Katerina Schneider is the CEO & Founder at Ritual, a health technology company that is reinventing the products women use every single day, starting with one visionary vitamin. To date, Kat has raised $40 million in financing from Forerunner Ventures, Founders Fund, NEA, and Upfront Ventures. Prior to launching Ritual, she served as a Venture Partner at Atom Factory, an angel fund based in LA. Kat holds a BA in Applied Mathematics & Economics from Brown.
On her morning routine. The first thing I consume every morning is a glass of water. I spend the first half hour in bed reading, breastfeeding, and playing with my daughters. I make breakfast for my family - anything from buckwheat vegan pancakes to millet porridge. And then I head to my local pilates or yoga studio for a morning workout.
On protecting non-work time. Let's be honest, when you’re a founder, work time is all-the-time. The moments that you feel like are your own, like when you are meditating or on a run, up pops an idea that you think will transform your business. But the older I get, the more I try to make space and train my brain to be free of any Ritual thoughts even for a short period in the day.
I protect my early mornings. I don’t check my phone for the first 30 minutes of my day. I also make sure I work out almost every single day. It’s really the only time I have just to myself. We also have no meetings on Tuesdays at our offices now which actually helps me carve out time to think big picture.
On her mission statement. “Less is more.” We even trademarked it. Paring things down is important and it is also the hardest thing to do creatively in business. John Maeda’s book The Laws of Simplicity explains how difficult it is to narrow things down but how much more you gain when you do. That key insight helps your company run and taking that extra time to find out what that is, is extremely valuable. Simplify down, to do fewer and better things. We scaled our company to the size it is today with a single product, but that was actually one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made.
On Ritual’s wellness culture. Healthy snacks are one of the most obvious ways you can tell we are integrating wellness into our culture. We have pantries filled with everything from marine collagen bars to medicinal mushroom hot chocolate powders. Additionally, since our ethos is about understanding what’s going on inside our bodies, we gave our entire team genetic tests a few months ago so they could better understand if they have genetic mutations when it comes to some of the nutrients as they relate to our products such as b12, folate, and omega-3s.
One of the things I’m most proud of when it comes to wellness is our quarterly “How’s It Going” survey. It gives our employees a safe place to send feedback and also lets them know that we are constantly working to improve. Beyond that, we have a “Wellness Wednesday” every week where we have yoga, meditation, and other fitness instructors come to the office.
An integrative chef also comes in twice a week to prepare balanced meals that are suitable for all types of diets (those who are vegan, gluten-free, carnivore, etc). We have everyone covered! A favorite from this week, for example, was a chickpea version and also a chicken version of Moroccan Tagine with toasted quinoa pilaf topped with orange zest and almonds. Since maternal health is also core to our brand, we have an in-office pumping room for mothers.
On reaction time. I have been doing my best to avoid reacting quickly. I like to sit with things before forming and voicing my opinion.
On her sleep routine. I have a skincare ritual that includes cleansing and hydrating oils and serums. Taking time to take care of my skin makes me feel like I’m really taking care of myself and that impacts my emotional state for sleep. Additionally, when I get home from the office I slip into my “home clothes” to shift gears. I set my phone to sleep mode when I’m going to bed to shut off my mind.
— Kat Schneider, CEO & Founder at Ritual