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This acquisition came with a hard deadline: both founders’ due dates

March 14, 2022, 1:17 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! It’s the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings, CVS Health overhauls sexual harassment complaint processes, and two founders strategized an acquisition with a hard deadline. Have a productive Monday.

– Due date. Last month, the online interior design service Havenly closed its acquisition of the Inside, a direct-to-consumer home furnishings brand. The deal came just in time: Havenly cofounder and CEO Lee Mayer was pregnant, due in late March, as was Inside cofounder Danielle Walish, due last week. (We spoke last Monday, two days before her due date.)

Neither founder wanted to make too big a deal of her simultaneous professional and personal milestones. “Pregnancy is just something women go through—it just aligned at an interesting time,” says Walish. But it’s hard to deny that the experience has had an impact on how the acquisition process, especially the post-deal integration of the two businesses, has run. “It feels more time-oriented, as opposed to goal-oriented,” Mayer says. “In the past we might have said, ‘When we reach this milestone, we’ll make some calls.’ Now it’s like, ‘We’ve got to make some calls by March 9.'”

Danielle Walish, cofounder The Inside, right, and Lee Mayer, cofounder/CEO Havenly, left.
Courtesy of The Inside, and Havenly

The companies declined to disclose the size of the acquisition. Havenly, founded in 2014, wasn’t conducting a formal acquisition search but was interested in becoming “a little more acquisitive,” Mayer says. The interior design service saw an opportunity with the Inside to provide a “wholly integrated solution” for clients by offering custom furnishings.

Walish was the first employee at the Inside, and was given a cofounder title in the startup’s early days. She has run the integration of the two businesses while CEO Britt Bunn spearheaded the deal talks.

Together, Mayer and Walish have been strategizing the merger process, trading notes on their pregnancy experience and finalizing their respective parental leave plans. (Havenly offers 12 weeks paid leave at full salary to birthing parents and six weeks to non-birthing parents.) Walish’s baby is her second; Mayer is already a stepmom, but this is her first time navigating her own pregnancy.

The two execs haven’t met in person—Mayer is in Denver and Walish in Miami, and neither could travel in their third trimester. But when both get back to work later this year with new babies at home, the plans they set in motion will hopefully have come to fruition. The Inside’s branding, at least, has already been updated to read, “The Inside by Havenly.”

“It’s just a lot of growth,” says Walish, “and a lot of transition all happening at once.”

🚨 SXSW reminder: If you’re in Austin this week, swing by my panel, “Supporting Working Women Amid the Pandemic” at 2:30 p.m. CT tomorrow. I’ll be in conversation with SEIU International VP April Verrett, JUST Capital chief strategy officer Alison Omens, and Color of Change VP Arisha Hatch.

Emma Hinchliffe

The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Subscribe here.


- Tragic anniversary. This week will mark the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings, when eight people, six of Asian descent, were killed. Activists are rallying to protest anti-Asian violence in the days leading up to the anniversary, and promoting March 16 as a day for reflection and grieving. NPR

- Repeat history. Naomi Osaka was knocked out of the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open this weekend, struggling after a heckler shouted at her from the crowd. She said the experience brought to mind footage of Venus and Serena Williams getting booed at the same tournament in 2001. New York Times

- Abortion bans. The Texas Supreme Court effectively shut down the last remaining legal challenge to the state's six-week abortion ban on Friday. The remaining portion of the lawsuit will head back to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it's expected to be thrown out. Meanwhile, Missouri state lawmakers proposed legislation that criminalizes the use of abortion-inducing drugs, including drugs used to treat ectopic pregnancy.

- Store audit. CVS Health conducted an investigation into sexual harassment complaints against a regional manager in New Jersey. CEO Karen Lynch oversaw the investigation, which led to the firing of the manager and the departure of multiple senior executives who supervised him. The company will now overhaul how it handles sexual misconduct allegations. Wall Street Journal 

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- Countering the countersuit. A federal judge last week rejected Donald Trump's attempt to countersue writer E. Jean Carroll, calling Trump's suit a delay tactic. Carroll filed her lawsuit after the former President accused her of fabricating a claim that he raped her in order to sell her book. CNN

- Trans youth in Texas. Companies are responding to Texas legislation that would criminalize the use of medical treatments for trans youth. Apple, Google, Gap, Meta, and Ikea signed a full-page ad by the Human Rights Campaign in the Dallas Morning News asking Gov. Greg Abbott to rescind the executive order. Fortune

- Celebs love crypto. Female celebrities are joining the crypto club. Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mila Kunis are among the stars encouraging their audiences to research Web3, NFTs, and crypto and consider getting involved. Wall Street Journal

- Man behind the fraud. Who is Sunny Balwani? The former Theranos exec is on trial for fraud, following last year's trial of Elizabeth Holmes. But much of his motivation has been a mystery. The Information paints a portrait of the exec who Holmes has accused of abusing her (which he has denied), and who is seen by some as a Theranos mastermind. The Information


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I was waiting for my career to feel solid to start my life—then I lost my job The Cut


"I wanted to show that one man, one Russian man, president, stupid man, destroyed my native country. And I am a small girl who can’t stop this man. I wanted to show what really happened."

- Valeria Shashenok on documenting her life in Ukraine, while living in a bomb shelter, on TikTok.

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