Our Origin Story
For as long as I can remember, I have dealt with anxiety. The anxiety I felt throughout the years felt the same, but was triggered by different things along the way. As a middle schooler I had fairly severe OCD where I would count, tap, and repeat actions in 3’s and would experience severe anxiety if I did not adhere to my “rules” of 3’s. In college, I dealt with debilitating health anxiety where I convinced myself that I was ill, even though I wasn’t. I attended law school in New York City and would feel extreme anxiety in small or tight spaces (which are unavoidable in NYC) like elevators, subways, and crowded streets. Along with that, I developed a phobia of flying. I grew up flying all the time and flew many, many times alone and was never scared until my mid-twenties. Flying became scary even when I was with loved ones, but flying alone became “impossible”. I had many failed attempts at flying solo. I would sometimes get as far as walking down the aisle to my seat, fastening the seatbelt and then feel an overwhelming fear and getting up and bulldozing my way against the stream of people off the plane back to "safety”.
My then boyfriend, now husband, and I were in a long distance relationship between California and NYC. During one of my visits to him, I had another failed attempt at flying back home. I was even on a prescribed narcotic for flying and still could not do it. But I had to get on this plane to get back to work and get back to my life. I re-booked the flight for two days later. As soon as I rebooked the flight, I was thinking of how I was going to make it to take-off and remain calm throughout the flight.
Before the flight mishap, I had seen a little “hippie” shop with crystals and other fun things in the window. The day after the failed flight, I went into the shop. The smells and the energy in the store were very relaxing and peaceful. I spoke with the woman working in there about my flight dilemma and how I wanted to look around for things that might help me. She walked me around, pointing things out. I bought some small healing crystals, essential oil spray, an aromatherapy “inhaler”, and a little cute bag. I put all the items in the little bag and also stuck in a fortune cookie fortune about bravery that I got from dinner the night before.
It was then two days later and I got on the plane with the little kit I had made. During take-off I held the crystals in one hand and was smelling the aromatherapy with the other hand. During the flight I read the fortune to myself a few times. The flight was not easy for me, but I did it!
The little kit I had made was a temporary distraction that helped me face a huge obstacle in my life.
I held onto the little kit I had made in my work bag when I worked at a law firm in Los Angeles. I was having a stressful day at work and I pulled out my little kit. Someone asked what it was and I laughed and said it’s my “Anti-Anxiety Kit”. The person responded by telling me that that was a great idea and that I should make those for other people as a business. I thought nothing of it at the time.
Fast forward to the worldwide pandemic…I was sitting at home, jobless, because I was laid off like so many other people. I had watched enough TikTok and decided to watch something more educational. I watched Spanx’s Sara Blakely’s Master Class about being an Entrepreneur. I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur and be my own boss, but I never knew what business I would start. Sara started talking about being passionate about your business but also finding a product that solves a problem. And then it hit me- I should make the kits like I did for myself for the flight for other people. Thus, Allae was born.
Anxiety lives in the future where something is potentially happening. Being in the present moment can help relieve a lot of that anxiety. Feeling, smelling, tasting, moving, creating can help bring your mind out of the future, non-existent worry, to the reality that is now. This is where we might be able to help.
Shawn Sinclair, Founder / Owner of Allae