Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner are the founders of PiperWai. PiperWai is a natural deodorant made without harmful ingredients like parabens, aluminum, and synthetic fragrances. It’s certified vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.Their names recently appeared on Forbes 30 under 30.
“Childhood best friends Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner bootstrapped a small, artisan natural deodorant brand out of their kitchen. It grew 6,000% in the year after their Shark Tank appearance and has become a cult favorite. 2017 revenues are estimated at $5.9 Million.” - Forbes
How did it feel to be a part of Shark Tank and receive those offers?
Jess says the best part of being in the show was that she got to grow her brand along with her partner and co-founder of PiperWai, Sarah Ribner. The magical thing that happened was that they were able to connect with everyone who watched the show. A lot of people back then had no idea of a natural, aluminum free deodorant. Many people didn’t know we should altogether avoid aluminum free deodorants and a lot of people who knew about it had bad past experiences with natural deodorants.
How did you deal with the massive growth of your business after your appearance on Shark Tank?
Jess and her partner hosted a viewing party to watch their episode. They had family members and friends come over and watch the episode in real time. Jess’ husband made a website marketing their product and they monitored the growth of their product over the weekend as hundreds of thousands of people visited the site. They had the first fifty-thousand orders in no time. The very next morning after the episode aired, they received 10,000 emails from different people enquiring about the product. Jess says to deal with the rapid growth, they eventually had to hire people for customer support and to reply to the massive amount of emails they had been receiving. However, there was an early setback in terms of production because after Jess’ brand gained initial fame, thousands of people signed up for the product and were expecting to get it before Christmas holidays. Jess and her partner had just started their business and they had no way possible to upscale the production and meet this huge demand for their product. As of now, Jess has six full-time team members, a few interns and some other people on contract. Her business has now grown stronger since she has a proper team, they share the same vision like Jess and Sarah.
How did this product get started in the first place?
Back in 2013, Jess had a whole bunch of part-time jobs. She was fired or forced to quit every job she had. She bounced from one part-time job to another. She finally realized she had to be her own boss and become an entrepreneur. She thought it was a time she became in-charge of her own success. She started DIY, made a lot of personal products at home and got a lot of satisfaction out of using something she made herself. At one point she decided she wanted to make her own natural deodorant because she had faced a lot of struggle with chemical ingredients in deodorants that irritated her sensitive skin. She started to think of better ways to stay dry and odor free. She developed this product in her own kitchen using activated charcoal, essential oils, and natural moisturizers. She shared this homemade product with her friend Sarah who was initially reluctant to switch from her regular deodorant to Jess’ invention. However, Jess was able to convince Sarah who took it with her on her trip to South America. This new product proved its effectiveness through the hot and humid weather and Sarah was convinced that this product had the potential to become the next big thing in the world of natural deodorants.
You have had so much setback in your career. How did you manage to stay confident through those arduous years?
Jess believes its more of an unwavering energy and passion to do things she likes to do. She also believes she is a bit stubborn as well and as an entrepreneur, you really have to be obsessed with your brand or product. Jess says she has the ability to forget mishaps and failures and move forward in her life. She believes being resilient is extremely important as an entrepreneur because every day is like a rollercoaster ride.
What is your relationship like with your business partner, Sarah?
They have the exact same goals on how they want their brand to grow. They both share the same passion and obsession with the brand as Jess. They both have this mindset of “no other option but success” that helps them stay resilient and focused on their end product. However, Jess believes that Sarah has a different personality from Jess, their strengths and weaknesses differ but they are always complimentary to each other. They have some arguments, but they always try to think and work in a way that is in the best interest of their brand.
What advice can you give to an entrepreneur who is just starting out in their business?
You need to have that mindset of “nothing but success”. Trust the entire journey, do not give up. There will be setbacks. If a plan does not work, think of something new, try by changing your approach. As an entrepreneur, you have to be relentless and realize the fact that for the first few years you will have to work more than a regular job. But in the long run, it will be totally worth it.
What is the dream you have achieved as an entrepreneur?
Two biggest achievements that Jess has achieved in her career are to appear on Shark Tank and secure a lucrative deal on the show. The second biggest achievement for Jess was when her name appeared in Forbes 30 under 30 list for her success as an entrepreneur.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
She was always taught by her parents to think of long-term success rather focus on short-term goals. Jess thinks this is the best advice she has ever been given and it has helped her a lot as an entrepreneur.
How can we connect with you?
You can find more about her product and order it from the following URL.
You can also follow them on Instagram through the following link
Find them on Facebook via the following link
There are scientific benefits to kindness. It's easy to get caught up in our own feelings especially around the holidays there's a lot of triggers that can go off. We can have our guard up and we while we might want to be kind, we might find ourselves not being kind – or being kind to certain people and not be kind to others. We can have a lot of ideas about how people ‘should’ behave and without even realizing it – we might have a habit or way of treating people or showing up at a Thanksgiving meal.
The first questions is:
How do you want to show up?
Pause and investigate. Am I showing up during the holiday’s how I want to OR am I repeating patterns and behaviors of the past?
We as humans all have the same basic wish and that's the wish to be happy and maintain a peaceful mind especially during difficult times.
Research from Emory University shows that when you are kind to another person your brain's pleasure and reward centers light up -- it's called the helper's high. So what actually happens is you get a burst of oxytocin and the receiver also gets a burst of oxytocin. This is the love hormone and there's a lot of positive benefits that go with it, which is the blood pressure and improving our overall heart and health and it also increases our self-esteem and optimism which is extremely helpful like I said if you're feeling anxious or shy a social situation.
And it also can help with depression. Like most medical antidepressants kindness stimulates the production of serotonin, so that's the feel-good chemical that heals your wounds, calms you down and makes you happy, so there's a lot of science behind this. And it decreases stress, anxiety, and depression. Of course there will be people who aren’t kind to you and those are moments, are opportunities for you to notice and realize that maybe they're struggling or having a difficult time in their life and for you to send them compassion and return your focus on kindness. So if you feel anxious, lonely or disconnected, I highly encourage you to take this practice to heart. It's kind of like weight training that we can actually build our compassion muscle and respond to others suffering with care and desire to help. So I invite you to keep a kindness journal where you write down something that you did that was an act of kindness on a daily basis and just see how you feel, try it for a week, try it for seven days and see how you feel and if you feel really good to continue.
You can get the kindness journal at AnnaGoldstein.com/kind and share it with your friends and family because the gift of giving keeps on giving it really sends a ripple effect and that's how we’re not only going to transform our own mind and that's really how not only are we going to transform our own experience but the world.
So just some ideas; you can buy somebody a cup of coffee, you can get somebody a gift card, you can say we show appreciation, give somebody the gift of gratitude and let's remember that kindness is cool, it's where it's at. And on that look go to AnnaGoldstein.com/kind and keep track of your kind acts. Happy Thanksgiving!
Neeta Bhushan is an international speaker, author and an advocate for emotional confidence. Her goal is to build a global community of progressive thinkers, doers, forward driving movers-and-shakers who are committed to integrating empathy-based solutions in their lives – at home, in the office, and beyond.
Have you always been someone who is highly motivated in your life and an overachiever?
As a daughter of Filipino-Indian immigrants, it was ingrained in her DNA to overachieve and to overdo so she could be validated and loved by people around her. As a kid, she learned that in order to gain validation and acceptance she had to overdo everything. As human beings, we all desire to be accepted and loved and Neeta had this believe ingrained earlier in her life that she could only be accepted by people around her if she overachieves in everything through excessive effort.
What was your childhood like?
As a child, her parents had these unrealistic expectations from Neeta to ace every time in her exams no matter what, to get straight A’s every time. Her mom got sick when she was 10 and she passed away when Neeta was only 16 years old. Her mom’s sickness affected her as a child. It was a disaster for her. She learned very early in her life how to make tea and cook food. She was supposed to entertain guests coming to her home. She got her first job at a tender age of 14. She had to grow faster than other kids. She was in charge of two younger brothers. A year after she lost her mother, her younger brother passed away as well.
How did you manage to deal with those two traumatic events?
She became a part of family therapy and individual therapy. Normally, there is a concept among Asian families not to get in therapy because they find it ineffective. But for Neeta and her family, there was a lot to process regarding the passing away of two family members in a year so they went in therapy. Only when Neeta was somehow able to get grip on her life and process through the grief, she was struck with another tragedy; her father passed away. Her father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and only had nine months to live. There was a lot of anger and pain for Neeta and she believes she used that pain to utilize as fuel to achieve many things in her twenties. She managed to graduate from dental school and build a million-dollar cosmetic dentistry practice.
Neeta believes she learned many important life lessons and came across many challenges before she turned thirty but none of it was as important and life-changing as the lesson she learned after meeting her now ex-husband. This is when she felt her own life was in danger.
What do you mean by “your own life was in danger”?
She fell in love, got married. She had a first-class dream wedding but she was in an abusive marriage and her husband threatened to take her life. Neeta learned a lot about her life and how she had been living her life up to that point. She realized she was living for everyone else but not for her own self. She realized she had to get out of this toxic relation and live for herself.
What awakens your heart?
When she found her gifts a couple of years ago, recognizing how she ignites inspiration and transformation in other people whether it's through her talks or business workshops, she realized she had been doing it for a long time whether as a dentist or as a teller at a bank or working in retail in a mall. The ability to inspire other people and transform their lives is her greatest gift, her greatest joy and that is what awakens her heart.
You talked about three different mindsets while going through a tragedy. One was the victim mindset. What are the other two?
The other two are survivor and thriver. Survivor is the idea that you have gone through something traumatic and radical. You are still trying to figure out what exactly happened. You are still referring back to that victim state. It means you have not completely healed from the tragedy. With thriver, you are so committed to growth, that you are flourishing after the tragedy. It means you have learned your lessons and you are utilizing those lessons to propel yourself in the forward direction.
How do you teach emotional grit? Is it something that can be taught?
She uses grit as an acronym and she uses it for quite a few reasons. GRIT stands for Grow, Reveal, Innovate and Transform. The idea is that unless we are not aware of our own surroundings and our own decisions, we cannot make better decisions. If we are hit with some challenge or adversity, we can either be resentful or we can learn the lesson in it and change our perspective in such situations.
Can you talk a little bit about your book and what your practice looks now?
Her book titled ‘Emotional GRIT’ was launched about a year ago and became a best-seller. She has been working with a lot of incredible leaders and entrepreneurs using the same practices she talks about in her book.
Do you have an action that can help people going through trauma feel more resilient?
If you are going through something, think about all those life lessons, take a notepad and write down all those instances that you considered a failure in your life. It could be anything from failed relationships to betrayal from friends or failures in business or jobs. It could be anything that has kept you stuck in a particular domain. Write down the learning lessons, what exactly did you learn from these incidents? You need to look at things you could have done better and from there you can start to see your journey.
How can we connect with you?
You can find her on Facebook via the following link
You can also find her on Instagram via the following link
Her website’s URL is
You can know more about her courses, workshops and retreats from her website.
Katie Malachuk is a Meditation Teacher, Mindfulness Instructor and Mind and Life Coach. She has a BA in Women’s Studies from Harvard University, an MBA from Stanford University and MDiv from Naropa University. As a child, her secret dream job was to be a guardian angel. She wanted to help people without their even knowing. Of course, this plan was thwarted by being human. As she got older, she tried to find ways to be useful via traditional roads like education, policy, and business. More and more though, as she paid attention to her own and others' struggles, she saw the world was simply a reflection of our thoughts, attitudes, and feelings. If we want to create real change, we need to start with our minds. Accordingly, she turned her attention to yoga and meditation.
What does it mean to be selfish?
According to her, we as humans are all consumed with ourselves, and we all hold varying views about ourselves in terms of who we are. Selfishness arises from the eroded view of self-identity, making up stories about ourselves in order to make us feel better. Even the motivation behind helping others is often to further those stories to feel good, digging the hole further of being invested in ourselves. Meditation helps by defining a more fluid experience for ourselves. We start to recognize that there are things we can choose to be with and things we can choose to let go. We learn how to take in the experiences or let go of them, just like breathing in and out. And suddenly we become more open entity than before. She thinks it ironic that as we do more investigation into the self, we actually become less self-invested, and more open to the experiences of others.
Often, we hope that endeavors, like job and relationship, are going to bring us happiness, but we only end up feeling same as before. Why is that?
She thinks that it is our responsible and positive endeavor to take care of ourselves and to make a living, but most of the time we don’t feel the way we expected when we reach those goals. That feeling of boredom and anxiety is just a primal response to the uncertainty of life. We try to tackle that edgy feeling by building ourselves up, aiming for a perfect job, house or relationship. But at the same time there are shadow projects of us, such as overeating and addiction, that are destructive to us. So we have this multiple shadow sides, along with our displays of awesomeness, happening side by side. We are trapped in such dualism, and we need to stop wasting our precious time struggling to be perfect self or wallowing in poor self. Take a break and think for a minute of that edgy feeling, and it will start to settle itself. We will realize that we don’t need to do any of those things in extreme when we learn how to actually be with ourselves and be settled, and once we learn how to do that, we learn how to be with others as well.
I crave the silence, but I also end up trying to distract myself in between, like using my phone too much. Why is it so hard to just be? Is it because of that anxiety and restlessness?
She says that we tend to be in a state of restlessness partly because humans are very sensitive beings and energetically very aware and tune into each other, so the world around us proves to be very over stimulating. It takes time to learn to be, to be in a state of non-judgmental awareness, with both mind and body settled.
What’s the relationship between boredom and addictions?
She says that we hold a very narrow view when it comes to addiction, but we are all addicted in one way or the other, such as addiction to exercising or checking your phone too often. These are all well-worn strategies, habitual patterns that we have developed over time to tackle boredom because we are just afraid to just be with what is.
What were you like before meditation? How long you’ve been meditating?
She used to struggle a lot with herself. Her relationship was in turmoil, and her consulting job wasn’t that good too. The only place she would find comfort was in her yoga classes. She later became a yoga instructor, followed by practicing meditation. She now feels more comfortable being at home with herself than before. She is much more interested and open to others. She is much more comfortable with life and being alive. She now exhibits none of the patterns she repeated in the past around disordered eating, exercising and career obsession. She’s also able to employ discipline in a way that gives more freedom, like in her yoga practice, as opposed to imprisoning her, like when she used to have a strict diet and intensive exercise.
Can you talk a little bit about discipline being a path to freedom?
Every person is afraid to be bored, scared to experience that anxiety and restlessness, so it takes a tremendous amount of discipline to let ourselves to actually be with ourselves and to listen to someone else. Discipline can be applied in any number of ways, like to further beat ourselves up, to further alienate ourselves from others, to further compete or we can apply that discipline to being present, and to actually let forgoing the normal habitual thoughts or behavioral patterns that are self-destructive.
What’s the best wisdom you have ever heard?
She mentions that someone asked her teacher how to do an exorcism. Her teacher replied, “Lead a disciplined life.”
Some of our addiction patterns do feel like possession; like the urge to gossip, look up our phone, to eat, to be somewhere, to do something. That does act like possession, and applying discipline to let go of those habits brings tremendous freedom.
What does it really mean to be depressed? You know depression as a collection of symptoms—fatigue, listlessness, feelings of worthlessness—and the source of more than a little pain. But depression is also a signal that something in your life is wrong and needs to be healed. Too often, though, we try to cut off or numb our feelings of depression instead of listening carefully to what they are telling us about our lives. Listening to Depression offers insightful ways to reframe depression as a gift that can help you transform your life for the better.
Can you tell us a little bit about your struggle with depression?
She was an undergraduate when she first experienced depression. Her goals were quite narrow-minded; get a four-year degree, be able to financially support herself and be successful. She went into business major only because of those reasons. She ended up being depressed, not taking interest in the subject and missing her classes. But depression also sparked her interest in Psychology major, and that interest not only made it easy to take her psychology classes but also helped her to realize what she is going to do with her life.
What else do you do to manage your depression?
She thinks of depression as a communication to yourself, from yourself, about yourself. That’s what the title of her book, Listen to Depression, means. Depression can lead to withdrawing from friends and families, losing motivation, not getting satisfaction out of life and being tired all the time. But it also opens up the need for emotional exploration. You end up being more connected to your emotions and begin to challenge a lot of ideas that are guiding your life, making you reflect upon our own values, needs, and interests. By reflecting, she knew that she needed to do what she loves and what internally was rewarding.
Depression can be an opportunity to change your life. What are some tools that you can use to make that transition?
She suggests that the first thing we can do is increase pleasure. It can be simple things like browsing a bookstore, going for a bicycle ride or taking a day off. Behavioral Activation therapy says that when we are depressed, there is a lot of resistance to doing stuff, and people can get better when they overcome that resistance. According to her, pleasure is such an obvious cure for depression. She says that sometimes we have to tear down ideas like seeking pleasure is selfish. Truth is, being a happy person is the best gift that you can gift to yourself.
Sometimes if we indulge too much in pleasure, it can turn into an addiction. What are your thoughts on that?
She says that addiction can be a mask over depression. Some people don’t actually recognize that they are depressed, which psychologists refer to as masked depression. These people are so good at compulsive overactivities, such as compulsive working, overeating or drug and alcohol abuse that they are, unknowingly, covering up their depression. So there is a distinction between healthy and unhealthy pleasure.
Do you think that schools and parents in our community are doing a good job in helping us prepare for life?
She thinks that focusing on grades is a huge mistake. When we talk about good students, we are talking about students that are good at studying. In the real world, what people value and need are brilliant problem solvers and original thinkers who are going to invent things that we never even thought of before, and being good at studying doesn’t really translate to that. So education should focus more on imagination, how to think for yourself and love of learning.
Do you feel that there is a sense of loneliness and shame associated with depression? How can we talk more openly about our inner struggles?
She thinks that the best thing we can do is talk more about depression. She calls it a tragedy that we are so disconnected to the very people that are closest to us because there is a lot of shame associated with depression. She says that shame is not only a cause of depression but a reaction of being depressed. She directly recommends her clients to take a few minutes of their session and start opening up to people. Every time you are willing to talk to someone about depression, you are opening up the possibility of getting help, support and feeling less lonely.
Can you talk a bit about how depression can be a strength and work to your benefit?
She says that as you go through life, the more you create your own rules, the more you realize that you can be resilient and be able to bounce back from tragedies. It’s not about getting something in life or having a narrow goal, it becomes about you been a person who is resilient. You can lose so much or have your dreams fall apart and still be a happy person. You get to be the boss of your brain, and that means you don’t always believe what your brain’s telling you. She says that every day we try to figure out what’s working in our lives and what’s not. Depression is like a front row seat on the list of all the things that are not working. And as you train yourself to be the boss of your brain, and rather than focusing on the things that are not working, learn to focus on what you have to offer the world, what are some successes that you had and what are the reasons for those successes, then you become so much bigger than the events of your life.
Any last words for people struggling with depression on how they can begin the journey of listening?
She advises that when you make a mistake, don’t fall into thought patterns like what did I do wrong or what’s wrong with me. Don’t let yourself to go there, instead give yourself permission to think about yourself; am I okay and how can I comfort myself.
Book: Listening to Depression: How Understanding Pain Can Heal Your Life
Website: Dr. Lara Honos-Webb
Free Resources for Depression
National Alliance on Mental Illness: 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264), //www.nami.org
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: 1-240-485-1001, //www.adaa.org
National Institute of Mental Health: 1-866-615-6464, //www.nimh.nih.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Division of Mental Health, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), //www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth
American Psychological Association: 1-800-374-2721, //www.apa.org