Fearless Friends- Jessica Munroe of Supplet
It's high time for another Fearless Friend installment, and this time, it's coming from a new mom friend of mine, Jessica Munroe, who happens to be a momprenuer (As an aside, I have a love/hate relationship with that word, momprenuer. I love that it celebrates moms who are also entrepreneurs, but can't we get a better sounding word? It sounds so hokey. Maybe we can just call them entrepreneurs who happen to also be mothers? You know, people-first language. But I digress).
After a successful career in the finance world, Jessica started Supplet which is an all natural eco-friendly subscription gift box for expecting moms. Although the way she tells the story, she says her career change was a natural progression from the finance world to this start up, but from an outsider perspective, it seems like an amazingly fearless switch. Here's her story, told Fearless Friend Q and A style:
How do you know Chewbacca's Mom? - I met Chewie's Mom through the wonderful New Moms Group of the North End.
What are you doing for a career now? - I am the founder of Supplet.com. Supplet helps women celebrate their pregnancy and new mom experience! Supplet.com delivers gift boxes filled with luxurious, eco-friendly and healthy necessities for pregnant women and moms. Supplet is now expanding into the mom and baby market. We also have a robust blog filled with product reviews and healthy information for moms.
What did you do before? I worked in finance then I went back to school for my MBA at Boston College. I then held manager level positions in the healthcare, consumer products and online industries. I was trying to learn as much as I could about businesses (and really get my hands dirty). I strongly believe that once you have mastered a couple of industries you can really master (and understand) any of them; the concepts are similar! I have also always had a lot of hobbies/side businesses such as writing and cooking that have allowed me to be creative and exercise different parts of my brain.
How did you get started doing your current career? I have always wanted to make a profound difference in people’s lives which is why I left my finance career and pursued careers in the healthcare and the natural products arenas. Working in these industries made me realize just how frightening the statistics are for so many health problems that may be avoided by practicing healthy habits. My ‘aha’ moment for creating Supplet came to me when I wanted to put together a thoughtful and creative baby shower gift basket for my pregnant friend. However, I found myself getting frustrated searching for all natural, organic and helpful luxurious products to not only make my friend’s pregnancy experience healthy, but positively impact the health of her child in the long run (while putting together a beautifully presented gift). Pregnancy and pre pregnancy are arguably the most important times to keep your body as healthy as possible. There was no way I was going to gift my friend a skin care cream off her registry that was filled with chemicals or even think of buying her baby a toy filled with plastic and toxins. My friend not only loved her Supplet box but she claims that the information and products “changed her life and the choices she made for her family in a profound way.”
Any advice for people chasing their dreams?
Embrace your dream(s). Do not worry what other (often small minded) people think - this is your dream and your life not theirs. Also do not be afraid to "fail." In many cases failure helps bring you closer to your dreams and 'failure' is not necessarily failure; what I mean by that is that every experience is a learning experience and can bring you that much closer to fulfilling your potential and reaching your dream. Many people rule out options because in some cases society has conditioned us to take the "safe" path. Also try your best to find a mentor, or at least talk to several successful (and unsuccessful) people that are in the industry you want to be in.
Second, be sure to be realistic about what it means to chase a dream. Chasing a dream is more than just a hobby - many times you have to go all in (getting your feet wet is a nice way to start but at some point you need to go all in). Sacrifices almost always have to be made. You might have to "pivot" your plans to get where you want to go and/or make the best of what you have. When I left the finance world and "started over" and went back to school I had to dip into my savings to pay for it. After school I made less money than when I did when I was in finance (but I learned so much and felt so much more fulfilled). When I launched Supplet I borrowed money and reinvested all of my profits back into the business.
What are you most afraid of? Performing stand up comedy to a room full of people that are not laughing at my jokes - oh wait that has already happened. How about having a meltdown from heat exhaustion and lack of food on a national TV show - aw yes, that has already happened too. How about the time I nearly fell off a cliff and plunged to my death in Peru when I was kicked by a donkey? Yes, yes, I will definitely go with that one - I hope that never happens again! Hmmm in all seriousness I think most of us have a lot fears in life that we try not to think about (health, safety, success etc). If you are a business owner or a parent you probably have a little fear in you everyday (i.e will my customers be happy and will they come back? or will my child eat enough today and be healthy?)
Favorite quote? "Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. " - Steve Jobs
Brittney Spears or Celine Dion? Brittney Spears - only because her music is fun to work out to.
Koalas or Pandas? How can you choose? They are both so cute.
What makes you feel fearless? Running. It's an incredible and powerful feeling. I think anyone that has run a marathon can relate to this sentiment.
And now for some pictures!
Jessica's own pregnant belly with her Supplet Box.
A picture outside an Espresso hut because it's adorable. Seriously, how tiny and cute is that?
Turns out we don't have a picture together, but this is from our Wine and Chocolate tasting Mom's Night out last month with Jessica in the picture. North End Mommies know how to party.
And a great photo of Jessica at a baby convention.