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April 28, 2023

Unpacking Grief, Power of Community Care & Empowerment with TYSAH Founders

Unpacking Grief, Power of Community Care & Empowerment with TYSAH Founders

In this episode, Nikita interviews Gabriela Brown and Alejandra Mejia, two dedicated nonprofit professionals who are committed to promoting community well-being and mental health. Alejandra, who has a background in nonprofit management, communications, and marketing, is a university lecturer in El Salvador specializing in entrepreneurial thinking. Gabriela, a full-time graduate student in community mental health based in California, has years of experience as a social worker. Together, as co-founders of TYSAH, they work to promote healing and self-care through their heart-centered initiative. Their shared experiences and knowledge make them perfect guests to discuss the importance of community care in overcoming personal challenges and the grieving process.

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If you're struggling to find accessible healing tools that promote self-care and community support and feel frustrated, anxious, and overwhelmed, know that you're not alone, this episode is for you. Gabriela Brown and Alejandra Mejia have come together to create TYSAH.

This for-profit organization offers resources and support for individuals with mental health issues, grief, chronic illness, and more. Their mission is to foster connections, celebrate experiences of overcoming, and promote self-care while partnering with causes around the world. Since launching TYSAH, they have been spreading their message across the US and El Salvador, collaborating with other non-profit organizations and small business owners to provide helpful resources. Join us to learn about their efforts to create accessible communities that normalize grief, mental health, and healing conversations.

In this episode, you'll gain insights into the role of community care in overcoming grief and surmounting challenges.

Check out their recent nonprofit partner: https://projectbear.com/

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[00:00:00] nikita: In this episode, I am honored to have a conversation with the founders of tasa, which stands for Treat Yourself and Heal. This is their first conversation on a podcast and I am excited to have it with them. Ali and Gabby are two passionate, nonprofit professionals who have dedicated their lives to supporting community wellbeing and mental health.

[00:00:27] Has a background in nonprofit management and communications as well as in marketing. She is a university lecturer on entrepreneurship in El Salvador. Gabby is a California based full-time graduate student in community mental health, and she has years of experience as a social worker. They are co-founders of the company, as I mentioned, tasa, and they work together to promote healing and self-care.

[00:00:59] Through their [00:01:00] initiative, ale and Gabby share their experiences and knowledge on discussing the importance of community care. In the grieving process and overcoming personal challenges and the power of community. I was so honored when Gabriela reached out to me to ask to be on the show and for me to interview them so that they could share their story on our podcast.

[00:01:30] Because of all of you. In this episode, we are going to talk about some resources that TASA is putting in place and has been doing since their founding, and as well as some things that can help you in your own journey of self-care, healing and entrepreneurship. So, Stay tuned. Welcome to She's Crafted To Thrive, a globally ranked podcast for women living with chronic illness and creatives in business.

[00:01:58] I'm your host, Nikita [00:02:00] Williams, chronic illness warrior and photographer. Turn digital marketer. Turn award-winning coach. I love helping chronic illness warriors and careers to live with their chronic illness and create. As their superpower in life and business on the show, you will hear the very stories that helped our guests, my clients, and myself to define our dream way of making money with proven strategies and marketing and mindset, all to grow a business that thrives without sacrificing our health.

[00:02:31] So 

[00:02:32] Alejandra: stay tuned because you'll find the 

[00:02:33] nikita: inspiration and tools and the resources you need to craft a life and business that thrives.

[00:02:46] I am so excited to have the ladies of TA on the show, and I. I just love what they're doing and I can't wait for you all to hear more about what treat yourself and [00:03:00] heal really means. And that is kind of a segue into you intro me sharing and introducing you guys to Gabriela and Ali. So please introduce yourselves.

[00:03:10] This is, there's two people on the show y'all, so it is actually is three of us, including myself. So we're gonna have lots of back and forth, so I can't wait to hear about each of your introductions. Let's start with, let's start with, hi. 

[00:03:26] Alejandra: Thank you for having us, eh, I'm really excited to tell you about and well, I am recording this podcast from El Salvador in Central America.

[00:03:39] I am in a town right now that it is called Santa Tela, which is, you know, in the metropolitan area of San Salvador, the capital of the country, and. I have a background in nonprofit management, communications, marketing, and teaching. [00:04:00] I'm actually teaching a class on entrepreneurial thinking at university in El Salvador, and I'm the co-founder of TA and we are so first excited to be here and tell you more about us.

[00:04:16] Okay. 

[00:04:18] nikita: All right. Thank you. I didn't know you were teaching, thinking about entrepreneurship. That's really cool. I, I'm sure that has a lot to do with. Alright, Gabrielle, I keep saying Gabrielle, I just wanna call you Gabby, like that's in my head. I wanna be like, Hey Gabby. 

[00:04:35] Gabriela: Gabby's fine as well. Okay. So yeah, thank you for having us.

[00:04:38] Super excited to be here. My name is Gabriela Brown. Gabby is fine. Also co-founder of tasa. I am a nonprofit professional, lean more into the mental health and wellness side of things. I'm currently a full-time grad student at, um, a university here in San Francisco with a [00:05:00] concentration in community mental health.

[00:05:02] I've been in the nonprofit world. Since I graduated undergrad, so it's a long, long, a long time. I am tuning in from California, but I was also born in in Salva, and so I consider that home as well. 

[00:05:19] nikita: Well, that was gonna be my next question. How did the two of you like meet and come into each other's world?

[00:05:25] Ooh. 

[00:05:26] Alejandra: We met at a fundraiser in California, but I was, I was working at a nonprofit based in Chicago and working in El Salva, or there is a lot of similarities and contradictions between the US and El Salor and a lot of relationship and definitely, uh, that nonprofit. We were working to find donors and supporters, mostly from backgrounds that understood.

[00:05:55] That complexity and that similarities and [00:06:00] yeah, we were at a fundraiser in California and, and I met Gabby and it was, I wanna say that it was like an instant connection and like ability, if you agree Gabby, and then later like. That was in 2019 or 20 18, 20 19, and two or three years later, I started working at a law firm again with connections between California and El Salvador.

[00:06:37] And that's how I met Gabby professionally. If you wanna add more onto that. Mm-hmm. 

[00:06:46] Gabriela: Yeah, so I was managing a law firm and then Ali became our communications director. And so she and I worked closely and, and were partners really in, in everything that had to do with the [00:07:00] law firm and we. We learned each other professionally.

[00:07:03] Yes. But also more personally seeing that there we have a lot of similarities. Our values are the same and our brains work different. Which is great. Which is so great cuz I was like, I, you know, there's many conversations of like, I didn't see it that way. Yes. But we were the same mission at the end of the day.

[00:07:22] Just coming from different perspectives, which I love. Yeah. I absolutely love that. Having conversations with people from different, with different 

[00:07:30] nikita: perspectives. That is awesome. I think what is interesting, cuz Ali was saying it was like from a fundraiser. Was the fundraiser before you guys started working together or did it kind of all happen at the same time?

[00:07:44] Alejandra: No, we met at a fundraiser event in California. That's how we originally met, and years later we connected again at this. A 

[00:07:54] nikita: different role in more like a professional way. Got you, got you. So when you [00:08:00] guys initially met, the reason why I kind of wanna go a little into this because I always am fascinated when there are partners working together.

[00:08:08] Like when you decide you're gonna work with someone in a very meaningful mission driven business, How do you come to the same mission? Like how did you come to the same decision and ideas, or even, even if it wasn't the same, but it was very harmonious? How did that happen from when you guys met to what TASA is today?

[00:08:30] Gabriela: So we've always been in similar kind of circles, even though we didn't know about each other or, or know each other too well, and I think that speaks to our similar values. And so the fact that we met at a fundraiser for a nonprofit, right? Mm-hmm. Is, is, is is a great first start, right? Yeah. As it happened organically, it happened naturally.

[00:08:53] And then we met up again as colleagues with the same mission working with immigrants, right? Uh, coming [00:09:00] to the US and really trying to understand the story behind that and their journeys and, and being thoughtful, um, and ethical storytellers as we're trying to communicate what it is that our community goes through as they're trying to.

[00:09:15] Become documented, or unfortunately, sometimes it's just sharing. Humanity. They're humanity, right? Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm. It's sad to say, but that's what a lot of the messaging is. So Ali speak on, on, on her side of things, but I think we were both at a place where we were feeling very burnt out, which I think is what happens in in community service work and nonprofit sector, and feeling like we needed.

[00:09:45] It was time for us, or we were at a point in our profession where we wanted to create something that we saw was missing in the sector and we wanted to marry both. So although we're nonprofit professionals, the law firm was a small, [00:10:00] uh, for-profit company, but it was still heart-centered. And that's the work that we.

[00:10:06] I say we, because we've had conversations about this that we are very much pulled towards, and if they're, if it's not heart-centered, we can't function in that way. So, So through conversations as to like what we, what our dreams were and we, what we aspired to do, we again saw that there was a lot of alignment.

[00:10:28] And then I invited Ale to partner with me on this dream that I had had for. For several years and it didn't take a lot of pitch for me to, I didn't have to convince her. I was so grateful that she was like, I'm in, and that, that I'm in was huge cuz I was, I, I asked a lot from ale, 

[00:10:49] Alejandra: but I, I wanted to, you can tell the, the story of in and how it was in your mind and all and all that, but I do wanna [00:11:00] say that I have been working in nonprofit and small businesses.

[00:11:05] Very close to the founder or the co-founder, but I was always an employee and I wanted that to be different. I wanted to be a co-founder. I wanted to be a partner, and I remember that I was very burned out. I was crying and I was calling Gabby and telling her that project that you wanna do. Let's be partners.

[00:11:33] I wanna work with you. I am tired of being in this cycle of, you know, being, as Gabby said, worked out. And I'm also a mom. I have a daughter who will be almost three years, but she, she will be three years old in June. And, and with all the, the, like with the [00:12:00] responsibilities. And also I wanted to have more time for myself and to heal myself, 

[00:12:10] nikita: and I wanted something else and I 

[00:12:13] Alejandra: wanted more, not only to be in front of a computer from eight to five, and I think I have learned a lot from my previous jobs and I.

[00:12:27] I still keep great relationships with my, with all of my previous employers, and I'm super grateful for that journey. Because of that, I'm here however, I wanted to maybe work and leave at my own pace. I didn't know that was possible. Right now, we are 

[00:12:52] nikita: discovering that it is. That is so, I love that you shared that Ally.

[00:12:57] I think it's something that I [00:13:00] honestly hear so many women, especially those that are, have been in my community, that are on the show and things like that, who are like, they've been in the race of everyone else's rat race and they were tired of it and they wanted to create whatever race it was gonna be, but on their terms, and I think that's what you both are saying, that this.

[00:13:19] This mission, this business, this nonprofit, this company, the missions that you guys have with TAs a really led to this culmination of you both being like, I wanna be in charge of my own time, pace, energy. Also, I wanna be in charge of how I shape what I see, right. And the world around you. So that is awesome.

[00:13:45] So this was Gabby's idea, like the, the, the, like the funding this of like the, the root of it. Gabby, this was your 

[00:13:52] Gabriela: baby. It was, yes, but. I like to think of it as it, it was, uh, created in three [00:14:00] parts. So, um, I was a, a social worker in New York City and working 12, 13 hours, and I remember being in my early twenties and being like, I am too young to be this exhausted and this dressed.

[00:14:16] Amen. And. So I started, you know, telling myself, well, you can treat yourself while you're hustling. Right? Treat yourself and hustle is what it was before. Hmm. As I got older and, you know, we get wisdom and we're like, actually hustling is not it for me. And that's where it, my affirmation and my acronym changed to treat yourself and heal.

[00:14:45] So understanding like I can celebrate. Every day, even if I haven't made it to where I envision myself making it, treat myself, I'm do, I'm doing what I need to do day in and day out, and I need to [00:15:00] focus on this healing, and I need to focus really treating myself and taking care of myself. And that isn't easy.

[00:15:09] So the second part of it, Was unfortunately, I, um, in 2017, I gave birth to my son Kevin, Doug, Alberto Brown, and he didn't make it. I was six months pregnant and he was, um, born too early. Mm. And. That moment. Every affirmation, every healing, everything that I had learned went out the window. I, I was just feel filled with grief and pain and hurt, and I received a box from the nurses and I.

[00:15:43] I write, I go a little bit more in detail about it in our blog posts on@tyson.com, but that box in the moment, it was kind of, it was, it was bittersweet. I appreciated the sentiment. They put pictures of my son and his clothes that [00:16:00] they wrapped him in, and there was a grief journal and kind a little note from the, from the people who had.

[00:16:08] Help put that box together and a note from the nurses at the hospital and I took it home and really didn't look at it, but since then, the box has been a place where I run to, to kind of get anchored a little to, to feel closer to my son. I don't, you know, I, I use the tools that are in there as needed, and it's, and it's personal and it's mine.

[00:16:35] So that's where, in my mind, the boxes came, the gift boxes came to be and how important that is and, and how special putting the box together was like all of these people coming together to put these things in the box for me, and they have never known me before this day and how much, how healing it is for me, even.

[00:16:58] You know, six years [00:17:00] later, and every time I revisit the box and use the items, it, it's different, but it's, it still allows me to remember my son and, and kind of be with him and allows me to remember how important it is to take those moments and, and, and to pause and to really take care of myself. So that was the second part of tasa.

[00:17:20] And then lastly, it was when Ali and I met that it became actual thing. I Ali was, has been boots on the ground. I unfortunately could not, you know, leave my full-time position because we needed to invest in the business. And, and Ali said, okay, I'll, I'll do this. I'll, I'll do this full-time. And so the third part was, was Ali.

[00:17:46] And I 

[00:17:46] Alejandra: quit. And that's scary. Scary, scary. That's scary. But it's been a little bit more than a year. 

[00:17:57] nikita: And 

[00:17:58] Alejandra: I think [00:18:00] the entrepreneurial journey is not for everyone is hard. It's difficult. There are ups and downs. It's difficult to be a solopreneur even though Gabby and I are partners. But there were some moments that, you know, working from home and considering the distance we're, we're in different countries, different time zones.

[00:18:27] It's, it's hard, it's difficult, but we have been very open to admit that and to recognize our feelings and our journey as we are building ta and. It's a paradox. I would say sometimes when we are thinking about treating ourselves, but we also wanna build a profitable business, right? So we wanna have the [00:19:00] best of both worlds.

[00:19:01] I would say like, yes, we wanna make a successful business and we have been very successful, but our metrics and how we measure our progress, Is not necessarily what the rest of the world expects. Mm. Yeah. You know, like we definitely show up and work with intention 

[00:19:23] nikita: and hard. We 

[00:19:25] Alejandra: work hard, but also we are walking the walk of healing ourselves.

[00:19:32] nikita: Yeah. Wow. First and foremost, Gabby. I read your blog post you guys, if you haven't read it, if you haven't been on the TASA blog, definitely go there and read more of Gabby's story, but I can only imagine what that's like to go through something like that. And I think something I wanted to just hold a little space for specifically is in the context of when.[00:20:00]

[00:20:00] Life throws whatever it throws at you, right? Whatever it throws at you. And the same thing with you, Allie. I said, ally, ally, I'm gonna say that wrong. Y'all, ak. I'm like, I'm, it's like on the tip of my tongue. I'm like, ak. Okay. So living through something like that, something you said, Gabby, which was like everything went out the window.

[00:20:21] I feel like. You both have an experience, have huge kind of foundations in social work, working with people, going through trauma and tragedy and all of those things, and for you to kind of surrender to whatever the grief and the challenges were, were you and Ally working together at that point, or did you guys know each other?

[00:20:48] Were you able to support each other in that? 

[00:20:51] Gabriela: No. At that point we weren't working together. At that point we hadn't even met. And 

[00:20:58] Alejandra: yeah, we met, [00:21:00] we met in 2019 at this fundraiser that we were talking about at the beginning and then, and then we started working as colleagues in 2020. Hmm. 

[00:21:14] Gabriela: Okay. And although, and I didn't meet then I, I do wanna name the fact that grieving really ever ends.

[00:21:23] No. Um, and it's a long journey. Ali has truly helped me assess my loss as partners in this business and having to write or, or deciding to write those. Those blog posts and, and tell my story. I didn't want to do it. Not that I didn't want to do it, I wanted to do it, but it was so painful. I had never written or publicly about my loss amongst my family and my friends.

[00:21:55] We, we talk about my son all the time there, there's [00:22:00] definitely no fear in in that and thankfully I have a great support system, but. When it came to almost giving my son to the world through these blog posts, Holly was the person who was helping me in guiding me and sending me messages. If she noticed I would get quiet, or if I had, there was a deadline for the blog post, and I didn't meet that deadline because it was a lot.

[00:22:29] She was there and so, so I. Feel supported still through it. Yeah. A lo a loss is, is, is is difficult and complex and you just can't plan for what's to come. You can only have kind of those support systems in place or these tools in place ready to go. So when you have that space to use them, they're ready for you to use 

[00:22:55] nikita: them.

[00:22:56] Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that, Gabby. I think [00:23:00] it's really important that something I believe is so important for everyone to kind of normalize what grieving looks like. We don't talk about grief a lot in the world. I feel like we kind of. It's like in a box somewhere in the corner that we're trying to keep in, like hidden in the back of the closet.

[00:23:18] And so many of us are experienced grief, are experiencing grief for many different reasons, different losses that we, we don't even know. So I'm curious to know how have you and ale with TA really has the grieving process for you as well as. The, the healing process of whatever you two are going through individually informed how TASA is showing up today?

[00:23:47] Like how has that been a part of curating tasa? 

[00:23:54] Gabriela: It's woven in every fabric piece of Ty. [00:24:00] Truly. We lean into hard conversations. We sit with each other in our. Grief. I 

[00:24:10] Alejandra: wanted to add that it's not only Gabby and I, like for example, we have hosted different events, community gatherings during the holidays for so many people and, and especially for me, the holidays can be, feel the way of anxiety and.

[00:24:32] Everyone is concentrated on buying gifts and present, but they're not present, right? And so says we hosted an event before the holidays to prepare ourselves for that anxiety for Valentine's Day. Everyone again, is buying chocolates and flowers, but a lot of people forget to be a friend or. Or it's so [00:25:00] concentrated into having a partner and there are so many people that for different reasons might not have a partner.

[00:25:07] And we provided a community event where you could ride a love note for yourself. So I wanna say that yes, Gavi and I as business partners are. Talking about our own feelings and our own journey and trying to put that into what we're doing with Taha, the business. But also we know that healing has collective aspect, and that is not a journey that is, I mean, it is individual, the way in which you heal.

[00:25:49] It looks different for everyone. However, there is a component of collectiveness into that healing, and definitely Gary knows better than I do [00:26:00] about this, but I just wanted to 

[00:26:02] nikita: highlight that. Yeah, no, I appreciate you bringing that up. I think it's important to say that, right? I think it's important to say that while everyone is doing their normal, everyday life, and I think.

[00:26:15] Even those who don't even realize the gravity of what grief looks like in those seasons of time is something to keep in mind. I think one of the things that I've come to really appreciate is the fact that our bodies respond to grief before our head does, right? So when we experience, I had a client one time, she was telling me, she's like, I don't know why I'm feeling this way.

[00:26:43] And I'm like, well, Was there something that happened? Are you like, do you remember a time where you felt like this before? And she had to al like, it was almost an aha moment of, oh my gosh, this is the, you know, two years ago I was dealing with this situation that I [00:27:00] lost a really big part of myself and didn't even realize that.

[00:27:04] And so I love that Tyson has created a community where like, first let's prepare for these moments that are gonna be so heavy. And then have the community to support them through. That's 

[00:27:16] just 

[00:27:17] Gabriela: awesome. Absolutely. And yes, Ali, thank you for bringing that in because it's ab, we absolutely need community care and I, I do believe that as individuals, since we are part of our respective communities, self-care is community care.

[00:27:33] Additionally, you know, at Ty, we're talking about. Mental health. We're talking about mental health challenges, diagnoses. We're talking about chronic illnesses, and you mentioned it a little bit ago, Nikita, about grief being a loss of a number of things. Not doesn't just mean you're losing somebody, right?

[00:27:55] Somebody's passed away, but you can't grieve from losing. [00:28:00] A job, um, grieve from losing a friend, from losing your ability to be able to do something, um, be due to illness. So yeah, normalizing this conversation in those community gatherings as well, and just naming those things that affect us. We are human beings living in an imperfect world.

[00:28:19] We are going to be impacted. Yeah. And how do we navigate that together? Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:28:27] nikita: So I wanna kind of dig into both of your backgrounds cuz you have very solid backgrounds working in nonprofit, working in, you know, the legal world. How does that help your, the community with TAs A, when they are experiencing and looking for resources and things like that to support them beyond, I guess, more of the practical hands and feet of dealing with.

[00:28:49] Whatever things come up from whatever loss or transition in life that's happening for people, how is TA supporting communities in that way? [00:29:00]

[00:29:00] Gabriela: Yeah. Thanks for that question. Ali, I feel like this is something you can take on 

[00:29:07] Alejandra: on 

[00:29:09] nikita: course 

[00:29:10] Gabriela: support. 

[00:29:13] Alejandra: I mean, I wanna say that when, when Gabby. Talk to me about TAs.

[00:29:20] She was talking specifically about tasa overcoming with the idea that we wanted to highlight all the experiences or, or so many different experiences of people who have overcome something and how they are, how their healing journeys looks like. Our mission at TA is to create connections, celebrate and honor experiences of overcoming and promote self-care while partnering with causes around the world.

[00:29:56] So definitely our [00:30:00] backgrounds and previous nonprofits at like with the law firm as, as Gabby said, it wasn't a nonprofit, but we were supporting. Immigrants, so many people from El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, fleeing from endemic and historic cycles of violence, trying to go to the US to find a solution, and then findings themselves being stopped at the border is a really complex topic.

[00:30:36] But as Gal said, we were from our. Frontline. We were trying to educate folks about the opportunities that they had, like the choices that they have in the immigration system that can be hard to navigate. But also we were trying to educate. [00:31:00] Spoke to talk about, hey, no one is illegal. They might be undocumented.

[00:31:06] Right? And I, and I think that at, at, we wanna keep doing that. And right now we have just launched the Gabriela edition of Overcoming that talks about Gabriela's experience. And there's a reason why we wanted to start with that one. And in the future, this is only the beginning. In the future, we expect to highlight and share other experiences of different, um, situation, domestic dialogue, irregular immigration, chronic illnesses, and share those experiences.

[00:31:51] Communicate them with the world and partnering with a nonprofit or a cost that supports that cost. [00:32:00] So the first overcoming they got real addition is only the tip of the iceberg of so many other experiences out there that needs to be shared. And we wanna partner with causes that support that. That problem or that issue to raise awareness and to also provide additional funding and support as well.

[00:32:28] I don't know if I answer your 

[00:32:30] nikita: question. No. Yeah, I think that's perfect. I think what you're, what I'm gathering is that, you know, with the, the series of TA overcoming, it's really. The sharing of the stories, right? Sharing of not only the things, the trauma, like the trauma and the experiences, but also the tools and resources that have been helpful to either endure or persevere and overcome and partnering with other comp, like other nonprofits to really support [00:33:00] them to actually do that, right?

[00:33:01] To actually be able to. Take those lessons and make them, you know, very tangible for their reality of life. And I think it's a very practical, heart-centered approach to what you guys are doing. I wanna talk a little bit about the gift boxes, cuz that's the first way I con, I came to know about tasa was like on Instagram.

[00:33:26] And I saw, I was like, cause I was looking for gifts for my chronic warriors because that's something. It's a challenge finding like very curated. Things for people specifically going through a grieving or hard situation. Like there's always all these gifts for like anniversaries and you know, baby showers, but what about when those things didn't happen?

[00:33:46] Like what about the grief? Like what about the things that shows that comfort? You know, always think about. Chicken Soup for the Soul. I'm like, we need to have some version of that for like all of the things that everyone has grief and tears for. [00:34:00] So tell me more about how does the, the gift boxes support this mission for Treat Yourself and Heal.

[00:34:07] Gabriela: Yeah, thanks for that question. I'm really proud of our boxes and how it is that we find the people who are creating these items for the boxes. So when we're talking about healing, Ali and I are are thinking about healing at every step in layer of this company and so, The products that we use are come directly from the community, um, in El Salvador and, and local businesses here in the us and we are specifically looking for entrepreneurs or producers who are from historically under resourced undersupported communities.

[00:34:50] We want to put money right back into our community. And then a and I sit down and really think about each [00:35:00] item that we are putting in the store and saying, Yes, they, there are so many journals out there, there's so many ca candles out there, there's so many this out there. But what makes this one difference?

[00:35:13] And why are we going to add this one to the store? And so what we also do is produced, uh, we, we've produced a, like a pamphlet. Whenever we have, we purchase items that are gonna be in our store. We specifically, Say like what are the benefits of this item? How, and give ideas of how it can be used. And so that's how we curate our boxes.

[00:35:36] nikita: I love that. I love that so much. You guys just don't know. I have had in my brain, I love supporting other small businesses specifically of communities that aren't quote unquote popular. Right? Like I. I don't know. It just brings me back to high school being like not at the popular kids and thinking like even the people that I'm sitting with right now [00:36:00] are so awesome, but they're not popular enough to be at this table, right?

[00:36:03] Or whatever table you want it to be at. And I think creating an environment where it doesn't matter if your popular or not, you are, your story deserves to be seen, heard, and. Shared right with other people, and I love that you guys are so intentional about like what products you're putting in the boxes, why you're doing it, and then also helping people know like this is how you can use these tools, this gift to support you in the different layers of healing.

[00:36:31] For you both. What is the most important piece to healing? Oof. 

[00:36:40] Gabriela: The most important piece to healing for me personally, I think is removing any sort of shame that comes with whatever it is that we're or I'm experiencing in that moment and, um, that happen That can happen in different [00:37:00] ways. I think the first is talking to myself and removing shame that I have internalized for whatever reason.

[00:37:09] A lot of our thoughts around shame are usually not our own, and then leaning into my loved ones, naming what's happening and then getting to work. Usually it's trial and error of, this has worked before, it might not work now, but I'm gonna try it again. Or you know, things like that. So, but I think the number one would be is for me, is removing shame.

[00:37:36] nikita: I wouldn't. I agree with you even. I agree with you so much on that. I agree with you. 

[00:37:41] Alejandra: For me, I think it's to remember that it's a process, that there's not a magic feel. That there's not a magic recipe, that it's 

[00:37:55] nikita:

[00:37:55] Alejandra: never and big process, and that [00:38:00] there is a variety of tools. That can support that, that can support that journey.

[00:38:10] Going to therapy, taking medication, doing exercise, eating better, communicate with your loved ones. Journaling. I mean, there are so many tools. I couldn't choose only one, but if I had to, it'll be remembering that it's a. Process that it takes time. And then the second, or the most important tool would be the power of language.

[00:38:47] The power of language. The language we use with ourself is super important. That's self-talk because it's always with us. And that can be, that [00:39:00] can be 

[00:39:00] nikita: huge. Oh yeah, girl, y'all, just those two things alone, just drop the mic and let's, like I, yeah. Those two things. So I don't think I would've even put it that eloquently, you know, shame and then realizing that this is a journey.

[00:39:19] How many times have we all, and if you're listening, had said to yourself, I thought I, I thought I dealt with this already. Like, I thought I was over this already, or, Why am I still grieving about this? I should be fine with this. Like shame in the acceptance that this is a journey and a process are like so intertwined for you both to say.

[00:39:42] That is why you can trust that TASA is understanding in this process of like treat yourself and heal. I think that is powerful. Gabby, did you wanna say something? 

[00:39:54] Gabriela: Yeah, I just wanted to say that it might, might be overwhelming to hear that it's, uh, a [00:40:00] long journey. However, it can be fun. It can be an adventure dis interrogate yourself and really discover yourself and, and discover all these tools can, can actually be a great adventure.

[00:40:17] Not always. And I think that if we lean into being. You know, way too positive. We might be missing, you know, really where the healing happens, which is sitting in that and feeling that and, and being in our bodies. But I also want to just add in my friend, my great friend Mariak would completely be probably.

[00:40:40] Kicking herself if I didn't add this. And she taught me a lot where she says, you know, what we experienced are not stories. There are, there are lived experiences and we need to say it that way. So we're honoring people's lived experiences and collaborating with them to, to tell that, [00:41:00] right, and to share that with the world.

[00:41:02] Another component is that we also acknowledge that. Some of these tools and resources, although they exist, are not accessible to everyone, and so. How do we educate? Because sometimes tools are there and we just don't know about it, right? So how do we educate to say, Hey, this is a tool and a resource that exists, which is why we partner with these nonprofits, who that's why we love nonprofits.

[00:41:28] And although TAs A is a for-profit company, we will never leave our nonprofit sector loan. There are these tools available for you and this is how you use them, or this is how you can use them or reach out to so-and-so. But also creating tools that are not accessible, are not available is really important to us.

[00:41:47] And how do we, how do we always think creatively as to like accessibility for people? Because oftentimes it's not about whether or not people want to access something. It's whether or [00:42:00] about we have. Made it available for everyone, and so we we're always thinking of that as well. 

[00:42:07] nikita: That's another good point.

[00:42:08] I think accessibility in general, not just the being able to get it, it's about knowing about it, right? The awareness that this is even something that even exists or is even possible to help you. Like I think a lot of this comes from like the culture backgrounds we may have come up. We, they didn't know, so we don't know.

[00:42:27] You know, I, I, I have said that multiple times in my own healing journey of thinking. Where was this like six months ago or six years ago? Like, I wish I had known about this tool. It would've changed everything. Right? And then there's also healing from that, right? Accepting like you didn't know and it's okay.

[00:42:43] And now you do know like, you know, it's, there's so it's like literally like this ongoing process. But I really do appreciate you saying that because it is. Part of my mission with the Crafted to Thrive Show is to also let people know that there are resources. And then part of that to me [00:43:00] is really the awareness.

[00:43:01] Like where, who, what? Huh? What is that? Like, you know what I'm saying? Like, so I appreciate that that is a part of what TASA is doing. So tell me some fun things and exciting things that you are looking forward to with TA in the next, let's say, six months to a year. Y'all both are looking at each other, like 

[00:43:22] Gabriela: who's papers?

[00:43:24] So many things. Yeah, I'll, I'll let the marketing side of the My Share. 

[00:43:32] Alejandra: Well, depending on when are you listening to these podcasts, we'll be launching new, new products in our store. New, I don't wanna say products, I wanna say tools. I wanna say tools to support your own healing journey, where you can build your own box, customized for your own healing journey.

[00:43:59] We will [00:44:00] definitely be hosting more community events where you can join us for conversations specific and different topics. Throughout the years. So for that reason is important for you to follow us on social media. Go to our website and sign up for our newsletter. You can go to.com if you will see, join our community.

[00:44:29] We won't be spamming. We'll be sending a newsletter to you know about our events, community giving you. Tips on, you know, selfcare, we'll be launching more overcoming stories. Definitely we wanna share more experiences and partner with more nonprofits. Right now for the Gabriela edition of Overcoming, there are.

[00:44:59] Five [00:45:00] blog posts that you can go or website and read and share. And also we are partnering for this addition with Project Bear, a nonprofit based in the US that is supporting families who have overcome or who are dealing with pregnancy and infant loss. And we wanna support them with this addition of overcoming.

[00:45:28] What else am I missing? 

[00:45:30] Gabriela: Project Bear also works with families dealing with infertility and they provide a free bear so you can get that somatic kind of experience nurturing. I myself have a bear. I love my bear and it's a, it's a really beautiful and thoughtful gift in a great organization that we are supporting.

[00:45:52] May is a mental health awareness month. We'll be hosting a community gathering with a nonprofit based out of San [00:46:00] Francisco. We will have a, a panel of Speakers from Solve, which is an acronym for sharing our lives, voices and experiences. And so they are putting their. You know, they're, they're gifting us with their experiences, very transparent.

[00:46:19] I've heard them speak before. It's a powerful, powerful event and conversation. And we will be, uh, writing a. Screening cards for folks who are currently hospitalized with mental health challenges to gift to them through solve. We will also be hosting, yeah, like Ali be hosting other events. So stay tuned for that and, and really, really excited for what's to come.

[00:46:46] One last thing is, uh, for folks to be aware of, we will be launching a campaign where we're trying to get TAs a to every state of the us. Meaning having someone that we can share stickers and, and greeting cards [00:47:00] and affirmation cards with at every state so that they can go ahead and, and, you know, share ty with their community.

[00:47:07] Alejandra: Yeah, so it'll be important for them to text us and let us know and DM us on Instagram. Like, Hey, I'm in Atlanta, North Carolina, and I don't know, Wyoming and North Dakota. You know, everyone, we, we wanna be in the us. In the whole country. 

[00:47:30] Gabriela: Yeah. Um, but that's just a physical way to be able to be there and encourage, uh, those community members to, like Alice said, contact us and the project will be going to like a public library and leaving a TASA affirmation card or leaving something on for somebody in the public to find and remind them that it's time to heal, um, or that folks are, are here for them.

[00:47:54] I 

[00:47:55] nikita: love that. I love that so much. That's so cool. For the events that you guys are [00:48:00] hosting, will these only be in, will they be virtual as well? Like can people tie in virtually to them? Yeah. All of our 

[00:48:07] Gabriela: events so far have been virtual events, uh, especially in, in the US and, and in central Americas where we have had folks joining us from.

[00:48:16] But we absolutely invite anyone from all over the world to log in and, and gather with us. 

[00:48:23] nikita: Awesome. Awesome. That's gonna be so awesome. Well, I'll have links to how to connect with TAs A and support their mission and their projects that they have launching and products and in the show notes. So I'll have that there.

[00:48:40] Anything you want someone to walk away from this episode to do or to? No. Or both? I will 

[00:48:48] Alejandra: say, obviously visit.com, but I wanna say that it's okay to treat yourself, that it's okay to take a nap, [00:49:00] that it's okay to rest, that it's okay to do whatever you need to function. Yes. Yeah. 

[00:49:11] nikita: Yes. Thanks for saying that.

[00:49:12] Even though, you know, sometimes when we say that, I feel like we shouldn't have to say that, but we have to say that. 

[00:49:18] Gabriela: Yes, absolutely. And it, it's okay to to pause and get to know yourself and discover yourself, and we're constantly growing. So please lean in on that. Lean in on your community and connect with us.

[00:49:34] We love connecting with folks. Email us, message us. Reach out to us if you have an idea of how you would like to connect as well. 

[00:49:43] nikita: Well, I just wanna thank you both for coming on and sharing a little bit about TE and the mission and where you guys are headed. Feel free to let us know, how can they find you?

[00:49:54] I know you said.com, but where can they find you on social platforms? You can [00:50:00] find 

[00:50:00] Alejandra: us as us, and you can write us an email admin com. Awesome. We are also on Facebook.

[00:50:14] nikita: So great. Well, thank you ladies so much for coming on and sharing. Thank you so much, Nikita. 

[00:50:21] Gabriela: This is great. 

[00:50:22] nikita: Thank you. All right, y'all. That's a wrap. Thank you for 

[00:50:27] Alejandra: listening, and I hope this 

[00:50:28] nikita: conversation inspired you. Be sure to visit the website@craftedtothrive.com to check out the show notes and grab all the goodies that I or the guests mentioned in this show.

[00:50:39] Join us for our next one. In the meantime, remember, you are crafted to thrive.

Gabriela BrownProfile Photo

Gabriela Brown


When not working, Gabriela enjoys creating memories with her family, game nights, star gazing listening to crime podcasts, going to Jazz festivals, napping, and teaching her Goldendoodle, Apollo, new tricks. As a PROUD first-generation immigrant from El Salvador, Gabriela Mira Brown has always worked to honor the people and places that have poured into her and made her the person she is today. Her first-hand experiences have shaped her career and passion for participating in programs and services that create access to resources for under-invited communities. As a mental wellness advocate, Gabriela has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector that fills much-needed gaps in community services. Gabriela attends California Institute of Integral Science (CIIS) and is working to obtain her MA in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Community Mental Health. Through her own healing, Gabriela understands the importance of community care through self-care and aims to reflect this via TYSAH.