Today we speak to the co-founder of Soma, Mike Del Ponte.
I had been interested in the intersection of humanitarianism and entrepreneurship for a while, so after college where I earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Boston College and a master of arts in religion from Yale, I spent time traveling around Nepal as a microfinance consultant, helping Nepalese women start their own businesses.
After my time abroad, I started a non-profit called Sparkseed, a global nonprofit that accelerates and invests in the most promising student social entrepreneurs. Not long after I was heading up marketing at BranchOut, a career networking company.
Fast forward- After hosting a dinner party with a water-spilling-everywhere Brita accident, I was inspired to create Soma. Through Kickstarter in 2013, we successfully crafted the beautiful, sustainable, charitable and sleek glass carafe water filter with plant based filters that are delivered to your home every two months! We have now launched a beautiful pitcher with a wooden handle that holds more water made of BPA-free plastic.
Here at Soma, we encourage employee wellness from morning meditations to a “no meeting Wednesdays” policy. I also love getting outdoors since I’m in the office so much. I like rock climbing and hiking. Anything that is an adventure outside is fun to me. A balanced life is really important to me personally for the company culture. Most mornings I do yoga and I spend a lot of time reading and journaling. I never work on Sundays- I used to work three jobs, seven days a week. I thought I could never take a day off. What I found was that I became much more productive — and healthy and happy — when I committed to resting each Sunday.
As for his personal style:
Jeans: 3×1 makes all of their jeans at its 15 Mercer Street store in SoHo. I love the M3 Slim Bonhams made with black Japanese selvedge denim.
Shirts: Pretty much anything Askov Finlayson sells. It’s my favorite men’s clothing store. They carry brands like Norse Projects, Snow Peak, and their own line of menswear.
Shoes: Grand Voyage is the new footwear company by Robert Nand. I love the Allen Blucher.
Accessories: Tsovet watches are my favorite. Masculine, but not bulky or overdesigned. They have a simple, modern style.
Favorite Cologne: Le Labo Bergamot 22
Your favorite App: Sprig. I get meals delivered to me at least 5 times a week. Sprig’s meals are healthy and delicious.
Favorite piece of technology: Nebia is a beautifully designed showerhead that uses 70% less water. It doesn’t ship until spring 2016, but I experienced a prototype and loved the way the water feels.
Next tech purchase: Teforia. It’s the most beautiful tea brewer I’ve ever seen.