were dropping off a few races to people. Um and then we drive to san Francisco, the actual interview is on thursday on the fifth, so Dragonflies in on the second um with her six month old baby, oh my God we're flying in Canada to to help with the baby. Um I'm actually wondering if any yc founders have been months. I've had female founders obviously but it will be interesting to know. Yeah I got this. Yeah, so dagon lives in China just flying from China and yeah it's a 10 minute interview.
10 minutes. Oh my God, how many questions do you think they asked? So we had a mock interview on friday and it was two people or one person that had been through this before and one that had exited a company and she said you're in a tiny room with four people boy extremely knowledgeable people. Um Do you know who the people are? No. Right. So it's just like a lucky dip. I mean it will be one of the YC partners so we know who YC partners are. I think when you arrive it tells you what room you're in and who your partners are. Okay. I mean I've read up a lot and it's actually that's the case we can Figure out who's interviewing us in five minutes. But yeah so we're in this room and it's 10 minutes And they asked between 8-12 questions I think somewhere it said 50 questions but I don't even think that's possible, you wouldn't even have enough time. Yeah and they can interrupt you. So if you're taking too long to answer, they can just ask another question or if they decide that they want to know one of those buzzers, like seriously?
Yeah. And then sometimes there was one person that said there was, I think three founders and four people and two people were asking the different founders like different questions, like an interrogation. Yeah. I mean it sounds scary, but then at the same time, it's, it's not a job interview. It's a discussion. It's accelerating. Yeah. Talking about the that's your baby. Yeah. You're passionate about and you should know your stuff. Like if you're running this company, you're, you know, you're company better than anyone else. So yeah. So cool. And so when do you find out? Like, because this is the final interview that she's got tomorrow, and then she finds out whether she actually makes it into the program to get started, which is the three month program, right? Yeah. Um So what happens after tomorrow, after the main actual meetings? So, uh they call you, so if you get in, they call you, if you don't, they email you and they give you feedback like a day after, or like a month after by six PM. Oh my God, same day, same day, you know straight away.
So the whole process, you submit your application by a certain day, then a couple of weeks later, they either call you for a phone interview or a video interview, um or you don't get through and this is the next stage There's kind of three stages. So we had the video interview. I was actually in L. A. And in China and yet that was also 10 minutes went really well. And then we got the email two days later I was actually out to dinner for Sammy's birthday in L. A. And I saw this email comes through and I was just ecstatic. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry sorry, this is your birthday. But what the hell is going on? Sammy from breeze bar? Yeah. Cool. I've got a chat with her today actually a beautiful so excited to meet her. Um Oh my gosh, you know it's gonna be so interesting is if like in a year's time we have like a follow up like catch up like this. So you can like tell us how you've gone from like here being like pre y Combinator to potentially post y Combinator and all the amazing things that happened.
Yeah. From that also with my Combinator, even just getting a video interview is for such an early stage starts early stage startup. It's so amazing knowing someone's interested in what you're doing and that it has potential. It's so cool. And even this interview like the lead up to it has. Yeah. Yeah helped us and I think I think just no matter what from now on regardless of what direction it goes in your associated to y Combinator and you can talk about that and you can talk about your experience to other people who go through that process. So it's 20,000 people apply and I think maybe 500 get an interview. Wow yeah, I look crazy and it's growing every year. Um great, great for Ryan to have been like pushing you to do seriously. Oh my gosh, I couldn't have got this far without him.
Like have been tears and there have been, yeah, I love that, wow, lots of uh mental like mind work mindset work. So I want to move on to the six cues that I ask everyone in every video. I'm gonna start with. What's your wife? Why are you doing what you're doing? What's the purpose of what you're doing? Why? Why? Well, I guess I always, I want to do work on things that I'm super super passionate about. Um, and I want to make a difference. So everything that I do, I look a little bit deeper. And I think how is this going to make a difference in someone's life? Whether it's One person, 100 people, 1000 people, a million people, how is going to change someone's life? And that's my wife, Nice impact on the community around you. Yeah, I really like that. I mean the first sort of wellness event that I started um mm hmm I was kind of helping mum through, She gets really bad migraines and what I was learning I was super passionate about women's health and well being and what I was learning in my own life I was sharing with her and then she would just absolutely love it.
Sometimes. I could have been annoying because I was so passionate about it. But yeah, I wanted to then spread that two more people, it's like I'm helping. No, I can help more. So nice. Yeah. Really cool to help like your start with your direct community and then spread out from there. It's a really nice message. Um what's been the number one thing that's made your business pop so far? And obviously you're on this like you're in the journey at the moment. You're, you're kind of coming at it from like being in it, not reflecting. Yeah, what we were saying before. So something that's been kind of like a big deal moment for you. Um that kind of like expanded the business to another level. Well, I guess it has really expanded the business but why see acknowledgement has been amazing. Um, but I guess being such early stage right now, I think it's really important to celebrate the little winds as well. So I mean we celebrate almost daily if like if one person signs up for an email or one person buys a razor were literally over the moon.
Were so happy about it. Um so I guess the key things that have really stood out in that sense was from the very beginning. Even just getting our values aligned. Even a logo, like a logo is the face of your brand for health, isn't it? Yeah, So that was really cool when we had that, then we could create a website to win the website came live. That was or went life. That was pretty amazing. And then when people just started signing up to our refer a friend, We had 1100 people signed up in a week. Oh my gosh, that's yeah, we saw this through all the referral friends. Yeah, A lot of friends. Friends. Yeah. That's crazy. And I mean, like Sammy for example, posted for us, which is amazing. We had Seanna release the yoga person um yoga person, yoga teacher. She loves Yeah, she's got a huge following and they posted at the time that it launched.
It was all and that was all planned. Right? Happen at the right buzz. Well, yeah, our timeline was very specific. It's cool because they say you should focus just on your 1000 true fans and if you get your 1000 true fans, which are often the beginning, kind of people who are like they've been there since the start, then that community just grows from there. And we just had to pull us because my mom walked in. Hi mom. Um so we were up to question number three, which did we finish question number two? Yeah, I think I think we wrapped it up. The other thing was actually receiving the races and seeing people use them. That's probably the biggest highlights. Yeah. Like the giddy feeling of like holy sh it, I made that thing and now that thing is like in use, which is just so like special like getting five star reviews on our website. Oh my gosh. People love this as much as we do that resonated with other people. Yeah. It's not just us that believe in it. Believe in it too. So celebrating small wins I think was you know what I want to get and you should get it too.
It's like one of those buzzes. So anytime like the good thing happens, you ring the bell. Yeah. And then people just hear you cheering like all day. I want one of those um, Question number three is around your mindset and your rituals and how you win the day. Yeah. So I mean I'm not perfect all the time right now. I'm probably as anyone that I know and that's probably something really important to remember. Don't put the pressure on yourself. Like what? No, what makes you feel good and do that as much as possible. But don't put pressure on yourself. I have to wake up at five am every single day. Give yourself live your life. Yeah. So my things are sleep is really important to me. Um, I mean I don't have a really specific. I'm out of hours that I need to sleep for. It's just, if I feel good, I know like I've had enough sleep and sometimes that snooze button is all you need 100 percent. I have to sleep like a lot. If I don't, if I get like anything under eight hours I reckon or seven maybe.
Yeah, I'm like not functioning properly and I'm tired. Well, yeah, that's me now. But I mean I get through it. We live in the most beautiful place as soon as I see the ocean, I'm like, yeah, that's another motion is a really big, big thing for like Peacefulness and yeah, and calm. That's another thing being outdoors, we have a deck at our place and if I'm feeling overwhelmed or first thing in the morning, go out on the deck and just breathe fresh air and breathing and change the state so quickly. You know, yesterday or not. Yesterday, two days ago I interviewed Greta for the same six questions and her answer was also around her breath work and how important it is. And she gives a little analogy around like it's breathing in a cube. So it's like breathing full breaths in pause for four breaths, four breaths out, pause for four for four counts, sorry. Um, and she does that multiple times a day and that just helps recent to her and refocus her and it's really important.
It's interesting to hear when multiple people um, have a similar answer and that's why I think it's important to ask the same six questions to a huge data set of women so I can start to extract what are the trends and patterns that people go through in different answers um, and find out these things and like it sounds like an obvious thing, but then actually hearing it. Yeah, we should realize how much breathing impacts you as a person. Yeah. Like your mind and everything. It's, it's really important. And if you haven't looked up vim Hof then half them, half his the ice man. Okay. Um, I think he's in tools of titans or the other one tribe of mentors or tribe of something. Oh google it and I'll put it in the, yeah, he talks about breathing. Um, that's his thing. Okay. The Vim Hof method, my, my partner Pierre antoine. He also, and I've spoken about this before in one of my videos.
He also has a, a practice that he does every day. And it's just about taking one conscious breath and he does it multiple times a day. But it's just one conscious breath where you wish like you breathe in and you just wish kindness or happy thoughts to like some stranger on the street doesn't need to be anything. It can be just someone that annoyed you that last minute because they shoved you as they walked by or something like that. But it's just taking one conscious breath and getting the like the gratitude that you can to like spread further in the world and just like calming your mind and that's the simplest thing but to do it multiple times a day really like impacts his day and I haven't been doing it and I meant it doing it Some days you can wake up like this morning I woke up like almost in a worry and I used to have this when I was organizing events and it was actually a lightbulb moment this morning. I was like wow, I haven't felt like this in so long and it's because obviously a deadline is coming up but I have so much to do but just a couple, even one deep breath can and just set the one thing that you need to do next.
Yeah, that's it. Yeah. And then yeah write everything else down if you need to, if you're worried you're gonna forget it, write it down, write it down, breathing or like what you were telling me before. Put a million alarms on your Yeah, later in the day. Do like your, Your work 1st. Yeah. Yeah yeah. Yeah. Okay. Question number four is around learning. So where do you hang out to get smarter? I guess. I'm pretty lucky that my husband is amazing. I know seriously. I learned so much from him and he pushes me to learn as well and often if he's listening to a podcast I'll listen to it. If he's reading a book or listening to a book, I'll listen to it. We listen to books to and from work. Um What did you listen to like this week? That was a good one. Oh, recently like this week? Oh actually, although I see videos, oh yeah, listening to them back to back. So I'm learning a lot from there. It's a great one. They're not podcasts or books though.
The YouTube. Yeah, yeah, really cool. Yeah. I find I learn a lot from like um from daily podcast. I've been listening a lot to podcast called startup like in the media and the early episodes of that podcast Alex Blumberg who's the co founder of Gimlet Media, he was documenting and sharing his journey of what it was like to start a startup and so he plays a lot of recordings in like his initial investment meetings, like he gets the chance to pitch to Chris Sacca who's one of the world's best um investors like most, I think, I think there's a billionaire or whatever um from California and he plays the recording and it's like shocking, like he's really, really bad in his pitch and like eventually chris tucker kind of like stops him and gives him his pitch back to him and kind of like mentoring him a bit and in the end, like a few episodes later, Chris Sacca and his business partner, they do end up investing in. Yeah, media, which is great for them because they ended up selling, just modify like recently what is the big deal?
But he shows all this stuff that people just don't know like people don't know what those conversations are like and people are perfect. Yeah. It really shows especially in the beginning and it, it's interesting because he shows the last five episodes of when they all the recordings from when they sold to um to Spotify and so you listen to the beginning and you're like, yeah, that guy is just like everyone else like he came from the beginning, he didn't have these kind of like he had a vision to build a big company but he didn't know he was gonna sell Spotify for seemingly like hundreds of millions of dollars and seeing seeing them from the beginning. Like not anyone can do it but it takes a lot of dedication and hard work and research and willpower my mindset to get there. But yeah, it's really good to see tim Ferriss is also the tim Ferriss show. That's a great podcast podcast. Yeah. And also isn't just finding friends and hang out them who have businesses or want to start a business.
I don't know people in different industries at different stages of the business is really important island so much from those people like what problems are there currently going through? How did they solve those problems, What are they doing next? Um Yeah, just hanging out with those people. Yeah. People make you smarter sure. Um Question number five is around failure. And when you have been in a situation where you failed in your business somehow. How did you deal with it? And what did you learn? And it could be like a specific experience or it could be your approach to dealing with things when you're in a crisis mode. Yeah. Okay so the biggest thing that comes to mind there would be when I closed Utopia which was the wall so that that I organized and I don't think that was a failure because it didn't just happen. I decided to do it. Um It basically drained me so like I would like cry on the hour every hour just before those events because I was so strict on stress I guess.
Yeah but you have a lot of people like weighing on you. So I guess knowing when to sort of move on is good. Um Being able to take that like um that like objective thought and be like okay take myself out of this and like make a conscious decision to stop to stop this because it's not the right. Yeah work smarter, not harder. Um I mean there's always an easier way to do something and you're gonna have to do the things that don't scale in the beginning. Like you're gonna have to work hard but over time there's ways that you can um make things easier to ask for help. That was something I probably should have asked for more help even though my family were absolutely amazing. Um What else? I mean I might so much, I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't have done that. If you have you gone through the Steps? Yeah we had 1000 people, 1000 tickets sold and I think it was maybe like 40 exhibitors at our very first event that took three months.
Wow I think we booked the venue three months before ali smokes. Yeah. I kind of I wouldn't see it as a failure. It's just yeah, less than let and like not a great business model. We were running events with no like business behind it. So we're making money on expose sales and tickets. So you're only really as good as your last event, like you've got nothing to back you up. So yeah, learning about business models but don't be scared of failure either because it's one of the most important things. It's one of the great places in your business and career where you do learn because you're forced to figure it out afterwards. Yeah and I learned to deal with the stress and the letting go and what comes with it. Yeah. Even when you're in that moment you have to go physically to the event and put on a brave face even though I absolutely loved it. But yeah, it was a lot of people like expo store holders that had stands that I needed to make sure I had those people coming through the door, which we did.
Yeah, but yeah, you just want the best. Uh Yeah, wow! And Number six is more of a gimmick question if you only had $1,000 left in your business bank account, where would you spend it? Mhm. Um and you know what is really interesting is what you can achieve on such a small amount of uh and if you have $1,000 in your bank, you'll find that out pretty quickly. So I wouldn't spend it all at once. So I guess trying to collaborate with people and figuring out what you what value you can give other people in return for something with, I don't know spending half of the amount or something along those lines. Yeah, not asking for things for free, but giving value back and it will be very surprising how Long $1,000 for last. But I guess it just depends what stage you're in as well if you don't have a product or if you don't have a website, just get a website up.
Uh Yeah get an image drawn through the image drawn of the product. And I also think it's like people think that to start a business, you need to have lots of capital and do all these things where it's like, I mean for me I come from like my business is bootstrapped its scrappy, like it's just very um it's from humble beginnings and I'm not a lot of capital, which is weird for jewelry because jewelry and the bits that you have to have involved are expensive, but I think you can start your website for free. Um you get like with Shopify, it's a 14 day free trial with no credit card required to sign up, you can build a website yourself, it just takes like a bit of determination and a bit of like, interesting. You get a bit of a vibe of what you like and you can start a free, you can do a logo for free. There's so many free resources, double your money before you send it, you double your money before you send it. But yeah, there's costs that will come up. Like sometimes you yeah, you might not know how to make a logo even though you can on tools online, um jump onto a forum and ask people to get on Reddit.
Yeah, I love a good Reddit. Sub sub Reddit, think outside the box that it's probably like my most passionate subject is or are you ask people like in your network asked Renee Yeah, me. And it's it's really amazing because people want to help and that's something that we're finding with this whole yc experience. People, I think we're talking about this before actually, people want to help if someone's exited a company or if someone's had some sort of success, they more often than not want to share. Yeah. Unless they're in the grind, um extremely busy. Yeah. And don't have the time at that time, just reach out and yeah, I found like for me as someone who is a woman in progress and like very early on in my own entrepreneurial journey, the amount of people who have just instantly hit me back and been like, yeah, I'll be part of female setup public. I'm happy to share learnings, I'm happy to share my insights.
I just, I really feel truly that women want to help other women who are like in this program, like in this progress stage and yeah, it's just been like astonishing to me to see all of these incredibly successful women who are putting their hand up to help me and share their insights in the sex questions. Um it's just so nice, so nice to see. And even like it's not asking someone to do something for you for free so that your money last, it's just asking for an insight, how did you do this? How should I approach this? How can I do this a little bit better? This is my plan. Yeah. What do you think, what do you think? Yeah, what worked for you? So yeah, I think that's really important other than that probably if you've got your product um gifted to people. Yeah. Just the cost of shipping. Yeah. In your local area. I'm not international shipping is expensive and do it genuinely like you genuinely want them to try it and if they love it more often than not, they'll share it.
00:53:12Edit Cool. Thanks thanks for this excuse. Okay, so where can people follow you? Where can people find you? I'll obviously link everything in the notes and all that kind of thing. But if you just wanna your digital footprint, so my instagram is probably the place that I hang out the most all linked in um Instagram, Renee May with two ice and linkedin rene. Got them. I'm still in my maiden. Great, well, thank you so much