Audrey is a mother of two young children, wife, and the owner of Simply Bee and Coachability. She moved to Libertyville in 2013 and renovated a home built in 1948 after purchasing from the original owner’s son. Audrey started her solo practice in August of 2016 after the birth of her second child. It’s important to her to serve her community since her parents modeled this behavior when she was growing up. Her husband is a physical therapist working in neighboring city Vernon Hills.
Audrey decided to build a practice that could help change lives. “It started out as me and that was the plan, a solo practice. I quickly realized that the work I wanted to do needed a team approach.” Simply Bee’s approach is unique. They focus on the body and mind equally. Additionally, they focus on mental wellness, not mental health. Mental wellness allows people to own that part of their health. It’s a positive approach to improve and then maintain thoughts, emotions and self-care. Mental health has a very bad connotation right now in the media, it’s related to violence and “ill” people. Words are the most powerful tool we have. I chose them carefully and mental wellness is the best way to communicate how we feel at Simply Bee.”
When and why did you move to Libertyville?
We lived in the city and my husband is a physical therapist in Vernon Hills. I loved the city because of its walkability factor so when we began looking for houses I knew we had to be here and not lose that, we now live very close to downtown and would daily trips include Cook Park, Lovin Oven and Picnic Basket.
Date Night/Family Night
I love the Green Room! Their food is to die for and the environment is cozy and laid back. If it’s a late night cocktail, I like the Tavern a lot because it’s where my husband and I went out the night we began looking for homes in Libertyville. For family night, we usually go to Cook Park or St Joe’s park before dinner which is either Pizzeria DeVille or Chipotle. From there, we head to get ice cream at Rocky Mountain.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
One thing most people would be surprised to learn about me is that before I came to Chicago for college, but I grew up in a small town in central Illinois and had a mule (named Nelly;) and chickens. My family bought a farm house when I was a freshman in high school and we literally grew up in the middle of the corn fields and kids drove trackers to school, on a street we called ‘farmers row.’
Tell us about your career.
I am a social worker by training and own a group mental wellness practice called Simply Bee. We focus on clinical care through therapy, nutrition and yoga. I also own Coachability, a mental performance business for elite athletes and sports programs. Recently, I started working with Northwestern University Women’s Volleyball and D1 Volleyball Club. I now offer online programs to parents, athletes and programs to improve athlete’s mental wellness on and off the court.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Libertyville parents and other local towns have been extremely supportive in our mission to improve mental health in our youth. Through local marketing and word of mouth, all of our workshops have been sold out. The enthusiasm is wonderful! Recently, I spoke at Warren Township High School open house and plan to speak again at D128 on November 13th, I’ve noticed that our community doesn’t shy away from mental health issues and there is an open mindedness that is really amazing to see.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
“If I say yes to (insert commitment), I am saying no to my kids” This has changed my life! I am so much more careful with my ‘yes’ because I tend to over book myself and my family can suffer.
What’s next for you?
I’m combining all of my skills and launching online programs to make mental wellness more accessible to athletes, parents and programs. I think athletes are underserved population because everyone expects them to be tough and resilient but they’re normal kids going through tough stuff. As a former college athlete, I know there’s a gap in service that I am passionate about filling.
More from Audrey: “The Libertyville and Vernon Hills area is an amazing area with top rated schools and many parents who care. I want to be a resource for families in this area to help them overcome the bumps in the road so that they and their children can grow and thrive in our society physically and mentally. I want to be a resource and provide tools to business owners and adults struggling with whatever internal noise they hear blocking them from living a healthier life. “
“I realized that there is a gap and a growing need for therapy to be combined with nutrition and gentle yoga, especially in our area where performance and perfectionism is at an all time high. We treat all ages and our niche is treating anyone who has a “life interfering problem, addiction or behavior.” This might be OCD, depression, self-injury, avoidance, substance abuse or eating disorders. All of our therapists are experts in evidence-based skills therapies. We often see people after they’ve been discharged from a program based treatment and returning to their everyday life. We collaborate with school and outside professionals to ensure we are coordinating the best care possible. I believe it’s important that each clinician has a “niche”, along with evening and weekend hours available will help people get grounded with an expert and begin healing.”
Not only do they provide treatment plans, but also seminars, workshops and prevention techniques. Many people can benefit from their services from young girls, teenagers, working professionals, teacher, guidance counselors, parents, etc. “We want to put a positive spin on the idea of therapy and mental health. We want Simply Bee to be a resource, not only for therapy, but also a name that people know provides quality and meaningful services and public events. I want Simply Bee to be in the community- doing things in the community for the community. My style and idea of mental wellness relieves some of the pressure people feel when it comes to therapy and life stressors. I want to pass that along to parents, teachers, other therapists, and whoever crosses our path. “
“For instance, in April we hosted a Mother and Daughter Yoga at Blue Sky Yoga in Libertyille, an event to help strengthen the bond and encourage healthy conversation about body positivity between mothers and daughters. Simply Bee understands therapy is not for everyone but mental wellness is, we provide a variety of services to ensure everyone has an opportunity to improve their health. At the beginning of the school year, we hosted a workshop to ease anxiety for students at Heather’s Gym.”
“We’re creative solvers. If there is a problem, we want to make it feel positive and hopeful.”
If you’d like to take ownership of mental wellness for yourself and those around you, consider supporting this local business by attending or suggesting an event or seeking treatment. You can follow Audrey and her team by signing up for their newsletter and blog, or checking their website, Facebook, Instagram and her Coachability website. She prides herself on being very accessible and can be reached by phone at 224-424-0432 or by email at [email protected].