Ariel Kaye is the Founder & CEO of Parachute, the home essentials brand born in Venice Beach and based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2014, Kaye launched Parachute as an online-only, direct-to-consumer company focused on high quality bedding for a good night’s sleep.
Ariel spent ten years working in advertising and brand development in New York before launching Parachute. Her experience yielded invaluable insight into consumer purchase behavior and the public’s growing interest in comfort, quality, craftsmanship and social responsibility — now tenets of the Parachute brand.
Ariel earned a B.A. from the Gallatin School at NYU followed by a Master’s in Media Studies from the New School. Ariel resides in Venice Beach with her husband, daughter and their dog, Lox.
On the first hour of her morning. My baby girl, Lou, was born in January — she tends to dictate the first hour of my day! Now that I’m back to work, my mornings are when I get to spend a little extra time with her. My husband and I take turns feeding her each morning. I also like to work out early in the day, and then I’ll come home to tackle my emails. I’m starting to prioritize eating breakfast every morning, which is new for me!
On advice to solo founders. I was on a solo journey when I started Parachute. I decided to leave New York City – where I’d lived and worked for ten years and had incredible support – to move to Los Angeles and launch Parachute.
Early on, I thought I would find a partner to work with. There were a lot of early investors and other people I talked to in the beginning who thought it was so unusual that I was founding my business on my own. There were some really lonely, isolating moments when I felt so much pressure and stress around making the right decisions for my business. But the grass is always greener.
When I talk to people now who run their businesses with partners, I see the struggles they experience, too. There are advantages to being a solo founder – I’m able to make decisions quickly. I’ve also hired an incredible team of people who are experts in their own right and are complementary to my own skill set.
My advice to other solo founders is to make sure you have a strong network of people that you can turn to for advice, to bounce ideas off of, or to ask for help. It’s impossible for one person to know everything. It’s important to know your own strengths and weaknesses so you can find the right people to help support you.
On building community. My passion for a warm, inviting, beautiful home started early. Growing up, my house was the place where friends and family gathered. I learned early on from my parents to take pride in not only what my house said but how it made people feel. I definitely inherited my family’s love of hosting — I’m happiest when my home is filled with friends and the people I love. Carving out time for this is an important part of my self-care/wellness routine.
It takes a village to navigate the ups and downs of life. It’s so easy to internalize negative experiences and setbacks. Chatting with a friend or family member when I’ve had an off day or just need some advice always improves my mood. Incorporating my community into my wellness routine — whether it’s going on a long walk with my husband or taking a dance class with friends — also makes taking care of myself more fun.
On moving to LA. I definitely prioritize sleep in a new way now that I live in LA! New York is such a late night city – it’s totally normal to go to dinner at 10 p.m., while that’s almost unheard of here in LA. It was also much more common for me to meet friends for cocktails in NYC several times a week. My friends and I just socialize differently here. Now, we may only go out for drinks once a month!
It's so much easier to go out and get some fresh air every day, all year round in LA. You can go for a hike or be at the beach in 30 minutes. I also live in Venice, where there are juice bars and yoga studios on every block. I definitely feel healthier now that I live here.
On tactics for overcoming stress. I put down my devices and get my body moving, first and foremost. A good sweat always gets me out of my head. Blasting music in my car and singing at the top of my lungs or allowing myself to have a good cry helps me to let out whatever it is I’m feeling.
Setting aside a few minutes to meditate, read a book, get a massage, or do a face mask helps me regain my balance. Often when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I’m also feeling exhausted. Taking a nap can also work wonders on my mood.
On her nightly ritual. For me, maintaining an evening ritual is essential to getting a good night’s sleep and allowing my body to recharge for a productive next day. Taking a shower before bed is one of my favorite ways to relax and wash away the day’s stresses. Reading a chapter of a book before bed helps to calm my mind before sleep.
Additionally, I minimize food portions close to bedtime as well as cut back on caffeine and spicy foods. Lastly, I leave my phone outside of the bedroom as the blue light can interfere with natural melatonin production, making it much harder to sleep through the night. Try it! I promise you will notice the impact on the quality of your sleep.
— Ariel Kaye, Founder & CEO at Parachute