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Jen Gotch Founder, entrepreneur, author, and mental health advocate

About the Author

Jen Gotch is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of the lifestyle brand ban.do. She is a visionary, a creative powerhouse, and an advocate for mental health and emotional well-being. Gotch is passionate about sharing her experience in life and business in a candid and lighthearted way to help others build their own self-awareness and emotional intelligence. When Gotch founded ban.do in 2008 she had no prior business experience, but successfully transformed a small hair accessory company into a multimillion-dollar brand that focuses on encouraging joy and helping its community of women be and feel their best.

Her memoir, The Upside of Being Down: How Mental Health Struggles Led to My Greatest Successes in Work and Life, explores her empowering story of harnessing creativity and how we can embrace flaws to reach our goals. Gotch recounts her childhood in Florida and her struggles with bipolar disorder, which was initially misdiagnosed. She details her winding career path that eventually led her to be a successful entrepreneur, and shares fascinating insights from her hard-won experiences as a true creative and visionary businesswoman.

Gotch is genetically predisposed to optimism and speaks openly about the influence of mental illness on her personal and professional life, the highs and lows of building a brand, and the importance of embracing perceived failures and imperfections to achieve success. Gotch’s inspirational talks dare audiences to live each day with hope, optimism, kindness, and humor.

Suggested Topics

  • The Upside of Being Down
  • Mental Illness and Mental Health
  • Building a Successful Brand and Business
  • Emotions in the Workplace: A Call for Crying Rooms
  • Emotional Intelligence & Self Awareness as Tools for Success
  • Overcoming Anxiety & Fear

Raves and Reviews

Jen is my hero, because she’s not afraid to tell the messy truth about entrepreneurship, business, love, and mental health, and how it’s okay to not always be okay. I loved this book as much as I love sequins, confetti, and pizza.”

— Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers and Modern Lovers

You know when you get stuck in an elevator with a stranger and you’re so freaked out that you start telling each other deep secrets and powerful truths and then you realize you have a new best friend and also she has wine and you decide it’s actually better to be trapped in the elevator than out in the real world?  That’s exactly what this book is like.  But without elevators or wine.  Unless you bring your own.”

— Jenny Lawson, author of Furiously Happy and founder of Nowhere Books

Jen Gotch has perfectly translated her natural hilarity and charm into her storytelling. A well curated set of life stories. You will laugh hard, maybe cry, and fundamentally understand why we do the things we do.”

— Kelly Oxford, author of When You Find Out the World Is Against You

Jen Gotch is a magical sensitive soul. She shares her wisdom and unique perspective on life and offers advice she has learned through founding the joyful & optimistic lifestyle brand, ban.do, and being a BOSS (who cries at work), but ALSO through her own struggles with mental illness, personal setbacks, and managing to come out on the other side with optimism firmly intact. She wrote a memoir disguised as a self-help book—or maybe she wrote a self-help book disguised as a memoir? Either way, as far as I’m concerned it’s required reading for 2020. So get on it!”

— Busy Philipps, author of This Will Only Hurt a Little

The Upside of Being Down hits home with me and so many of us who have struggled with our mental health. Jen’s raw honesty, humor, and wit break through the noise in a way that bridges both memoir, inspiration, and self-help. I highly recommend!”

— Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of Girlboss

The Upside of Being Down is laugh-out-loud funny, irreverent, and most of all, inspirational. Jen is a role model for navigating the ups and downs of any and all diagnoses with resilience and creativity. In a time when the world is increasingly anxious, Jen’s story has the power to remind us that it’s ok to struggle, and in fact, struggle can point us toward our greatest accomplishments. This is a book that will give hope to many, many people.”

— Mark Lukach, author of My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

The narrative captures the energy and enthusiasm required to build a startup company and provides strategies for maintaining an optimistic outlook. Ultimately, Gotch’s feel-good focus conveys a positive message about a long journey toward emotional stability. An upbeat look at dealing with life’s curveballs.”

Kirkus

Gotch is unequivocal in delivering her message that mental health is every bit as important as physical health (and that the two are interrelated), and her often humorous delivery underscores her belief that sometimes a laugh truly is the best medicine. Anyone who’s ever dealt with mental illness will appreciate this forthcoming and empathetic volume.”

Publishers Weekly

In the Media

Videos

Books by Jen Gotch

Upside of Being Down

Contact Us

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