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This CEO says working with multiple ‘healers’ is crucial to her success

Today’s CEOs are facing innumerable challenges: a global pandemic and a sea change in how and where employees want to show up for work, just to name a few. For leaders, the pressure has never been higher. How do they mitigate it? In our new series, we ask executives about their day-to-day wellness habits to gain insight into the tactics they use to minimize stress and maintain their well-being.

Ashley Sumner is the CEO and founder of Quilt, a company that believes technology has the power to help people feel better. Sumner’s startup career began 14 years ago in New York City as a matchmaker. With an intuitive ability to bring people together, she turned her passion into a career as a community developer for brands such as NeueHouse, Wanderlust, and Breakout, which ultimately led to the creation of Quilt. Ashley’s viral LinkedIn post about being a “female founder” and her Crying is Cool campaign have been featured in The New York Times and Bustle. Her nickname is Dots, because she’s happiest when she’s connecting them.

Coffee or tea? And what do you put in it?
Oat milk latte with cocoa powder on top. 

What is your go-to breakfast?
It depends on the season, most consistently I have a smoothie and try not to have solid food until an early lunch. 

Tell us about your workout routine.
As a former dancer, movement and flexibility are important for me to feel good. I love yoga, Pilates, swimming, long walks, barre, or spin classes. My body doesn’t respond well to overly aggressive activities, and it took a decade and a few injuries to accept that. I move my body daily depending on my energy levels and schedule.   

How many hours do you sleep on a typical night?
I need at least 8 hours of sleep a night to feel good and show up fully the next day. In my 30s I’ve realized that there’s nothing more important than quality sleep.

How do you de-stress?
I work with various healers: reiki, massage, acupuncture, clairvoyants, astrologers, tarot readers, you name it. 

According to your phone, what’s your daily average screen time from last week?
Approximately 5 hours. Yikes!  

What app do you use the most?
My app, Quilt. We’re an online wellness community with hundreds of live audio conversations a day, ranging from casual coffee hangouts to astrology chats to talks on relationships, purpose, and health, and it’s easy to just jump in between meetings or after my work day ends. 

When’s the last time you took a day off? What did you do?
Last Friday was a wellness day at my company. We pick one Friday every month to unplug and rest. I spent time with my best friend meandering around Central Park and then spent some solo time writing on a bench watching people as they passed by imagining what their stories were.  

What’s one thing your company is doing to prioritize employee wellness?
On top of wellness days, we offer a yearly self-care budget for people to invest in their mental, emotional, and physical health. 

What’s your favorite treat?
Anything with peanut butter.

Show us a photo of your happy place.

“Here is a personal photo of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Never found a lake I didn’t love, this one is my favorite.”
Courtesy of Ashley Sumner


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