Stephanie Devli Uses Her E-Commerce Business to Improve Mental Health Awareness

How Stephanie Uses Her Ecommerce Business to Improve Mental Health Awareness

Stephanie Devli planned to get a Ph.D. and become a therapist. Instead, she started an e-commerce business after earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and life took her in a different direction.

Today, Stephanie runs The Happy Camp3r, an e-commerce business aiming to improve mental health by raising awareness and encouraging open discussions. In this interview, Stephanie shares details about her struggle with anxiety, her keys to overcoming it, and how The Happy Camp3r is making a difference.

She doesn’t mention this in the interview, but to date, The Happy Camp3r has donated more than $45,000 to various non-profit organizations and truly making a difference.

Key Takeaways

🌱 Stephanie struggled with anxiety and wanted to create a community to help others
🔥 Influencer marketing and social media have been key to The Happy Camp3r’s growth
🧘‍♀️ Stephanie’s keys include a strong support system plus mindfulness practices like meditation

Overview

Business Name: The Happy Camp3r
Website URL: https://thehappycamp3r.com/
Founders: Stephanie Devli
Business Location: Online (US)
Year Started: 2020
Number of Employees/Contractors/Freelancers: 2

Tell us about yourself and The Happy Camp3r.

My name is Stephanie Devli, I’m 25 years old and I started The Happy Camp3r in May of 2020 during the pandemic out of my parents’ garage.

I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from New York University, fueled by a genuine fascination with understanding the complexities of the human mind. When the pandemic hit, so many people started working from home, and tie-dye sweat sets emerged as a popular trend. A hobby turned into a vision, igniting the idea to transform it into something more meaningful. 

With no prior experience in fashion or business, I ventured into the unknown. I created a website, launched an Instagram page, and just went along with it. Most of the time, I was figuring things out as I went. Originally, I planned to get my master’s in psychology, then a Ph.D., and become a therapist. But I guess life had other plans, and now I’m a business owner! 

The Happy Camp3r caters to women aged 18-30 who enjoy lounging in comfy products. Our customers are from around the world, with a primary focus on the US and Canada. 

The Happy Camp3r home page

What was your inspiration for starting the business?

Studying Psychology in college and grad school sparked my interest in mental health, a field that became deeply personal as I grappled with anxiety. This drove me to create The Happy Camp3r and to build a community where individuals, brought together by a shared understanding, can find solace, encouragement, and assurance that they are not navigating the complexities of mental health alone. 

How and when did you launch the business?

The Happy Camp3r was launched during the pandemic in May 2020. The tie-dye trend, gaining momentum during that time, inspired the transformation of my hobby into a business venture. Recognizing the potential for growth, I expanded the business by importing products from overseas and gearing away from tie-dye. This step allowed the brand to reach new heights and broaden its offerings to a larger audience.

What is your vision for The Happy Camp3r?

The vision for The Happy Camp3r is to continue building a community that cares about mental health, by creating comfy and meaningful products that resonate with individuals from all walks of life. Ultimately, the goal is to foster a sense of belonging and support, making a positive impact on the lives of those who connect with the brand.

There’s no greater comfort than knowing you’re not alone in your struggles. We’re dedicated to providing that comforting embrace, creating a space where individuals can find solace and connection amid their personal journeys. It goes beyond clothing; it’s a movement. We aim to foster a sense of unity and understanding, making every individual feel seen and supported.

The pursuit of human greatness sweats
Photo courtesy of The Happy Camp3r

What strategies did you use to grow the business?

To fuel the growth of The Happy Camp3r, we used influencer marketing. We amplified brand visibility by partnering with individuals possessing substantial social media followings. This functioned as a powerful word-of-mouth mechanism, fostering increased awareness and appreciation for the brand.

Creating engaging content and collaborating with influencers really helped us get our word out. Additionally, importing products from overseas broadened the product range, catering to diverse preferences and increasing market appeal. The focus remained on creating not just a brand but a community where mental health awareness is at the forefront, fostering a genuine connection with customers.

We’ve had celebrities such as Reece James, Taylor Lautner, and Jrue Holiday wear our clothing and it has been truly touching. It’s so incredible to see the brand resonate with people who have such a significant influence and impact. 

It’s been an incredible experience meeting people and sharing that I’m the founder of The Happy Camp3r. Surprisingly, many individuals recognize the brand and express their familiarity with it. It’s surreal to witness how The Happy Camp3r has made its mark. The recognition and growth are truly rewarding aspects of this journey.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome with the business?

Undoubtedly, the absence of prior experience in both the fashion and business domains was a formidable challenge for me when starting The Happy Camp3r. Venturing into entrepreneurship without a background in these fields meant facing unfamiliar terrain, grappling with complex decisions, and encountering numerous uncertainties.

I was doing everything myself, and the majority of the time I didn’t even know what I was doing. There were moments when everything felt too much, and I thought about giving up. But deciding to keep going, even when it was tough, got me to where I am now. It taught me that persistence, especially when things are challenging, is key.

These challenges became pivotal opportunities for my personal and professional growth. The learning curve was steep, and each obstacle served as a lesson to be absorbed and applied in real time. Overcoming doubts and uncertainties required adaptability, resilience, and a willingness to embrace the unknown.

The process of learning on the go not only demystified the intricacies of running a business but also contributed to shaping The Happy Camp3r into a brand that thrives on creativity, resilience, and a passion for mental health advocacy. 

Can you share your experience with mental health challenges?

I’ve personally grappled with anxiety, and this experience has been a driving force behind the creation of The Happy Camp3r. Dealing with anxiety myself made me aware of the importance of not feeling alone. It became a catalyst for channeling my passion for mental health into a brand that goes beyond clothing — it’s a supportive community. 

Mental health is a universal aspect of the human experience, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Every individual, regardless of background or circumstance, navigates their own mental health journey. It’s a shared reality that underscores our common humanity.

At The Happy Camp3r, we believe in fostering open conversations, breaking stigmas, and creating a supportive community where everyone feels acknowledged and embraced on their mental health path.

What has been helpful for you in overcoming or dealing with these challenges?

For me, establishing a strong support system of friends and family has been helpful. Incorporating mindfulness practices, like meditation, into my daily routine has been transformative. These techniques empower me to stay present and cultivate a sense of calm amid life’s uncertainties. 

Why did you decide to be open about your experience?

I choose to be open about my experience with mental health because I believe in the power of vulnerability and shared narratives. Everyone has mental health and deals with their mental health. By sharing my journey, I aim to break down stigmas and foster a sense of community. That’s what my goal is with The Happy Camp3r. 

Through openness, we can create a supportive environment where others feel encouraged to share their struggles and triumphs, ultimately contributing to a more compassionate and understanding society. 

How do you think we can break the stigma surrounding mental health issues in the entrepreneurial community?

To break the stigma around mental health for entrepreneurs, we need to do a few things. First, we should talk openly about our own experiences with mental health and share the challenges we face. It’s important to make mental health discussions a normal part of our conversations.

In the world of entrepreneurship, burnout is a real and prevalent challenge. The constant pressure, long hours, and high expectations can take a toll on mental well-being. Navigating through this requires acknowledging the signs of burnout and actively taking steps to prioritize mental health. Entrepreneurs should establish clear boundaries between work and personal life, allowing time for themselves.

I'll always love you sweatshirt
Photo courtesy of The Happy Camp3r

How do you manage the balance between running a successful business and taking care of your mental health?

Navigating the balance between running a business and maintaining mental health is a genuine challenge that I personally face. Because I am so dedicated to growing The Happy Camp3r, it’s easy to get consumed by it. The constant drive to achieve success and meet goals often leads to burnout.

For me, recognizing this struggle is the first step. It involves acknowledging that burnout is a real issue and taking intentional steps to address it. I’ve found that taking breaks to engage in activities I love with friends and family provides a much-needed escape from the demands of entrepreneurship.

Sharing this experience is essential to breaking the stigma around burnout and mental health challenges in the entrepreneurial world. It’s a journey of self-discovery, trial, and error, but the goal is to foster a healthier relationship between business growth and personal well-being.

What advice do you have for others who struggle with mental health issues?

My advice for others who struggle with their mental health is rooted in the acknowledgment that opening up about these challenges is an act of courage and strength. It’s a brave step to share your experiences, as it not only fosters a sense of vulnerability but also opens doors to understanding and support from those around you.

I would say to embrace activities that bring joy and relaxation, and consider seeking support from friends, family, or professionals. Remember that reaching out is a sign of strength, not weakness. Surround yourself with a supportive network and recognize that you’re not alone in your journey. Seeking help is a courageous step towards improved well-being, and it’s okay to prioritize your mental health. 

What are some of your favorite books, blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels?

Some of my favorite books are:

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