Hi. I’m Holly Shelton and am honored to be part of such an inspiring group of people that Cara has chosen to feature in her blog. I’m originally from small-town Idaho, was a transplant to California as a young 20-something, fell in love with San Francisco where I spent the better part of a decade, and am now a recent transplant to Cambridge. I moved here with my husband exactly one year ago so he could start a PhD. I fought the move for the better part of two years so that I could stay in California and keep my secure, exciting job at Apple where I was the Product Manager of the MacBook Pro.
Moving to Cambridge meant leaving Apple and chasing the opportunity to do something I’ve dreamed about since I was young… start a company! I’ve been an entrepreneur in residence (aka EIR) for the past 10 months which has afforded me the time/space to pursue this dream. Although we’re starting a tech company, we think of ourselves as more of a people company. We believe that people are our greatest motivators when it comes to moving so we’re building MoveWith (now known as Be Gristy) to make it easier to move (i.e. get fit) together and form community. Along the way, we guide people towards their healthiest, most confident and connected selves. Our platform is built with teachers in mind and ultimately is about giving great teachers agency so that they can motivate and inspire more people to move.
I grew up as an athlete, spent as much time outdoors as possible, and am very passionate about all things movement (I like that word better than fitness). What I gained from athletics was so much more than a toned, muscular body. It was a lifestyle that I loved, a connection to an inner voice in myself that could conquer anything, and a sense of community/team. I want to help people at all stages of life move not just so that they’re healthy, but so they’re happy.
When it comes to work, no one day is the same. At the moment, we’re just getting the company off the ground and I’m juggling fundraising, hiring a rockstar founding team, logistics that cover anything from legal to insurance to benefits, designing and building technology to support our vision, creating our brand and our values… the list goes on and on.
A Sample Day
7am – Wake up and get a quick 30-minute run in on the Charles with our pup Henry.
8am – Enjoy an earl grey tea and 8-grain cereal while I catch up on the latest tech news and check emails. I can’t get going without food, but always try to find something healthy.
9am – Ride my bike into either the CRV or Matrix offices (a welcome change from the hour+ commute to Apple.)
9 to 11am – Product brainstorm with my cofounder, Tricia. I’m typically at the whiteboard and sketching out our product plan. We’re working on leveraging the latest technology to create a really compelling experience for students and teachers around movement. We’re targeting our first beta (mobile app) early next year so are hashing out the first features that will make it easier to MoveWith each other, and give teachers agency through a platform that connects them with new teaching opportunities and their community.
11am – Investor meeting. A weekly meeting with the partners I work with at CRV and Matrix to update them on our progress, latest product thinking, and progress on building a team.
1pm – Grab a quick salad to-go at Tatte and head back to our small conference room to work on the early forming of the company. This time we’re focused on brand and go over a mood board to hone in on the 5 brand attributes we really want to come through.
2pm – Customer interview. A call with a yoga teacher to better understand her current pain points.
3pm – Call with our UX designer who has wireframes (a view of how a user will interact screen to screen with our app) for us to react to.
4pm – Coffee with an iOS engineering candidate who will ideally build version one of our product.
6pm – Head home and set up shop in our study. Will spend the next few hours working on a pitch deck that tells the story of our MoveWith vision and how we plan to grow our company and build our product.
830pm – Cook dinner with my husband and briefly catch up on the day.
930pm – Back to the computer. This time working on an updated product spec for the designers so we can continue working on wireframes and product development.
12am – Wrap up the day by responding to any unanswered emails.
1230am – Get a quick 10-minute meditation in to ground myself and let go of all the stress from the day.
1am – Head to sleep, exhausted, but filled with excitement because I’m building something that I’m proud of and want to see in this world.
For more information on MoveWith (Be Gristy) find the social media channels and our website below and feel free to follow me on Twitter at @hlshelton.