What happens when the daughter of the ultimate plant lady grows up and transplants herself to Manhattan? When Eliza Blank moved to NYC to work in marketing, she quickly noticed a lack of resources for novice urban gardeners looking to green their small spaces. So in 2012 she started a direct-to-consumer business that makes online plant shopping easy, informative and fun. The Sill now has a team of 75 and $7.5 million in venture funding — and has made many a millennial’s #plantgoals come true. Here, the entrepreneur (and new mom!) shares how she gets it all done.
Who has been a force of good in your life and why?
My husband Steve — the true definition of a life partner. We met when I was just 21 years old, so he’s really been a part of my entire adult life. He offers endless support. He’s also The Sill’s #1 fan.
What’s one good way to start any day, no matter where you are in the world?
Coffee! And face time or “FaceTime” with my baby girl, Faye.
What’s one piece of good advice you learned from a woman in your life?
My mom always likes to remind me, “This too shall pass,” when I’m going through a tough time. Cliché maybe, but a helpful reminder that life is full of ups and downs.
What’s one good piece of advice for someone thinking about her/his own business?
Get to that point where you can’t not do it. If you keep thinking about it, take the plunge! Not all businesses succeed and it’s incredibly hard, but don’t let the “what ifs” keep you from taking a risk. If it’s something you’re passionate about, that feeling of not knowing what could be is worse than failing.
What’s one good lesson you’ve learned from launching The Sill?
I’ve learned it’s best not to play Monday morning quarterback (my husband Steve’s favorite sports saying). There is really no sense in saying “if only . . .”
Tell us a good story about plants.
My paternal grandmother is an incredibly passionate gardener — inside and out. She has a few very famous plants, including a Pencil Cactus. This pencil cactus has managed to make its way through propagation into all of our homes … my mother’s reaches the ceiling each year and then she is forced to cut it back. Now my generation has pieces of this plant. That’s what I love about houseplants.
What’s one good recipe you always love?
Anything my husband makes — I’m not the cook!
What one good tip you have for multi-tasking effectively? And how did you learn it?
I find myself multi-tasking more now that I am a mom. You have to prioritize and multi-task when you can. Very often, I’ll be pumping while I’m on a phone call — there are only so many hours in the day!
What’s one good habit that you make sure to always do?
I always make sure to make the bed every morning. It helps me feel like I’ve started the day off on the right foot, and coming home to a clean apartment after a crazy day makes a big difference.
What’s one good movie where you know all of the lines?
Finding Nemo — is that weird?
What’s one good way to unwind after a long day?
Oh man, if I’ve had a long day all I want is sweatpants and Netflix and bed. I need rest and relaxation in order to rebound.
What’s one good story you think of when you need a laugh?
If I need a pick me up I just go straight to my photo album for baby pics! Easy.