Let’s take it way back, to the beginning. We met when we were 9-years-old, and were friends who felt more like sisters from the start. We had sleepovers almost every weekend, shared clothes, stayed up late talking on the phone, and snuck out of our parents’ houses to meet each other. (To be clear, if we didn’t live in separate parts of the country…our relationship would probably look pretty similar to this!)
Then, during our freshman year of high school, Brittany’s brother Dominic was killed in a car accident. And it was Em’s brother who saw him take his last breath. It was a trauma we both experienced in our own way, and it was during this time that our relationship faced a lot of strain—until we eventually grew apart. Luckily, we reconnected on the five-year anniversary of Dominic’s passing, and shared stories of high points—and low ones—that we had faced in the years prior. We discovered the similar choices we made to mask our pain by covering it up with destructive behaviors and beliefs. Eating disorders, addiction, toxic relationships, mental health disorders, suicidality, violence and more.
When we realized we had both experienced sexual assault and psychological and emotional trauma—and had processed what happened to each of us so differently, yet also the same—our reunion inspired deep healing, as well as an understanding that healing happens in unique ways.
A few years later, we were just as close as when we were children, and together we decided to curate On The Mend Retreat—an effort to bring female trauma survivors together with the intention to heal from the inside out. We created this retreat from our own personal and professional perspectives, as survivors and healers. We created this retreat so that women could bravely move through their pain—in mind, heart and body—and experience recovery within the space of community and sisterhood, just as we have. And most importantly, we created this retreat to illustrate that sometimes, what waits for us on their other side of our pain can actually make us better, not bitter—resilient, not resentful. We believe our pain is made uniquely for us. That is holds hidden power and purpose. Now, we want to help you uncover the same.
Hi! I’m Brittany! The cream to this Oreo, aka the heart. I’m the mind & heart healer of this duo, focusing on the mental and emotional aspects of recovery from trauma—navigating our emotions, cultivating more positive thoughts and beliefs, and digging deep into a loving sense of self. From me you can expect heart-to-hearts, long-lasting hugs, space to be seen and heard, the best matcha latte you’ve ever had, and the deepest of belly laughs.
Brittany Piper is an international activist, speaker and healing + wellness coach—cultivating 250+ programs spanning 8 years and 3 continents. Her work has been recognized by The U.S. Army, The Clinton Foundation, Elite Daily + more. She is a rape survivor and leading national expert and advocate on sexual violence prevention and recovery—speaking to tens of thousands of audience members each year. Additionally, she is a social justice photographer for women’s organizations in conflict countries, and the founder of Love Conquers Photography—a renown social-enterprise dedicated to ending child marriage globally.
Hi, I’m Em! I’m the outside edges of this Oreo cookie, aka the armor, or body if you will. I’m the body-healer of this duo, focusing on the physical and biological aspects of recovery from trauma—fascia, breathwork, and intentional movement. From me you can also expect heart-to-hearts, insight into what makes every body different, space to better understand your unique body suit, and smiles that will put all of your teeth on display.
Emily Geeves earned her B.S. in Psychology in Australia in 2011, where she worked with terminally ill children and their families using various types of alternative therapy techniques (music therapy, art therapy, etc.). As a musician, using music as a form of therapy strongly resonated with Em. Her experiences in Australia highlighted the benefits of nontraditional therapies. Em is now a Fascial Stretch Therapist and Renew Movement Coach—with hands on work on over 1,000 people in 3 years. She has been a student of yoga for 12+ years, and started teaching in 2017. She is also a certified Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher.