Health | April 25th 2017

Chatting with the Founders of Shine

We all have those dreaded days where something goes wrong and you just need a little encouraging boost to keep going. That’s why we’re currently loving this awesome wellness start-up, Shine, a daily messaging service that sends you a little reminder to be your best self everyday. The company just celebrated their one year anniversary, and they already have over 500,000 Shine users in over 165 countries worldwide! Basically, they’re crushing it. We were lucky enough to meet up with founders Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey to hear all about their personal stories and their vision in creating Shine. We can’t wait to share their journey with you guys.


We’d love to hear a bit about Naomi and Marahs’ backgrounds. Where were you guys before Shine and how did you two get together to start this innovative company?

We met working together over 6 years ago and instantly became close friends. Through our friendship, we leaned on each other to work through personal and professional milestones. We realized how lucky we were to find a constructive peer-based support system for our daily wellbeing that was both personal and professional – and quickly saw that nothing like that existed at scale. That’s where the idea of Shine came from – combining our friendship, with our background in messaging and millennial marketing, to make wellbeing more accessible for everyday people.


With texting and social media taking over our lives, we feel that it can be hard to navigate the idea of wellness and balance when it comes to modern technology, so we love that Shine addresses that tricky intersection. What was your intention when creating Shine?

Our intention was to make wellbeing more accessible, and our phones, while we have complicated relationships with them, are the on-the-go resource for billions of people all of the world. While it’s important to find time to disconnect in whatever way works for you, there’s no denying the power of reaching somebody via  their most intimate form of communication: text messaging.


Can you explain Shine to someone who has never heard of the service?

Shine makes it easier for you to take care of yourself and to work on yourself. Every day, we’ll message you (through text, Facebook Messenger or Kik) a fresh daily intention to help you feel your best self.


What’s one example of a typical Shine text?

Sometimes the text is a little educational lesson in productivity….

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And sometimes, it’s some much needed #realtalk:

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Start-ups can be risky, and we’re so impressed that you two created Shine on your own. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to start something new in the entrepreneurial space?

Act on your conviction. Put your idea out there. In whatever form you can, and in a way that makes sense for your business, get your idea out there.  The act of sharing your passion for what you want to build and giving your target market something to respond to – only increases the chances of the idea taking flight.


What’s one thing you wish more people knew about mental health and productivity?

Purposefully hitting pause every once and awhile doesn’t detract from your personal and professional success; in fact, it improves it. Taking time to ‘just be’ is essential to being productive. We have to give ourselves permission to take time for ourselves, create boundaries, spend just a little bit longer in the shower – whatever ‘just being’ means to you – to be able to flourish in our fast-paced lives.


How do you want people to feel when they receive a Shine text?

We want them to feel proud of their highs and know that they are not alone in their lows.


Who is someone that has inspired you guys to build this business from the ground up and focus on the powerful message of positivity?

One of the many ways we bonded, was over our close relationship with our grandmothers. We both spent a lot of time with our respective grandmothers growing up, and gained self-assurance, compassion, and conviction from their influence in our life. Our relationships with them emphasizes one of our favorite quotes from Maya Angelou that’s also a thread to Shine:  “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


You guys just celebrated Shine’s one-year anniversary, which is awesome. What’s coming up for the company in the future?

We are looking forward to continuing growth of the product, team and userbase!