Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Silvie Celiz & Maryl Celiz >

Silvie Celiz & Maryl Celiz, Co-Founders, Silvie+Maryl

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Silvie: Vision, drive, initiative, passion for your mission, a solid plan, courage to take risks, leadership, and an overwhelmingly strong desire to be your own boss.
Maryl: Passion, creativity, self-knowledge, a sense of purpose, and a lot of energy. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

What did inspire you to start your business?
Silvie: Knowing myself. I'm a leader and a visionary, and also a really bad employee. Knowing that I can't do anything else but run my own ship with my own rules, ideas, and at my own pace forced me to go inwards to gather all my gifts and skills, come up with a plan on how I can contribute them to humanity while making a sustainable business. Once that was established, we looked outward, out in the world, and we clearly saw our place in the world plus a gap that we could fill and be pioneers of.
Maryl: I had been laid off as a newspaper editor and had to evaluate where to put my efforts next. I decided that I would only do work that my heart said yes to. Nothing I was being offered did that. As a journalist, I knew that this country was in desperate need of truth and information when it came to health and I always felt my purpose in life was service via information, so when Silvie had the idea to create a healthy living informational resource to help peopled live better lives, I jumped at the chance, because I knew it was something I was both able and willing to do. Mind and heart were in it.

How did you finance it?
Silvie: Family investor who believed in us and stood by our mission.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
Maryl: Absolutely. For starters, it’s a family-owned and operated business, and family involvement is a hugely Hispanic thing. We also made sure we had bilingual content for the Hispanic community, because our hearts go out to all of the immigrants in the USA struggling with obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and who would benefit from knowing how to prepare healthy meals, deal with stress, and feel a sense of connection with their spirituality. We saw there was no bilingual holistic resource online and we decided to fill that gap.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
Silvie: Our global mission keeps us going. The frequent positive feedback keeps us going. We also believe in the authenticity and quality of our brand, service, and product. It's positive for humanity and for our world, and it’s needed - someone has to do it. We also apply what we teach: Spirituality. The Law of Rhythm reminds us that life has an ebb and a flow, and the Law of Polarity shows us that we live in a dual world where there will always be up and downs, so we take this into account and know that there will always be an up after a down, and that keeps us going too.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Maryl: Rebranding. We launched as HLife and now relaunched as Silvie+Maryl, and it was hard to make the decision to go on hiatus, potentially lose all the momentum we’d had, and develop this next step for our business. But it was necessary and it has turned out to be the best thing we could’ve done. The new brand is even closer to what we really wanted to do as a business and more effective in its messaging. We have something unique - the first and only healthy living video email - and it’s a personality brand, which people can identify with and learn from very easily. It’s an accessible, visual, informative and entertaining way to deliver health to people’s inboxes. Show me, don’t tell me. Plus we now offer coaching and workshops, which is a natural extension of what we’ve been doing.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Silvie: Nothing because it's constantly evolving and changing all the time.

What was your childhood ambition?
Maryl: To be a scientist or an architect. Today, I build better lives for people through science and spirituality.
Silvie: I always wanted to run my own business with my sister.... and live on the same block. We do.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Maryl: Richard Branson (Virgin) because of his colorful business style and his policy to re-route employees to other departments within his company instead of firing them - recycling at its best. Steve Jobs (Apple) because of his creativity and the ability to follow his passion from calligraphy classes that were not in his college curriculum all the way to an indispensable empire of technology that makes my life easier - and more beautiful - today. Oprah Winfrey (Harpo, O) as the ultimate positive information brand. She took daytime talk in a different direction and made it a higher calling.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Silvie: None. The act of nourishment (which should be a break to relax and recharge our cells) should not be mixed with stressful, mentally focused business meetings. I prefer tea or juice meetings in the afternoon.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Maryl: Time and travel. Launching a business is an extraordinary feat that takes over your life for the first years - time, money, energy. All your resources are dedicated to your dream when you’re a true entrepreneur and for me this has meant exercising a bit less and getting less sun in the summer, as well as less travel, which is something I love to do. It’s also meant a restructuring of my relationship with my sister/best friend/business partner Silvie, but that’s been an education in respect, self-understanding, and compassion.

What is your favorite quote?
Silvie: I have two - “If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything”. And “if you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.”

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Maryl: It’s dangerous not to be.

Biggest mistake made?
Silvie: Not being an entrepreneur sooner. I would have liked to begin at age 17.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Maryl: Absolutely. From our style of communication to Wellness MindApps signature system, Silvie and I have created new paradigms of what is health in today’s world. Innovation is exactly what we do: we upgrade the concept of health in people’s minds. We’re the first and only healthy living video email. New perspectives of self and lifestyle, done through cutting-edge digital technology - it doesn’t get more innovative than that.

About the company
Silvie+Maryl is a bilingual holistic healthy lifestyle brand and multimedia resource created to upgrade you mind and transform your life from the inside out. The website features Silvie+Maryl TV, the first and only free weekly video email on healthy living through nutrition, love, spirituality and design, plus an archive library of over 200 articles, private life coaching, lectures, and worldwide workshops.

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