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Inside Stix Mindfulness: Our Journey

You know the product, but do you know about our journey getting here?

Discover how Stix Mindfulness was created by the father and son founders, John and Liam. Read on to explore how Stix was first created, the development process we went through, and the motivations that continue to drive us forward.

At the end of the article we have a poll for you to let us know content we should write about next!

Stix remotes providing screen free mindfulness
Screen-free mindfulness - how did we get here?

Where it all began


The Stix concept was first created in 2019, whilst Liam was studying Product Design at Brighton University. The inspiration for the concept came from Liam’s experience growing up with a brother who has ADHD. His brother, Eoin, was on a two year CAMHS waiting list to get support - This is an all-too-common story in the UK with more than 200,000 children waiting for support in 2023. Whilst medication helped Eoin to focus at school, it had negative effects on his wellbeing - he describes himself feeling 'grey' or 'dull' when he took it.

Liam wanted to explore how children with ADHD could manage their symptoms without the need for medication at a young age - he explored the effects of diet and exercise, but was fascinated by the effects that mindfulness can have on children, particularly with ADHD children, and wondered why, as children, we were not taught mindfulness skills from a young age.

Product development sketch
The very first Stix drawing! It's come a long way...

How does Mindfulness help children?

‘Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that, instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them’ - Jon Kabat-Zinn


Mindfulness can help children in many ways:


  • Significantly reduces levels of stress and anxiety

  • Helps increase compassion

  • Decreases classroom misbehaviour

  • Helps reduce aggression

  • Improves focus and concentration

  • Leads to a reduction of hyperactivity and impulsivity


The problem? Mindfulness is boring for children...

Enter the Stix Remotes. The handheld devices with built-in audio, haptic vibrations, and LED lights help guide children through interactive mindfulness-based activities that teach children coping strategies for mental health issues. The activities provide children with a tangible experience rather than a passive app to listen to and strategies learnt will help establish good habits that will support positive mental health into adulthood.


The development of the Stix Remotes


The concept became a reality when Liam asked his father, John, whether he would like to team up with him to start developing the concept further. They successfully pitched the business idea to the Central Research Laboratory accelerator programme, where the development stage began.

Father and Son Co-Founders
Liam & John - Father and Son Co-Founders

During this programme, we revisited our customers’ needs through user testing, continuously refining the product to make it as suitable as possible for them. Multiple pilot studies were run in schools and family homes, using feedback and results to identify issues and improvements that could be made. Prototypes were tested with over 50 children to gather data. Youth Resilience UK, an organisation that supports children from disadvantaged backgrounds, also tested Stix with a number of children in a Kent-based school.

Practicing mindfulness at school
Testing the Stix Prototypes at a school


Our most significant challenges at the development stage were tech-focused. For instance, we realised quickly during this period that the remotes needed an audio guide to enhance clarity and activity engagement. This led to the addition of a speaker into each Stix remote, which also had the added benefit of less screen time.


One of the toughest hurdles was ensuring connectivity between the two Stix remotes. The unique challenge of having to achieve two perfectly in-sync remotes, producing audio simultaneously, was something which required extensive testing and determination. 


Connecting the Stix remotes
Connecting the Stix

Additionally, there was a focus on developing a comprehensive program of activities. With the help of mindfulness experts from Brunel University, we established a full mindfulness programme based on their research. This was an exciting collaboration to further embed mindfulness theory into the product and enhance the activities available.

The future of Stix


The Stix Mindfulness remotes were launched in February 2023 after many years of hard work. Looking ahead, our goal is to extend our reach to as many families as possible, becoming a leading brand in family wellness.


We are excited about the future and are determined to positively impact the lives of the hundreds of thousands of children in the UK currently facing mental health challenges who are unable to get the support they need. Stix remotes are already being used in schools nationwide, and we aim to expand their presence even further.


Our vision for Stix Mindfulness is to grow into a family wellbeing brand, supporting mindfulness practices as children transition into teenagers and adults. This journey involves developing new content and areas of support, as well as potentially introducing innovative products designed to enhance the mental health of children, teens, and adults alike.


We look forward to the rest of our journey and the opportunity to make a lasting, positive difference in mental health and wellbeing.

What would you like to read about next?

  • More about the activities

  • How the product works

  • The benefits of mindfulness

  • Real life example of the Stix helping families

You can vote for more than one answer.


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