Meet Ali Kriegsman, Co-founder + COO of Bulletin, a premium commerce community where retailers discover, meet, and shop the best brands on the planet.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you? How does it include CBD/Sweet Reason?
I typically wake up early, go for a run or head to the slightly dingy (but useful) gym in my building, pop back up to shower, listen to a podcast, and make a small breakfast. I work from 9:30 until about 8pm most nights, and then I really make a point to shut off and take a break. I will use CBD here and there in the morning if I am feeling anxious, or add it to my tea or hot drink when I settle down at night for trash TV bingeing or reading in bed. I’ve definitely become super accustomed to settling down with a Sweet Reason, too. The plum blush and peach jasmine flavor are *chefs kiss* !
Why did you start using CBD?
I definitely struggle to wrangle my anxiety from time to time, and when I discovered CBD in 2018, I thought it might help. I don’t use it as much anymore - my anxiety has been more under control, for sure. But I like knowing I have something in my toolkit in case it acts up, or something I can turn to to help calm down the incessant voices in my head when I just want to relax at night.
How are you making this January a MY January?
I decided to go ahead and attempt a Dry January to kickoff 2021, and Sweet Reason has become my new go-to bev at night. I used to settle down with a glass of wine, or two... or three... before bed, as a way to tell my brain it's time to chill and relax. I've ended up sneaking sips of wine or beer here and there if my boyfriend is drinking, but for the most part, I'm trying to become less reliant on alcohol as my trigger for "rest" and finding new ways to relax after work. This typically involves cooking for pleasure, reading a book, or going on a night walk with our pup before cozying up for murder myseries on the couch!
Social Stigma or Socially Acceptable?
Socially Acceptable at this point! Do your thang!
Tip for starting a business?
My one major tip would be: make sure you’re extremely passionate about what you’re working on and bought-in for the long haul. This is a GRIND - and you need the stamina and the internal commitment to ride the lowest lows.
What inspired you to start Bulletin?
My mom started and ran her own small business and I worked retail growing up in California. Alana, my co-founder and I, met at a technology startup back in 2014 and started sharing stories about our love for independent brands, designers and small businesses. We both loved going around local flea markets and supporting the vendors and makers. We wanted to build a business that put more money in their pockets and really helped them shine and grow.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through the process of bringing Bulletin to life?
That small business owners and product-based entrepreneurs are some of the most inspiring, hard-working, resilient people on the planet.
Bulletin is described as a “wholesale community.” What does the community mean to Bulletin?
We are all about connecting like-minded brands and retailers and building a wholesale ecosystem around community, not just transactions. If COVID has taught us anything, it's that a sense of true partnership can make or break a wholesale relationship. The digitization of wholesale has made placing and receiving orders so much more efficient for brands and retailers, but from where I sit, it seems like a lot of that relationship-building has been lost along the way. And we want to facilitate that sense of community and connection we’ve all been missing. We do this through our newsletters, our new connection tool, Bulletin+, and so much more.
We love that Bulletin supports female founded, sustainable and minority owned companies (amongst other amazing companies). What’s the best and toughest part of curating a shopping experience in a now mostly digital space?
As with any marketplace, you are always trying to find a delicate balance between supply and demand. We can find so many incredible brands we want to work with, but it is our job to make sure that once those brands join Bulletin, they are successful. We are always working to bring more retailers into Bulletin so we can work with as many incredible brands as possible. The toughest part is definitely striking that balance, but the best part is scouring Instagram and press and the whole entire internet to find brands we know our retailers will love.
What’s the best thing about having a business partner? What’s your favorite memory together?
Entrepreneurship can feel super isolating. I feel so lucky to have someone to go through the ups and downs with. My favorite memory is probably right after we found out we closed our biggest round of financing. I was in absolute shock and almost couldn’t believe it was happening - I couldn’t process. I saw the words coming out of the investor’s mouth, but I felt disconnected from those words. They didn’t sink in and I just sat with a blank face. Alana grabbed my knee and looked me in the eye like “no! This is good! This is good news!” As soon as we left the restaurant we got in an Uber and started screaming and shrieking. Once we left the car, I just threw up everywhere and Alana couldn’t stop laughing. She like, didn’t even want to help me because it was just so ridiculous. We started walking up the stairs to our motel room (we were taking meetings in Mountain View) and I puked again, projectile-style all over the stairs. I have ever seen her laugh like that. It’s just nice to live this surreal, sometimes ridiculous life together, side by side.
Launching a company and a calm, quiet mind usually don’t go hand in hand. What are your go-to tips to handle stress?
I honestly love laying in my bed and just closing my eyes. With COVID, that’s been one nice silver lining. I like having time to meditate and breathe and process when I get stressed, and having easy access to a quiet, private space has definitely been helpful.
What is something new or interesting that you’re doing for your health or wellness these days?
I am going for runs. I feel like 2020 has left me with a lot of pent up energy I’ve been storing in my chest. The runs help me stabilize and keep my mind clear.
What or who inspires you?
My boyfriend, honestly. He is running an early-stage startup and shows so much strength, resilience and patience. He is earlier on his journey than I am and when I get tired or jaded, his energy definitely does inspire me to keep going.
Lifestyle summed up in one sentence?
I’d say my lifestyle is messy but consistent, stylish but not stuffy, homey, spontaneous, and often - quite dramatic.
Breathe in and out for 8 full seconds, eyes closed.
What are some of your hobbies?
Journaling, writing, reading, baths, making music!
Best piece of advice you ever received?
“Be Good On The Inside.”
What does success mean to you?
Being as close to the version of you that 8-year-old-you wanted to be.
Go-to morning ritual and go-to evening ritual?
Morning: Chloe Ting workouts on YouTube and showering to NYT’s podcast, The Daily.
Night: NuFace, the best. Mini microcurrents for your face. I’m a skincare freak. I may or may not have the peach jasmine Sweet Reason in my other hand…. Just maybe...
Brand you love?
Early bird or night owl?
Life hack of all life hacks?
Most played song right now?
Not song but the mad men soundtrack
Favorite current read?
Luster, Raven Leilani
If you could grab lunch with one person, who would it be?
My mom’s late father