This World Mental Health Day, we speak to sisters Maya, 27, and Mili, 29, from Moom (@moom) to delve into their thoughts on starting the brand, their beliefs in the connection between our minds and bodies, how to prioritise their wellbeing and connection as sisters while running their business.
Having grown up in Singapore, but being originally Indian, both sisters moved to the United States at 18 to go to college in California. With Maya's background in International Relations and Women's health, she brought that knowledge to work at a startup in NYC and for WeWork in Singapore, focusing on building a community and how to truly integrate that into a brand’s identity. Currently, she is the Global Education Manager with Smile Makers, a wellbeing brand that supports sexual empowerment.
Big sis Mili has a background in Education Policy from Columbia University and has spent the last decade building an education consultancy startup in India, which focused on creating accessible education to young people. Currently, she advises for the startup and has a keen interest in how education plays a role in wellness. Both of them started Moom on the side something that not only meant something to them, but with the hopes of impacting the community at large.
Mili wears the Michicant Bracelet
Why did you decide to start this company with your sister?
We have always been close and knew we wanted to do something together - it just took the first CB lockdown for us to spend enough time together to figure out what exactly that would be! Spending a lot of time together during COVID sparked us to have so many conversations around our health, and Moom was fully born out of those conversations.
Is it easier or harder to resolve business issues with family?
So much easier, at least for us!! Mili and I are both big communicators, so when something is bothering us, we tell each other. On top of that, since we’ve known each other our whole lives, it’s pretty easy to tell when somethings off, and because we’re sisters, we’re not shy when it comes to calling each other out on our bullsh** haha! We thought working together would be more difficult than it is, but the only thing we’re struggling with is that we spend 24/7 together...so we’re working on giving each other a bit of space hahahha. At the end of the day, we trust each other more than anyone, so we know everything we do comes from a good place.
Share more about how wellness (body and mind) is important to the brand
(Maya and Mili) At its very core, Moom is a wellness brand - we believe we are much more than a supplement brand! At Moom, wellness looks different for everyone, and personalisation is a huge part of that, from our product suite to the education we offer. To us, wellness is really about taking a step back, tuning in to yourself, and figuring out what your body needs.
How has working full time to running your business on the side affected your mental health's respectively?
It’s affected it for the good and bad. Of course, having something of your own, that is completely your responsibility and ‘your baby’ is stress inducing and very time consuming- leaving you with a little less self-care and free time. That being said, running our own business has also brought us so much more joy and happiness and positively impacted our mental health!
Why is creating a daily ritual important - and what routines (on top of taking Moom!) are part of your lives?
Daily rituals are a practice of grounding yourself, and again, tuning in and listening to your body. Especially in today’s world, where so much is changing and at the same time so little is happening, having a daily ritual gives you a semblance of normalcy and gives you the space to do what you need!
(Maya) For me, I have a nightly ritual of doing a mini skincare ritual, showering (so I get into bed super clean), taking my Moom, and lighting my incense or a candle.
(Mili) My morning ritual is really important to me. I like waking up and having a coffee on my balcony (when it’s not raining), taking a moment to just hang out by myself and resetting before the busy day begins. I take my Moom in the morning with my coffee and a light breakfast and love having some time to just relax! It’s so important to me to get the day going.
Rings / Necklace / Earrings / Bracelet - which must you have on before you leave the house!
(Maya) Earrings! I never leave the house without earrings on, and have recently started wearing more rings and bracelets too. After I get ready for the day, I put on my earrings, spritz on a perfume, and leave the house feeling ready to go - even if I’m wearing sweatpants out hahah. I’m a piercing fanatic so the more hoops on my ears the better. When I come home in the evening, I have my mini ritual, taking off my jewelry, doing my night time skincare ritual, and taking my Moom. These tiny steps make me feel at home and rested.
(Mili) Earrings and Bracelets. Never leave home without them and usually try to pick pieces I can live in- I get lazy to take things off! I love pieces that can truly have a ‘forever home’ on your body and can be worn every single day as a base. From there, adding on more statement earrings, or a necklace, or larger rings to take your look to the next level is always fun!
What are Moom's plans for the future and the best parts about running your own brand?
So much and we can’t wait! But, ultimately, we want to be the go-to brand for natural remedies for the modern Asian woman. We believe there is a huge gap in wellness, especially in this region- and products are either made by brands our parents told us to take or ones with an exorbitant price point, or they aren’t available to us- and we're here to fill that gap. We have some exciting new formulations and products in the pipeline and can’t wait to continue creating products that speak to our generation and our ethos- accessible, fun, and high quality!
Thank you for sharing about your experiences - let us know what mental health initiatives Moom is running this Mental Health month!
As a wellness brand, we believe there’s no health without mental health, and that taking a break is (more than) okay. This October, to commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month, we are launching an initiative that prioritises mental health and how you are feeling, while acknowledging your complete mind-body connection: Rest is for the Strong.
How you feel is integral to everything we do and getting enough rest plays a very large part in that. A recent article by CNA stated it clearly “From the minute we wake to the minute we lay our heads down in bed, we have to be hyper-connected, hyper-updated and on hyper alert – especially with the pandemic situation. No wonder we are so tired”- and this specifically spoke to us as Singaporeans. As a society, we associate success and strength with the non-stop and forget the importance and value of resting and taking a minute to tune in to ourselves.
Mental wellbeing has become increasingly important, thus our campaign directly speaks to one of the core tenets of wellbeing: Rest. It is often something that we are told to neglect or leave for later, but here at Moom, we believe the time to rest is now- and you deserve it.
For our campaign, we are launching a limited edition series of t-shirts, where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Samaritans of Singapore, to help with their efforts around access to crisis support and counselling. Through this campaign, we want to emphasize issues such as stress, sleep, exhaustion and loneliness, and move away from the one-size-fits-all notion that we are often prescribed.
For the month of October, our Rest is for the Strong t-shirts will be on sale on our website, as well as themed weekly giveaways with local brands that believe in our mission and movement! Join the campaign by sharing what rest means to you on social media to spread awareness, support Samaritans of Singapore, and ultimately be our strongest self.
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