The first time I met Miki, she hugged me vigorously and within 3 minutes we were howling with laughter and talking a mile a minute like old friends. That's just how she's wired: open-hearted, wide-eyed, and bubbling over with high-vibrational energy. Even though we work together every day, we covered some uncharted territory in this chat, including her feelings about wanting to start a family in the near future. My two cents: she's going to be one hell of a Tiger Mom.
Which of your body parts do you have the most affection for?
My legs. Well, it’s a love/hate relationship for a couple of reasons. I’ve always been fast because I’m little, so in a lot of ways my legs have been able to overcompensate for my petiteness. But the hate part is I’ve had 3 ACL reconstructions and the deepest physical pain I’ve ever felt in my life is from my legs. But I think it’s beautiful in a way, because you can’t feel pain without joy, or joy without pain, and those extremes create a special bond. I have a deep respect for legs.
What’s making you leap out of bed in the morning these days?
Building these businesses of period, pee, and poop, no question. It’s a dream come true, on so many levels. On a creative level, for sure. Getting to break taboos and change culture. Talking about the things people don’t want to talk about is my favorite thing. I love making people uncomfortable. And getting to really educate people on what’s happening in the world in these categories that are taboo. To take unsexy topics and be able to shine a light on them on a daily basis. I just came from talking to a group of Virginia Tech students, and none of them really knew much about the plight of women, whether it relate to periods, or pee, or fistula, or the global sanitation crisis. Not many people are thinking about this stuff, and I get to plant the seed of awareness. I don’t even know how it’s affecting them, but all these people are now going to go research more. I get to play the role of being a catalyst everyday to changing and elevating conversations...what an honor.
Connecting and speaking with Dynamic Women in Business @ Harvard
What’s causing you pain right now?
Right now, in this moment, I’m definitely feeling my mortality. One of my best friends, Dan, passed away a year ago yesterday, and it just makes you realize that life is so fleeting and so short. I was watching Jane Goodall in a video, and at 80 years old she said, “I have so much left to do, so much left to see, so much left to fix. I have so much left in me, but every day I’m realizing that it’s coming to an end.” That’s why I feel like I talk fast, and I try to do as much as I can in a day, because who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’m thinking a lot about my mortality. I’m not fearful of it...but I kind of am. There’s one certainty in life - that we’re all going to die - and it’s just a question of when. So I’ve been feeling the need to do everything faster. And I totally know I should be taking deep breaths, and relaxing, and all that is important...but that’s going to happen to me when I’m in a box.
At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve with Dan Fredinburg
Where do you turn for inspiration and guidance?
My friends. My tribe of amazing co-conspirators from all different walks of life. They’re artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, and just people who are additive. All my friends are really additive to my spirit and bring me energy. You know how there are some people who just suck your energy and people who can fuel you with energy? And often times you think, “ugh, I have to go be social, which means I have to give energy.” But for me, when I’m social with my friends, you give energy, but you’re also receiving so much that it’s this beautiful exchange. So that’s my tribe in New York. We’re called the Boom Spiral, which is the opposite of the Doom Spiral. As a collective you create a boom.
Boom Spiral holiday extravaganza @ Wild Brooklyn
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
The biggest risk I’ve ever taken was starting my restaurants. Because I had no experience in anything, and was really young, and naive, and clueless in so many ways. But I was able to learn those lessons so early on, and make all the rookie mistakes, and screw up so big time, that coming into my second business, yeah there’s still going to be mistakes and new challenges, but there are some things where I’m like, “ooh, there’s a landmine that I saw a few years ago, and I’m going to now avoid that.” So you at least know more about what not to do.
What little activities or personal rituals do you do just for you?
I wake up every morning and do 10 minutes of meditation, then I do 7 minutes of Japanese calisthenics, then 10 minutes of yoga, and then I just blast music and dance! I just jump around like a weirdo, and then take a shower and go. The whole thing is just 30-40 minutes but it still feels like a workout, and it gives me routine. I travel all the time, so even if I wake up in a hotel room I can still do it wherever I am.
What makes you feel strong?
Having positive energy around me. I’m very energy sensitive, and I feel strongest when I’m around bright energy. I second guess myself so much less when there’s supportive energy around me.
When do you feel most vulnerable?
I feel most vulnerable when I’m sharing my feelings. We grew up in a world where being emotional and showing your feelings is a weakness. Thanks to women like Brené Brown, we’re really realizing that vulnerability is important. But I still get really emotional and cry every time I’m sharing my feelings. Whether it’s positive or negative, I start crying. It still feels like I’m exposing myself. It’s beautiful and important to do it, but I get nervous and all these emotions come out and I’m like, “I don’t even know why I’m crying!” But it’s because I’m sharing something that’s deep inside of me and I don’t know how it’s going to be received.
Complete this sentence: Womanhood is ____________.
A juxtaposition between softness and strength.
Voting "yay" at a United Nations summit to solve the global water, sanitation, and hygiene crisis.
You’re planning to start trying to get pregnant in the near(ish) future. What is the one single thing you’re looking forward to most about becoming a mother?
Learning to be 100% selfless. Just giving myself completely to a little person that needs me. My parents are very independent. My sisters are very independent. I’m very independent. So I want to experience that feeling of, “I really truly can’t live without you” from a baby. I just dont know whats thats like, and I’m very interested to feel that pull, and feel my maternal instinct kick in.
On a macro level, I’ve been so focused on empowering as many females as possible through these brands we’re creating. And on a micro level, I can’t wait to take such great care of one little person. I’m wondering if I can be as good a parent as my parents were to me. They’re so selfless. Could I be that? I hope I can. I really hope I can. And that instinct will dictate a lot, I’m sure. It’s just an unknown and that’s what I’m really interested in. I have such a genuine curiosity and desire to feel a level of selflessness that I’ve never felt before.
What scares you most about diving into the world of parenthood?
My first thought is a very selfish one about losing my body. I’ve always been an athlete who is strong, and fit, and tight, and that’s been a source of confidence for me for a long time. And there’s a positive to that too, there’s an element of letting go of ego in a lot of ways. But really my biggest fear is...I’m just praying for a healthy child. I’ve had an ongoing thyroid issue that thankfully is under control and I’m cleared to have children now, but there’s always that scare. I think it’s a natural feeling. I just want to bear healthy children.
What’s one trait of yours you hope to pass onto your future child(ren), and one trait you hope he/she doesn’t inherit from you?
The trait I hope they get is my fighting spirit and the I-can-do-it-all mentality. The sense that if you want to do something, you go do it, and nothing’s going to stop you. That go-getter tenacity.
In terms of the thing that I don’t necessarily want them to inherit, my first thought was to say being really emotional. But honestly, I think that comes with the territory of being a woman. You get to be fully expressed. You’re just being authentic to yourself.
Lady in Red at a THINX photoshoot
Inside or outside?
Book or Movie?
Tina Fey or Amy Poehler?
Waffles or Pancakes?
High-fives or hugs?
OOOF! Can I say both??
Dinosaur or Unicorn?
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