Lead with Love® Podcast

Creativity. Business. Life.

Love Over Metrics spotlight

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Today is a unique episode. I decided to get cozy with three female founders who are choosing to lead with love in their business and lives. I’ve personally worked with and mentored these women over the past year in the Love Over Metrics Incubator –– a mastermind and mentorship program that will help you get clear on your next steps for business growth, so you can build a company that scales your impact and serves the world without compromising your health, relationships and sanity.

I only open up applications once a year, so if you’re ready for guidance and support in an intimate community, learn more and apply at loveovermetrics.com.

In this episode you’ll meet Meri Cherry, yes, that’s her real name. She’s the founder of Meri Cherry Art Studio in Los Angeles, California, which is now thriving in its second year and in discussions for franchising. Meri has cultivated and engaged a loyal online community of over 32k Instagram followers, 50k Facebook followers, and a popular website and blog, mericherry.com

Nikki Silvestri is the Founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, a project development firm designing economic and environmental strategies with human left in. As the Co-Founder of Live Real and former Executive Director of People's Grocery and Green for All, Nikki has built and strengthened social equity for underrepresented populations in food systems, social services, public health, climate solutions, and economic development.

Julia and Megan, Co-Founders of KidArtLit—a subscription box company for young families that delivers storytime & art kits monthly, and two long-time educators in Northern California. They met in a local mom’s group, and their goal is to make it easy for families to ignite creativity and a love of reading in their children.

“I’m able to be a mom and an executive at the same time in the way that I want to be, and that’s the biggest win. I actually really didn’t think it was possible.”


What you'll hear (and don't want to miss!)

Meri Cherry:

  • Where Meri’s passion for progress art came from and how it led to her starting a business [6:53]
  • Why this was the first business she says “clicked”, even though she’s an entrepreneur at heart [9:30]
  • What fears she had growing her business to the next level [12:47]
  • Some of the key wins Meri has had over the past year and a big lesson she’s learned from Love Over Metrics [14:39]
  • How Meri manages to balance a busy business and being a mother [16:00]
  • The ways her business (and the way she feels about it) has evolved and prepared her for the next season of growth [16:57]

Nikki Silvestri:

  • What’s at the core of what Nikki does and how this seed was planted in her at an early age [24:32]
  • How she was able to transition her work from non-profit, to profit-for-good, and get past her fears and money mindset in the process [28:12]
  • Why Nikki decided to build her business leading with love first [31:22]
  • Her transformation into a CEO and mom, all while only working 20 hours a week now [34:36]
  • Who Nikki feels that Love Over Metrics is really designed for [37:27]
  • What’s next for her and why she’s so excited about her Shadow Lab coaching program [38:57]

Julia & Megan:

  • What KidArtLit is all about and the goal Julia and Megan have for the company [43:00]
  • The story of how they met and whether or not they had fears around working together to build a business [45:40]
  • What the startup phase looked like and why building a platform first was so important for them [47:30]
  • Why they both decided to join Love Over Metrics and the wins they’ve had in just the last year [50:44]
  • The biggest lesson Megan gained on growing a business to the next level [55:07]
    What Julia is most excited about and where she sees KidArtLit going in the near future [57:48]

Resources + links mentioned:

» Jadah Sellner WDS 2014 Keynote

» Meri Cherry:

Merry Cherry
Connect with Meri on Instagram!

» Nikki Silvestri:

Nikki Silvestri
Shadow Lab
Grass Roots Fundraising
Connect with Nikki on Instagram!

» Julia & Megan:

Connect with KidArtLit on Instagram!

Key Quotes:

Meri Cherry:

  • “I just fell in love with teaching art and I saw the experience the kids, the teachers and the parents were having from it, and I was hooked.” [9:30]
  • “This was the first time where it was happening so organically, and it was sort of like the Universe was leading my business, rather than me.” [10:53]
  • “To me the biggest difference is how the business is running behind-the-scenes and how we’re so much closer to being the well-oiled machine I always hoped we would be.” [17:08]

Nikki Silvestri:

  • “The core and the crux and the key to a lot of my work is that people don’t know how to play well together in groups.” [25:07]
  • “I think my consciousness just formed in this environment that understood that black people were really beautiful and black people have a lot of struggle.” [27:19]
  • “Being able to hold the triple bottom line value of profit, people and planet only works if profit is working.” [31:31]
  • “I’m able to be a mom and an executive at the same time in the way that I want to be, and that’s the biggest win. I actually really didn’t think it was possible.” [34:17]
  • “When all else feels like it’s just going to be a lot of work, lean into surprises and delight.” [36:27]

Julia & Megan:

  • “It’s really about serving families with young kids and helping them carve out a space in their home and in their daily, weekly and monthly routines to connect really deeply together.” [Megan, 43:27]
  • “I was in the space of following that curiosity and going all in, and I think that’s how we ended up having something.” [Megan, 46:58]
  • “Just because you launch something, that doesn’t mean that’s the end of it; especially with a product that renews every month.” [Julia, 49:34]

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