Describe the Product – the elevator pitch…
Serene Cards is simply a deck of 51 cards consisting of mindfulness based challenges and reminders designed to improve our mental fitness, general mental health and overall well-being.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of our increasingly hectic modern lives and ever-increasingly fragmented attention it’s becoming almost a necessity to be able to step back, take a quick pause and refocus our minds and return to the job at hand.
Serene Cards is a simple and fun introduction to mindfulness and mental fitness that condenses scientifically-proven techniques and principles into bite-sized, quick and engaging challenges and reminders to help strengthen our focus and attention, boost creative thinking, calm and re-centre our minds and much, much more.
Don't worry about not being perfect Meditation is a personal practice, what works for you might not for someone else pic.twitter.com/pQb69yp73K
— Serene Cards (@SereneCards) May 8, 2016
How are you different?
We live in hyper connected times – newsfeeds, emails, texts, buzzes, follows, tweets and pings. They’re all part of our modern lives. We can contact our friends so easily or respond to that critical email whilst away on holidays. And all that’s great, it really is. But like anything there’s a trade-off to be made. That trade-off is digital fatigue. Studies are showing numbers for stress, burnout and reducing attention spans are on the rise and a lot of these numbers have been attributed to our hyper connectedness.
So the question now becomes – how do we manage that? Mindfulness and certain other behavioural training techniques have been shown to be extremely powerful antidotes to this problem.
We want people to be able to unplug and to know when to unplug. This is why we are first and foremost an unplugged, non-digital product. Which is kind of like going against the grain – seeing as everything is going digital and a lot of the time people’s first suggestion is to go digital. We see Serene Cards almost like a symbolic stance. We don’t want to live our lives like the Omish with no electricity or laptops, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we just really like our Netflix series and hover boards.
— Serene Cards (@SereneCards) May 5, 2016
That being said, we want to spread the word on how beneficial looking after your mind with simple brain training exercises can be (when we say brain training we don’t mean the gimmicky kind of games found on gaming devices from 10 years ago, we mean exercises that are backed up by scientific literature – a great introductory starting point would be Super Better by Jane McGonigal). So we decided to offer the digital version of our product online for free. It’s available for anyone to download and print off at (www.serenecards.com/signup). That means people can get a taste for boosting their mental fitness and begin their mindfulness journey right away.
Also, we felt it would be quite ironic if we were little stress monkeys whilst touting a product that provides the benefits of improving our mental fitness and mindfulness. As we’re a young start up with a young team and taking a leap of faith there’s a lot of pressure to ensure our vision succeeds. Not to mention the long hours. To manage this, we make sure we “walk the walk”. A regular/daily practice of mindfulness meditation is a given, but we also set ourselves weekly/monthly challenges. For example this month we’ve set ourselves the challenge of going to the gym every day before work. The kicker? Whoever doesn’t check in with a snap of themselves in the gym each morning has to post a social media post akin to the cringe gym lifestyle motivational quotes that are dotted throughout Instagram and twitter. The threat of the forfeit is enough motivation to get anyone out of bed early enough before work.
— Serene Cards (@SereneCards) May 5, 2016
Why will the company / product do well?
We have to note the truth that these issues aren’t just going to go away by themselves. As some people have probably heard others say, “Stress” and “Mindfulness” are fads or trends. And that’s quite true – they both are trends that have been around for roughly 5,000 years. We are addressing a problem that has always been an issue for humans. This problem of stress has been somewhat heightened due to our growing reliance on technology and ever increasingly fast paced lifestyles. But simply put, we take the large and complex challenge of improving our mental fitness and wellbeing and fit it into something bite-sized, fun and easy to do. Not just making it easier for people to make positive change but we help make these positive changes “sticky” and improve the odds of these healthy habits becoming something long-lasting in our customer’s lives.
Where are you based?
Our workplace is currently fluid and at the moment we are working out of cafes and our homes but we are based in Dublin and Galway.
When was the company launched?
We will be looking to launch early May but are currently taking pre-orders!
What have been your biggest wins to date?
Without doubt it’s been the warm reception we’ve received from anyone we’ve put the concept or product in front of. We all know our Mental Health is important and it’s so great to see Ireland as a nation beginning to shake off the stigma that was once attached to it and to actually be able to chat about it. We want people to be able to talk about how they’re feeling or what’s going on but also want to provide them with tangible, easy to use and effective tips to help boost their mood, mental fitness and overall performance in their day to day living.
The other big win for us has to be getting the finished product. It was a long and testing road made up of a lot of long nights and gritting it out but luckily we had some great help with our suppliers.
What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?
Working professionals from 25 upwards who want to think better and work better.
Young families and have the cards be an introduction to mindfulness. Things like exam time can be hugely stressful for kids.
To be honest it’s anyone really. We’d define it a success if we just helped a few people live more presently and make the most of the precious time we have.
— Serene Cards (@SereneCards) May 4, 2016
Tell us about your team?
We’re a team of three, with previous experience in Digital Health, Marketing, Management and Professional Sports. We’ve been friends for over 15 years, know the intricacies of working together and as a result work well in a team. Our interests are eclectic and range from mindfulness, psychology and learning languages to hockey, rugby and camping outdoors.
What are you long term plans for your product / company?
We’re looking to launch our physical product in May/June with an initial introduction to the Irish and UK Market.
From here we’re looking to launch a digital platform on social and our site to frequently produce useful and actionable content and be the go-to hub for mental fitness and mental well-being in Europe and the U.S.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
My Nikon D3200. (Scott)
Boosted Board – saving up to get my hands on one of these puppies. (Keith)
“Flux” the laptop sunset screen dimmer (Ben).
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
We’re big fans of The Pip biosensor (a Dublin based start-up too!) with its app Clarity – which helps measure your focus levels during guided meditation and to literally see how well you can manage your stress.
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
We feel a common yet vital question was left out – Favourite type of food?
Has to be Mexican! Can’t beat tacos and Dublin has recently been performing well in that regard.
How do people get in touch with you?
We invite anyone who’s interested to check out our site at www.serenecards.com
And we can also be reached at [email protected]
Our social media is crammed full of useful tips and tricks on general better living and improving mental fitness and we’d love to hear from your audience!
Twitter @serenecards –
Instagram @serenecards –