This Female Founder Is Making Hair Accessories More Fun, While Giving Back

At Behere, we travel often and are always looking for brands and products that are great for travel, and the world. That’s why we were excited to connect with a female founder giving back – and creating a brand with a philanthropic focus! We caught up with Elle Draper, founder of Lemonelle, to learn more about her initial idea for her company and how she’s giving back through her passion.

Elle shared her initial ideation for Lemonelle

“I’ve been sewing since I was very young (mainly self-taught), and I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mind. I moved to NYC right after college, and having studied/ practiced art and design my whole life. I knew I wanted a career in the creative space, but I didn’t have the guts to start something on my own until I had spent a few years working at and learning from other companies.

After two years working as a graphic designer at a female-founded startup, where I was creating relationships with hundreds of small unique retail brands, I realized I was ready to BE one of those brands. To initiate my creative brainstorm, I thought back to my childhood and the days I spent playing around on the sewing machine.

I dusted off my machine and started tinkering with small accessories, simple dresses, and scrunchies. I saw scrunchies coming back into the high fashion world, and that was the idea that I ran with. Like a mad scientist, I started creating scrunchies of all sizes and materials, testing out different elastics until I landed on the *perfect* pattern, which is the one I use for all my scrunchies now.

The name came next. I didn’t want to limit myself by putting ‘scrunchies’ into the brand name, so I thought back to the old adage, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and ‘Lemonelle’ was born! Another reason I like the ‘lemon’ concept is the phrase can have different endings – lemonade is just one of many options.

Cool! Tell us more about the scrunchies

“Everything is made in the USA, and I hand-pick all the fabrics myself from a variety of sources. I choose fabrics that make sense for the season, and the product. I have to consider what material(s) will look and feel good even after they’re all cinched up. Stretch velvet works nicely and has been a popular style for fall and winter. I like satin/silk combos with beautiful prints, and for the summer collection I’m using a lot of fun spandex/swim-friendly fabric.

Recently, I’ve been designing my own *custom* fabrics (also manufactured in the US). Early on, I was sewing all the scrunchies myself, but once I had perfected the product design and packaging, I decided it was best to outsource production so I could spend more time on marketing and website design.”

Being a first time founder is never easy, Elle shared some of her journey

“Finding the right manufacturer is a trial and error process. I cold-called a long list of NYC based manufacturing studios, and found three different spots that agreed to do small batch production with my original pattern. After a few rounds with NYC based production, I decided the costs were a bit high, so I expanded my search into the rest of the US. I found a studio in Kentucky, and one in LA.

I still sew all the initial samples of each style myself when I first pick out the fabrics, but then I send the fabric to those production places for the rest. Everything is made in small batches because I think it’s special to create scarcity with limited editions. It also helps me figure out what my customers are drawn to the most.”

Not only does she hand-sew each initial sample, but Elle also focuses on having a social impact

“A portion of every sale goes towards a charity called Sew Powerful, an organization that teaches women in impoverished countries how to sew.

I chose to give back because I wanted my brand to have a social impact. Sew Powerful was my charity of choice because when I considered the skills that made it possible for me to start a company, sewing was top of mind. I realized how grateful I am to have been exposed to a sewing machine at such a young age. I want to give other women the opportunity to create things with the same versatile skill and hopefully enable them to provide for their families or themselves.

In certain cases, my donation will go towards another charity. For example, I collaborated with a musical artist, Anjali World, on a specific scrunchie style (a green one called ‘Nani’, based on her nickname). Anjali founded a non-profit called Jaws and Paws which aims to protect wildlife. The proceeds from the ‘Nani’ style go towards her organization, and I plan to expand my donations with other collaborations later.”

lemonelleWith so many hair accessories now, what makes Lemonelle unique?

“Oh so many reasons! The philanthropic aspect of Lemonelle is one piece of it, but also the product design and the whole brand-experience is different than most. The packaging is very thoughtful; each scrunchie comes in a small clear cylinder (a pillow shape for the three-packs) with a citrus candy (lemon!) because I want the ‘unboxing’ experience to be as special as the product.

Delighting the customer is really important in creating loyalty, so I also include a circular ‘thank you’ /informational card about the company and the cause within each package. The plastic containers can be repurposed as cute little catch-alls, and the aesthetic just feels more luxurious than the typical cardboard hanger that we see for most scrunchie displays. Each scrunchie style has a fun original name to suggest a more dynamic ‘story’ beyond the color, and in each scrunchie we sew a signature yellow satin ‘tab’ for an added flair and brand recognition.

As a solo female founder, I am quality assuring every single scrunchie before I send it out, and I produce all my own social media content/ website designs (for now).

Lemonelle is also very collaboration friendly! I’ve worked with a few other small brands to create cross promotional opportunities and make special ‘bundles’. For example, over the holidays I partnered with a cosmetic brand. We created a bundle where her lipstick color matched the Lemonelle scrunchie and sold it as a duo. I have more exciting collaborations in the works too.”

And of course, why are Lemonelle scrunchies so great for travel?

“They are debatably the best travel accessory! They fit anywhere, they’re light as a feather (won’t weigh down your suitcase) and they’re incredibly versatile. Scrunchies can be dressed up or down, and unlike certain jewelry they won’t get impossibly tangled up in your travel bag.

They’re also comfortable and beneficial for hair-health. Regular hair-ties can cause split ends and unwanted kinks; scrunchies are gentle on your locks and, in my opinion, way more fun. They can be worn on the wrist like a bracelet, or in an updo for an effortless flair.

They’re perfect as travel GIFTS too; I’ve gotten amazing feedback from customers who have gotten Lemonelle as bachelorette party gifts or a bridesmaid goodies. Suitcase-caused fabric wrinkles are a non-issue as well. I never go anywhere without my scrunchies!”

Check out Lemonelle on Instagram. And if you want to support a female founder and get your hands on Elle’s scrunchies for your next trip, head to

Meet the Woman Making Travel Snacks Healthy + Sustainable

At Behere, we travel often and are always looking for healthy, delicious travel snacks (not an easy feat!). So we were super excited to connect with a female founder making just that – and snacks that are good for the planet! We caught up with Courtney Boyd Myers (CBM), founder of AKUA, to learn more about her healthy travel snacks and how they’re helping the planet.

Courtney’s initial idea for Kelp Jerky (we love that it’s travel-related!) 

As an avid traveler, CBM splits her time between NYC, Lisbon and Cape Town, plus trips in between. It’s not surprising then that her Kelp Jerky idea came from the desire for a healthy, fast and sustainable, snack for travel. While rushing to catch a plane, she tried to find a healthy, protein-rich snack and came up short. Thus, the idea for AKUA came to life.

After 2 years of hands-on R&D, Kelp Jerky was launched with a Kickstarter campaign. Using her background in writing and marketing, CBM shared the story behind AKUA helping them surpass their Kickstarter goal.

Seaweed that tastes good, we need to know more…

Kelp Jerky, is a high-protein, high-fiber snack that’s free of refined sugars, soy, gluten, and major allergens. So far, it comes in three flavors (Spicy Thai & Spirulina, Rosemary & Maple BBQ, and Sesame & Nori Sea Salt) and even Richard Branson has said, “it’s delicious”. 

Plus, these healthy snacks are made from ocean-farmed kelp – one of the most sustainable food sources on the planet. As big supporters of environmentally friendly companies, we love the difference CBM is making with AKUA. 

Her goal with AKUA is to become a household name for sustainable, seagreens-based foods. We think she’s off to a good start.

Passion for food and the oceans

When she’s not busy working on sustainable seagreens, she’s also an adviser to GreenWave, a nonprofit that supports the regenerative ocean farming industry, a partner at Unframed IceCream, and a Director at Summit. Needless to say, CBM is a busy woman, making a great impact on our oceans, and tastebuds.

Connect with CBM on Instagram. And if you want to get your hands on her tasty Kelp Jerky for your next travels, AKUA has offered a 15% off discount for our community using code BEHERE

Snagged some healthy snacks and ready for your next trip? Get started planning it with Behere below!

Women Making Moves | Nubia Younge

Some of our team connected with this positive, friendly woman in Chiang Mai and hit it off right away. Nubia Younge is the founder of a fantastic podcast that shares our values at Behere in so many ways. Nubia has managed to travel extensively, move abroad, start a company and fill her life with purpose. Find out how she’s done all this and moved to Northern Thailand below. 

What inspired you to start traveling?

“I took my first international trip back in 2011 to Paris and Europe. Once I traveled overseas, it was a wrap! Travel became an insatiable habit. I fell in love with the different cuisines and connecting with new people from all over the world.”

What inspired you to ultimately start your podcast? 

“Over the last several years, I’ve traveled to 30+ countries,  chronicling my journey on social media.  I would find great travel deals and learn new things, every place I went. People started reaching out to me on social media, asking how I could afford to travel as a single mother of 2. At the time, I was a full-time employee, a part-time student and a small business owner. Yet, I still found time to travel internationally several times a year.
One day I was having a conversation with my friend about all these questions I was getting in my inbox. She and I decided to create a platform where we can reach like-minded individuals, who share a love for travel, and are looking to connect with those who are currently traveling, working and/or living abroad.”

What is your podcast all about? 

Chronicles Abroad podcast is as a platform used to communicate with individuals from all over the world. We share stories from world travelers, digital nomads and entrepreneurs, to inspire people to travel and live or move abroad. We explore a holistic approach to traveling. This includes creating healthier mindsets, finances, and spirituality, so people can travel better or make that final decision to move abroad.”

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~ Maya Angelou


We’re excited to share that Nubia has joined the Behere team as our Chiang Mai City Host! Follow Nubia @anuexperience and @chroniclesabroad and check out her podcast at

To live in Chiang Mai, get started with Behere !

Photos and words courtesy of Nubia Younge.

Behere Team Highlight | Stephanie James

Stephanie, you’re an awesome part of the Behere team! Tell us about yourself…

“Hey, I’m Stephanie James, and am originally from Colorado Springs, CO. I lived in Baltimore for eight years after graduating college.  I’m passionate about my family and friends, poetry, singing, traveling the world and helping others do the same.

I am fortunate enough to be a Flexible Lifestyle Manager for Behere. What in the world is that, right? Glad you asked. I help women live, work and travel abroad, by helping create their foundation in cities around the world. In my free time, I love to host and perform at spoken word poetry events. I also like to sing for weddings and business functions.  My health is important to me, so I work out often and try to remain conscious about what I’m feeding my body.

stephanie james

How did you start your journey of traveling and working abroad?

I worked for a Fortune 50 company for eight consecutive years and things were great, I was on the fast track for promotion.  I was privileged to be promoted four times in eight years. The company leaders said they saw me reaching a national platform in my career.  I was also traveling quite a bit; to Greece, Italy, Beijing… exploring some of the world outside the US. My desire to travel became insatiable.  I decided to take a leap in 2017 to travel the world for 12 months. My company leaders initially told me that leaving would be career suicide and it wasn’t the best time to go. But sometimes you have to make the harder decisions alone.

I chose the road less traveled and submitted my leave notice. Starting in 2017, I lived in twelve countries for twelve months. I visited a total of eighteen countries in one year. This put my total countries visited at 28! I lived in South America, Europe and Asia for four months each. I’m currently in London, with plans to explore more of Europe and visit Asia again this year.  

What was the scariest thing for you when you first booked your trip? What fears were holding you back?

The most difficult part about the journey was the initial leap.  I had security at my job, a platform that I built and strong rapport with company leaders and peers. What I learned most from taking this chance, was that there are opportunities everywhere when you’re willing to see them.  I learned everyone thinks it’s impossible until it’s done. Now, the company leaders watch my vlogs and follow my journey. They send me encouraging messages about how they wish they did what I did earlier in their careers.

stephanie james

How has travel inspired you and taught you?

Living out of a suitcase and backpack for a year teaches you how little you really need in life. It shows you where the true value of life lies. That’s in relationships built, experiences felt and all the beautiful people, that look different then you, but have so much in common with you, no matter where you go.  It teaches you things are not ‘weird’ but ‘different’. That my way is not the right way or even the best way, it’s just one way. I’ve learned how much I love all food :-). I’ve learned there are kind hearted people everywhere you go. And there are negative people no matter where you go. So choose to surround yourself in beauty and those who bring it.  I’ve learned family is everything. You can be alone at the Taj Mahal having an amazing time, but you can also be in your dad’s backyard, playing with your little brother, and experience the same joy. I’ve learned everything and every place is what you make it. I haven’t been to a place yet that I didn’t like and I don’t plan on finding one.

I think everyone should live abroad at some point in their lives. It doesn’t have to be long term or as extensive as myself. But to experience the world, is to experience something bigger than you and appreciate all the things in life we take for granted.  

You started your own project when traveling. Tell us about it…

I’ve had the opportunity to perform in almost every country I’ve visited. I have many artist friends who would love to indulge in international performing as well.  I created an international platform for artists called, The Artists Connection (TAC). It helps to “bridge borders for artists worldwide.” I have artists participating from all over the world and it grows every day.  If you are an artist or lover of the arts, join the connection at and follow us on Instagram @taconnection.  

Lastly, I am an international poet, singer and host. If you’re interested in seeing the vlogs from my journey and hearing some of my poetry connect with me and on Instagram @justavessel22.  

To learn more about Behere and choose a new city, get started below!

Creating Your Reality with Work-Life Balance or 'Blend'

Whoever put the notion in our heads that we should have the perfect work-life balance is a liar. As if we all wake up every morning in perfect harmonious glory, in a pristine house, with a beautifully laid schedule and a career that never required after-hours work or thoughts…

I’m not sure what utopia set us up for this kind of failure, but I do know I don’t want to live there.

Perfect work/life balance is impossible – from early on in our careers to running the C-Suite gamut. (As digital nomads and entrepreneurs, we know better than anyone that circumstances are rarely cut and dry).

Work-life blend is the new “balance.”

It means work and personal lives are so closely intertwined that they might be indistinguishable at times. There’s no “split personality,” instead career and personal goals are correlative. Enter “The Blend.

This was something I realized early on in my career in recruitment and sales. I found that the time I spent at networking events and coffee dates to accomplish “sales,” became fun. Because of my personality, I didn’t experience burnout from this. Especially within that time of my life, when meeting new people was something I enjoyed. Professionals became friends and, as they helped my bottom line, work partners, too. So my approach was to “work” as much as possible. Work didn’t need to end when I left the office. And my personal life didn’t have to end the second I sat down at my desk.

Additionally, working as a recruiter, trainer and field sales developer throughout my college career, meant that networking with other women my age, traveling to different states and playing with makeup was my “job.” I didn’t have a desk or an office, but I had a car and weekly accountability calls with my boss. The more I hustled, the more money I made, and simultaneously was able to grow an incredible network of women.

I didn’t know where work and play started and stopped, so that’s how I grew up in my professional life.

After all, here I am; co-founder of a startup with hefty, long-hour workweeks. My counterpart is a dedicated, marketing genius. She’s also a dear friend. When we shared an office every day (or in the humble beginnings, a couch…), our conversations would constantly seesaw from “friend-zone” to “work-zone.” We’d recap weekend plans over lunch and discuss client work between social events. I have an accountability factor to her and our company not only as a co-worker but as a friend. There’s double at stake and double the reward. Sometimes we work long nights and sometimes we close the laptops for long weekend adventures. We’ve built blended careers because our lives are far from black and white.

work-life balance
Photo courtesy of Kelsey Dixon

On top of that, now I have taken my portion of managing our business and channelled it all through a laptop in South America. Because my business partner and I are friends, we also continually have each other’s best interest in mind, including personal goals. It was a dream of mine to live and work abroad, and now it has become my reality. And as we’ve grown our team, these new faces have become friends. Our gab sessions now happen through a computer screen rather than over drinks at happy hour, but the sentiment is still there. I’m grateful for the blend and wouldn’t have it any other way.

To me, the blend also means doing something I love.

I enjoy my work; I enjoy the people I work with, the clients we service and the industry we’re in. My work is motivating to me. This didn’t happen by accident–I had to build it! This is part of the blend: having your career feel less like “work” and more like “passion.” It may take a step, and then a leap, but it is possible. It’s my life goal, from sharing my story, to have even one person know this to be true, too.

The blend is not perfect–this is just as true as the fact that balance does not exist. Now that I’m traveling full time and I maintain a crowded startup calendar remotely, my life is a big ball of “blend,” and it has its challenges. This morning, I hiked a mountain and now I sit working at a cafe, staring at said mountain. I’m not on vacation, but I’m not in a routine either. I often feel like I’m half-doing both working and traveling. This is a sinking feeling–that you should be in two places at once and always accomplishing two things at once. Feeling torn and never completely satisfied with your day because it’s so blended that it’s hard to distinguish the stop and start. Any feelings of accomplishment are buried by the rest of that to-do list. You want to keep up with everyone back in the office, but you also want to keep up with everyone here for the week on vacation. It’s an unattainable feeling that leaves you dissatisfied with your progress regularly. I’ll close my laptop one minute and be working on my new language in another, but my brain is still in my laptop.

Don’t get me wrong.

I believe in breaks, personal time, vacation, travel, family – all the warm fuzzies that “balance” brings to mind. However, it’s impossible for those things to not interrupt the flow of your “work life” and vice versa. If they are complementary, well then, that’s a step in the direction to satisfaction. It’s work/life blend.

Balance is boring. Balance is too neat. Order challenge, on the rocks, with an extra shot of chaos. Thrive in it. Enjoy grey-ness. Enjoy “the blend.” Strive to have work and life to embrace each other. Work for people you admire and create change with passion. You spend a minimum of 2,000+ hours a year working. Make it count.

Guest Post Written by: Kelsey Dixon

Kelsey Dixon is the “Dixon” of the female millennial duo who founded davies + dixon, a digital marketing firm that creates daring ideas to get stories told. Kelsey currently remotely manages her team and clients as she adventures through South America. Follow Kelsey’s journey on Instagram at @kelseyrileydixon.

Images and words courtesy of Kelsey Dixon.

Women Making Moves | Rachel Ettinger of HereForHer

Over the next few months we’re going to be sharing a series of posts about what it means to ‘empower women’, to people around the world. Inspiring women from around the globe shared how they empower women through what they do and the action behind these words.
This week we’re sharing Here for Her founder, Rachel Ettinger’s story. She shares her thoughts on the meaning of female empowerment and how she’s helping women change the stigma around feminine health.

What does it mean to you to empower women?

“This is one of my favourite discussions. Many women, in many industries, easily throw out the term “female empowerment” but then the words are not put into action.

Empowering women means many things; such as giving them an outlet to voice their opinions, being listened to, being supported and basically giving women the tools that are needed to allow them to take control, to make change, to take a stand and therefore feel valued.”

How are you empowering women through what you do?

“With Here for Her
, I’m creating an environment where women feel comfortable speaking out and taking control of their health issues and that empowerment will hopefully lead them to feel more confident in other areas of their lives. I feel that empowering women means to provide an outlet for them to embrace themselves and to feel confident and valued.

The idea of Here for Her is to create open discussions about women’s health issues, such as periods, birth control, sex, body image, eating disorders, fertility, pregnancy & other vagina-related issues! Women can open up comfortably about their health, relate to others who identify as female, and educate themselves on women’s health issues as well. I’ve tried a billion different birth control pills (the struggle is real!) and because my family is in the healthcare profession, we discuss these topics quite often and it’s normal for us – but it’s not like that for everyone.”
empower women

“Women’s health issues are natural and should be discussed openly and there’s no need for us to PANIC when we drop a tampon on the way to the washroom (we’ve all done it!) OR how about the classic calling in sick to work when really you have the most HORRIBLE cramps and you can’t breathe.

Using my radio/tv platform I decided that it was the perfect time to talk openly about my own health issues in the hope that women will join together to discuss these issues in public and work to remove the stigma. Once we create awareness about periods and vaginas, THEN we can seriously create change, such as addressing the cost surrounding feminine hygiene products in general! Why aren’t these products free in public bathrooms, just like toilet paper?
Here for Her is not just about being proud of wearing your pink PERIOD sweater (which is super cool) but also about creating sustainable ways to improve health for women.”
Learn more about Rachel and Here for Her at
OR on IG @shophereforher & @rachettinger.
Learn more about how Behere helps women feel empowered while traveling here. Or get started below!