We’re now three months into our new entrepreneurial adventure.
I’m in a Lyft on my way to LAX for a week at Mill Pond in Wisconsin to spend some time with the in-laws. As of this moment, we’ve created a deck presentation of our vision and mission for daughters. and we’ve sent it to friends and family for feedback, along with a host of female entrepreneurs in CA that we want to collaborate with. The feedback has been so positive and insightful that I found myself overwhelmed one afternoon with gratitude at being blessed with such thoughtful, smart and generous people in my life who genuinely want to help us succeed.
The responses back from brands who want to collaborate with us have been super positive as well. This was the area I was most fearful of — not being able to convince anyone to partner with us. This is such new territory for Sam and me. We’re feeling things out, trusting our guts and personal convictions, and just crossing our fingers that who we are and what we’re trying to build will resonate with those we are approaching. It seems like The Universe is responding back with open arms, which is the most validating feeling ever.
About one month after I left my career, I embarked on a month-long solo road trip, with the intention to reflect on the past few years, release it, and reconnect with my true self, someone that I feel I have lost touch with through the demanding hustle of my work.
I had been an executive creative director at a digital agency in Silicon Beach called RED, where I had worked since 2011, growing steadily in my career as a digital product designer and marketing creative. Somewhere along the way, I stopped being inspired by the work I was doing and lost my creative spark, something that seems to happen to creatives as we level up and take on more management responsibilities. Losing that inspiration is like death to a creative. I found myself feeling stressed all the time, burned out, counting down hours til the weekends, most of which were spent on more work projects that I didn’t have time to complete during the week. Lunches locked in my office or scarfed down quickly at meetings were a habitual daily occurrence. I started developing social anxiety, not wanting to see or talk to any of my friends or family because I was so starved for downtime. I started asking myself the big existential question, “What am I doing all this for?”
In the meantime, I was devouring wellness blogs and articles around different methods of coping with stress. I began meditating with the Headspace app, then switched to Calm, which I enjoyed more, and supplementing that with group meditation at Unplug in Santa Monica. I was training in Muay Thai, which helped me blow off steam through a rigorous cardio workout (kicking and punching things is also ridiculously gratifying at the end of a long day). I became an essential oil addict, loading up on lavender and eucalyptus and mint oils to use in my two diffusers, one at work and one at home. All of these therapies added together helped me stay sane in the chaos of my work life, but I knew that the real problem was something deeper in my core that was being unfulfilled: I just wasn’t finding meaning in my career anymore.
I have always felt a calling to help women and girls. At my male-dominated agency, I helped organize a women’s group as a way to raise and combat some of the cultural issues and inequalities felt among the team. It’s one of the things I am most proud of, rising well above any product launch or promotion. After discovering that many of the women shared the same feelings of burn out and stress, I realized I had an opportunity to help women on a larger scale find support in each other through a content platform and e-commerce store offering self-care information and products inspired by the stories and advice shared among women. And in doing so, I also could reprioritize my life and achieve the fulfillment that I was severely lacking in both work and life.
Sam was among one of the women at the agency that was feeling particularly burned out and running on empty. One night, while we were both working late in the office on our separate projects, we had a chance to connect and talk about our shared mental exhaustion, our individual journeys of discovering meditation and other self-care rituals, and confided in each other our separate plans to exit the company. In that one fateful, late-night conversation, we decided to partner together to create this brand. The Universe had brought us together that moment and set forth our path onto a new, unfamiliar but crazy exciting road. And I’m so grateful to have her by my side on this journey.