Sabena Suri - Dreamer and Realist
What are your “and” words and why? Dreamer and realist. I’m very thankful that I’m both a dreamer and a realist, since both sides of my personality give me a unique perspective and way of being in the world. The dreamer in me is always thinking of ways to make my life more exciting and full — creating new projects, forming new connections, and coming up with big plans. The realist in me demands to know how these things are going to happen, asking important questions like but when will you find the time? Or where are you going to start? The realist brings the dreamer down to earth, but the dreamer is the one with the big ideas to start with. I’m grateful for both.
What you are known for saying / a quote from you. “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” For me, this is a constant reminder that every day of your life matters, even the ones that don’t seem monumental. It’s the idea that we shouldn’t live for the weekends, or our birthdays, or vacations — we can find the same level of inspiration and excitement in a random Tuesday. It’s always up to us, but what’s important is that we don’t waste time waiting for tomorrow, but we make today count.
Which other Ladybadasses inspire you and why? Kelly LeVeque (Be Well by Kelly), Payal Kadakia (ClassPass), and Sara Blakely (Spanx) inspire me. I love that within their respective fields, each woman solved a real problem based on their female perspective, which allowed them to build an empire from an authentic, insight-driven place. For Kelly LeVeque, it was that healthy choices should be accessible; for Payal, it was that working out should be exciting and experience-driven; and for Sara, it was that women should look and feel 100% confident in their special occasion wear. Each woman is so inspirational in her own way, yet the common thread is that they all brought their own experiences into their businesses.
When did you first realize that you had some Ladybadassery in you? When my 2 co-founders and I signed the lease on our first warehouse for BOXFOX (and proceeded to have to move a ton of inventory and build a ton of Ikea furniture ourselves — which we did!) Taking the leap to start BOXFOX was definitely a ladybadass move. It took me far beyond my comfort zone; I was always a “by the book” kind of girl and this was a huge risk, but one that felt like the right idea, at the right time, with the right business partners (who are definitely the definition of ladybadassses themselves). For another, I didn’t have a ton of experience to draw from, specifically with starting a business. I had never worked for myself before, I had never sold anything to consumers directly, the list goes on… There were so many firsts, but it was so empowering to figure things out fir myself and just get things done. I think it taught me that you don’t always need to have all the answers— you can learn by doing and that’s exactly what we have been doing.
What keeps you motivated on days when you aren't quite feeling like a Ladybadass? The knowledge that I’m building something that brings joy to people’s lives every single day.
What is your advice to other women who are trying to tap into their Ladybadassery? Don’t take no for an answer — there is always another way to do things if you stay positive, stay true to your vision, and get creative.
Sabena is Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at BOXFOX.