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Exploring Life & Business with Chelsea Elliott of Somocom Lab

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chelsea Elliott. 

Hi Chelsea, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by sharing the story of how you got to where you are in your business.
It’s hard to share the story of how I got to where I am without going back to my childhood. I spent much of my late childhood and teen years struggling with mental health challenges. Part of my family moved to Ohio from California to take care of a sick grandparent. Without much notice or explanation, I was left navigating a new school, new friendships, and a new family dynamic without much emotional support. This led me to feel lost, confused, alone, and like life wasn’t worth living. 

Later in life, I decided to study psychology to work closer with children. I went to graduate school at Boston College for macro-social work and learned about social innovation and running a for-profit organization with a social mission. I wasn’t sure why I was there at the time, but now I know that was exactly where I needed to be to get where I am now. 

I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter on January 1, 2020. When we first learned of the pandemic, my husband and I decided to take our oldest daughter out of school until we knew what was happening. I wrote two books for my daughter about her emotions in an effort to help her navigate her feelings of fear and anger about our new secluded life. She had to deal with two parents working from home, no longer seeing her friends and teachers, a mom who is pregnant, and spending most of her days watching television or learning on her tablet. 

I got the idea of creating a card game in January 2021. It was a clear vision of a fun game that would be played by kids around the world to learn about their feelings and ways to manage their emotions. I created the game in a very short amount of time and decided to create a company around it. That company, Somocom Lab (which stands for Social-Emotional Communication Lab), has reached a global audience of children, families, and teachers. The company also has a group of training workshops to support the communication between adults and children of all ages. 

None of this could have happened if I hadn’t gone through the emotional trauma I experienced in my childhood and the education I received throughout my life. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I can’t describe it as a smooth road, but I can definitely say my faith has been my guide in this process. I have faced a lot of challenges and fears that I thought would stop me along the way, but they always worked out one way or another. What I’ve learned is when I follow God’s lead, the road is much smoother than me trying to figure everything out myself.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Somocom Lab?
The mission of Somocom Lab is to save every single child in the world from emotional trauma. The company specializes in emotional wellness for children by supporting kids with fun and child-friendly resources and supporting the adults in their lives through various interactive workshops. 

What sets me apart from others is my commitment to diversity in the social-emotional learning space and my unique experience as a child of emotional trauma, a social worker, and a mother dedicated to raising emotionally healthy children. 

I am most proud of the creativity and customization of my products. The card game has been used as so much more than just a game: a conversation starter, a way to communicate with children with autism, a tool to teach English to children in Japan, for vocabulary and synonyms with a speech-language pathologist, and so much more. 

We’d love to hear about what you think about risk-taking?
I do believe you have to have some risk-taking in you to be an entrepreneur. I consider myself a risk-taker for sure. I really have a strong pull towards my purpose and that requires me to take a chance on myself and do things that are risky and scary. 

One major risk I took was using our family savings to purchase bulk orders of my cards. I felt so guilty like I was taking something away from my family, but I quickly changed my perspective to giving something big to my family. It’s scary to do, but I know the money will be replaced with extra. 

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