Carina Lawson, the fempreneur behind Ponderlily, the thoughtful, wellness planner and journal business has kindly spared some time out to speak to whatsheblogged on how to own a business.
The inspirational mother, wife and now fempreneur says,
I tried to be in-sync with what was important in my day, prompts in my planners added to that tension with a focus on to-do lists and cramped appointment slots. There wasn’t space to nurture those quiet, reflective moments where best ideas happen. Nor was there space to stay mindful of the need to recharge.
It was soon after speaking friends and family that she realized that “no one has the time to allow space for creativity, wellness, and fun” and so Ponderlily was born.
- You’re behind the wellness planner company, Ponderlily, talk me through the idea behind “purpose-filled planners”.
I think when everyone sees a To-Do box, we fill it out listing all the things, which can often feel overwhelming – even if we get it all done. I think we’ve become so conditioned to multi-task and we’ve become so good at it that often we don’t make space to recharge; to nurture those quiet, reflective moments where best ideas happen. Our planner caters for the busy. From the time-starved to the moments inspired. We want to ensure time is considered for that all too easily forgotten “me-time”. A tool that gives them the ability to imagine, daydream and view their life ahead, instead of simply by the hours in a day; through wander-lists, reflections of gratitude, positive habit trackers, we help and hold minds accountable to celebrating triumphs, no matter how
- So, why the name Ponderlily?
This name was inspired by the concept of contemplation in action; the idea that we need time to do things, but also time to be still thoughtful, dream, imagine. Pondering is a quiet luxury we don’t often give ourselves these days. The word Ponderlily is a made-up word that uses one of my favourite flowers, the Brazilian water lily, Vitoria Regia – a flower that’s both delicate, beautiful, and incredibly strong…to signify that it is within pondering where we find space, grounding, and motivation to bloom.
- Had you always wanted to be a fearless female boss, or did something prompt you into doing it?
I’ve been an executive for the past 10 years, working in the corporate world. Taking the leap to open my own company was something I’ve always wanted to do but never thought the timing was ‘right’. I realized there would never be the right time and with the support of my family, I finally took the plunge. Even though Ponderlily is a small family business, I’m managing it more and more as I would one of the corporate accounts I’ve worked on: prioritizing the quality of our products and the quality of our customer service delivery.
- I was obsessed with your planner the moment I saw it, so I had to start my new year with it. It works so well jotting down new meetings and schedules and I personally find all the quotes inspiring, you’ve got a good mixture of writers, artists, actors, activists in there, so I think you’ve done well on catering for everyone’s idols. What kind of research did you do when you were working out what types of motivational aspects like the quotes you wanted in the planners?
I’ve always kept a collection of favourite quotes. For the 2018 edition, I gathered my very favorites and arranged them to dedicate to the friends, family, and colleagues who supported me on their birthday month!
- Positivity is trending more and more, with dedicated Instagram accounts, slogans on t-shirts and now we have Ponderlily, encouraging us to remain on track through our daily planners, how does it feel to be part of that movement and has there been any particular feedback you’ve really loved hearing?
I think it’s really important to look for positive possibilities, even in trying times. I think social media is a great platform to share this!
- How long did it take you to create the products from the initial idea through to where you are now?
It took me approximately 3 years. I would design the different planner spreads during my lunch break at work or at home, then print them out, and use them for a while. Several adjustments were made, I would send them out to friends and ask for their input. This planner is very near and dear to my heart and it certainly was a labour of love!
- Another reason that I chose your planner was your decision to choose a combination of eco-friendly linen covers, recycled paper, and vegetable-based ink to create your products. I think you’re doing a great thing by starting out as you mean to go on, a lot of companies I feel have joined onto the idea after a gentle leaf nudge (if there is such a thing ha!) but your business has incorporated that from the get-go, why did you choose to make vegan friendly products?
Thank you! We are a conscious business, creating products that are both environmentally-friendly and functional — We can’t do one without the other. It took longer to find the right suppliers, but I would say it’s definitely been worth it!
- I’m also digging the added free printable section, where you’re allowing customers to add different sheets like travel essentials, roadmaps, workout plans to their diaries. I don’t have a great printer at home and I still want to remain eco-friendly with my planner, do you think you’d create a subscription service in the future where customers could pay for certain packs of these?
We want to make sure our printables will always be free unless it’s a special edition. We plan on making them editable as PDF forms, so you have the choice of printing them back to back (that’s what I normally do with my weekly menus and save them for future reference) or you can use them on your iPad!
- Are there any projects or hopes you have for Ponderlily in terms of where you see the business growing towards during the next few years?
In the future, we hope to expand our product line and create opportunities to meet our customers at events or pop-up shops!
Aww, it’s been lovely speaking with you! You’re such an inspiration to me and I can’t wait to start using your planner in the new year. I’m excited to see what I can bring to 2019 now I have my wonderful planner! Thanks again.