Chamber News

A Conversation with Chelsea Elliott, Founder of Sōmōcom Lab | Columbus Chamber Connection | April 2024

April 18th, 2024

A conversation with Chelsea Elliott:

Tell us about Somocom Lab and how it came into existence.

Chelsea Elliott, Founder, Sōmōcom Lab

In the middle of the pandemic, our story began quite by accident at the kitchen table. I was pregnant, juggling the needs of my three-year-old, while both my husband and I were trying to keep up with our full-time jobs. It was a lot, but something clicked during that chaos. I realized we were all going through something huge, something that would inevitably hit our mental health hard, especially for kids around the world. Having been through my own traumas and lack of emotional support as a kid, I was determined not to let history repeat itself with my own little ones.

So, I started writing. My first book was basically a love letter to my oldest daughter about the idea that you can be scared and brave at the same time—a game-changer I wish I knew about sooner, which I didn’t get until my college psych classes. Then came another book, this time about dealing with anger through self-regulation. Because losing stinks and it was something we both needed to work on.

These books led to the idea of creating a card game designed to help kids put words to their feelings through fun and literacy. I called it the EQ Kids Crew®. It’s all about using a group of diverse characters to help kids see their emotions in a new light, so they can express themselves without the meltdowns and emotional outbursts.

Behind all of this is my own journey through depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, self-harm, and ultimately not wanting to be around anymore. Somehow, I made it through, and I now know there was a reason for that. My mission? To make sure every person, young and old, gets the support they need so they don’t have to go through what I did. And believe it or not, with products, workshops, and training, we’re already making waves globally.

Who are you serving and why?

While we began serving children, we found that adults need this information even more. When I tell people there are only 130 emotions on the feeling wheel, they can’t believe it because these words were not something they were used to using.

Now we serve corporations to ensure their workforce staff is equipped to handle the stressors of their job and balance emotions and professionalism in the workplace.

We support educators, from early educators to high school teachers, to support their efforts to create emotionally healthy and safe environments for students, themselves, and the school environment overall.

We support parents to ensure they have the resources and tools to manage their own emotional responses to model healthy behaviors for their kids.

 And of course, we serve children directly to help them get an early start on advocating for their needs with words and regulating their body to prevent harmful emotional reactions in the future.

Have you had any “aha moments “ in your work? A time when you learned something new or became aware of an issue for the first time?

In the last three years I have had many of these moments, but the most impactful one was seeing how many people do not have emotional outlets in their lives. I have someone cry in 99.8% of my presentations because they were never given the chance to express their feelings in a meaningful way. I am always thanked for “making space” for people to feel comfortable in their vulnerability to open up in a way they had not been able or were too afraid to do before. That has been one of the biggest honors and eye-openers for me.

What should employers know about Somocom Lab? How can they best connect to you and your work?

Employers should know that when they hire me, they are going to work with someone who speaks with honesty, truth, and practicality around emotional intelligence. While the data, facts, and theories make for a colorful and intellectual presentation, I focus more on the personal side of professionalism to get to the root of challenges so real people can move forward with realistic solutions that work for them. Corporations are created by people, and those people each have their own viewpoints, ideas, and understandings that can make or break workplace culture.

They can reach me at or complete the booking request form ( to schedule a workshop, training, or talk.

Kelly Fuller 
Senior Vice President of Columbus Chamber Foundation