Hope Cards are Best Day Ever’s newest offering, and they’re right on time. Best Day Ever was founded in 2019 by Lindsay Quinlan and Alyssa Palella in an effort to de-stigmatize conversation around addiction and provide a safe space for wellness and community. With the launch of their affirmation Hope Cards, they are using positive messaging and beautiful imagery to offer mental health support to those who may be suffering silently and seeking empowerment wherever they are on their journey.
We caught up with Quinlan, who’s a dear Mama Glow friend and new mama, to learn more about how Hope Cards came to be, and what we all can do to lift people and families impacted by addiction.
What inspired you to launch Best Day Ever and Hope Cards?
My family struggled with addiction, of all sorts, for over a decade. It was a really intense and hard time, and I felt really isolated and alone. There weren’t any resources out there that I connected to and at that time, no one was really talking about addiction openly – it was so stigmatized. When my family was finally out of the woods and into recovery, I started sharing my family’s story more. It felt like the right thing to do. People I would meet would sort of whisper that they had had a loved one who was struggling with addiction, too. I started to realize that there was an opportunity to create space for people who are affected by addiction from all walks of life, and that I could help tackle the complex issues associated with addiction by surrounding people in light and wellness. Best Day Ever works to normalize and destigmatize addiction, but we do so in a way that’s culturally relevant and, dare I say cool.
For a couple of years, Best Day Ever was my side hustle as I worked for some well-known wellness brands. When Covid-19 hit, like millions of people, it created an opportunity for me to re-think my purpose and I decided to lean in to the work I was already doing with Best Day Ever. But we had to re-imagine our business model and how we could better serve people during these unusual times. Creating something tangible that supported mental wellness, at a time when we’re all so physically distanced, just felt right. My team and I were riffing on ideas and we landed on the concept of a card deck – crowd sourced by people impacted by addiction – that would offer strength and hope. I think everyone needs a bit of that these days, but understanding that Covid-19 is exacerbating the existing addiction epidemic was a motivating factor. Families are struggling right now.
The idea to name them Hope Cards hit me one day in the shower and I decided not to overthink it. I think they resonate with people because in these times of such uncertainty and isolation, who doesn’t need hope right now? Whether you’re impacted by addiction or not, the mantras in Hope Cards are universally relevant. It’s a fairly simple idea really.
The Hope Cards are beautifully designed and rife with positive affirmations. What was the process of choosing designs and text that would really speak to and empower those who the Hope Cards are intended to help most?
Once we landed on the concept of sourcing the mantras from real-life people affected by addiction, we went out to our community and asked people what affirmation got them through a challenging time. Oh my goodness did we get a response! Parents who lost a child to overdose, someone personally in recovery… the affirmations that came in were powerful. It was really hard to whittle them down to 28, but we did it. The rest of them will inspire our next volume. Then we brought in painter and illustrator Lindsay Stripling. She’s immensely talented and was moved to take on this project because her family has been touched by addiction. Lindsay painted everything by hand and brought each mantra to life beautifully; her illustrations in Hope Cards will move you. You have to see it for yourself. We decided that she would handletter each mantra which I think really completes the message we’re trying to relay.
A 10% portion of each Hope Card sale benefits Partnership to End Addiction. Can you speak to why this non-profit, in particular, is so important to you and your company?
When you’re in the throes of a loved one’s addiction, it’s such a confusing and heart-breaking experience to live through. Having gone through it myself, I know that families oftentimes don’t know what the right next course of action is. The Partnership to End Addiction works with tens of thousands of families every year, offering personal, life-saving support. They’re the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and sustained recovery. I think families need their resources now more than ever.
For people affected by addiction, community support is so important. How can we all do a better job of destigmatizing conversation around addiction and lifting up those around us who might be struggling?
I think we can take the power out of addiction by talking about it. Humans by nature shy away from difficult conversations, like addiction and recovery. We tend to want to avoid them all together. But I think asking someone how they’re doing is major, even if it feels uncomfortable. I always appreciated when people asked specifically how my family was doing, even if my answer wasn’t a happy one. I think we can also better support our friends and family who are in recovery; we can lift them up and help them to continue to feel empowered. And we can’t forget the millions of families who have lost a loved one to addiction. They’re still struggling and grieving. Remembering their loved one and providing support to them only helps us collectively as a society heal and drive change. I’d like to share two mantras in Hope Cards which were shared by parents who lost their child to addiction:
I only have control of those things that are within myself
One day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time
Not only did you recently “birth” Hope Cards, you also birthed your 7 month old baby earlier this year! What are the biggest challenges and triumphs of parenting a new company and a new baby simultaneously?
Giving birth to my son Cash at the height of the pandemic surely had its challenges – the unknowns, the endless change – but it ultimately gave me the courage to launch Hope Cards. It’s a really empowering feeling to know I did it, I got through this year (Oh and I helped my family overcome addiction too). Those two things alone truly make me feel like I can handle anything. We’ve been moving around quite a bit, like so many other families, so it’s forced me to become a really adaptable mom and businesswoman. I just make it work and I don’t get rattled. My son sleeps in a pack and play every night rather than his crib (because that’s in storage) and I’m basically operating a full-fledged manufacturing facility next to a play mat, but I wouldn’t change a damn thing. I recognize how blessed we are.
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