Mama Mentors is powered by Lincoln. Learn more about our partnership here. To us, our partnerships with brands are about so much more than business. We carve out relationships with brands whose values reflect our own and those of our members, and work together to thoughtfully tell stories and create experiences that speak to moms’ real lives and real interests.
Through projects like this one, HeyMama endeavors to enhance the professional success of our members by bridging the gap between those who have already arrived and the ones who are still on their way. We hope this journey will keep us all moving forward, just like Lincoln.
In 2008, after losing vision in her left eye, Indie Lee, CEO and founder of Indie Lee & Co and mother of three, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor and given just six months to live.
“I didn’t understand,” she told HeyMama. “I had been living a healthy life. In fact, at the time I was growing edible flowers in the greenhouse in my backyard and selling them to Whole Foods. I was eating healthy and exercising, plus there was no history of this in my family.” Overwhelmed and confused, Lee asked her doctor how her diagnosis was possible, and that’s when her doctor asked her a life-changing question: “What do you put on your skin?”
“This was my awakening,” Lee explained. “The truth was, I had no idea what I was putting on my skin. I started researching and the more I learned, the more I knew that I had to make a change in the industry. After successfully surviving the surgery, I started a business creating clean products dedicated to educating and empowering others to live the healthiest version of their life. I haven’t stopped since.”
Starting a clean beauty business was not easy, especially for Lee, who had no previous beauty experience or industry connections. “I was previously in accounting!” she said. “But I was on a mission and I found my way. I’m incredibly grateful for that journey and where it has brought me today.”
While balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic is challenging, to say the least, Lee is feeling validated in her ongoing effort to educate and empower people to make healthy beauty decisions as people continue to stay home and find new, fulfilling ways to take care of themselves during this time.
“Like most, our business had to adjust to working even more nimbly, pivoting plans to adhere to the new guidelines, etc.,” she explained. “Luckily for us, skincare and self-care became even more important as people were stuck at home, something we are truly grateful for. We also pivoted to all virtual events, which has actually allowed us to connect with even more community members in more authentic ways.”
Another way Lee continues to foster connection and community during this time is mentorship. She joined HeyMama’s Mama Mentor program, powered by Lincoln, as a mentor, offering guidance, support, solidarity, and knowledge to an up-and-coming entrepreneur. “I think saying connected during this time, especially with like-minded women, is so important,” she said. “It is also important to take time for yourself, even if you are busy with work and family, so I knew joining this group and getting a chance to meet new people and pay it forward would fill up my cup.”
Since Lee didn’t have any industry connections or relationships, she knows how vital community and connection is for entrepreneurs and business-owners. In HeyMama, she has found what she needed when she stood up her business. “I think we can all learn from each other both in business and motherhood,” she explained. “I’ve always believed that women supporting women can truly do anything they set their minds to.”
Despite her dire diagnosis, Lee’s brain tumor was successfully removed and, as she says on her website, “I’m still here!”
And after beating the odds in both business and in her diagnosis, Lee is committed to continuing to live a life of wellness, health, and balance while simultaneously encouraging and empowering others to do the same. And at a time of so much physical and mental strain, her company, her brand, and her message is one that everyone can benefit from.
“Meditation is one of my biggest rituals. I do transcendental meditation twice daily for twenty minutes. It’s something that always brings me back to center and keeps me grounded. I really feel the effects if I don’t stick with it,” she said. “You can’t fill from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself makes you the best version of yourself you can be, whether it’s personally or professionally.”