Today, I’d like to introduce Danielle Wu, the founder and CEO of More Sunday, which offers eco-friendly pajamas that are beautiful enough to wear outside your home! Made of 100% Real Silk, the pajamas’ fabric is free of toxic chemicals that are often found on clothing textiles. After making a career in corporate America, Danielle decided to prioritize a more balanced lifestyle while chasing her dream to help women get more rest while getting more done. Let’s take a look at her journey and support a fellow woman entrepreneur who is making strides in the sustainability movement with her luxury, silk pajamas and sleep wear.
What inspired you to start MoreSunday?
More Sunday is about remembering to take care of yourself while getting the most out of your day. Like many people, I’m a person who tries to do it all but often at the expense of healthy habits. In 2017 I was hit with a double wakeup call when two of my closest loved ones were diagnosed with cancer. It left me with two important takeaways. The first being that life can be unexpectedly short and the second is that I wanted to take better care of myself and the world around me in order to live a healthy life.
While I grew up in California, I made my way to NYC as soon as I graduated from college to be part of the electrifying energy coursing through the city and the people there. I excelled quickly in my career specializing in digital and ecommerce growth for several large brands, with my latest role helping to run an over 800+ Global Marketing Team for American Express Commercial Services.
I had so much fun traveling and working with all the teams but eventually I wanted those late nights building toward a greater mission and more balanced lifestyle. I moved back to California to spend more time with family and to build a brand that solves one of my biggest problems, which is quality and functional sleepwear that makes me feel as beautiful as in lingerie but that I can actually be seen in public in. Reminiscent of my always-on-the-go New Yorker days the pieces are made to be as beautiful as they are Multi-Functional.
What are qualities that you look for in a truly sustainable brand?
Truly sustainable brands are actually really hard to find. The way I see it as there is no unified definition of sustainable, a brand can define it in it’s own way. There are so many facets to a consumer product lifecycle that impact our environment just optimizing one stage does not mean a brand is looking at the entire end to end journey of their product.
For instance, while cotton is a material that will biodegrade when not in use often brands turn our attention away from the detrimental amount of pesticides and water needed to grow and process the cotton to a usable material.
So, when I look for truly sustainable brands, I keep an eye out for those who are doing their best to minimize waste and harm to people and our environment every step of the way.
Can you share a time you failed and what you learned from it?
I’ve been learning new things every day. It’s one of my favorite parts of being a business owner as there are always new problems to solve. My first photoshoot was a product of a lot of time, planning and people coming together! I had set a deadline for myself so I rushed booking the right studio. I loved the result of the photoshoot and was so thankful for everyone who helped to make it possible – BUT a few months later I realized that the setting of the studio set I booked gave a Glam and Lavish vibe vs the Natural and Relaxing aesthetic that I wanted my brand to represent.
I had to reshoot the brand imagery to reflect that. The second time around I made the focus the product in a more natural and relaxing setting which really helped to communicate the brand the way I had intended. Now I know to not rush these things and to communicate these brand pillars when working with photographers.
Proudest moment to date?
I can remember it so vividly! It was when I met a complete stranger at a market and they said excitedly, “Oh! I know your brand, More Sunday! I’ve seen your brand around!” I had been working so hard to build brand recognition so I felt very happy and validated that I was starting to finally reach people out of my friends and family circle!
What has been some of the most challenging aspects in starting and growing your company?
To be honest, I did not anticipate the loneliness that can come with starting and owning your own business! Aside from physically being alone most of the time I’ve found that it’s also hard to find a peer set who can relate to the ups and downs entrepreneurship entails. Having worked in large corporations and living in a dense city like New York it was an especially hard adjustment not seeing people all day. However, I am able to spend more time with my family and seek out networking events to maintain more human connection. It has also opened the way to a lot of new connections – like you! Whom I never would have met if it weren’t for starting More Sunday.
What is your long-term vision for MoreSunday?
I’d love to continue to build out sustainable silk wardrobe essentials for men and children. I’d also love to continue to partner with researchers who can help us to reduce the waste from clothing.
What advice would you give to women who want to become entrepreneurs or run their own businesses?
As Nike says, Just to Do It! We each have something we can offer to better this world. If you have a passion for something, you owe it to yourself and the people of this earth to explore it. You can always start by testing it out as a side hustle before you make the financial leap of quitting any 9-5 you may be currently working.
What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
Women’s empowerment is letting women know that they have the power to make a choice. I think there are so many social cues in our society that train people to believe that women do not have a choice on how or when they want to do things. It can be as straightforward as choosing when and if they want to have children.
In the business world I’ve seen this play out where super talented women let other men take credit for their ideas or alter their characteristics to act “more like a man” to rise in ranks. They can do either of those but they also have the choice to speak up and be girly if that’s who they are as that’s what is unique about them and can take them further than being someone else will.
What’s your typical Sunday look like?
Sundays start off with an outdoor activity! Usually my fiance and I like to go for a morning run or walk by the beach. We love using the time to chat about the week and to get our endorphins going. Our afternoon time is used to see family and friends, get errands done and prepare for the week. These are the days I like to work on content for More Sunday away from the office environment.
What’s your way to unwind and relax?
I’m super basic – but watching netflix! I love a good story and it allows me to just shut down for a rest.The Detox Market’s FREE Gifts With Purchase
- Current book you’re reading: The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Change the World by Melinda Gates
- Hobby: Hot Yoga
- Favorite podcast and/or blog: Startup Wars
- Role model(s): Sara Blakely
- Favorite vacation destination: Portugal
- How can people find you:
- Anything else to share? Invest in rest and companies who do good! Where you spend your money supports continued growth for these companies. Without your support only the big guys who do not care about the harm to people and the environment win!
Interviewed by Katie Lam: firstname.lastname@example.org // Shop my More Sunday look here for 10% off your purchase.