I’m willing to bet that there isn’t anyone reading this post right now who hasn’t experienced heartbreak. Whether you’re going through it right now or cringing at the memory of a bad breakup in the past, you know how it feels. It sucks. Being sad might be the only feeling that feels good, beyond diving into a pint of Häagen Dazs or keeping your best friend on the phone for hours analyzing every second leading up to the breakup. Or, maybe you’re keeping everything inside because you don’t want to drag anyone else down with you. Maybe you’re dreading how much harder it will all become before it gets better: finding a new apartment, moving out, changing your address and maybe your name, and starting all over again.
Maybe you should just call Onward.
Onward is a post-breakup concierge service that will find you a new apartment, book movers to pack up your things, move and reconnect your utilities, help you find a therapist, a new gym, and (when you’re ready) even help you style the perfect dating profile.
The company was founded by Lindsay Meck and Mika Leonard. Friends since fourth grade, the two have seen a lot of ups and downs in each other’s lives. A few years ago, they both went through devastating breakups within six months of each other. Which sparked the idea for Onward.
“We wanted to help other people through major life transitions that are emotionally draining and involve a lot of paperwork. Our service helps by taking care of the tasks that no one wants to do, but need to be done,” said Mika. She adds: “We’ve never had anyone say Onward is a bad idea. I think that’s because most people have been through a breakup and remember that feeling of hopelessness and being alone. We’re tapping into a real piece of peoples’ hearts. Our service provides an empathetic touch.”
Right now, Onward is available in the New York City area with hopes to expand to other markets in the future. You’ll start with a consultation with an Onward concierge, who will guide you through a number of questions from budget to your preferred neighborhood or subway line and talk through other kinds of support you might need, from cable hookups to online therapists.
“First, we help develop a road map for Onward members. We have built relationships with many companies to provide resources from logistics to holistics,” said Mika. “Many of our members don’t have a lot of flexibility in their day, so we really pride ourselves in making the process fit their needs. A big piece is that we are flexible on when and how to chat: by phone, video chat or text.”
You might think that most people would primarily be concerned about housing after a breakup, especially in NYC. But that’s not the case, Mika explains: “Most people tell us it’s the loss of community that’s the hardest blow in a breakup. That emotional piece, of losing joint friendships and community, is often greater than a person’s need for housing.”
That’s why Onward wants you to know they’re in it with you for the long haul. “It’s so important to us that people know we don’t approach our client relationships as, ‘we’ve placed you in a new apartment, OK, bye’ – we really help set them up to succeed in their next chapter, through matching them with financial, legal, diet, fitness, home design, personal organization and so many other services. We want everyone we work with to eventually lead their best life!”
In her work with Onward clients, Mika knows that by being open about her own divorce and subsequent breakup, she’s helping others relate and see a light at the end of the tunnel for themselves. “Lindsay went through her breakup six months after mine, it was weirdly affirming to be able to tell her – from experience – that I understood how bad she was hurting, but that time truly does heal,” said Mika. “We’re good at helping our clients, because we’ve been there. Helping others through a tough time is our passion.”
“I believe breakups make you stronger,” said Mika. “At Onward, we’re really preaching break up, not break down. It doesn’t have to mean crying in bed eating ice cream; it can be a chance for reinvention. At Onward, we believe your best life is ahead of you.”
So, as we say at Hello Divorce: “break up, break through, break out.” You got this.