In early 2020, a global pandemic took the world by storm, leaving my country divided on issues of safety and public health. It also somehow brought all of us closer together.
I was very pregnant with my third child and had just gotten into a terrible car accident leaving me with a broken ankle. Due to my “condition,” my husband thought it best for me to take a leave of absence.
But being on lockdown with two small children and a third on the way, a crazy-ish husband, the stress of the virus, and my recovery and my sanity to look after–I needed to find something more productive to do than binge-watching The Office in my downtime.
I’d always loved to craft and it’s gotten me through some tough times. But I’ve always put it down once I start using again–we all know how that goes. Nothing else matters when you’re using.
I found a website that sells the supplies to make keychains. The CUTEST keychains. I found some tutorials and ordered the supplies I needed.
I made a single keychain. It said “Sober AF” on it.
I loved it. I was hooked.
On a whim, I posted it in a Facebook group to get some feedback. I wanted to make more but I was already out of ideas. The feedback was overwhelming. I sold 12 keychains immediately. All the same, with different colors, some with sayings on the back. I was absolutely floored with the response I got. I’d had a number of various business ventures in the past, most of them related to recovery gifts, but I’d never received this kind of response.
More than selling these keychains, though; more than making money to help support my family, more than doing something that helped me relax and focus on my recovery, it allowed me to connect with other addicts in a whole new way.
Complete strangers opened up to me. Told me their stories. Told me the stories of their loved ones who were sober or trying to get sober. And in turn, I shared my story.
I made connections that I will always treasure. With people I never would have ever met if not for a small business and a giant virus.
Later in 2020, after officially launching Spirit Recovered gifts and the blog, I received two orders from two women, Leighann and Amy.
Neither of them know it at this point in time, but they helped plant the seeds of the Recovery Bees plant. Leighann shared her story with me and allowed me to share mine and the way we supported one another was symbolic of exactly the kind of supportive environment I hope to achieve. Amy was actually a return customer who emailed me to tell me how much she loved the workbook I’d created. It was a simple .PDF file that I gave away for free on my mailing list, with just a few worksheets that resembled things that had helped me in my recovery. I wasn’t sure it had any value at all. Amy’s kind words encouraged me to dig deeper and explore unchartered territory.
Very soon after I met a man named Mike on Instagram.
Mike was in the midst of launching his own recovery blog, Sober Press–a collection of stories from addicts all over the world.
We connected over the idea of a simple collaboration. I would write a post for him, and he would write a post for me. We could both get our stories out there and help support each other both emotionally and professionally.
I never received my post from him. But what I did receive was much, much more valuable.
After communicating back and forth through email for a couple of weeks, I proposed the idea of a community (real original, right?). It was a simple idea–I’d met so many amazing people in my journey through my business and I wanted to connect these amazing people with one another. The vast majority of them were women, so I toyed with the idea of making it exclusively female.
Mike’s response was overwhelmingly supportive. He jumped in head-first. He helped me decide on a name, he read every last one of my rambling emails and somehow managed to make sense of them, dissect them, and respond in a concise yet comprehensive way.
We circled a few names and ideas and toyed with the name Sober Bee, but ultimately we landed on Recovery Bees. And we were on our way. Mike designed my logos for me (that was a whole other story–they were all so amazing that I just could not decide between them and I very nearly used all three of them).
Through talking with Mike and a couple of other people while designing the website, Recovery Bees slowly began to take a more definitive shape. My craft business quickly took a backseat–and that was okay. I wanted to create something bigger. I wanted to create a place where women everywhere could go for support, education, love, and acceptance.
I began recruiting members to our Facebook group and found even more amazing support, as well as some help. The ladies who joined me took a leap of faith with me and helped me to mold the site into what it is today.
It’s still a work in progress, but so am I. So are all of us. We never stop growing and changing, and neither will Recovery Bees.
We’re here to grow with you and help you along your journey. We want to help you succeed.
In the future we’ll offer meetings for those who wish to become a part of our community and financial support for those who need it.
I hope you’ll decide to join us. We can only grow together, to be stronger, healthier, and better today than we were yesterday, and even more so tomorrow.
We have a wonderful community of women from all walks of life and recovery who want to support you and help you succeed, as well as those who are in need of our support.
In this day and age, women need each other. We need to lift each other up, because it’s us against the world.
Let’s do something great. Together.
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