Annie and I have always been best friends and it’s always been a dream of ours to work together one day. It wasn’t until we started talking about our shared experiences with eating disorders in our teenage and college years that we realized the unique opportunity we had to take our relationship from sisters & besties to co-founders & CEOs.
Going through an eating disorder is a terrifying, isolating experience. It can feel like you’re the only person in the world who is so consumed by these pervasive thoughts — and it forces you to isolate yourself to keep control of your secret. We know this firsthand because of our own experiences in high school and college. Annie suffered from anorexia nervosa, morphing into exercise bulimia until finally seeking out help in recovery after years of struggling alone. It wasn’t until I was in college that I experienced some of what she went through. Extreme body dysmorphia, low self-esteem and depression snuck up on me as a university freshman, and it would be years of restriction, spiraling and relapse before I could reach my own recovery goals. Annie and I are incredibly lucky that we’ve been able to have one another as support during our recoveries. And in looking back at that time in our lives, we started thinking about what tools we wished we had had when we were struggling. This was the thought-starter that led to us forming Gemmed. We wanted to create a program that we thought would have been instrumental in speeding up our recovery process. Through the development of hobbies and activities, re-experiencing the joy of sharing a meal with friends and, of course, a supportive therapy group filled with peers who are experiencing the same thoughts and struggles we are, our program is fun, special, one-of-a-kind — and most importantly — it works. We are so excited to open the doors at Gemmed to anyone who needs support regaining love for themselves and their bodies – whether it’s self-esteem, body image, disordered eating, to anorexia, bulimia, or binging. You are beautiful. You are worthy. We’re so glad you’re here. xx Ellen