Summary: Claritas is a collection of guided reflection kits.
My role: Founder, research, user experience, prototyping, visual design, brand identity, marketing strategy.
Target users: Women going through life transitions.
Impact: Product orders have doubled each month since launching in June 2016. Claritas has been featured in Huffington Post, Misadventures Magazine, and Gaiam blog.
Claritas is a collection of guided reflection kits to help you slow down, re-center and be fully present. Each kit comes with a deck of cards that walks you through the reflection experience, along with treasures from around the world that help bring the experience to life.
I founded the business in 2016 after celebrating New Year's Day with a close group of friends. After gathering together for reflection and ritual on the year ahead, we all left cherishing what a special time we had shared and wishing that there were more spaces for deep reflection and genuine connection in our lives.
From the idea's inception, there were several design challenges:
How might we bring together people for deep reflection and connection?
How might we create an experience to support users during significant life transitions?
How might we create a facilitated experience without having a physical facilitator present?
Surveys: After creating a very quick initial mock up, in true Lean Startup mode I sent out a survey to hear initial feedback. From the beginning, surveys helped me gauge which topics, formats, and price point to focus on.
Focus group + participant observation: Once I had an early version of the prototype, I invited people from our target market to test it out so I could observe how they interacted with the product, and hear what questions they had.
Interviews: I held interviews with the first several customers to hear how their experience with the product went, how they used it, and what they might change.
Prototype: I created several prototypes throughout the process and got them in front of users as quickly as possible.
I created snap shots of Claritas users.
Kate is a yogi who loves her neighborhood farmers market in Brooklyn. Her days are hectic - she works long hours and commutes on the subway, which can feel draining. At this point in her life, she's trying to build a foundation for the type of woman she wants to become. She struggles with finding enough time to do all she wants to do, while living with integrity.
Based in Colorado, Lei works in marketing for a small company, and spends her free time taking advantage of the beautiful nature nearby. She’s motivated by spending her time on creative projects and being in the know when it comes to new brands, which is why she has a roster of thoughtful gifts at the ready for when she needs them. She's 32, married and pregnant with her first child.
Maribel is 60 and lives in California. She has two grown children, and loves traveling. She often goes on nearby hikes, and has participated in retreats on meditation and yoga. Despite her best efforts, she still feels like her life is hectic, and wants to invest more time in herself.
Bring meaning to life milestones: Initially, I thought that Claritas would be used to mark different times of the calendar year. Soon into testing the early concept with users, though, I learned that people were looking for support during life transitions when they felt stuck. Claritas pivoted from seasonal kits to aspirational themes that describe how our users would like to feel. The core products became Letting Go, Cultivating Gratitude, and Igniting Creativity because they could be used to mark many different life milestones. From moving, to beginning a new job, to starting school, Claritas gives our users a new way to navigate life’s turning points.
A creative way to spend a Sunday night with friends: The experience of sharing Claritas amongst a group allowed for deep bonding. The process of sharing the kit together created a safe space. As one user put it, “It’s sometimes hard to talk about these topics with your friends because its not socially acceptable. Doing Claritas together helped us all open up." I also learned that despite best intentions, it can be hard for users to "hold themselves accountable" to carve out the time for reflection on their own. I capitalized on this by positioning Claritas as a way to transform your next girls weekend, book club gathering, or date night by coming together for reflection and mindfulness around a common theme. Claritas became an individual journey that can be shared with a group.
Be with your loved one when you can't actually be there: After setting up the initial prototype website, I was surprised to see the number of people purchasing Claritas as a gift. I learned that Claritas spoke to people looking for a meaningful present because it provided them with a way to be with those they care about without actually being present with them. Whether for a wedding, a new mom, or a friend who's going through a hard time, giving a Claritas kit became a means for accompanying those you care about most along their life's journey.
Once the product was ready to move past prototype phase, I created Claritas' brand identity and marketing strategy and went to market. I launched the business publicly in June 2016, and since then product orders have been roughly doubling each month.