Founder Spotlight: Irene Liu

Image for post
Image for post
Irene Liu, Founder of Nouri

Nouri is the first adaptive meal plan that fuses Eastern food therapy with Western nutrition to help expecting mothers feel their best from trying to conceive through postpartum. While meal plans are our first product, we plan to expand on our Eastern therapy philosophy to become the holistic health “one-stop-shop” for life’s most critical stages.

The pregnancy journey is uniquely challenging in the US. Nutritional needs become ever more important for nourishing mom and baby, pregnancy symptoms change at each stage and more women are working demanding jobs, living away from their closest friends and family. Other cultures have long relied on therapeutic food rituals to both meet nutritional needs and manage these symptoms… so why don’t we have that in the US?

This is a deeply personal problem for me as I look ahead. In the last few years, conversations with friends has gone from how to advance in our careers to how to balance advancement with motherhood. I remember seeing my pregnant or recently back-to-work mgrs eating Cheez-its for lunch and rushing to breastfeed in between meetings. Meanwhile, I also saw my mom send my aunt daily Traditional Chinese Medicine postpartum meals after birth. As I started researching more into these postpartum traditions, I learned that other cultures have long relied on therapeutic food rituals to both meet nutritional needs and manage these symptoms.

Building the right team culture is tough, especially with the quick pace, ups and downs and being remote while building a startup. The right processes and expectations need to be put in place upfront to avoid miscommunication and mistakes down the road!

Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: Nouri

I expected it to be difficult, but I didn’t expect how emotionally turbulent and all-consuming it could become. I’ve really needed to establish guardrails for myself and learn how to manage anxiety over things I can’t control.

My background has always been in strategy, and it’s a whole new ballgame to start a heavy operations business. Making sure you have the right people and skillsets around you where you don’t have expertise is critical.

We’ve delivered nearly 1000 products (meals, snacks, teas & broths) Our early customers have loved our product — We’ve had 100% retention rate of our subscription customers in our first two weeks in market.

Follow Nouri, or connect with Irene for updates on Nouri’s progress!

Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) accelerates the success of women in the startup ecosystem. Join us: HelloWaffa.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store