VSAaitlin Iseler, Founder and CEO of Happyly, is on a mission to inspire physical and mental well-being in working parents by providing ideas for personalized outdoor experiences.
After spending 15 years working in the tech industry, Caitlin decided to harness her talents to bring value to families. The Happyly app encourages families to step away from their screens and safely step into the world to experience outdoor activities in less than 60 seconds. By founding Happyly, Caitlin learned the importance of celebrating small victories and moving at a slower pace to ensure the long-term success of her business.
We asked Caitlin about the hardest, most rewarding part of her journey, how she celebrates her success along the way, and what’s next for Happyly.
Q: How is Happly different from other platforms?
A: We’ve created an app designed to take you off your screen and into the world safely to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors with those who matter most. . Our entire user interface takes about 60 seconds or less. People are busy, especially working parents, and everything we do is aimed at making parents more productive so that they can find these micro-gains in everyday life.
Q: What has been the most difficult and rewarding part of your entrepreneurial journey?
A: The most gratifying thing is certainly how united we are on the value of this mission. The Happyly team and the broader community we have had the privilege of working with share immense enthusiasm for making outdoor exploration more accessible to everyone. I never imagined how many inspiring people would raise their hands to join us on this journey – it makes my heart smile every day.
Q: How do you celebrate the successes along the way?
A: It’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s easy to admire our business favorites like Rent the Runway, All Trails and Class Pass at this point, and underestimate all the victories and challenges they’ve encountered along the way. The snapshot we saw of Whitney Wolfe with her adorable kid on the New York Stock Exchange was an exhilarating moment. But now I understand that there are a lot of downs and small wins along the way. While we’re looking for big wins, those little wins are what make the trip worth it. A positive email from a partner company, a happy member returning from a family trip we helped plan, watching our team share our message with such obvious enthusiasm and working with people who support each other deeply , that’s the right thing!
Q: How have you grown as a leader since you started Happyly? What experiences have contributed to this growth?
A: I am learning the value of patience every day. Used to a customer support role since my executive search days at Korn Ferry, I operated from a reactionary location and always moved deliberately fast. While this retains its value, I’m learning that sometimes moving slowly in order to carefully weigh our choices is often just what we need. I’m not perfect, but I try to be more patient with the rate of growth, others and myself.
Q: What’s the next step for you and Happyly?
A: We will begin the process of an institutional fundraiser in the coming months as we continue to demonstrate the proof of concept. This increase is significant for a million reasons and our biggest consideration is finding the right partner with whom we align with our values, our goals to impact families and, of course, financial opportunities.
Caitlin is a member of Dreamers and doers, a private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial activities of extraordinary women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection and access. Learn more In regards to Dreamers and doers and subscribe to their monthly The digest for the best entrepreneurial and professional resources.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.