Reis Paluso is a father, surfer, environmentalist, certified wim hof instructor, and co-founder of MANDA, a sustainable sun care company that makes all their products with natural, good-for-your-skin ingredients that won’t harm the reef.
SO, HOW'D YOU GET STARTED?
It dates back to when I was running a surf blog called korduroy.tv with one of the MANDA co-founders, Cyrus Sutton. The blog was all about DIY surfing with how-to videos on everything from picking surfboards, to making your own surf wax and sunscreen. Fast forward eight years or so, I was on a trip down to Mexico with a couple of buddies. We were using sunscreen that was supposed to be “the best surf sunscreen on the market” and we were still getting burned. So we basically took that original recipe from the korduroy.tv episode and built from there our current sun paste formula. From there, we’ve been growing each year and just launched two new products this past summer.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM STARTING A BUSINESS?
Everything takes 10 times longer than you actually think it’s going to. Especially when you're creating a product in a realm where you don't have a ton of experience. You don’t know what you don’t know and unless someone helps you and tells you, you’re going to hit a lot of potholes along the way. The second lesson is to utilize your network to learn. You have to keep asking questions and be open to feedback as well.
ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU'RE MOST PROUD OF?
That we’re still in the game. We’re over three years old, we’re still around, and we did it mostly off of just one product. We’re obviously doing something right which is why we’re still grinding away.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Personally, success is doing something that I love, enjoy, and believe in. For the business, success is that people have identified with what we’re doing globally. We’ve had people write in and tell us that they’ve had eczema their entire life, tried everything under the moon, and after two days with our product they’ve never had more relief. Another success is being a part of the conversation around change.
WHAT ROLE DOES FAILURE PLAY IN BEING SUCCESSFUL?
You have to reflect on it and utilize those failures to move forward. If you fail and then give up, you’re not in it for the right reason or you’re not willing to grow.
"It’s amazing how creative you get when you have very little resources to work with."
SECRET TO PUSHING THROUGH WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH?
Our team. It’s a blessing and a curse having five co-founders. There are a lot of personalities involved, but having support from people who are in it with you has been a big help in overcoming hurdles. Being self-funded, we’ve hit a lot of speed bumps. We’ve been resourceful though. It’s amazing how creative you get when you have very little resources to work with.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Human connection. I’ve always been fuelled by being around people and learning from them. My kids are another inspiration. A lot of what I’m doing is for them. Not just to provide for them, but also to be a good role model for them.
HOW DO YOU REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL EVERY DAY?
A lot of meditation, a lot of breath work, and a lot of digging deep. I’m also learning to not stress out about being perfect. Not everything has to be 100%.
ULTIMATE LIFE HACK?
Breathwork. I continually go to it on a daily basis. Your breath leads your state. So if you get amped up, slow your breath down. If you need energy, speed your breath up. Another hack is taking action. I’ve always been willing to just go for it. I just start tinkering and then I figure it out.
GO-TO PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
One of the things I’ve found that works for me is standing at my standing desk and moving around throughout the day. Then I’m also a big fan of the Pomodoro Method and breaking off smaller chunks of time for focusing.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE?
It’s up to you. Nobody else is going to do it for you. You just have to start somewhere and do something and eventually, you’ll figure it out. For me, I've dabbled in a lot of different things to get to where I am today. Another piece of advice is to build that network and nurture those relationships. Find ways to continue the conversation even when you feel like it might be dead.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
The biggest part of my life is my family. I have two little girls and I try to spend as much time as I can with them. Then I also try to get out in nature as much as I can.
HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I haven't quite figured that out and I don't know that I ever will. Technology has us so tied to immediate responses and always being available. So I can’t say that I do this all the time, but trying to put the phone down and step away.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE WELLNESS?
It’s that self-care piece. Looking at the different aspects of your life that you have control over. Diet, what you put on your skin, exercise, all that sort of stuff.
"If you fail and then give up, you’re not in it for the right reason or you’re not willing to grow."
FAVORITE WAY TO LET LOOSE?
Hanging with my kids! I don’t really get wild anymore too much. They bring out the kid in me.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
Putting my head down and continuing to push and build. I’m a certified Wim Hof Method instructor and I do one workshop a month. It’s the highlight for me — giving people an experience that will potentially change their life. So yeah, just finding more ways to share knowledge — and not just around the Wim Hof Method, but around everything else I’ve learned from marketing and business to family.