When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: 
What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Ella Rooney: Take a few minutes in bed to prepare for the day. I say “good morning” to my FiancĂ© and take the dogs out.
TG: What gives you energy?
ER: Running my own company I am faced with new challenges to overcome every day. Allowing myself breaks and time to workout helps me to recharge and fuels me to take on the day.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
ER: Rather than my mind constantly racing, I make a checklist of items that I need to accomplish each day. I will typically email myself before I put my phone away for the night with a list to tackle the following day.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
ER: Lean In– Sheryl Sandberg

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
ER: It doesn’t sleep with me, but next to me. I start winding down at about 10 pm and stop looking at notifications to clear my mind for restful sleep.
TG: How do you deal with email?
ER: I don’t check my email a million times per day. I focus for an hour or two twice per day and leave it alone. I’m not saving lives so I think keeping the rule of responding within 24 hours is fine!

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
ER: I will take my dogs on a walk to get some fresh and and refocus my mind.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
ER: A close family member passed away recently. During this time I was not only dealing with the physical exhausting of running my own company but also the emotional burden of a loss.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
ER: Of course on top of my extremely busy schedule I decided foster (and wanted to ultimately adopt) a 6-week-old puppy coming from a kill shelter. Because I had already done this once with my current almost 4-year-old pup Lily, I thought I could add another one into the mix. I soon realized that I am now at a much different stage in my life with more responsibility than ever. The puppy took over my life for the first week and I thought I had made the worst decision. I was not sleeping and had to give all of my energy to the dog. I actually thought I had failed the puppy and almost called the rescue shelter to take him back. Before giving up completely, I decided instead of looking at the burden of the current situation I made the decision that I did want to adopt him and that the reward would out weigh the temporary strain. I took it day by day and now its been a over a month and we have our routine and schedule and now Liam is a permanent part of the family.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
ER: “It always works out in the end”. As long as I put forth my best effort do everything that I can within my power when I’m dealing with a challenge, it has somehow always turned out to be okay. 

Ella moved to New York from Wisconsin to attend Parsons School of Design. She found herself with a fashion degree and love for sewing working at an interior design startup. While working closely with a team of interior designers, she started sewing simple projects like cushions and pillows and realized that an accessible sewing service was needed in this industry and ultimately, Stitchd, a sewing service for interior designers was born. Stitchd offers simplicity and ease, transforming your space one pillow at a time. When she is not sewing a pillow or cushion, you can find her on the bike at cycling class or strolling around Williamsburg with her pups.