We had the good fortune of connecting with Priya Mulvihill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Priya, how do you think about risk?
I honestly think your appetite for risk starts at home, through your upbringing, your experiences, and your exposure to risk. I was raised in a relatively traditional Indian family of Engineers and Accountants. These are two risk averse professions, so naturally I grew up mindful and less comfortable with risk, in both personal and professional applications. I believe this view on risk launched my early career in Accounting as a Certified Public Accountant. I’m confident that starting my career with stability was beneficial and allowed me to gain footing in the professional world at a young age.
However, over the years, my mindset has shifted. In my opinion, higher risk yields higher rewards. Stability has a ceiling, whereas risk can yield infinite results, not only financially but also personally (in the form of personal growth). It took me (1) finding my husband who is a risk taker and entrepreneur and (2) transitioning from public accounting to internal finance at start-up companies, to understand the passion, determination, blood, sweat, and tears that goes into starting your own company, and taking that risk.
I do not believe risk takers are “better” than risk adverse individuals or vice versa. I think you have to follow your gut and intuition, and we need both types of people in the world. I will say, if you have a passion or creative idea and want to share it, the risk of NOT starting the company or project is greater than the risk of starting it. Why? Because failure should not be what you fear. Failure is merely a stepping stone to personal and professional growth. All successful entrepreneurs failed or made mistakes, it’s part of the the journey. Instead, the fear should lie with not starting and taking the risk. That’s fear of stagnation that could lead to years of “what if”. In my opinion, that is risk of not reaching your potential. You may end up with a highly successful company yielding more financial stability than you could have imagined, or you could end up back at square one with key life lessons for your next chapter. This is the mindset that inspired me to risk my stable income and profession as an Accountant to start a CPG company rooted in my personal health journey, in hopes to share the message and our mission with the Western world. At the end of the day, I realized that while I of course do not want to fail, I also do not want to live with “what if”.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
You Again™is a functional food brand inspired by ancient nutrition, fusing whole food ingredients with superfoods and adaptogens into balanced desserts and snacks. We are on a mission to bring awareness to the origins of nourishing plant food, introducing age-old Indian practices (Ayurveda) to the modern lifestyle, and making health-benefiting adaptogens easy and available to everyday people in their everyday lives.
As an endurance athlete, I struggled with a decade long eating disorder, a result of over exertion and under nourishment, which led to a number of serious health concerns. After experimenting with every fad diet only to force my body even further out-of-balance, I discovered Ayurvedic practices and the idea that we’re all unique and that blending ancient superfoods and adaptogens into our food can fuel our body and restore our health. I began adding these ingredients into delicious treats in an effort to overcome my “fear” of certain foods and desserts. Eventually, You Again™ was born. We launched during the pandemic, which was not easy, but we saw an opportunity in the baking category, coupled with my passion to share our powerful ingredients with the world, at a time we need to support a healthy body the most! With so many brands on the market, we face challenges to get in front of people as a new and emerging company, but we keep our head down, work hard, and push forward, keeping our values and mission always top of mind.
What makes us different? Our ingredients, our knowledge of Ayurveda, and our mission! We source the cleanest whole food ingredients, use only maple or coconut sugar (no refined or cane sugars), and sprinkle in superfoods and adaptogens all with functional health benefits. We believe sugar and ultra-processed ingredients are over-consumed in the world, which is why we use minimal sugar for a touch of sweetness and incorporate only ingredients that have nutritional value. I’m excited to share ancient nutrition and the principles and practices from Ayurveda to the Western world in snacks and desserts that are already enjoyed by everyday people.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Hermosa Beach, so we would definitely spend time at the beach, Hermosa and Manhattan, walking the strand, eyeing the gorgeous houses, and relaxing on the sand. I would take them to Palos Verdes for a run or hike to give them some gorgeous close-by views. You can’t miss Malibu! We’d drive up the coast to Malibu, hike the Ray Miller Trail or any of the off-the-beaten-path trails with breathtaking views. I’d take them either to Neptune’s Net for a low-key and famous lunch, or if we were in the mood for something a bit more fancy, we’d pop into Malibu Farm Cafe for a delicious and nutritious meal. Something I absolutely love about Los Angeles is all of the farmer’s markets with local fruits, vegetables, and brands. We would stop at a few of these throughout the week, like Santa Monica’s, Brentwood, or Manhattan Beach. I think Silverlake and Los Feliz are adorable neighborhoods, so we would head there after a hike for brunch or dinner, or maybe we’d venture to West Hollywood for a yummy meal at Gracias Madre. I’d take them to Erewhon Market so they can scope the cool new brands, and check out You Again on shelves! 🙂 In general, their trip would consist of spending time outside, hiking or running through some great trails, and eating the freshest of foods!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband definitely deserves credit in my story and in encouraging me to start You Again. Without his support and excitement, who knows if I would have taken the leap!
Cara Harmon Photography @caraharmonphoto