through optimism, self-care, and understanding mental health
is to create products with an optimistic and emotionally-resonant tone that make our customers feel good. At the surface, we’re about fun and happiness, but we also care a lot about how you get to and maintain a state of good mental health—because that’s pretty imperative to feeling good. We encourage self-care, seeking knowledge about your mental health, asking for help, and most of all talking about it without shame.
Last December I had an idea to create two necklaces, one “anxiety” and one “depression,” merely to take a small action to help people open up conversations about mental health, work to reduce the stigmas around mental illness, and donate money to a cause we believed in. I had seen a positive response to the personal stories I was sharing on my Instagram and felt like it was time to do more. This was a passion project for me and a small group here. It was something we always expected to be a quick in and out, but hours after the necklaces went live, and subsequently sold out, we realized we had happened upon something that could grow to be much more meaningful to our team, our brand, and our community.
I have struggled with mental illness since I was very young, and although I didn’t have a name or even words to describe what was happening until I was in my early 20s, i knew something wasn’t right. At 23, I was diagnosed with depression (which was a misdiagnosis—i actually had bipolar—but it was a start). After the diagnosis I wasn’t ashamed of the label, in fact I was thrilled! Finally a term to describe how I was feeling for as long as I could remember. I’ve never approached it as a stigma or even a handicap, but just something that makes me, me. I have spent the last 20+ years educating myself on my illness, learning to ask for help, and developing a passion to help others who also suffer. So essentially because of my mental health conditions, I have developed empathy, compassion, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence, and for that I am really proud.
It’s so interesting at 46 to continue to find new meaning and purpose in your life and I am so excited to pursue this passion not just in my personal endeavors, but through ban.do as well. Our initiative is to raise awareness about mental illness, remove stigmas, help build the emotional intelligence of our community and overall just to enforce good mental health through optimism, self-care, and of course fun. I’m also so excited for you to share in the journey with us. We are just getting started, so please be patient as we navigate the complex waters of these very difficult topics. When you decide what you want to do, what you really, really want to do, you just want to run at it full speed, but we also understand the inherent responsibility here. It might not be perfect every step of the way, but we are committed to do our best and learn from any mistakes that I am sure we will make.
A non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health and to raising awareness, understanding, and empathy.