Stamping Out Loneliness
Grace Brookshire's Reconnect Card Co. inspires and unites
In the midst of a pandemic separating people from their loved ones, business guru GRACE BROOKSHIRE set out to keep families and friends connected, in any small way she could.
“I just thought, ‘gosh, our society is lonelier and more separated now more than ever,’” Brookshire says.
So, in August, she launched Reconnect Card Co., a subscription-model company that sends inspiring cards featuring artwork. The goal of the business is to “stamp” out (both literally and figuratively) loneliness.
The Reconnect project merges Brookshire’s three big passions—business, psychology, and art.
“I have an educational background in psychology,” Brookshire explains, “but I’ve always worked in business.”
Since she was 15 years old, Brookshire has been managing small businesses or helping others run their companies. In addition to operating Reconnect Card Co., she is the COO of Half United, a charitable accessories and apparel brand with a mission to end world hunger. Brookshire is the right-hand woman to CARMIN BLACK, who founded the company with her brother, Christian Black, in 2009.
“I studied psychology because I love working with people,” Brookshire says. “Business is a perfect home for that, too. Business is just helping people problem-solve.”
Brookshire especially enjoys her role at Half United because of the give-back component.
“I believe you can use business not only to be profitable,” she says, “but to do something good with those profits.”
Brookshire wants to do good with Reconnect, too. She hopes to address what she calls “the first layer” of mental health.
“It’s about awareness,” Brookshire explains. “People around you matter. Something as simple as checking in on someone on a regular basis can be life-changing, to the caregiver, too . . . In this world we can feel so small and isolated.”
The Reconnect Card Co. greeting card service operates monthly and can be purchased through subscriptions. Subscribers designate who and where the card will be addressed, and they can add a small note to be handwritten by Brookshire herself.
Each month’s card features new artwork.
“I really believe that art teaches us to reflect and pause,” Brookshire says.
The project has allowed Brookshire to do some reconnecting of her own, with artists near and far—from across North Carolina and to the Philippines and beyond.
As an artist, mostly in graphic and line art, Brookshire understands the joy of sharing one’s own creations.
“Artists are so excited to do this,” Brookshire says, “when business has been so slow [due to COVID].”
She has the next few artists lined up, but Brookshire likes to wait to surprise folks with the art information until the monthly newsletter announcement.
In addition to the optional handwritten note, the cards include an inspirational quote chosen or written by the artist to accompany their work.
While still working for Half United, Brookshire intends to continue the expansion of Reconnect Card Co. and its positive impact on the wellness of others. Since launching, subscriptions have doubled or nearly doubled each month.
Of course, she can’t forget the business side of things. Her agenda includes plans to streamline the operations, as her weekends are often spent hand-writing notes.
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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