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Success Spotlight with Bree Blatchford: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Orange Bead Collective
How do you define success?
To me, success is living every day to the fullest in mind, body, and soul. I know that phrase can get overused, but it really is a meaningful motto to live by, especially in today’s world. We get so wrapped up in minute details of everyday material and social frivolity; it is hard to remember to enjoy the ride. The extreme circumstances that put us here and allow us to wake up every morning are absolutely extraordinary and forgetting that causes us to forget our mortality all together. Successful living is being aware of this fact and submerging oneself in the experience of the day; the corny joke cracked by your dad at breakfast, the fall leaves rustling on the branches of a tree, the cold brew you buy and drink from your local coffee shop. All of these moments define success to me as a whole.
What is the Orange Bead Collective?
The Orange Bead Collective is a network of individuals who are not afraid to speak up about the affects of Mental Illnesses on their lives. Some of these individuals are actually suffering from Depression and Anxiety themselves and others are supporting their loved ones who do. They are brought together by little Orange Bead Bracelets that are sent out into the community and worn in order to jumpstart a conversation about Mental Illnesses and eliminate the stigma surrounding them. The goal of The Orange Bead Collective is to ultimately alter the way America discusses and addresses people living with Depression and Anxiety, while donating profits made from the bracelets to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. The OBC is vital for everyone as anyone can be affected by a Mental Illness regardless of age, color, or gender. In this fight, we are all united and The Orange Bead Collective provides the platform for us all to align and discuss.
What is the biggest challenge of living with depression and how have you grown from it?
The biggest challenge of living with Depression has been the warped sense of reality that I have to combat every day. Obviously, this is improving thanks to my medication, clean living, and meditation, however it wasn’t always like that. I would have to convince myself to get out of bed every morning, that the exhaustion I felt all the way to the bone was a lie caused by my Mental Illness. I also still struggle with self-image heavily, a lot of this being because of the mental and emotional abuse I endured in a past relationship. I am starting to feel beautiful again, however I’ve always has a problem with myself, making it even hard to look in the mirror, because of my Depressive and Anxious thoughts. I thought I would never be good enough for anyone and that I didn’t deserve anyone in my life so I would isolate myself or act out in order create a negative reaction. The biggest challenge still is feeling like all of my thoughts are trapped in my mind and unable to escape in any way because of their nature. Now that I am self-healing, I don’t think about death and the end nearly as much, instead I am thinking about my future: marriage, children, many, many pets. This has been my biggest improvement yet, besides being able to finally realize the falsity of the thoughts in my head conjured up by my Depression. I am still growing and learning and believe that my fight will never fully be over. I will just find, one day, that dealing with everything isn’t as stifling as it once was.
What makes you happy?
My family, my partner, and my friends all make me very happy. They have supported me through this whole process, unfaltering in any way. They have protected, guided, and most of all, believed in me when I needed it most. I would not be here today if it weren’t for their love. Other things in my life that make me happy have to be my dog, Disneyland, banana cream pie, and a good bargain while shopping. Yoga and cold brew coffee are also extreme passions of mine that make me pretty giddy too. Can’t forget the sound of the waves on the sand at the beach and reading a good historical fiction novel.
What are your goals for the future?
I aspire to be somewhere in the art world, preferably in Art Advising and Appraising. I would also like to open up my own OBC studio helping those suffering with Depression and Anxiety by creating art and meditating. I would also love to travel around and talk to others suffering and offer advice and tips to living healthfully every day.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
My dad always says that the word “can’t” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. Regardless of the trials that life deals to you, you are capable and able to get through them some way. Saying that you can’t instill the sense of defeat and urges you to give up. Don’t EVER give up because you CAN do anything.
You can connect with Bree here:
The Orange Bead Collective
The Orange Bead Collective Instagram
The Orange Bead Collective Facebook
Bree Blatchford Instagram
Bree Blatchford Twitter