Off the Clock With Sad Girls Club Founder, Elyse Fox
Credit: Jocko Graves

We’ve often heard from founders that running a business can be a 24-hour experience. Still, recently, many of us are denouncing hustle culture for a balance of our own. As women who wear multiple hats, how we spend each moment of the day matters.

For Black women, time is precious, but often we forget that the time we spend outside of building our empires is just as important. In this ESSENCE.com series, we’ll get the scoop on how some of your favorite entrepreneurs are spending time off the clock to refuel, recenter and to remember their north stars. 

Meet Elyse Fox, 31, Founder of Sad Girls Club in Brooklyn, NY

Elyse Fox founded Sad Girls Club (SGC) in 2017 as a safe space for Black and brown women to receive mental health services, support, resources and education. SGC includes healers and therapist options for attendees through weekly group counseling called Soul Sessions, one-on-one therapy sessions and programming.

When Fox experienced depression and sought help, she noticed the lack of diversity within the mental health community and set out to highlight it. She created a documentary called, Conversations with Friends about her depression. The reception from the film sparked an international dialogue with young women who were seeking guidance, support and community through their mental health journey.

Although Fox is a champion for mental health, she has to find ways to be off the clock from her organization. As CEO of SGC, she wears various hats from program ideation, designing merchandise to answering DMs.” I’m involved in every aspect of the business, which is equal parts exciting and exhausting,” she said. 

Her routine before starting the day.

Fox starts her day around 5:30 to 6:00 A.M. “I recently began setting my alarm a few minutes earlier than needed to just lay and do nothing while the city is quiet,” she shared. She also prefers to take her time before turning the lights on in her home. “I hate bright lights in the morning; I keep tealight candles on hand and light them in the A.M. as a slow start to the day,” she explained. 

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How she describes her “me time.” 

“Me time” for Fox changes with the seasons. “During warmer months, I like to take walks at the park nearby with no headphones,” she shared. Other ways she enjoys spending her free time include true crime podcasts, cooking something flavorful and a nice juicy nap.

She has to have these things every day to feel good.

Breaks are a must for Fox. “I schedule naps or outdoor time in my calendar.” She ensures she takes a proper lunch break by changing her Slack status to “Do Not Disturb.”

How she prioritizes rest, relaxation and unplugging from work.

Fox admits to not being the best at taking days off from work to unplug, but she is trying to plan vacations and getaways in advance to have something to look forward to throughout the year. “I fell in love with Palm Springs recently; it’s the perfect spot to get away and unplug and eat really clean food,” she said.

Her hobbies outside of being a CEO.

“I learned to knit and make rugs last winter and started a knitting Instagram page (@aintthatsomeknit) to find like-minded artists,” she shared.