Guest Blogger: Caitlin Willard’s Eco-Journey

My journey with Lux & Eco began back in 2012 during a time in which I was experiencing some pretty painful growth in my life. In 2010, I was academically dismissed from the university I had worked so hard to get into during my senior year of high school. I began drinking a lot partly due to hanging out with the wrong people and partly due to incorrectly trying to cope with my first really bad breakup following my first really bad relationship. I lost my direction in life and ultimately lost myself. I was deeply unhappy and I became embarrassed about what I was doing and how I looked, which sent me into a depression. To appease my parents, I began taking courses at the local community college even though I felt like I was taking 100 steps backwards. I had no idea what I wanted to do and it drained my energy and motivation because I felt like I wasn’t working for anything. When I discovered I was interested in public relations, I felt a sense of relief but it wasn’t like there was this huge ray of light that shined down on me in my dark place and pulled me out of it. It was more like a light bulb going off in my head that sparked my metaphorical internal engine. It took me awhile to get it running again.

My connection to Lux & Eco is through Jacquelyn Willard. She is the co-founder and the chief marketing officer, and she just so happens to be my cousin. Jackie is someone I have looked up to since I was a little girl. We’ve always lived in different states than one another and she’s seven years older than me, but I always admired her from afar—her beauty, her ambition, and her determination. At 18 years old she moved to New York City to attend school, and that’s when she really began her work in music, modeling, and eco-awareness.  Jackie is a natural entrepreneur. She has done more in her twenties than most people do in a lifetime. Her work ethic is incredible to me and is unmatched by anyone that I’ve ever met. She loves what she does and sacrifices a lot to do it (many, many hours of sleep; trust me, I know). While distance and age prevented us from being super close growing up, as cousins, we knew that we would always have each other’s backs. So when she called me and asked me to help her launch Lux & Eco, I had her back.

My first assignment for Lux & Eco was to educate myself. I will admit that before Lux & Eco, I was not an eco-conscious individual. I didn’t know much about the environment and I didn’t know what an internal environment was. I had no idea what alternative medicine was, or what sustainability meant, or what holistic or homeopathic meant; I had no idea what EPA stood for, or what bisphenol A or brominated vegetable oil was, and I had absolutely no idea what I was putting in my mouth or on my body. When I learned, I was SHOCKED and that is what finally got my internal engine running again. I found my passion.

Since I began my journey with Lux & Eco, I have received my associate’s degree in mass communications, I was re-admitted to the same university I was dismissed from three years prior (where I am now making A’s and B’s), my health has dramatically improved, and I have talked to and worked with some of the most influential people in the eco community. Working with Lux & Eco gave me the jump start I needed to get going again and has motivated me to change my life and make a difference. To know where I was and to see where I am now, I am truly blessed and truly thankful. Life is a crazy yet beautiful journey, and sometimes you have to fight really dark battles. Never give up. – Caitlin Willard

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