We all get stressed or anxious. It is part of being human. However, stress can actually be a good thing. Stress helps motivate you to do things and accomplish tasks. A friend once reminded me that it is ok to be stressed because it reminds us what is most important to us; we want to do something about the situation and care enough to be stressed over it. I recently watched an interesting TED Talk in my Leadership class at St. Edward’s University. The discussion of the day was self-care for leaders. This TED Talk was done by Kelly McGonigal (I know, I first thought of Professor McGonagall too) titled, How to make stress your friend. I thought it was an extremely interesting concept: use the physiological symptoms of stress to propel you to accomplish tasks instead of seeing it as a negative.
Much like what Kelly McGonigal discusses about not blocking out stress or anxiety, Camille Dollins is doing the same thing with her startup, Lucine. Lucine is a subscription box that provide consumers with products to help with mental well-being and managing stress and anxiety, rather than trying to completely block it from your life.
HOW IT STARTED
Camille Dollins is currently a senior at St. Edward’s University studying Graphic Design. She will be graduating this coming May 2016. Part of the graphic design program is to create a senior project during your senior year. It is an intensive and grueling process (I know from first hand experience since I went through it as well). Camille struggled with anxiety throughout her life, and the psychiatrist put her on medication at a young age. Antidepressants weren't working for Camille, and eventually, she went off the medication. Those years immediately after were described as some of the hardest struggles she’s ever gone through. After what Camille experienced, she has devoted part of her life to educate people and promote mental well-being. Thus, she developed Lucine for her senior project. It started off as an adult coloring book, but then grew into a full subscription box.
The senior project process lasts from August until the show ends on February 25th. From August until December, the semester is dedicated to creating the project with the Senior Studio class. We are pushed to exceed what we thought were our creative and sometimes emotional limits. I watched Camille work on her project. Yes, it was stressful at times, but I could see the dedication, motivation, and ambition in her eyes.
Towards the end of the semester, Camille was suggested by our professor Kim Garza to enter a business competition that would be held on campus in a few weeks. Winner of the competition would receive an iPad as a prize, as well as be assigned a business advisor in order to go compete for funding in the Spring semester. Camille, a graphic design student with no marketing background, went up against business and marketing majors. She had to pitch her product and prove to everyone why this is a necessity. Camille won. A graphic designer won a business competition. When she texted me that she won, I literally ran into the office that we both work in jumping and screaming. It was a fairly big deal.
While Camille started working with advisors and meeting the dean of the business school, she still had to finish her Lucine products for her senior project. Luckily, the objects themselves were one in the same.
After the Fall semester ended, the Senior Studio class ended as well. This meant we had no designated class time to finish our projects. We were on our own.
Coming back from the Winter break, the senior graphic design students all had to finish senior projects while taking major and non-major classes. The new graphic design classes that we were taking started to demand intensive work from us, we were seniors after all. It was an extremely hectic first few weeks of classes because the Senior Exhibition where each of our senior projects would be showcased was February 5th. We came back to campus January 11th. Camille was able to pull together a completed box with TONS of products that would go inside the box in time for the Exhibition: there would be a coloring book designed by Camille, a worry stone, role on essential oil, healing salve, a candle, and a set of coloring pencils.
The opening night of the exhibition was a great celebration of everyone’s hard work. Camille’s box drew a lot of attention, and at this point, she was starting to focus on how to make this into an actual business past it being a school project.
After the exhibition opened, we were all done with our senior projects, but of course not Camille. As she continues working towards the competition for funding in a few weeks, she was also approached by the St. Edward’s University Student Social Work club to put on an adult color book event on campus. Adult coloring books have become extremely popular, and some of the book companies will host coloring events to promote their newest coloring pages. Camille put on the event with the organization to promote mental well-being and Lucine. She printed off some of her coloring page designs for attendees to use. There was a photo booth and live music. Products from Lucine were raffled off, as well as a complete subscription box. It was a great event where everyone was taking some time to unwind and de-stress.
Camille is getting geared up for the competition in a few weeks. There is no turning back. This is no longer a school project, but a lifelong project that will forever impact her. It is her startup, her child. To learn more about business and marketing, Camille will start an internship with Cratejoy, an online marketplace for subscription boxes, in May after graduation. This also happens to be the same service she is hosting Lucine out if. She will be their B2B (Business-to-Business) Marketing Intern.
Keep an eye out for this one!
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