Jee Lee, Founder & Creative Director On Realizing Her Own Vision By Creating Brand A.F.L.O.A.T and Paving the Way in Conscious Consumerism in Swimwear

“”Made in NYC” has a special meaning for me despite the relatively higher cost of production that comes as a result. “Made in NYC” has allowed me to have full, direct control over the entire process from sample making to production in order to ensure high quality. Additionally, I made it our goal to use sustainable, eco-friendly fabrics as well as minimal packaging, which is in line with what the acronym A F L O A T stands for— ‘All For the Love of an Awesome Tomorrow,’ signifying our commitment to raise awareness on sustainability issues.”

Renée Simone, Model: Grounded in Liberian & US Roots and Pursuing Her Now & Future In South Korea

“I was interested in South Korea before I came to live here so it made me eager to keep learning about Korean language and culture. This curiosity, openness, and desire to culturally assimilate makes certain things easier in adjustment as a foreigner. But it’s not always easy. There are times I feel like I have to have my teacher hat on– needing to politely correct racially/ethnically ignorant comments, looks, or gestures, but I understand that comes with the territory of being and looking different in a country that has been a reflection of homogeneity for decades…
Somewhere down my childhood, I learned that being a “strong” woman was a great honor. However, in my world, the virtues people praised in the “strong woman” were things like suffering and carrying on dutifully in self-sacrifice for her family, or the collective. I grew up being taught that the strong woman was defined as one who put others first, always. Always, always, others before oneself. With this in mind, I did not feel I had access to the full understanding of mental health nor the freedom in evaluating, validating, and responding to my needs, which is what I needed as an individual and woman. For a long time I separated myself from pursuing the whole of mental health– it was more of something I read about in textbooks, heard from friends, maybe saw in a few good relationships that surrounded me.

Editor – in – Chief of Google Insider and Trix Carly Schwartz on Depression, Substance Abuse, and How She Found Her Wellness

“I was really depressed. I couldn’t get out of bed, except for parties and so I would go on these crazy benders and then I would get in bed for a week and then leave to party again and I just started to feel like my partying was out of control. I realized I hadn’t experienced happiness without the help of drugs and alcohol in a really long time, maybe ever, and I just hit my limit. I told my therapist about all the drugs that I was doing and she suggested that I needed help.”

Struggles in Culture Shock & Life Transition: Letters From a Student On the Little Things That Helped Her Fight Depression & Anxiety

“In my second, third, and fourth years of school, my feelings of depression took a spiral down. I began to surround myself in self-destructive habits, such as not eating enough, consuming excessive alcohol, isolating myself from other people, and not leaving my room at all. I remember during these times that every part of my life began to suffer; I began to experience a total withdrawal from academics, emotions, relationships, and physical health. I didn’t really speak to my parents about how I was doing because what I was going through could easily be seen as a huge sign of weakness in Korean culture (and appearing competent and self-assured for my parents was everything to me back then!). It felt like I had no one by my side and I had to go through this frightening and devastating ordeal alone. Upon opening up to my school advisor about my struggles (I had to because I needed to explain my absences and my poor performances at that point), I agreed to take counseling sessions. “

Wellness Leadership: Why Wellbeing is the Priority #1 of the Wise

Whether we’re entrepreneurs or we’re simply ambitious in our career, the mantra most of us have absorbed from western culture is “If I work harder, then I’ll be successful. And if I become more successful, then I’ll be happier.” Consciously or subconsciously we believe that somewhere in the future after x, y, and z happens this magical time will exist where we will finally feel secure and fulfilled with our life.

However, upon closer examination, this formula of “deferred wellbeing” is a complete illusion. In fact, it is the formula for a fulfilled life set completely backward.