We caught up with Clay Alexander, Founder and CEO of Ember to talk about his invention of his temperature control mug and how he is staying comfortable during quarantine.
What prompted you to come up with the idea for Ember?
The idea for Ember came to me one morning while eating scrambled eggs. I was sitting at my kitchen table for breakfast and got lost in conversation with my wife, Holland. A few minutes later I took a second bite and my eggs were cold. My inventor brain kicked in and I wondered... how is it possible for us to put a man on the moon, but we haven’t solved how to keep our food and drinks warm? The next few days I started dreaming of self-heated plates and mugs that could keep hot food and drinks at the perfect temperature. Fast forward several years and Ember was born.
What is the first thing you do in the morning and last thing you do at night?
I wake up early and make my first cup of coffee. I can’t start my day without coffee! Then I read for about 45 min. on a topic of education. I try to make it through one book a week. Knowledge is power, so this is an important ritual for me. Right now I am reading a book on brain health by Dr. Amen.
Last week I finished Curious by Ian Leslie on the power of curiosity. The last thing I do at night is read to my daughter Charlotte. It is always something educational but fun. We recently read Oh, the Things They Invented! by Dr. Seuss.
What is your go-to drink in the Ember Mug?
When I’m home I brew a cup of fresh ground coffee beans with Califia’s Coconut & Almond Milk Creamer. If I am on the road, I order an extra dry cappuccino, double shot, with almond milk in my Ember Travel Mug.
How do you balance work and home life, do you have any specific ritual that helps you stay balanced or organized throughout the day?
Ember is a family business. My wife plays a key role in the company and my daughter can frequently be seen riding her bike around the office. My daughter Charlotte, who is 8 years old, is a full blown entrepreneur in training. She participates in many of the company’s activities and always has a seat at the table during meetings. She says she plans to have multiple companies when she grows up and she’s already come up with the brand names and ideas for what each of her businesses will do!
When it comes to staying balanced I rely on meditation and prayer. For organization, I use my iPhone Reminders App. It is a great way to keep my thoughts and to-dos in one place. I like to assign alarms to each task for a specific date and time when I think I will have time to attack it.
How have you been handling quarantine? Any tips you have found helpful to your daily routine?
First of all, I would say I desperately need a haircut! Kidding aside, in order to adjust to life in quarantine mode I have really been trying to step up my mental health game. For me this means nature walks every morning, mediation, eating healthy, educational books and documentaries, and enjoying the SoCal weather. Having the chance to work outside on my patio has definitely been a perk of this new work environment.
What Brooklinen product gets you most excited and what is on your wish list?
The Issa Armchair is definitely on my wish list and would look amazing at Ember HQ! I also can’t wait to try the Brooklinen Luxe Core sheet set.