We all know we should be taking better care of ourselves. But how do we get started? What should we be doing? And what does self-care even mean?
The Aloe app aims to take the guesswork out of self-care, while offering a tracking system and support structure. Aloe offers gentle reminders to do the things you’ve been meaning to do for yourself. Drinking enough water, taking your vitamins, and getting enough sleep are just some of the adulting tasks Aloe assists with. The app combines streamlined check -in functionality, micro-journalling and social connections to your support community. The project is currently being funded via a Kickstarter campaign, so you can jump in to support it.
What is Aloe?
The Aloe app is the brainchild of Amber Discko, founder of Femsplain and an alum of the Hillary Clinton campaign. She developed a self-care check-in survey for her own use when the intensity of the presidential campaign made it difficult to keep up with her own self-care routine. After making the survey available for others to use, the demand demonstrated a need for a purpose-built app.
We sat down with Amber to find out more about the project.
Hi Amber. What plans do you have for Aloe?
I’m really looking forward to building a Support Social Network, where people can create their own “self-care gardens” within the app. You’ll also be able to invite friends to send you resources in the form of encouragement and support notifications.
This idea comes from an existing Community Garden that lives on the Aloe Twitter account, @Aloebud. Our account is half bot, half human and everyday at 9am it tweets out a new photo of our most recent Garden, with new plants and flowers that grow overnight. It’s really neat to watch how the garden grows and fluctuates over time. It also is really special to watch hundreds of people tweet emojis at us and send pixel flowers to their friends in our DMs.
What can Aloe users look forward to on release?
“Upon release you’ll be able to check-in, or tap that you’ve done tasks. You’ll also be able to set reminders for each or just a reminder to check-in throughout the day. Lastly you’ll get to reflect on your day in our simple 3 question journal/reflection space.
Shortly after we release we’ll be introducing more customisation features to truly make the app special and unique to you.
What are the challenges of founding your own startup?
“For me the challenge has always been resources. I’ve had to bootstrap most of the things I’m working on now and that means this project has had to take the side burner to paying work. I’m hoping that once this is successfully funded I can make it a bigger priority and really build something special.
The other challenge is that I’m mostly doing this on my own. Eventually I would love to find a partner to do this with, for now I’m focused on building a first version and seeing where it takes me.
What advice do you have for someone with a great idea they want to turn into a startup?
Talk about your idea, all the time, to yourself, to your cat/dog, to anyone who will listen. You have to make sure that the idea is really something you want to execute. That’s the most important thing in my opinion, to see yourself executing your idea years from now. Can you?
The neat thing is, when I first had the idea I thought I would be doing a self-care box. I thought my idea was good, and it is! But it wasn’t something I was really passionate about.
Instead our ideas form over time, sometimes into even better ideas! My box concept turned into a “self-care community” and in just a few short months has organically grown to thousands of users and I’m now building an app for it just makes so much sense.