Boss Babes: Eliza Blank, Founder of The Sill

As a company created by two women, we know how important it is to celebrate women who are trailblazers in their respective fields. That’s why we’ve started our Boss Babes series. Each month we’ll highlight one woman who’s leading the way and is absolutely crushing it, in business and in life. Here, they’ll answer questions on everything from how they started out and advice they think every woman should know, plus their beauty routines and how they take care of themselves. This month: Eliza Blank of The Sill.

Not many people would look at the common houseplant and see an inspiration for a wildly popular company, but Eliza Blank is not most people. While working as a brand strategist at some of the most prestigious marketing firms in NYC (and hair care brand Living Proof), the nature lover realized that her city life was seriously lacking in greenery, which was affecting everything from her mood to her sense of well-being. So, at the age of 26, she followed her passion and launched The Sill, a direct-to-consumer brand on a mission to modernize the houseplant and add a little green to your everyday.

We chatted with Eliza about what it took to take her business from the seed of an idea to a gardening revolution, plus the challenges she faced along the way, her best beauty advice, and why you should never apologize for speaking up.

Tell us a bit about how you got your start. 

I grew up with grass under my feet and greenery all around me. But I didn’t appreciate nature at the time. It wasn’t until I left it all behind for a life in New York City that I realized how much the natural world had an impact on me. And while I immediately took to city life, the lack of nature kept me down. After studying Communications at NYU and starting my career in Brand Strategy and Brand Management, I chose to take a leap of faith and launch The Sill. And I haven’t looked back since! 

What were some of the challenges you faced as a female founder? How did you overcome them?

When I was in my 20s and the business was just getting started, it was especially difficult for me not to be apologetic. I felt like I was asking my team (or partners, or vendors) to do me favors instead of doing their job. I didn’t have the confidence. One of the best things I’ve done in my professional career was to enlist the help of an executive coach. Working with a coach really helped me see my strengths more clearly and gave me the confidence I needed to lead. 

Are there any particular moments that stand out as a defining moment for you personally/professionally?

In 2017, after bootstrapping my company for five years, I decided to raise outside venture capital to help fuel The Sill and take it to the next level. The process of making that decision — and the process itself — was most certainly a defining moment for me both personally and professionally. Nothing about running a business is easy, regardless of how you fund your business. But for me, this moment was the moment I really bet on myself. 

“One of the best things I’ve done in my professional career was to enlist the help of an executive coach. Working with a coach really helped me see my strengths more clearly and gave me the confidence I needed to lead.”

Eliza blank, founder of the sill

What was your biggest achievement, the one you are most proud of?

Honestly, when I hear people talking about how Millennials are obsessed with houseplants I feel a huge sense of pride because I know that The Sill helped foster this relationship.

What do you do to unwind?

Work! I know that sounds insane, but I’m actually least anxious when I am being productive. Even if I’m just hanging out and watching TV, I prefer to do it with my computer on my lap getting “stuff” done.

What’s your approach to beauty and wellness?

Do it for yourself. I realized a long time ago my husband doesn’t know the difference between the me with makeup and the me without. Haircut? Forget it! I wear makeup for myself. And I find time for moments of wellness for myself, too. 

Any beauty secrets you want to share?

It’s not really a secret, but I did spend some time working in the beauty industry and the best thing I ever did was stop washing my hair every day. Seriously, no one should wash their hair every day! 

Best skin-care advice you’ve ever received?

Always wash your face before you go to bed. No. Matter. What. Seems like a no-brainer, but it was relevant advice in college and during the first few years of my career when I had more of a night life. Everyone knows what it’s like to have a late night out and want to just crawl right into bed when you get home. Not me! I’m incredibly diligent on this one. 

Who is your biggest personal/professional inspiration and why?

Right now it’s my one-year-old daughter. She’s incredible. She forces me to relentlessly prioritize so I can spend as much time as possible with her. And when I am with her, I’m more present and in the moment than I think I’ve ever been before. In a way, she’s really helped me be a better person on all levels. 

What are your goals for this next year, both for yourself and your business?

Growth! Because, plants.

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