Meet the Inspiring Founder Behind A New Grief Collective
Welcome to our series, “Ask A Founder,” where we tap into the great minds of female entrepreneurs making their big idea a reality. For the past two years, thousands of women have experienced our Selfmade virtual business coaching program, led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and sponsored byOffice Depot OfficeMax. Here, we chat with Selfmade alum Emily Lauri, founder of the Modern Grief Collective, an early-stage virtual space for information and education about death and grief. Here, she shares her life as a founder, her productivity hacks, and how Selfmade helped her normalize imperfection.
1. How would you describe your brand in five words? Organically provocative yet approachable & warm
2. What moods do you want your brand to evoke? Vitality, realness, self-reflection, growth
3. What was your aha moment before starting Modern Grief Collective? My aha moment came on the heels of countless hours of deliberation about the quality of my work life and desire to have a greater impact. In this moment, my mind and body told me without question that it was time to take a BIG leap. Time to put an end to the unsustainable and unbalanced hustle in my life and to chase my entrepreneurial dreams.
4. What were you doing before you started this business? Working for Hospice, providing therapy and other support services to folks who were actively facing the end of their life. For many, this was a part of life they were not ready to face. It felt like I was only chipping away at the problem. I quit that job, not to leave the experience of it all behind, but to explore new ways to broaden my impact and to inspire the conversation further upstream.
5. How do you get in the right headspace to start your day? I wake up at least 2 hours before I need to be anywhere so I have plenty of time to take my walk, drink coffee, listen to my fav daily news podcasts, meal prep and primp for the day. Feeling rushed really gets me in a tizzy, so I do all I can to leave plenty of time for my AM routine.
6. How do you prioritize your to-do list? Forever a social worker at heart, I’ll always be programmed to triage tasks based on urgency. I tend to operate from a ‘work before play’ mindset, so I try to get the not-so-fun tasks (the ones I would rather avoid) crossed off before focusing on those that I am more excited about.
7. How do you balance the practical with the creative parts of your business? I do best when I can conceptualize the beginning and ending of a task rather than leaving it open-ended. My creativity often strikes at unsuspecting times, which makes having a notebook (I still love pen/paper) or iPhone note at my fingertips very helpful for recording the creative downloads in real time.
8. What are your go-to snacks? If there are crackers of any kind in the house, I will finish them. Usually with charcuterie accouterments — good Italian salami, smoked turkey, mild cheeses.
9. How do you celebrate the small wins? I try to share my wins with at least one person I love; it spreads joy and also makes me feel good!
10. What’s your favorite form of self-care? My most meaningful self-care (besides my bi-weekly therapy sessions) usually takes the form of activities that help me lose track of time, combine playfulness/movement and get me out of my head. Sometimes that means strapping on my roller skates for a cruise around town. Other times, it’s taking a stroll on the beach or in the redwoods.
11. What is your go-to productivity hack? Noise canceling headphones. Literally no clue how I managed to accomplish anything before them!
12. What is your favorite desk essential? My pens — Pilot G2 gel pens and Paper Mate Flair! pens, to be exact. In every color. Thanks to my swag box from Selfmade, I am also newly obsessed with the translucent sticky notes from Office Depot OfficeMax – they make any brainstorm session more fun!
13. What has receiving the Office Depot OfficeMax scholarship to Selfmade done to help you grow your business? No one taught me how to be an entrepreneur in social work school, which has made starting a biz feel pretty intimidating at times. Not only did Selfmade boost my confidence, it also provided incredible resources and tools for building a solid biz foundation. I think best of all, it introduced me to a wildly talented, supportive, playful, smart, creative, community of women. I am so grateful!
14. What is a motto/quote you live by on this journey? Since starting my entrepreneurship journey, I’ve had the quote ‘show up at the page’ brush lettered on my desk – by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. Originally written to encourage consistency with a morning journal practice, this has served as a broader reminder to me that being present rather than perfect is an essential part of the entrepreneurial process. Selfmade was incredibly helpful in normalizing imperfection and in my eyes, this quote is synonymous with giving myself permission to be a bit messy at times.
15. What does the word “selfmade” mean to you? In my mind, selfmade goes hand-in-hand with resilience, perseverance, grit, and resourcefulness. When I hear the word, I think of a person who builds something from the ground up.
Thanks Emily! Perfection can sometimes hold us back. Instead, good enough can launch you into greatness. Office Depot OfficeMax can help you reach your goals, big and small, with signs, posters & banners to promote your business, to marketing materials to keep your customers informed, to a full suite of business services & solutions to help you grow your business.