Jeriel Sydney: The Benefits of Holding True to Your Values as a Founder

Jeriel Sydney is the Founder of FableRune, a botanical wellness company supplying boutique luxury hotels and carried in Whole Foods. Fable is based in Los Osos, California, and will celebrate their ten-year anniversary in 2024. In this interview with Follow the Founder, we ask Jeriel about the biggest unforeseen benefits of entrepreneurship and the difficulties she has faced on her journey.

According to Forbes, one of the five main advantages to being a female Founder is the perspective women bring to businesses, especially when building brands aimed to support other women [1]. The feminine energy in leadership is unique and contributes to creating a special environment. Jeriel’s answer to her biggest perks of being a Founder supports this viewpoint. 

“One of my favorite benefits is getting to create a workforce that compliments my lifestyle. I have hired the most remarkable women. We get to spend the day together, challenging each other, growing, and sharing our stories. I have created my dream workplace that I sit in and get to be fed emotionally and psychologically all day long.”

An undeniable benefit featuring in the answers of many of the Founders we interviewed is flexibility. However, for everybody, this manifests differently.

“I have the flexibility to be with my family when I need to. If one of my kids gets sick, nobody will question that I have to be a mom. This has always been my priority. A lot of the women I work with are mothers, so creating a space where they can be safe, where they can have that flexibility too, feels like such a benefit and such an honor. Getting to have my daughters in my place of business and see them surrounded by all these amazing women, getting to have them grow up and see mine and my business partner Bobbie’s relationship, see the relationships I’ve made with my employees and other Founders is astonishing.”

Flexibility also manifests in the freedom to decide your future and your company’s next steps.

“What do I want to do now? I could be a writer, I could be in service, I can do all these other things and I have a place to start from. The benefits are endless, they far outweigh the struggles and the stress.”

Similarly to many other Founders we have interviewed, Jeriel is driven by her values, her beliefs, and being good to others. Her natural kindness manifests in her business relationships too. Meeting a variety of people has been one of the aspects she most enjoys about being a Founder.

“All the relationships you make with other business owners and even just seeing what you’re capable of is a huge benefit. I never would have imagined that I could have the tenacity to do some of the things I’m doing now.”

Of course, the journey hasn’t been smooth all along, there have been many hardships along the way. But Jeriel has remained optimistic and has kept a positive outlook. 

“Every hardship is an opportunity. When we started our brand, we were intertwined with another brand. Their successes were our successes and vice versa. But they went through some internal changes. Suddenly, I could see that their failure would result in a failure for us. So Bobbie and I had three months of constant anxiety. A large percentage of our business came from this relationship. What would it look like for us as a brand if we didn’t have that income? There was so much turmoil. We realized if we could cut ties but also pivot our relationship with them and become a separate label, then we could help both of us grow. We would get the best out of the situation and preserve the relationship.”

Even though this scenario was intrinsically mutually beneficial, the emotional impact of having to cut ties and potentially disappoint others was incredibly difficult for Jeriel. It, however, presented to her a valuable learning opportunity.

“That was a huge heartbreak for me, because I’m so tied to relationships. Once I’m in, I’m loyal, I will do anything. It was a big moment for me to realize that we could step back, separate but still have a working relationship that was beautiful and healthy but not emotional. Our business would be safer, our employees would be safer, and we would have more control over what we were doing. 

“So just reminding yourself that even if you’re on a certain trajectory, you can go back and change it. If you look at a way that you can be of service to others and protect yourself, you’ll find that success again. I almost wish I could go back to when we started that relationship and put more boundaries into what we were doing to protect us as a brand. There’s so much you do with reckless abandon and it’s beautiful, getting to grow with someone else, all of those things. But it does put you in a vulnerable position.”

No matter the industry or the values of the Founder, there will be many iterations of a business. You should accept this rather than be afraid of it, because the truth is, iteration and development make the business better. There is no growth coming out of stagnation. As a Founder, it’s important you keep your eyes open at all times. If you don’t, you will miss many opportunities. Having a 360-degree vision is crucial for first-time Founders. You also have to make your business a priority, almost detaching it from personal relationships. But don’t forget to treat others with grace, to make sure whatever you do is a win for everyone. The world is small and burning bridges along the way can be very harmful. Jeriel agrees.

“Part of being a Founder is taking your blinders off daily. And if you’re transparent with the people you work with there’s so much opportunity for growth. From a tiny seedling problem, we both got this great upgrade to our businesses by having internal conversations that were really honest about where we were, the mistakes we had made, and bringing this to our partners in a way that we thought we could grow from, pivot, and all do better financially and in general.”

We conclude our interview by asking Jeriel about the most important things someone close to her would know about her. Unsurprisingly, she gives us a deep, beautiful, and wholesome answer.

“I made Bobby answer this question for me. She said I’m incredibly empathetic. We’ve made that a strength in our business, understanding where everybody’s coming from has helped us a lot.

“I’m also a big dreamer, in a creative way. I think of doing things that are out of the box. I’m really generous and always asking how I can be of service in whatever we’re doing.

And the last thing is that I love to say ‘Yes’ to whatever is happening. I always want to give it a shot. The best relationships start when you give someone an opportunity for something others have said ‘No’. Maybe saying ‘Yes’ to thirty custom candles that were a pain to make turned into 30,000 candles or something like that. Serving people always comes back to us eventually.”

In celebrating Fable’s ten year anniversary six of which Jeriel has worked full-time alongside Bobbie, Jeriel has created a place she loves to work, setting an incredible example for her kids, supporting women, developing a brand that was carried in Whole Foods and beautiful luxury hotels, and has done a recent rebrand. This is an incredible achievement, especially if contrasted to what people accomplish if they work for someone else for the same amount of time.

“Your capacity is just endless as a Founder,” Jeriel says. 

For more inspiring stories, advice and insight on what it is like to be a Founder, join our community on Follow the Founder. You can also find us on Instagram @followthefounder.


[1] The 5 Biggest Benefits Of Being A Female Founder, Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo,

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