ever wonder about the amazing brain that dreamed up the soona wink? or who designed the way you shop your content at soona? or who even picks the furniture in our stores? that is all part of the creative genius of our co-founder and chief creative officer, Hayley Anderson. today, she was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 and we could not be more proud and not even a little bit surprised.
she is one of the most brilliant people we know. so we thought we would take some time to tell you about the person who makes soona come to life. and who better to share it than her partner in crime – our other cofounder and CEO, Liz.
Imagine this: I get the news that Hayley is on the Forbes list and I start crying on an airplane on my way to New York. See, Hayley is not just my business partner. She has also become one of my favorite people to create with, collaborate with and watch crappy movies with. Why? Hayley is singular. She has a world view that glows positive energy. A unique philosophy about production that is about transparency and access. And a love for design that makes our brand what it is. I often say to our investors: We punch above our weight class as a business because we have Hayley. She makes us look damn good.
I nominated Hayley for Forbes 30 Under 30 because while I have met literally thousands of entrepreneurs in my life, I have never met one like Hayley. She is driven by a set of creative philosophies that puts customers, employees and the experience we cultivate between them first. This focused approach means our products seek to solve problems for the intersection of the three. And when you solve problems for people, employees and their experience – you don’t waste months and months (or even years) on product market fit. You get fast tracked to the refinement stage.
What this philosophy surfaces is something that we co-founders hold dearly: The truth is good businesses invest in relationships. Relationships with customers. Relationships with employees. Relationships with community. And relationships between cofounders. While soona is growing quickly, I’m constantly grateful for the relationships that we have formed to help support that growth.
The reason Hayley is able to bring so much of this humanity into her work is because she has had a set of experiences that she draws upon regularly. A graduate of DePaul University in Digital Cinema, she was an animator for over a decade in the ad agency world before I recruited her to work at my first company, Mighteor.
In working together for years from the script writing to storyboarding to post-production and delivery, Hayley showed such an empathy for viewers and customers. She wanted to not just delight them – She wanted to reach them. A lot of this was born during her early days on set, where as a rare woman in video production, she often felt like an uninvited guest at a frat party.
At soona, everything we do is about cultivating the opposite of that experience. And that is because Hayley holds it as a priority and emboldens our people to carry it.
Hayley, you are the hero of our soona family. Congratulations.
If you haven’t tried soona yet, celebrate Hayley’s creative vision with us by using the code HAYLEY at booking to get one photo or video clip for free!