Mindful Habits Cultivate Happiness
Co-founders of Evergreen Journals, Allie and Lulu, tell us the story about how experiencing happiness yet anxiety at the same time in life led them to create their brand.
Tell us a bit about your brand? Evergreen Journals is a Toronto-based lifestyle company that creates tools to help you live mindfully. The first product we created was the Habit Journal, which is a daily journal that helps you tune in, unplug and recharge, by providing tangible tips and strategies to make your best habits the ones you do daily.
How did it all start?
Lulu: Allie and I first met through Accenture and we both left consulting to pursue careers in small teams for e-commerce companies. Our friendship is completely effortless and we can speak to each other for days, we have a lot of the same values.
We were both in a similar stage of life when we met. At the time, I was getting engaged, selling Luxy Hair, and travelling the world. But on the inside, I was experiencing my own reality of anxiety, burnout, and depression. I wondered about what the point was of achieving all these goals if I wasn’t feeling good or positive in my daily life.
Allie: I was also engaged and planning a wedding, experiencing progression at work, and purchasing my first home. It felt like I was living each day with tunnel vision and constantly thinking about the next big moment, not at all tuning into the present. I became anxious about the fact that time was passing and I would barely remember what I did yesterday. That’s when we realized that your life is not defined by the highlights. Your life is defined by everything in-between. It is truly about the journey and not the destination. Living your ‘ideal life’ occurs by defining and living your ideal day… We learned that our day is made up of habits. In fact, 40-95% of your daily life is habitual.
Lulu: After years of research, trialling methods and curating the best of the best systems, we launched the Habit Journal.
What do you like the most about what you have created?
Lulu: I really love the daily reflection that allows you to track your mood - and why you felt that way. Even for myself, looking at my entry from a year ago has made me self-aware, which is actually the first step in building mindful habits. It’s really important to make a fundamental behavior a true habit, and something that doesn’t require willpower. The journal has truly helped us build lasting habits, live intentionally, and overall be happier and more at peace.
Advice & Inspiration
Allie and Lulu, founders of Evergreen Journals, share some inspiring advice, tell us where they get support and inspiration from, and explain what it is like running a female-founded company.
What advice would you give others?
Allie: Working full-time and launching a business is as challenging as everyone says it is. The advice that most comes to mind for me right now is from a fellow female founder from a brand I love - Girl Gang Goodies, in Toronto - she told me to treat starting a business like getting an MBA. The more I thought about it this way the healthier I felt: the capital investment is probably similar and your investment of time is no different. If you treat it like a hobby, it will always be one. If you treat it like there is no plan B, you won’t need one.
Lulu: My advice is a little unorthodox. “Entrepreneurship” has blown up recently. However, the challenges of being an entrepreneur are not shared enough. Not only is it a lot of hard work, it is most likely going to cause a lifestyle downgrade. A lot of businesses fail and it takes a long time to be profitable even if you do succeed. It could take years before you make a modest salary, because you have to invest into the business in order for it to grow. So, I would say if you’re doing it for the money, don’t do it. You can make more money climbing the corporate ladder. Do it because you love the journey. Believe in yourself, stay persistent, and keep learning. Be humble, and be a student of life.
Tell us about who or what supports and inspires you?
Allie: My husband, family and friends have been my cheerleaders and biggest supporters. I am so grateful each time I see or hear any of them talking about the Habit Journal or sharing content from Evergreen. It can feel lonely at times when you are plugging away on a project that others might not have visibility to - so asking how it’s going, purchasing product, or sharing content can go a really long way if you have friends starting businesses. Nothing goes unnoticed.
Lulu: I have amazing friends, a great family, and the most supportive significant other who I would not be here without. I find inspiration from a lot of the books I read. We all spend hours every single week commuting, getting ready, and doing errands. During those times, I always listen to audiobooks on Audible, they help to give me inspiration and motivation.
Tell us about the future of your brand? We hope to build a great team and continue to add curated and value products to help people.
What have you learned with running a female founded company? You have to work a lot harder to be respected as a young, female, minority CEO, especially when you are pitching to investors, the board, and hiring executives. You need to make sure that your track record speaks for itself. It is hard for them to deny the hard facts that led to your success.