Cadence, the brand rewriting the rules of daily routine
“Cadence exists to make people feel calm and in control, whether at home or away.” Like many people, Cadence founder Steph Hon is always on the go, running from dance rehearsal to trips with friends. On her many travels, she encountered the same problem every time: what to do with all her self-care materials? From potions to pills, she had developed an extensive self-care routine, but it wasn’t easily transportable. Inspired by her busy schedule, she developed sustainably designed travel-sized capsules that hold all your materials effectively without leaks.
The idea for Cadence began when Steph found that although she had developed a self-care routine that worked for her, it didn’t extend to out of the comfort of home. “I was traveling all the time for work, going to the gym before work, traveling to see friends on the weekend…and at the same time I had built out a very robust personal care routine, from supplements to skincare and I just could not bring it with me in a way that made me feel good.” She noticed that people on the move either bought single-use travel bottles, tossed everything into a bag at risk of leaking, or left their products behind. Steph felt compelled to create a highly mobile and sustainable travel product that adjusts to fit changing needs. The capsules are magnetic and can be grouped in different numbers. They also offer customization to label each product individually, so you know your serum from your sunscreen.
Steph has always been a creative person, so it’s no surprise that she approached the problems she saw in a different way than anyone else had. She was a dancer in college and put together a film for her capstone project, an endeavor that saw her not only dancing, but also choreographing, editing, and color correcting. She notes how, “artistic education has influenced everything I have done since.” After university, she took a job in documentary film, where her creativity was stretched to new heights. She learned “how to make quick and efficient creative decisions, to not be too precious, and to pivot” — qualities that are essential now as an entrepreneur facing fresh obstacles every day. Although Steph grew up as the daughter of small business owners, her highly creative background makes her “different than most entrepreneurs — I would say it was truly the best background for Cadence."
Building the business has not come without its challenges. “Every day or every week there is a fire to put out,” Steph admits. But she’s used to high-pressure situations that forced her to think on her feet. In high school she worked as an organizational assistant to a socialite: “it was very Devil Wears Prada!” She admits. She had to find creative solutions to impossible problems like finding leggings from ten years ago or delivering a whole new set of outdoor furniture in three days. “It made me feel like absolutely anything was possible. There’s always a way, just keep searching!”
She notes that the most important qualities for a founder are resilience and relentlessness, qualities she honed over time. She believes in three main pillars:
Treat people like individuals. “A brand’s job is to build around you. Not to change your habits or lifestyle, but to elevate them.”
Devote yourself to sustainability and building products with pre-existing materials. Cadence currently uses 50% post-consumer plastic and aims to increase that percentage over time.
Put care and thought into every product. Unlike some other DTC brands, Cadence develops all products in-house. “Cadence is never going to be the brand that’s launching things quickly, but that’s because we’re genuinely spending years developing products.”
Cadence has aspirations of expanding current product offerings to become similar to a “sustainable Muji.” Steph notes how everything in our lives has become more sleek and sustainable, and she wants to be part of updating other products for the future. She says, “I think of Cadence as a more innovative and sustainable way for anything you interact with, home or away.”
In addition to streamlining her self-care routine, this busy founder is also focused on streamlining her finances. “Rho has been such an amazing partner” and Steph especially loves Rho’s virtual cards and flexible online platform to help her remote team “spend less time wrangling finances, and more time focusing on our business!” Just like her Cadence products, Rho helps this founder keep her life organized on the move, whether at home or away.