How I used my psychologist background to design a product to help people boost their mental fitness

LIGHFBOX brand profile image
Lara Pence LIFGHBOX founder
Dr Lara Pence
Founded: December 2019
No of employees: 4
Location: USA

LIGHFBOX is a simple program and tool developed to boost your mental fitness. Created and founded by Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Lara Pence, LIGHFBOX includes 180 carefully curated cards that spark curiosity and support deep self-reflection. Through a series of guided prompts and questions individuals will become more flexible in their thinking, more capable of tolerating difficult emotions, and feel more connected in their relationships. 

The company is incredibly new so there aren’t any real metrics to shout about, but things are looking incredibly exciting. LIGHFBOX recently rebranded their messaging and marketing proposition, and launched a new website to help support the growth of the company. Lara has got some great insights to share, so we chat to her to find out more.

Who are you and what brand did you start?

Hi! I’m Dr. Lara Pence, the founder of LIGHFBOX and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. LIGHFBOX is a powerful tool developed to exercise your mind, spark curiosity and boost mental fitness. This carefully curated box of cards includes prompts and questions that encourage self-reflection. This self-reflection will build greater productivity, expand creativity, deepen your relationships, and reveal your passion and purpose.

We are located in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA but sell our product across the country. Our target audience is any individual who is looking to feel more capable of handing life’s stressors, increase their mental fortitude, and engage in greater productivity. 

Although sales, impressions, and touch points excite us, we are most proud of the initial feedback that has come our way. Specifically, the reviews left by LIGHFBOX customers on our Facebook page have been incredible and we are invigorated by the response.

How did you come up with the idea, brand name and logo for LIGHFBOX?

On the front lines of life-changing work, I have seen the struggles of our current society. My work with clients has included some of the most persistent and pervasive issues – life-destroying eating disorders, destructive and devastated couples, incessant addiction, ego-driven entrepreneurs, and joy-crushing shame - and still, I have found common themes, questions, and lines of inquiry that thread through them all. When developing LIGHFBOX, these themes were the principles and the foundation on which I built the intentions, prompts, and questions.

I’ve watched clients try to navigate this society completely ill-equipped with the mental fitness required. Their emotions are out of control, they’re lacking in adequate confidence, and they don’t have a clue about how their thoughts influence their behaviors. It’s time for everyone to have access to the tools that build incredible mental fitness.

There are companies that offer cards that spark conversations and intentions – but none of them seem to offer both an intention and a line of inquiry that helps guide a deep process of self-reflection. LIGHFBOX is unique in that it encourages individuals to expand on what they think they know and flex the muscle of perspective taking, distress tolerance, and deep introspection. 

LIGHFBOX came through from our desire to shine light on the life that is possible. So, LIGHT + LIFE = LIGHF. And then it felt natural to tack on BOX, as the container of the cards is a key element of the product itself.

Describe the process of launching LIGHFBOX?

In late 2018, we took the first step of moving LIGHFBOX from an idea to an actual product by consulting with a designer, Jason David Smith, on the development and construction of the box. We worked with him over the course of a six-month period to get the box to prototype stage and then work through some of the kinks. The following six months were spent developing the content on the cards, working with the website developer to build out and then building relationships with manufacturers. 

We launched our website in December of 2019 with soft marketing efforts through Facebook and Instagram, geared towards friends and family. We wanted to get a temperature read on what they liked, what they struggled to understand, and where we could improve. Pretty early on it became clear to us that our website was the biggest growth edge – feedback indicated that, while pretty, the website wasn’t super functional. 

We worked with our developer to integrate some of the feedback and foundational changes that we felt would get us over some of the functionalist hurdles but to no avail. It was then that we had to take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves, do we keep trying to put band-aids over a broken bone or do we take the leap and have surgery? So, we took the plunge and in early January we hired a marketing company to redo the entire website and work closely with us in executing more strategic marketing. 

Fast-forward 6 months and we took another big turn. A few customers reported that the original steel box was rusting. We decided it was time for a big gut check and a return to our original, more quiet idea for the box to be simple and understated. So, we created a much simpler box – think iPhone. At the same time, we wanted less to be more – so once again we rehauled the website.

Since launch, what has worked best to attract and retain customers?

Because we are so new to market, we are still working on understanding our customers – what they want and how to keep them. As a psychologist, I’ve learned along the way that you really need to be clear on what you have to offer. One of the things that LIGHFBOX does really well is understand the human experience. Through my work with clients, I have a unique view on the day-to-day struggle of individuals and the inner conflict that is ever-present for all of us. Whether this inner conflict is about managing work/life balance, aligning one's values to one's career, or learning how to set strategic boundaries, providing empathy to your customer is essential. 

Customers want you to sit beside them and then edge them towards a better path, not drag them along and shove your message down their throat. The same is true customers. We have taken a lot of feedback in and made appropriate adjustments. We truly feel that we have developed a product that is built for the human in all of us.

With regards to business growth, how have things changed from a digital, revenue, customer and sales perspective?

May was an incredible month for us this year. For mother’s day our revenue totaled the entire month of February, March, and April COMBINED. We were thrilled, of course, but we were also curious about two things;

1) Did consumers typically see LIGHFBOX as a gift item? And

2) How could we capitalize on this idea that individuals felt that LIGHFBOX could support someone else’s journey of self-reflection and building mental fortitude. 

Because we shut the website down from July through September for the revamp, we certainly lost traffic. But we were thrilled that our Instagram followers actually doubled during that time – indicating to us that people were interested in what we had to say, not just purchasing the product. 

How is the business doing today and what does the future look like?

We relaunched the website at the end of September and our new box is currently in production. We have already collected pre-sales and continue to draw revenue in from the BRASS LIGHFBOX 180°. We are very excited to move into the holiday season, which we imagine will be a huge revenue driver.

What’s been the biggest learning experience since starting your own brand?

Don’t lose sight of your WHY. When you start a business there are so many things to think about and consider, and so many opinions to navigate, that you can lose your way really quickly. Maintain your WHY: why you started your business, WHY you think your product will change lives, WHY this matters to you. Each and every person that you collect feedback from will insert THEIR intention or THEIR why, but you need to be clear and maintain your own. 

Feedback is important and collecting data on what your customer wants can certainly help you elevate to a position that is more lucrative. However, never lose sight of what your purpose is and your vision. Know the power of influence – that you are not immune to the opinions of others, for better and for worse. So talk it through with your trusted inner circle.

What are your top 3 tips on how to setup an Ecom store for success?

  1. Easy beats extraordinary. When we first launched LIGHFBOX we had a completely custom built website. It was beautiful – but it didn’t work! Easy beats extraordinary when it comes to ecommerce. 
  2. Keep it simple. Bells and whistles may be cool but nowadays customers are looking for the simplest path. Our brains are so used to a pathway – don’t try and make a new one!
  3. Clear is critical. Be very clear in what your product is and how it will help your customer. Be clear. It’s critical to success. 

What are some of your favorite online business tools you use to run LIGHFBOX?

In January, we hired a marketing company that has helped us begin the journey of getting LIGHFBOX in front of more than just friends and family. We ended our contract with this company in July but quickly transitioned to a freelance social media and marketing strategist. A key element of being successful is knowing your limitations. When we launched LIGHFBOX, it became clear to us rather quickly that we needed help in the marketing department. So, we raised our hand, asked for help, and this has become critical to our success. If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to bring in a team that DOES know.

TypeTool Name
Project ManagementAsana, Later
Email MarketingMailchimp
AnalyticsMaulini Creative Co
ProductivityAsana, Later
AdvertisingGoogle Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram
Social Media ToolsLater
DesignAdobe Photoshop, Canva
MarketingMaulini Creative Co

See what ecommerce tools other founders are using.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts or other educational resources?

The role of story and the stories of humans have truly guided this work. So while podcasts like the Rich Roll podcast have helped to inspire the courage behind the launch of LIGHFBOX, it is through story that creativity emerges. 

Books, movies, and TV shows have continued to demonstrate the power of story and impact of awareness. From Kristen Hannah, to Stephen King, to Harry Potter, to Homeland, to The Lion King – all creative forms have inspired the work and continued to demonstrate to me the importance of looking inward to elevate outward. 

We also have an incredible team – Melissa Maulini from Maulini Creative Co is doing an incredible job with branding, and Colton Duncan – our spectacular genius behind the editing and producing of various content mediums and ads. They fuel this work and we are indebted to their passion.

Who have been the most influential people for you during this business journey?

My clients over the last fifteen years have truly inspired this work. Unbeknown to me, this journey started way back when my career as a psychologist took its first step. Each and every individual that I have worked with has laid their virtual hands on this work, through their stories, their struggles, and their celebration of life. The intentions, questions and prompts in LIGHFBOX were all gathered from my work with incredible and extraordinary humans. Without question, they have been the most influential people in this journey.

Any other advice you’d like to share with other aspiring entrepreneurs?

We all have an internal critic that tells us that our idea isn’t worth executing. Don’t listen to it. You have a unique contribution to make on this planet. No one grows if you remain small. Let your ideas guide you. Make it happen. Contribute. What you can add to your community, to this world is unique and wonderful and brilliant. No-one else can do what you can do because no-one else is YOU. Quiet the inner critic and GO.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now or open to new investors?

We are not hiring for any positions currently. However, revolutions are made through passionate people and elevation is contagious. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, reach out! We want to hear from you and how you plan to elevate yourself, giving others a pathway to elevate as well!

Where can we go to learn more about your current offers/promotions/programs?

One of the best ways to learn more about what LIGHFBOX has to offer is to join the newsletter at We are currently providing new subscribers an opportunity to receive our HOLIDAY FIVE. Five strategies to help reduce stress during the holiday season. So head to our website to get yours!

Want to become a subscriber?

Learn how businesses are earning up to $2m per month