So, I’m going to be super transparent with you here – we went into this a bit naïve. Let me tell you, moms and sisters really, truly DO NOT realize the health issues that our firefighters and fire families face! As a veteran, I was quickly able to identify and relate, but prior to being part of this community on a daily basis, I didn’t realize the physical and/or mental health issues that our fire community faces, both firefighters themselves, and families at home.
Once I realized these issues, it was something that began to quickly and heavily weigh on me. Naturally, my brother being a firefighter for several years now, he’s seen and been exposed to things I can only imagine, which obviously puts his health at risk.
But, who was I to change our mission?! We were a six-month-old business and honestly, it wasn’t even on my radar. Our mission was to bring gear and gifts to firefighters and their families to make their day a little safer and happier. We carried Firewipes, but the knowledge I had gained through learning about their product was really the extent of my knowledge about firefighter wellness at that point. I certainly didn’t know enough to speak on the subject and I was so busy trying to run this new business I wasn't spending a whole lot of time on it otherwise.
Here was my reality at the time - I was working all day, everyday on our mission of gear and gifts, and can I be really honest with you for a minute of what that actually looked like?! It was me working to put out content on social media as fast as I could every day. Social media content that wasn’t even connecting with you, because I hadn’t taken the time to get to know yet. I’ve always been someone who has a desire to make an impact while making an income, and I didn’t feel like I was doing that. It was so frustrating to work constantly and not see any results, but it was more frustrating to not be making an impact in anyone’s life. But I had no idea what to do so I just kept trying different strategies from people that I would pick up online – things that weren't true to what I knew to do and things that certainly weren’t helping me get to know you at all.
Ok, break – I warned you that I was gunna keep it real with you, right? Yeah, dear diary, super real, but this led to something so awesome that I want you to know about it! So, let me tell you about the time I cried about it...
Ok, so, I also live by the motto that if you keep an attitude that things will work out, that things usually work out – it really hasn’t failed me yet! But, there was a minute there (maybe more than a few minutes) that I broke down and was just in tears of frustration (like face down in my bed sobbing - yeah, it was ugly) because I’d been doing everything I knew to do for months on end and wasn’t seeing results. Our business wasn’t growing, and I just didn’t know what to do. That’s when my favorite person told me that I needed to change our mission. And he didn’t just tell me I needed to change our mission – he knew exactly what I needed to change our mission to – he saw it clear as day. He told me I need to change our mission to firefighter and fire family wellness. He told me he knew I loved helping people, and that if I focused on that and became an SME in the field that the rest would come. So, we talked it through for a while and I decided to change our mission.
You know, sometimes the people closest to you, who know your daily struggles and where your heart is, can see these things when we’re too far in the weeds – and I’m super grateful he did and that he went out on a limb to tell me!
Once the decision was made, it was like a lightbulb went off! I felt so relieved and renewed, but also scared AF!!! I still felt like, who am I, but was also researching and educating myself – and since then, I’ve found my niche and have become the SME in that field – we’ll get to that in a minute ;).
So, the first thing I did was step back a bit and just take in the decision to change our mission. Then, I analyzed everything we were doing to figure out what we wanted to do moving forward.
Then, I started honing in on the resources we wanted to provide and created a resource page on our website. The page currently links to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Next Rung, Are You Ready Training, CFFW Foundation, Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness, and a valuable article on how to respond to someone who is contemplating suicide. We will continue to grow this page with community resources for mental and physical wellness. Please use and share this page as you see fit.
Next, I took a look at all of our products to figure out what we wanted to carry with our new mission. Some products went, some stayed, and we added a few. Some of them that I'm so glad we carry are of course Firewipes and our Go Bags! We also now have Overhaul natural detox supplement, the mental health book Bulletproof Spirit, and relaxing coloring books for kids and adults. Those are just a few of wellness products we now have onboard. You can of course see more by clicking the home button.
THEN, SOMETHING HUGE HAPPENED!!! Something that is changing my life and I hope will impact yours as well! As I was brainstorming to figure out what products we wanted to carry moving forward – identifying the products that would be truly beneficial to the wellness of you and me (firefighters and their family members), I discovered something was missing…. and have spent the last four months developing a product line that I’m SO excited to share with you!
I’m going to use the next blog to tell you all about it! It’s truly the biggest project of my life and I can’t wait to share it with you! Thank you for your support and I hope you’re half as excited to read the next blog as I am to share it with you!!
P.S. I've also had the amazing opportunity to get to know so many of you over the last several months. I been invited into some of your homes, I’ve had some awesome phone conversations with you where we’ve chatted about some pretty intense life stuff, and I’ve connected with so many of you though Instagram stories about your dogs, your kiddos, you name it! Thank you for making me feel like part of YOUR fire family!!❤️ 🔥❤️
P.S.S. We also partner up with amazing organizations to raise funds for firefighter and fire family wellness. 100% of the proceeds go to that organization. It's our way of teaming up with you to give back! Check our mugs page to see what fundraisers we're currently running.