Be more active. This doesn’t necessarily mean registering for a 60 minute ultimate bootcamp workout immediately (unless you want to). Being active can be as simple as taking a leisurely walk to get the blood flowing and the body moving. Not only does regular physical activity promote strength and can assist with weight management, it can also improve your overall health.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Postiglione.
Jessica Postiglione is the Founder & CEO of Bonny, the only deliciously clean and sustainably packaged fiber supplements brand on the market. Previously, she was the CEO & Co-Founder of OLIKA, a design-forward brand reinventing hand sanitizer. Before making the leap to entrepreneurship, Jessica was a finance professional and corporate strategist. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Harvard Business School.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
As far back as I can remember, I have been interested in business. At one point in high school, I even tried selling homemade arts and crafts. It did not pan out as well as hoped, but several lessons were learned in the process!
After college, I was an investment banker and then held a number of corporate strategy roles post-business school. I always wanted to do something entrepreneurial and I am now on my second venture, Bonny, a deliciously clean and sustainably packaged fiber supplements business.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Being an investment banking analyst prepared me for getting through many unexpected challenges. One time, before everything was digital, we were working on a deal around the end of year. We had to physically print, bind and mail the presentations overnight so that recipients could review the materials before a meeting right after the New Year.
Cut to a colleague and I outside a closed FedEx location with a dozen boxes in our arms. We called every possible shipper until we found one open 15 miles away. Crisis adverted or so we thought. In the end, the carrier didn’t deliver the packages on time due to shipping errors. It was a precursor to the wild ride that is entrepreneurship.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Bonny is focused on sustainability and we eliminated plastic from our packaging. After going through the creative process of designing our packaging, we received samples to see how the material looked in real life. It didn’t live up to expectations given the properties of the sustainable materials. We went back to the drawing board. Lesson learned: first start with the materials, especially unfamiliar ones, to fully understand and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses before designing.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Mentors make all the difference and I believe in paying it forward. I have been lucky to have had a number of people take an interest in my career development as well as provide valuable leadership lessons.
I had one manager, now mentor, who would begin interdepartmental meetings with a lighthearted quiz on anything from identifying different types of animals to naming state capitals. It was a way to have all attendees participate at the start of the meeting and fostered a culture of openness where all voices were heard and respected.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Bonny was born during the pandemic. I became obsessed with nutrition and in turn realized what I was eating was not ideal. I went down a research rabbit hole… reading everything I could and talking to every expert I could find. I thought I knew the basics, but (spoiler alert) I didn’t.
I also discovered that like 95% of Americans(!), I didn’t consume enough fiber which is troubling because it has so many health benefits like improving regularity, aiding with weight loss and boosting immunity.
Bonny is on a mission to help millions of Americans get healthier by increasing their daily fiber intake.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Drink more water. Water is an important part of our health. However, we lose water throughout the day as part of normal activities like breathing, sweating and taking bathroom breaks. The goal is to never be thirsty as that is a signal your body needs more fluids. Tip: Keep a water bottle with you to stay hydrated on-the-go.
- Be more active. This doesn’t necessarily mean registering for a 60 minute ultimate bootcamp workout immediately (unless you want to). Being active can be as simple as taking a leisurely walk to get the blood flowing and the body moving. Not only does regular physical activity promote strength and can assist with weight management, it can also improve your overall health.
- Prioritize your Zzs. Now that you are hydrated and have exhausted your muscles, it’s time for your body to rest. Sleep allows the body and mind to recharge for the next day. According to the CDC, adults aged 18 to 60 need 7 or more hours or sleep a night. The key is getting quality, uninterrupted sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed when you wake.
- Put down your device. You are probably reading this article on a screen. It’s important to prioritize down time and step away from your device. The break allows your brain time to relax and rest. It will also provide your eyes a much needed break from focusing on the glowing light in your hand.
- Eat more fiber. You knew we were going to talk about fiber. Many people struggle to reach their fiber goals via diet alone. The daily fiber target for women is 25 grams and higher for men. To provide an example, you would need to eat 83 baby carrots or 5.6 apples per day to hit 25 grams of fiber. To bridge the gap, fiber supplements — like Bonny fiber — provide a way to add additional fiber to your diet.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I believe in the golden rule: treat others like you want to be treated. It’s simple, but yet so powerful. If we all treated each other with mutual respect and supported each other with positivity, I believe that would bring the greatest amount of mental and emotional wellness to the most people.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- There is no playbook for being a starting business. As a Founder, you have to set the course for the venture, be an innovator and often times contrarian. You need to be — or become — comfortable with ambiguity and have a deep reservoir of resilience.
- Founders have bad days too. I remember my friends reacting to my new role as Founder with a lot of enthusiasm and remarking how great it must feel to be the boss all the time. It is an amazing role, but not all days feel that amazing. Founders have days when nothing seems to be going right too.
- The buck stops with you, always. For better or worse, even if it was outside your control, the health of the company is on your shoulders. It’s a heavy weight and one you have to be mentally prepared to carry, which brings me to the next point…
- Prioritize your mental health. I know senior leaders who employ an executive coach as a means to stay mentally sharp. However, it can be as simple as prioritizing a “go-dark” hour during the day to step away you’re your business and focus on recharging.
- Find a community to vent to and with. I’ve been lucky to meet other amazing female founders in the consumer products space. We lean on each other, sharing advice and sometimes just vent. We’ve created a community of likeminded people who understand and empathize.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
We are passionate about sustainability. Bonny is packaged in forever recyclable steel tins and recycled labels made from 100% post-consumer waste. Bonny means beautiful in Scottish, and that is how we believe fiber should taste, look and feel.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media? @trybonny across social.
Thank you for these fantastic insights!