My very first Big IDEA Blog post showcases the team behind The Recovery Box. The inspiring Erin, Brogan, Rae and Sydney, 4 beautiful women from the US, who’s paths crossed at just the right time. Not only are they activists, wellness experts and survivors, but they are badass millennials on a mission.
Their company, The Recovery Box, is a creative start-up offering collections of pocket sized tools and stationary, designed to help you navigate life’s challenges and big emotions. With a growing audience online, a fabulous variety of products and a powerful, purpose-driven business model, this team is inspiring af and I’m honored to have their story as my debut interview piece.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?!
I’m a big believer in leading with your why, so I’m going to kick off this interview with exactly that:
What is your why?
Sydney: My why and purpose is to create a lens for women to see their worth. To create support that allows them to find the confidence in themselves to know how mentally capable they are. For them to see a challenge and know they’ll get through it.
My mission is to make people feel seen.
I love that! Especially as one of the foundational, human needs, most commonly unmet in our society, is that of feeling unseen. I also really resonate with this idea of overcoming challenges. It is exactly what I try to help with via my work as a consultant.
I’m assuming you’ve overcome some challenges yourself, if that’s a part of your why?
Sydney: yes… The journey of how I got here starts with my own battle and recovery. After discharging from treatment, earning my degree from CSUF, working as a health and wellness coach, I knew there was so much advocating that can be done in the mental health world.
Did you all connect through recovery?
Rae: My journey to how I got here does also start with my own recovery journey; After spending multiple years fighting my own battle, I entered college unsure about what this new path would look like. I started to get involved with activist work on campus, educating others about body image and eating disorders. From there, I changed my major, focused every psychology assignment on eating disorders and continued to do the same in my graduate counseling program. With each year that passes, with every activist event I’ve put on, and with every client I see, my passion for helping others through their own battles only continues to grow. While the connection of my own story got me into this work, the passion has surged on as I’ve seen people recover to live beautiful, inspiring, and authentic lives.
I love that I get to help people through some of the darkest moments of their lives and then come home to create tools that can help them through the next chapters in their story.
Wow. It truly is powerful when we can transform our own pain into passion and in such an impactful way!
Erin: Exactly! My own journey with body acceptance has made me realize how much room for growth exists in this world when it comes to the messages surrounding food, bodies, and movement that we often hear and spread.
Brogan: My jam is understanding wellness in our bodies and minds to live a more fulfilled and meaningful life. However that might look! My mom has worked in the eating disorder field for 35 years, so my passion was born at a young age. I spent three years studying the neurological underpinnings of eating disorders. I now focus my efforts on outreach, advocacy, and yoga.
It is this blend of neuroscience and yoga that inspired my fascination in how we can better connect our mind and body in a positive way. Meeting Rae and Erin was the perfect step in my journey towards wellness and I am so excited to be a part of their amazing mission to help others live their most authentic lives.
Sydney: Life has a crazy way of putting people into our lives, and I am so glad the Recovery Box was lead into mine.
You guys are amazingggg!
Ok, so now let’s talk a bit about the actual product.
What is the recovery box?
Rae: We all know the classic 2d feelings wheel, great concept but so challenging to take with you on the go and not durable, since it’s usually a print out from your therapist. Thus, when The Recovery Box Feelings Wheel came to life it really started to open up our minds to all kinds of innovative ways to take mental health concepts and make them tangible.
We are all huge research nerds. A good peer reviewed article is our JAM. There are so many incredible findings and tools chilling in the academic world and we saw this massive need to take them and make them applicable for a non-academic population. Because hello, mental health exists outside of the academic world!
Each product we have created is brought to life by empirical research, clinical experiences, and personal needs. Creating products is my personal favorite part of The Recovery Box!
I can imagine! What a truly genius idea. And so needed!
And how did it all start?
Erin: The Recovery Box was first launched in the Fall of 2017. Our team came together one-by-one as we found people who could help bring this idea to life. I supported the vision through a creative lens, helping make abstract ideas about mental health tangible. Rae brought a clinical background to bridge the gap between research and its application, a main pillar of The Recovery Box’s mission. Right out of the gate, Brogan led with a sense of community and passion, helping community partners add value to their work with the help of The Recovery Box’s tools. Sydney was The Recovery Box’s first employee, she is ready to wear any hat she is given, and does so with grace and charisma.
What we love about our team is that we each bring unique skillsets, but are always ready to learn. Aside from entrepreneurial spirits, we each had fairly limited experience coming into these roles. We are humbled to learn about business, leadership, and balance as we bring tangible tools to support mental health to those who need it.
So that’s exactly what I wanted to focus on next. This idea that we need to be certified with all the titles, bells and whistles in order to start a business…
I call bullsh*t!
I really believe that it’s more a matter of experience and self-belief than anything else.
So, my next question is what helped you believe in yourselves?
Sydney: I am fortunate to have a lot of support around me. When a struggle got the best of me, I really leaned into the people in my life and the resources I could find. Life can throw you a lot of curve balls and the more I recognized that I’m capable of getting through them. The more I felt confident in trying new things that seemed scary at the time. Just like anything, The Recovery Box has navigated through obstacles. But believing in ourselves always gets us through!
Yesssss!! It’s so hard though in our day and age to find that support! Or even think we’re worthy of it, or capable of finding it!
If you had a message for the readers, what would it be?
Rae: You are capable of unlearning whatever others/society have said you should be, and instead create the life and person you WANT to be. Yes, it’s scary. And, you can do it and you are totally worth it!
Yes yes yes!!! I cannot agree with this enough! Woooo! This is such an important message. We are all so conditioned to disempower ourselves and to fit a mold that genuinely doesn’t serve us.
I strongly advocate in fulfilling our potential and I believe that finding fulfillment in what we do is incredibly important. If we would all focus on what we’re passionate about and develop that path, I believe we can all find success!
What about your business are you most passionate about? Or makes you feel most fulfilled?
Erin: Those who know me know how frequently I say that The Recovery Box is the biggest source of empowerment in my life. This is partly because The Recovery Box has been able to be an outlet where my biggest passions come together in one place: art, business, and psychology. This is not to say it has been easy – we have run into our fair share of obstacles! However, on our team, we navigate through it together. Being able to see our collective growth over the past three years and to imagine where we will be in three more is where my fulfillment comes from.
That’s beautiful! There really is power as well in having a team. As was mentioned earlier a support network can be crucial to success, both personal and professional.
Ok, one of my favorite questions, because I think we all need vision, we all need to know where we’re headed if we want to get there, is…
What is your vision for the world in 2050?
Brogan: oh my god that is such a hard question. I also think I watch way too much Black Mirror and don’t want to go down that path haha so we will keep this light and easy.
Honestly, if I stick to my optimistic dreaming, I would say I want to envision a place where there are no longer lines dividing us from one another. We are all working collectively towards finding the most peace for each and every human.
I think as travel becomes more and more incredible our world will continue to shrink. I only hope that we continue to blend together, grow together, and learn from one another… that is my utopia at least!
That and Recovery Box being a name everyone knows so I can keep doing this work with my amazing team …
oh and self driving cars.
Lol! Yes, that’s a beautiful vision for our future! Again, I sense this theme of community, support, collective growth and continued learning! Oooof that’s all right up my alley too!
Well ladies, thank you so much for your time and honestly for your incredible products and mission! I also want to share something I saw on your site, your pay it forward page! I think that using your own cash to fund your start-up is admirable. It shows how much you all believe in what you’re doing! You’re investing in yourselves and your mission and that’s truly inspiring. But even more so, is the fact that any contributions you receive, you pledge to donate 25% of. You guys are truly spectacular humans and I love what you’re all about.
Thank you for doing what you do!
All: Thank youuuuu!!
What amazing women!
To conclude, I have included a summary of a few of the key takeaways (wow there were so many here!):
#1: we can use our struggles to transform our lives and those of others
#2: finding support is key to personal and professional life success
#3: believing in yourself can help you create something truly special that impacts lives.
I hope this has inspired some ideas and instilled the value of self-belief for you. Perhaps it has planted a seed and perhaps it’s exactly what you needed to hear to nudge you into inspired action!
Please let us know in the comments below, what your biggest takeaway was!
If you enjoyed this article feel free to share it and you may also subscribe below to receive the next one straight to your inbox. I’ll be interviewing inspiring, purpose-driven entrepreneurs once a month to show how real people CAN make real impact, and how believing in your big idea, can truly make a difference in someone’s life.
The Recovery Box team were also generous enough to offer a discount to my readers! Woohoo!! Just use the code “BIGIDEA” and get 10% off your purchase!
I wish you a wonderful month and would love to get to know you and hear what you’re up to! So feel free to find me on my socials (below).
Hi, I’m Emily, founder of The Big Idea Consulting Company (and Blog). I believe we learn by example, so I’m searching for examples to learn from. I’m searching for people who can show us that if we believe in ourselves, our big ideas can genuinely make a difference. If you want to be interviewed or nominate someone for interviewing, feel free to dm me!