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Meet Juanita Chase de Lamont and Lauren Archer of Pause Anywhere in East Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Juanita Chase de Lamont and Lauren Archer.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Juanita and Lauren. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Juanita: PAUSE came to me about a week after giving birth to my daughter Justice on April 29. I was having all the feels surrounding being a mom of 2 littles during postpartum while parenting isolated under the mushroom cloud of our global pandemic and the glaring spotlight on our country’s overtly disgusting racism. Feelings of loss, anger, grief, sadness, uncertainty and confusion consumed me. Let’s just say there were some tears over here. Since I couldn’t just crawl under a rock and cry because people in my house needed to eat and life needed to continue in some abridged version, I leaned into the tools that I’d been cultivating over the past five years. PAUSE’s mini-meditations are moments of internal pausing and grounding that I have used on the path of healing and continue to use as a source of strength.

After outlining what I wanted to create and many many meditation one-liners later, I reached out to Lauren to see if she’d be down to collaborate. We’d been close mama friends for almost three years and I had been wanting to find an opportunity for us to create together. I have to admit though, I was actually pretty nervous about asking Lauren if she wanted to partner up, I didn’t know if she’d be interested or have the time, of course all the doubt crept once I hit send on the text. I’m so happy she said yes, because if she hadn’t, honestly, there might not be a PAUSE. I thrive in collectively creating, being held accountable & it helps to have someone share my vision and be my cheerleader!

Lauren: When Juanita reached out to me, I was so excited. She’s one of the most creative people I know and I jumped at the chance to work with her. To be honest, I have a hard time *meditating* so the idea of creating simple, compact, and easily accessible meditations really drew me in – the idea of taking something a little more exclusive-feeling and making it accessible to everyone appealed to me. I had a death in the family 1.5 years ago and have struggled with grief ever since. When creating these with Juanita, I just kept having the image of me standing in a grocery store, feeling overwhelmed, and discreetly pulling these out to help ground me. I wish I would have had something like PAUSE during that time and part of me wanting to be a part of this collaboration was to help others in that way.

Juanita: I also have to share a random bit of woo woo. Late in my pregnancy, I put a postpartum affirmation card on my vision wall, it was from a company started by two mama friends and I really wanted to do something like that. I wanted to create something with a friend, bonus points if she was a mom and I wanted it to be something meaningful that could help others. I had no idea that my dream would come to fruition so fast, that it would be with Lauren or that we would be working on our own version of affirmation cards only two months later!

We have been diligently plugging along since early May, little by little. We originally wanted to launch on July 1 and when that didn’t happen, we surrendered to just working on the line until it was ready to launch. We really didn’t want to rush it and release something that was half done just because there was this arbitrary number we had come up with. We wanted it to be perfect, perfect to us anyway. We took a dose of patience and we kept at it week by week. Finally, around August 16 we had all of the ingredients for our bundles and we knew we were ready to announce PAUSE. We sold out in 2 days after we launched and just wrapped a pre-order sale for double the original order! Although we feel like we are still just getting started, we hope that this means that our product is a much welcome tool to many. We hope that PAUSE will reach everyone who needs a sense of comfort and peace no matter what their circumstance. We have high hopes and ambitions to expand our line into multiple decks, various languages and even more mindful products.

Has it been a smooth road?
Juanita: It’s been as smooth a road as it can be in a quarantine with small children. Lauren and I work really well together, we fill in each other’s gaps and show up when the other says “I need help”! Honestly, we’ve done most of our creating and collaborating through our phones. I’ve created images, edited copy and sent text messages all while nursing a baby, trapped under a toddler during nap time or “using the bathroom”. Small consistent focused action and accountability is what keeps me moving forward, especially on days, I feel like I haven’t done anything! I try to have compassion for myself and not judge my pace or compare myself to other business owners. We are in a very tumultuous time, lots of big feelings, a terrifying pandemic, civil unrest and now record-breaking fires creating terrible air quality in Los Angeles, there’s nowhere safe to take our kids inside or outside.

This level of overwhelm and uncertainty is what fuels our work with PAUSE. We all need a little more grounding and a few more reminders to check-in with ourselves more regularly these days. I would say some of our most challenging moments have been the times we do get together in person with all of our kids and it taking 2 hours to get a 20-minute project done- like addressing and stuffing envelopes while navigating toddler tantrums and a needy newborn. We have definitely taken our own mental health advice and peaced out from our families to have a meeting over vegan donuts and coffee- shout out to Donut Friend in Highland Park!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pause Anywhere – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a Mama-owned company that creates mindful products. Currently PAUSE offers mini-meditation decks, an ebook, an audio version and mini journals. We want to help people find the pause when they need it the most as we encourage them to take care of themselves so that they can then take care of others. We can’t pour from an empty pitcher, so we hope to help others remember to breathe, check-in and reset, especially when during times of uncertainty and overwhelm (um hello 2020!).

Every single PAUSE item is created with the consumer in mind! We built PAUSE from our hearts and it shows in our products. We even hand make our eco-friendly recycled felt packaging to use instead of tissue paper! The building blocks of our products are USA-made and most sourced from other small businesses. So by supporting our small business, you are supporting several small businesses!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Juanita: LA is the first place I’ve really felt accepted and at home, a place where I could grow and thrive as an individual. I’ve always been the weird eccentric hippie friend/family member growing up in Virginia and in LA, I’ve found my people! 🙂 Instead of people asking judgmentally, “what are you wearing?” people now say “I love what you’re wearing”! I’ve also been blessed to find a supportive community filled with people who’ve become lifelong friends.

What I like least about LA is how far people can live from each other. Coming here straight from college, I was used to all my friends living down the street and being able to pop in whenever. Since moving here and living in Koreatown, if I have a friend in the valley, I may see them once a year! I have to be much more purposeful in maintaining distanced relationships since they’re not built on convenience anymore.

Lauren: Los Angeles has always felt like home even before I lived here! It’s a place where you can be yourself and find people who thrive off that energy. I have built a whole new family out here and have met some of the most amazing people.

The thing I like least about Los Angeles is the air quality. I’m from Ohio so coming to a city was a huge change for my lungs. Being able to carpool and live in a bike-able city has helped me feel like I’m contributing a little less to the smog.

Pricing:

  • PAUSE comes in various price points for various budgets. We wanted to make PAUSE accessible to as many people as possible in as many diverse ways. We all pause differently which is why we offer the physical decks as well as an audio version and an eBook version. PAUSE items start as low as $1.99 and we also offer bundle around the $25 range so you can get the most bang for your buck!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Lauren Archer

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