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Sol Cups was born out of a desire to create a platform for eduction on all things environmental, sustainable, health -physical and mental and just a new way to connect to like minded people.
Before starting SoL, I was a young 18 year old personal trainer, passionate by psychology, mental health and a holistic way at looking at the gut and diet. I was managing a small gym, training clients, competing in my own fitness competitions and running a small start up on the side ( a mental health workshop to corporate offices).
I was literally overworking beyond my means. I already had chronic fatigue since I was 14, so pushing myself beyond my limits was just something deeply ingrained. I was a do-er.
Of course you can imagine I burnt out pretty quickly! I woke up one day, unable to walk, move from bed, I couldn’t even lift an empty glass, literally struck with the most unimaginable amount of chronic pain from head to toe.
I was in shock, I was devastated, in pain and utterly lost of what I was going to do with myself, my fitness world, my life.
I had always battled with mental health, since I was about 10 years old. I went through many years of depression through high school, the story gets pretty dark, but I always managed to over come everything through this innate level of resilience. I knew no matter how many bad days I had, I was going to try and find the silver lining. I was very grateful that through these very difficult times I let my family know I needed help.
Having to leave the fitness industry, quit my job, break up with my incredible and loyal clients, I couldn't really comprehend what I was meant to do to support myself, and essentially start all over again.
Waking up to not being able to physically function, with no pain killers working, doctors more confused than I was lead to many many many months of recovery and very slow progress.
For a long time thinking a wheel chair or walking stick was my fate. Auto immune disease is something i really want to open up about with SOL, a way to express what it means to create balance and really care for your self and the environment. And how that is innately linked. I went through a pretty intense time with my mental health during this period. I was so incredibly grateful to work with some amazing councillors, doctors and psychologists. I personally refused to take heavy medication and wanted to support my health in a more holistic way, and am grateful every day I chose this path.
It also really highlighted how horrid plastic is for our world and our body. Why we need to stop it from the source, less production, less consumption. How fatal it is for our body and hormones, and the planets animals and land. I learnt so much about health during this time, I dived deep into the world of auto immunity, mental health, inflammation and gut health and how it is all related to both our environment, mental health and food.
SoL cups was accidentally born in the middle of all of this, as a coping mechanism. (I used to bring a normal glass with coffee in it from home to work every morning when I was still a personal trainer, because I refused to purchase a plastic re-usable take away coffee cup from the cafe).
We used to joke with my mum and I about designing our own, (Mum is my business partner). And I guess when there is so much passion, purpose and desire to create something good then it connects with the rest of the world and it just works!
SoL Cups began as a passion project and turned into a life long mission.
I started SoL at the end of 2016, and within the first 2 financial years we became one of the top 4 reusable cup companies globally. We operate across Australia, NZ, Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, USA, Europe and the UK. With offices in Sydney and London.
Today, I still manage my auto immune condition, I heavily focus on my mental health, lifestyle and have a very holistic approach to my diet and fitness. But there are still bad days and all I can do for myself Is listen, rest, and not fall into the spiral of trying to control something I have very limited or no control over.
I do my best to listen to my body every day, to remove my own personal need for perfectionism, and do my best to continue to work on myself every single day. Like I always say, when it comes to trying to be plastic free or more sustainable in your life, its not about perfectionism, its about small steps every day, learn from your mistakes, keep doing better until it becomes a habit. You also need to enjoy the process. It's all a journey.
This is why I take mental health so seriously, because without the support of my friends, family, psychologist I wouldn't be where I am today. I am a huge advocate of vulnerability, openness and mental health within my company, and I always ensure my team know that they can talk to me about anything and that I am always there to support them.
R U OK DAY is an amazing way to bring attention to the fact that you don't need to look depressed to be depressed, that you don't need to have your life in shambles to feel an emotional sadness, or to have poor mental health, its invisible and often is easily disguised with a smile. So take this as an oppertinuty to have open, honest and vulnerable conversations with the people you love the most, to your friends, family, partners and colleagues. You never know who just needs a hug, a hello, some eye contact, some warmth and love from one human to another. You never know who needs it.
Sending love and support, please reach out to any of the sources below if you are feeling you need to speak to somebody.