How Does She Do It: Eliza Blank of The Sill

There are countless start-ups based on the newer-faster-cheaper model of innovation. And then there are those rising stars that manage to reinvent via the not so new: Serving up older, slower goods while doubling down on innovation and trend-making, too. Enter: The Sill.

Founded by Eliza Blank five years ago, The Sill has quickly grown into the plant purveyor of choice for brands like Warby Parker and Google, which lets you know that their business has a lot more than luck behind it. You’ve likely read a few articles on millennials catching onto the power of plants — they boost moods and make even the tiniest of first apartments feel more like home. When it comes to care tips and courtesies (The Sill’s easy ordering process remains a go-to for our gifting needs and styling sessions), their nimble, knowledgeable crew gives fans the green thumbs they’ve always wished for.

We chatted with long-time business crush and all-around inspiring woman Eliza Blank on her journey to, and through, entrepreneurship.

Davis: What does a typical day look like?

Blank:

I set my alarm for 6:30am, Monday through Friday. I’m big on sleep but I’ve recently become more of a morning person. My husband gets up at 5:30, so 6:30 still feels like sleeping in!
I spend 30 minutes checking in on the business from my iPhone (still in bed) — sales, email, comments or tasks coming in on Asana, and finally my calendar for the day … I’ll do a quick check of the news and weather, too.
Then it’s shower, breakfast, jeans and a tee-shirt (hair in a pony), a little email. I’ll be sure to make the bed and do the dishes if I have any extra time.
I grab coffee on the way to the subway and I’m at my desk by 8:45am. Our office is in an old building in Chinatown. The elevator is operated by a real person (!) and it doesn’t open until 9am. So stairs up to the 6th floor is my morning exercise : )
Before the team comes in, it’s mail and email. Then meetings begin. Tuesdays, I generally have a marketing meeting, a product development meeting, and a shop meeting, with different members of the team. We keep meetings as brief as possible – if we can get them done in 20-40 minutes, that’s ideal. We rarely do meetings for a full hour.
Then it’s off to meet with our creative agency – we’re working on some new and exciting things to debut later this fall.
Lunch is rare. I’ve learned to eat a big breakfast. My team generally eats on the later side – anytime between 1-4pm is lunch time.
I generally take calls or I’m messaging with the warehouse team throughout the day as well. I’m almost always there [in the office on Mondays, and then sporadically throughout the rest of the week.
We’ve been growing – so I’m often interviewing potential new hires, checking references, or doing quick check-ins with vendors or partners. It’s truly non-stop.
If I have an hour or two at my own desk, I’ll try and block off time for my work – be it a creative brief, a job description, or to work on a strategic or long-term project. But most of my assignments get pushed to the weekend so I can focus on my team and our partners and what they need from me Monday through Friday.
The end of the day is generally to meet up with a friend for dinner or to go to a work/networking event. I try and get in as much as possible Monday-Thursday – and then I’m completely anti-social Friday-Sunday!
Dinner or events last until 9pm; 10 is really pushing it. My preference is to be asleep by 11.

Davis: Walk us through a day off

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