Social Entrepreneurs Tackle Systemic Challenges through Wellness and Aesthetics

Most of us just get on with our lives, reading tragic news, but never doing anything about it. But some actually go above and beyond to make significant contributions to their communities and face these challenges. And these people, they are motivated by more than just a sense of duty or a life philosophy. Sometimes, their motivation stems from understanding the reality that a great deal of people live.

Richard Taite, Founder of Carrara Treatment, Wellness and Spa

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Richard Taite, once a drug addict, is one of them. After two decades of struggling with drugs, which even caused him to experience homelessness at his lowest point, Richard achieved sobriety and was inspired to extend a helping hand to those facing similar battles. He founded a sober living center, dedicating himself to supporting other addicts in their recovery journey.

Cliffside Malibu was the first treatment center he founded and later, Carrara Treatment, Wellness & Spa, a luxury rehab center. Carrara gave him the opportunity to help addicts once again, providing them with medical programs and spa treatments catered to individuals who are seeking recovery from addiction, mental health issues, stress, or burnout, while also providing a high level of comfort and personalized care.

However, it was also during this period of his life that Richard sought the advice of a Hindu master, motivated by his ethical concerns about making a living from addiction treatment.

After three years of talking to the Swami, Richard grappled with his moral dilemmas. Ultimately, he was moved by the master’s question, “Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone could help people for a living?” This resonated with him and reinforced the dedication of his life to the service of others.

With his renewed inspiration, Richard helped people regain themselves. However, there were still those he couldn’t save. One patient, after maintaining sobriety for seven years, became addicted to opioids following a car accident. Unfortunately, the client’s prescription was suddenly stopped by his doctor without a detox plan. Unable to find help and suffering from withdrawal, he turned to the streets for relief and tragically died minutes after taking a pill he believed was Percocet.

Richard struggles to recount this story without getting emotional. “That young man’s story is why I’m fighting for compassionate, comprehensive care for those battling addiction,” he says. It’s cases like these that fuel Richard’s dedication to his work at Carrara Treatment, Wellness & Spa. In response to the fentanyl epidemic, Richard created Carrara and acquired 1 Method, a more affordable treatment center.

In the near future, Richard is hoping to expand his reach and help Los Angeles, his birthplace. He says, “I just can’t believe what happened to my city, and I figured I could either complain about it or do something about it.” He is currently working towards a 25-bed pilot project facility, with the goal of increasing it to 1000 in-network insurance beds,1000 military beds, and 1000 mental health beds. This new facility will help take people off the streets, out of their encampments, treat them for as long as they need, and then have aftercare support to place them into permanent living situations.

Brandi Gregge, Founder of Mint & Needle

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On the other side, Brandi Gregge, founder of Mint & Needle, offers hope and guidance to survivors of physical abuse and violence. According to a 2023 study by the National Library of Medicine, an estimated 10 million people in the United States experience domestic violence and abuse. As a woman herself, Brandi is aware of depth and the urgency of the situation, and did not waste time to help others.

On October 7, 2023, in Middletown, Delaware, Brandi formally announced the creation of “Empowerment Beyond Scars”. This initiative aims to support individuals facing not just the physical aftermath of violence but the emotional and psychological scars that often linger far longer.  Through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, medical aesthetics providers, and local and national organizations, Empowerment Beyond Scars aims to provide regenerative medical aesthetic services free of charge, building a national support network for survivors.

Through Mint & Needle, Gregge has already made significant strides in supporting those who have endured physical trauma. Her work has helped those recuperating from terrible injuries, burn victims, and cancer survivors by offering them not only cosmetic treatments but also a fresh lease on life and hope. In addition to providing healing, Brandi said, “I am here to advocate, educate, and inspire a community rallying for change.”

Businesses for Societal Change

Both Taite and Gregge know the power of personal transformation and the impact it can have on the world. They remind us that every individual has the potential to overcome adversity and that support, compassion, and understanding are key to recovery and resilience.

For those who have been struggling with addiction, homelessness, abuse, or domestic violence, the initiatives they have led offer a chance to reclaim one’s life and identity, to heal, and to build a future filled with hope and possibility. It is everyone’s hope that as they continue their work, more people will be able to look beyond their scars and embrace their own unique journeys toward healing and empowerment.

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