This Adored Accessories Brand Founder Would Like You To Party By Yourself More
The founder of Ban.do, Jen Gotch, has built a coveted brand out of pure positivity. Yet she's incredibly open about her mental health struggles and a fear of failure. Catch her intimate convo on this week's episode of Girlboss Radio.
Since 2008, Ban.do has been busy making the world a little bit of a brighter, more cheerful place. From their conversation-starting hair poofs of the early days, to the now-broad collection of clothing, bags, jewelry, work and lifestyle accessories—they’ve wielded whimsical positivity with a touch of cheekiness to blaze a trail that countless brands and personas have taken up since.
But of course, even sunshine and rainbows have to rest every once in a while, and Jen Gotch knows this as well as anyone. The raw, vulnerable and honest conversations Gotch has shared on her social media channels in regards to her mental health and relationships have struck a noticeable chord with her followers.
3.2 today. The thing with depression is that you often can't see it coming. It doesn't start with a tickle in your throat. There's not an app to remind you," on Monday you'll be depressed so plan accordingly." And once it's here and asserts itself, there's not a magic dose of anything to make it stop. I had a hard, emotional week last week. I'm strong and resilient and I've survived many emotional weeks unscathed, so I wasn't expecting this but here it is. I didn't get my work done today and had to cancel on someone last minute so now I will add shame and guilt to the list. Depression is an oxymoron (and also just a moron). It hurts to talk, but I want to communicate. It hurts to eat, but I'm like very hungry. I can't access thoughts, but I cant stop thinking. It's personal, its vulnerable its lonely. 🎈I'm a red balloon that cannot drive and I have no intimacy in my life so I'll just put it here until that changes in hopes that if you're feeling this way, too, you'll know you're not alone and my existence will remind you that it doesn't have to define you or limit you. It can just fill you with compassion for others and their own struggles and make you weird and interesting, too.
In keeping with that theme of transparency, she likewise keeps it real in regards to the growth of Ban.do, what she did and didn’t know when she was starting out, the mistakes she made along the way, and everything she’s still insecure about as a business owner.
Check out her raw conversation with Sophia Amoruso below in this week’s episode of Girlboss Radio.
On why getting older is pretty great:
“The beauty of getting older is that you do have wisdom. I’m wiser than I was five years ago, and five years before that.”
On the importance of honesty in conversations about entrepreneurship:
“I’ve been trying to think a lot about exposing where I am and where we are as a company, because we’re really in the middle of something. When I look at the potential and the numbers and the landscape of their business, it’s like we’re lucky if we’re halfway there.”
On keeping it real when times are tough:
“[Running a business] can be awesome and awful at the exact same time, and you don’t have to feel ashamed. That’s just what happens as things get complicated.”
On her approach to dealing with mental health issues in and outside of work:
“My first thing is to always figure out what it is that you have, because depression’s a pretty broad term. There are lots of other things that can be at play. Then figure out how you’re going to take care of it and manage it. Then figure out how you’re going to start an open dialogue with the people that you work with.”
On looking back on your achievements:
“There are times where I’ve felt like, man, I did some things. I set some goals and I did it, and I did it in a way that felt true and honest to what I wanted. And I led with only the best intentions."
On what “success” means:
“If I was really going to be introspect about it [what success means] I think it’s me approving of me. Which feels like it’s going to be a lifelong thing. I’m getting closer.”
On how to move up and on with your life:
“Stop doing the same thing. Try other things and put yourself out there and meet people. Go to parties by yourself.”
Words: Deena Drewis