To celebrate International Women’s Day, we sat down with our president, Arlyn Davich. Her entrepreneurial spirit — and passion for making people’s lives better — keep us inspired on the daily. We have a feeling you’ll be inspired, too:
You’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit if we’ve ever seen one. How did you get your start?
In 2008, right after I graduated from Columbia Business School, I launched PayPerks -- a financial educational rewards platform for the unbanked and underbanked. It mixes education with sweepstakes-based incentives in order to fuel positive changes in financial behavior. It was incredibly rewarding to devise a business model that made measurable, meaningful changes in people’s lives.
In the decade-plus since, how have you seen the landscape change for female entrepreneurs?
I was the head of the Women’s Entrepreneur Network at school, at a time when most entrepreneurs were male. Since then, the landscape has shifted. Today, there are many more female entrepreneurs, particularly in e-commerce. I actually found my Allswell role through someone who runs a women’s entrepreneur network that’s largely focused on e-commerce. Beyond that, more women are launching businesses in traditionally male-dominated categories like fintech.
What advice would you have for other female entrepreneurs, especially those who are young and just starting out?
Find a great network of both mentors and peers and stick close to them. Follow your own passions – don’t chase something just because it’s trendy or popular. And don't be afraid of change.
What excited you about the opportunity at Allswell?
Passion for the product. You spend a third of your life in bed (or hopefully close), so sleep is obviously critically important. And at Allswell, our overarching goal is to make good sleep accessible to all. I’m proud of the incredible hybrid technology that makes our mattresses great (and the reviews prove it) — but, more than that, I love that we’re offering it at a price that truly makes good sleep democratic.
We won’t even ask if you get 8 hours a night…
Let’s just say… close enough.
OK, besides lounging on your Allswell… how do you relax?
I’m a huge backgammon fan. I’ve been playing ever since I was a kid. I have a bunch of sets, including my grandfather’s, which is the one I usually use. I play with friends on my patio, out in Washington Square Park – even sometimes in tournaments. It immediately puts me in a relaxation zone.