By Aaron Andrews, CEO/Founder of Beyond Happiness; Edited by head of Operations & Production, Jennie Moss
Where Did It All Start?
I have personally dealt with depression and anxiety while growing up and wanted to create a space where I could deal with all of the emotions I was feeling. I did not have friends I could talk to or anyone who understood what I was going through at the time. I naturally started to take matters into my own hands as I began to focus on taking care of myself more. Beyond Happiness Is broken into three main avenues of wellness that I have built for myself.
Products: One of the ways I did that was through skincare. Unfortunately, I could not find any products on the market that were a good fit for my skin type as men of color. The market for beauty products for black men was minimal, so I researched and started creating my own skincare products that worked for me. I developed each product intending to help me with the different emotions I was dealing with at the time. For example, there was a time when I was dealing with a lot of anxiety, so I made a cream with lavender to help calm me down. The products become a way for me to check in emotionally with myself through physically being present with what I’m putting on my skin.
Events: Being active and connecting with people was a huge stepping stone for my wellness. The act of me taking care of my skin spun into multiple different ways I engaged with health. I started to work out a lot more, became a certified fitness trainer in my first year at Hampshire College, and worked at the YMCA in Northampton, Massachusetts. As a result of me taking charge of my wellness and developing healthy ways to cope, I immersed myself in new relationships and friendships with people in hopes of building a community and meaningful experiences for myself and others around me. Now I can host events through Beyond Happiness that encapsulate different aspects of wellness while helping others share stories and connect with themselves.
Videos: I can think back to when I was fifteen years old. I remember the first time I got a device on which I could record video. I would create many videos of my friends and film everything that meant something to me. My friends would ask, “Aaron, why are you always filming stuff” At the time, I didn’t have an answer besides “I just like to,” But today, I do have an answer. I make videos because sometimes people can’t say what they are thinking or feeling and when I film people and myself, I can capture the emotions and feelings that can’t be told in words but only in moments. As a result of taking care of my skin, working out, eating healthy, creating new friendships, and learning about wellness, I was able to create an environment where I was actively managing my depression and anxiety and completely changed my life. Beyond Happiness has improved my life in all areas, and I got excited about figuring out how to help others overcome their own wellness struggles. I am not saying I can cure depression or anxiety. I have realized that I can share with people the tools to help them manage it themselves.
That is how Beyond Happiness was born – a multimedia business/brand. Our mission is to help other people love who they are and provide tools where different people can learn more about themselves while engaging with unique, sustainable skincare products and wellness-related video content. As you see, it is more than just skincare products. It is about wellness overall. I like to say, “Happiness is not what you go get. Happiness is what you do every day.”
Feel encouraged to reach out: Aaron Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org / Jennie Moss, email@example.com