Hello. This is Anne Mitchell, founder of Teacup Wellness (I’m the short one).
I wanted to share the story about how my good friend Roxie Speer and I came to collaborate on the creation of this cool little company, Teacup Wellness, which is still very much in its nascent phase.
Our shared backgrounds
Roxie and I have been close friends and business colleagues since we first started working together at a high-pressure Denver advertising agency back in 1994.
We quickly learned that we shared many common traits and experiences, and we uncovered even more parallels as the years went by.
- We share the same birthday, one year apart (Dec 30th)
- We were best drinking buddies until we learned that sobriety offers us more promise for living healthier and more joyful lives
- We went on cigarette breaks together until we each learned how to walk away from that crippling addiction
- We were each survivors of traumatic experiences from when we were younger (likely the genesis of our destructive self-medication years)
- We are both recovering Type A workaholics
- We are tree-hugging liberals who also understand the need for accountability in how we share our collective resources
Our careers developed along similar lines as well, having evolved from being advertising designers and production artists who used Rapidographs and X-Acto knives, to becoming devoted Macintosh users of tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
As more of our design work moved to online environments, we each became passionate about this thing called usability, and so we got trained and certified as user experience analysts and designers.
As busy working mothers, our priorities were always focused on our families and our jobs, with little time left for self-care. Our Type A personalities virtually ensured that we were often tied to our desks as much as we were devoted to the needs of our families.
The only area that seemed at all flexible was in how much time we spent on ourselves. In fact, it seemed selfish to take time away from our jobs and families for something as seemingly frivolous as self-care.Read less
In retrospect, it certainly would have been better for each of us if we could have figured out how to take better care of ourselves while also juggling the demands of our very busy lives, but we knew what we knew and we did what we thought was best at the time.
We would certainly NOT recommend that kind of imbalance today. In fact, during these past few months of our focus on this startup, we have been very mindful of working reasonable hours and not allowing the craziness of building a business to impact our wellness and serenity. We intend to continue with that mindful approach as we work together with our fellow coaches to help Teacup Wellness reach its full potential.
Our parallel interests in wellness
As our children grew up, we found that we were able to focus more attention on our own health and wellbeing. But it has been a bumpy road with numerous challenges and setbacks, especially since our workaholic tendencies frequently take over and undermine our best intentions.
With our growing interest in creating our own paths to wellness, we found ourselves devouring information from books and websites that were focused on how to lose weight, reduce inflammation, resolve pain, improve sleep, and many other related topics.
Over the years we often shared wellness-related stories and ideas with each other as we learned how to become the stronger and healthier women that we knew we could be.
We get some formal wellness training
With the notion of one day walking away from the corporate world in which I had always been enmeshed, in early 2012 I decided to pursue a year-long remote health coach certification program with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
I loved the holistic wellness approach that was embraced by IIN’s founder, Joshua Rosenthal. And the institute’s remote learning model allowed me to keep my full-time job while also getting certified in this new profession. I felt that I was creating a possible future for myself where I might finally take advantage of all my various passions and talents.
Around the same time, Roxie got trained and certified in the wellness practice of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and looked forward to the day when she could also walk away from the corporate world to focus on a more holistic profession that would allow her to follow her dreams.
A business idea forms
While working on my health coach certification, I discovered that many health coaches were not too crazy about the idea of having to create and manage the business side of things.
Many coaches want to focus primarily on helping people through their coaching services, and do not necessarily want to spend their valuable time on building websites and mailing lists and figuring out the best technology required to connect with their clients for scheduling and marketing and related tasks.
After completing my health coach certification in 2013, the seed of an idea began to germinate. Maybe I could create a company that would enable us wellness coaches to work together, while sharing all the necessary resources and tools to connect with our clients using a common framework (loosely based on what I had experienced in the consulting worlds of technology and design).
I soon realized that I knew just enough to be dangerous…
- Knew about designing highly usable technology services and solutions, having provided that for clients and teams at numerous agencies and technology firms throughout my career
- Had decades of experience in building and leading high-performance teams, both on-site and remotely
- Had written tons of content and how-to manuals over the years, plus I had written and self-published an award-winning self-help book about quitting smoking
Plus I was learning more about the importance of seeking out healing practices that go beyond modern medicine, with its focus on treating symptoms with oftentimes toxic pharmaceuticals. With this in mind, I have come to believe that the value of health and wellness coaches needs to become more widely accessible, and I want to help make that happen.
Having read some incredible books about clarifying one’s vision (Start With Why), entrepreneurship (Get Shit Done), startups (The Lean Startup), the value of self-confidence (The Magic of Thinking Big), and the power of vulnerability (Daring Greatly), plus dozens of other books and websites and articles, I finally felt informed and inspired enough to begin turning this idea into reality.
Escape from the corporate world
However, after working on this wellness practice idea for several years during my very limited spare time, and not getting much traction, I realized that I would need lots of dedicated time if I was to ever get this little business off the ground.
So I started saving my pennies and planning my escape from the high-stress corporate world of extensive travel and crazy long hours.
Finally I felt ready to make the big leap, so last October I walked away from the golden handcuffs of employee benefits and regular paychecks (with more than a little trepidation).
The ultimate collaboration
With butterflies in my tummy and excitement in my blood, I was finally able to focus all my time and energy on researching the best tools and solutions to see if I could make this business idea work.
Then about a month later in November, I got the most amazing phone call from my good friend, Roxie.
As my friend, she had been listening to me for some time now about my evolving business idea, and she had decided that she wanted to join me in this little venture. She wanted to devote her own creativity and energies to help bring it to life, and I was thrilled beyond belief.
There were no guarantees, but she believed in me (and in the power of us together) enough to take the leap to leave her own cushy corporate job and come to work with me.
We already knew that we worked together extremely well, having done so on and off for over two decades. With our shared passion for wellness and our penchant for living on the edge, our decision to collaborate was a no-brainer.
We both wanted to create the ideal company, one that aligned with our values and placed an emphasis on work-life balance. With the support and input of friends, family members, and colleagues, we came up with Teacup Wellness.
We believe in the downstream value of providing an operational model that is user-friendly and respectful of our team members’ time. We hope that by providing efficient, state-of-the-art tools combined with an inspired and collaborative culture,we can attract like-minded coaches to help build our little company and serve clients from around the world.
We are inspired by these words by Valentina Lyubiteleva…
“Access to wellness is a basic human right,Valentina Lyubiteleva, founder of nonprofit Tavoos Garden & Wellness Center
not a privilege to only those who can afford it.”
Our mission is to transform the way we do health care, and in the process we hope to create the kind of company that we have always wanted to work for.
Anne is passionate about helping people learn healthier ways of living, through stress reduction, smart food choices, and building stronger connections with our bodies, nature, and each other.
An experienced health coach with a focus on addiction support and stress management, Anne is certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied with top nutrition experts from around the world.
Anne is also a certified UX designer with leadership and hands-on expertise in user experience strategy, journey mapping, usability studies, and agile interactive design.
When not traveling to help get the word out about our growing enterprise, Anne lives in a Colorado mountain paradise with her white golden retriever, Bodhi.
Please see LinkedIn for more info on Anne’s background.
Roxie Speer is an entrepreneur, a Certified Master NLP Coach, artist and visionary with boundless energy.
Passionate about the mind-body-spirit connection, Roxie followed a calling to help others with their wellness journey. She is on a mission to help people to find their most vibrant health.
As the co-founder and Teacup Wellness creative and marketing guru, Roxie has a vision for serving a global community of wellness coaches and their clients – guiding them to discover their greatest potential.
Roxie’s certifications include NLP Master Practitioner, Nielsen Norman Group User Experience, HOW and AIGA design, Franklin Covey and AMA Leadership.
Roxie lives in Golden, Colorado. When not working you’ll find her fly fishing at a nearby stream or riding her bike on the many trails near her home.
Please see LinkedIn for more info on Roxie’s background.