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In 2018, after a 25-year career in high technology, I burnt out — big time. In fact, I was so crispy that I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to work again. For someone defined by their work, this was a scary proposition. But then I took a deep breath and leaned into it. I had to.
That deep breath turned into a few years away from work (as I had previously defined it, at least). And non-coincidentally, what happened during that time was nothing short of transformative and for which I am incredibly thankful. The expanse of my mental, emotional, and even physical capacity skyrocketed. Simply put (but not so simply executed) I became available — to myself, to others, to ideas and to possibilities. This availability and capacity, when not filled by trying to be a specific persona in a specific role in a specific career, allowed incredible things to enter my life experience. People and ideas were the first that I noticed.
I’ve always been creative and full of ideas, but mostly within the context of my current job. Without a formal “job,” I found myself workshopping ideas and “writing” business plans in my head and on the backs of napkins. Best of all, I was having fun doing it. And then one landed. It was a wellness technology platform to connect integrated wellness doctors and practitioners to their patients in a subscription model. I called it “Mavie,” which means “my life” in French. I was very excited about it. I started talking about it. I hired a freelance designer to design it. And then, out of the blue and without any intention, I was plucked out of my mini-retirement and away from my potential new wellness venture by (wait for it) a wellness company. The universe is funny in that way. To make a long story short, I tabled my idea to take this new opportunity. But after only four months in this new role, COVID hit and I decided that it wasn’t the right time to continue on that path.
As the realities of COVID quickly became life-changing for all of us, I found myself confined to my home, without a job, and still filled with ideas. But this time, I wasn’t motivated to pick up on any of my previous brainstorms. As the days became weeks, I found myself doing things I didn’t usually do, like spending time on Instagram. Not shockingly, I first became intrigued, then borderline obsessed, with the ads. Of course, I knew how personal and targeted they were, but I never experienced it in mass and for an extended period of time. For me, the ads were almost exclusively about wellness products and services (because that was clearly where I had been spending my time in the recent past). They were beautiful, they had the perfect messages — they were exactly what I wanted. So, I started shopping. I was buying everything. And I was instantly frustrated for two primary reasons:
My kitchen table became the place for me to start pondering consumer wellness. The question was, “How does one shop well to be well?” A few Google searches and a few articles later, I was clear that there was a problem, which was rooted in a few key findings (that I was personally experiencing all at once, in the discomfort of my own home):
My answer to all of this started out quite simply as a highly curated wellness marketplace — a place where we could go to find the best of wellness. It was a good start, but not enough (yet). It wasn’t solving the full problem: the fact that the wellness-buying journey lasts a lifetime.
That’s when I arrived at the four essential ingredients of a wellness journey well-navigated: (1) authentic content that you can trust, (2) community for connection and support, (3) curated and vetted commerce, and (4) a way to stay engaged.
It still means “my life” in French, simply spelled differently (and likely pronounced more accurately). I built Maavee to offer a new way to experience wellness. One that brings together those key ingredients of a wellness journey well-navigated and anchored in the notion that wellness is personal. The initial promise was to make it easy to discover the best of wellness, but then it became much more than that. We (yes, Maavee grew from my kitchen table to a full-on team that is equally passionate about this journey we call “wellness”) realized that we can longer separate our own well-being from that of the world in which we live. That was the final key component of the Maavee equation. We firmly decided that we must curate not only for wellness but for good. And this is only the beginning.
Maavee is the place where personal wellness stories unfold and we intend to be stewards of these journeys. And where better to start but with well-intended employers who want to be advocates of their employees’ well-being?
Maavee is a wellness platform built for humans, offered by employers, and architected with purpose. Rather than offering wellness solutions with broad appeal that miss the mark, Maavee allows employers to truly meet the unique needs of their diverse employees through a stipend spent along each employee’s highly personal wellness journey. Maavee’s rich mobile experience is designed to support one’s lifelong aspiration to be well and to discover the best of wellness along the way. Through a combination of content to inform and inspire, community for connection and support, and a marketplace of hyper-curated wellness products and services from brands doing good in the world, Maavee is where wellness journeys unfold for people, companies, and communities. Join the movement.
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